Our time here is quickly disappearing and there is nothing we can do to stop time! It is very strange -- anxious to go home, sad to leave. We can't believe we will not ever be seeing, hearing and experiencing the Congo in a few short weeks -- unless we are fortunate enough to be called again to serve in this amazing place. But life goes on, and we feel we must do something about our grandchildren growing too tall, too big, too smart, without us. How dare they!!
As for our pictures of the week, below is an interesting little story. We visited one of our new spring catchment projects, and were invited to hike up over the hill and see the "gas plant". So not really understanding what we were going to see, we followed, and lo and behold, in the middle of a remote village of Kinsiona, we find a methane-producing site, complete with a buried brick underground tank where the chicken manure is collected to ferment and create the gas, which is then piped out to various cooking stoves. This is a picture of the small hut where this man, the plant supervisor, lives and has piped the gas into his 'kitchen' stove. The plant is only 6 months old, but they have big plans to charge a small amount to pipe the gas all over the village. The gas will replace the cutting down of trees and bushes to burn for their cooking fires, which will be a good thing. They use the left-over manure waste to fertilize their crops. Let's hope it catches on and can become self-sustainable. Another African country is funding this start-up business. We wish them luck!
On our day off last week, we traveled about 3 hours out of Kinshasa to Tifie Farms, a huge project that is the brainchild of a wealthy Church member from Utah. The farm grows mostly cassava root, which is the staple here. Different village people are assigned to work on the farm each week, and for pay they get $4 per day, plus they can take home some of the smaller cassava roots for their own eating. This little lady below took a liking to Elder B, because they both have white hair and she immediately wanted him to marry her. She did a little dance with him to show him her interest.....
Below are some school children near the Tifie farm. It was the day the children received their school certificates and grades. They were very excited to see all the mundeles suddenly appear in their midst, and of course, pictures were the order of the day as a result.
The tree below is a typical African tree, the baobob tree. Immense and sturdy, unusual in shape.
These little guys were having a sweetie snack, and needed to have their picture taken.
The birds below love sitting on this same branch every day around 4 pm. Wish you could really see them - they are so much more colorful than the picture shows. We can watch them out our kitchen window. They are blue-breasted bee eaters. They actually have green backs, a stripe of orange and black around their neck and a yellow belly. If you zoom in on the photo you can see some of that color. Congo has a wonderful assortment of birds, but no bird sanctuaries that we have found to visit. Elder B has gotten quite a bit of use out of his binoculars here though. And many Congolese have had their first lesson on looking through them.
Last Sunday we attended Church with one of our Engineers, Albert, who was having his baby blessed. Her name is Esperance, Espè for short. Babies aren't taken out at all until they are three months old. This was one of Espè's first outings.
Elder and Sis. B with a new interpreter, Aime, at one of our sites near a spring.
We look forward to a new week, new adventures, new work, old work, and getting things in place for our new couple to arrive.
Thanks to those of you who tolerate long blogs. Most of the time 'you just have to be there' but we want to TRY to share what we have here.
Have a happy week, and we will too...
We love you.