Monday, August 26, 2013

19 - 25 Aug 2013 Home&Office,Routines,JardimTunduru

Monday we continued compiling a spreadsheet about the 23 apartments where the 88 missionaries live.  Since it was “P” day, I was able to talk to almost every one of the companionship's in the morning. We had also planned to train on the Church’s IMOS system, but the training site was down. 

In the afternoon we walked to a nearby fabric store to get fabric for the window in our bedroom.  The 60” wide bolts of fabric, of all types and colors and weights, were wound on long cardboard rolls stacked on tables and along the walls.  The prices displayed were for one meter (about a yard) of fabric.  There were also many “capulanas” for sale; they were hung on lines from the ceiling.  There were lots of “helpers” in the shop, so whenever I stopped to look at something, they were right there wanting to know if I wanted to have them take the roll to the measuring table. I finally found the color of blue fabric I wanted.  I really don’t know what kind of fabric it is – if Lyn or Emily were here either one could tell you in an instant!   The helper put the roll on the measuring table and the person there rolled out the fabric and found there was 2.4 meters left on the roll.   We said we’d take the whole piece, although I only needed 2 meters.  It was 40 MT/meter, so the total was 96 MT, less than $3.00.  When we got home, I draped the fabric over the suspension rod in our bedroom and presto, we now have some color coordination in the bedroom!

Tuesday through Friday we were in the Mission Office during the day.  Here are some pictures of our office which is on the 2nd floor around the corner from the Mission President’s Office. 

Richard has a brand new computer and we found out this week that it has Windows 8 on it, so it has been a challenge to find the Desktop – but once he’s there, everything seems to work normally.  We don’t have Microsoft Office yet, so all of our work, except for IMOS training, is done on my laptop which I take back and forth every day. 

I turned my desk so I can look out the window into the trees and every once in a while this week we have seen a gorgeous bird, with a slender black beak and black wings and a green iridescent head, eating seeds on old tree blossoms.  It is some kind of a sunbird; we’ll try to get another look and perhaps even take a picture so we can make a better identification.

We bring our lunch with us to the Mission Office and eat it outside in the garden whenever the weather allows.  One day I saw three black white-striped lizards; they might be the common flat lizard (Platysaurus intermedius), a species of lizard in the Cordylidae family.  

The soil here is apparently very fertile.  One afternoon we watched the gardener prepare long shoots of a noded plant into equal portions, angle a hole into the soil with his trowel, and put the sprigs in the hole and cover them up.   He explained that he had put most of the grass in using this method.   

We continue to see beautiful orange-sun sunsets and one evening, when we were going home quite late, we saw a huge full moon whose light shone over the dark water.  One late evening, on the way home, the water was very turbulent; along the beach there were fairly large waves.  Little fishing boats anchored off-shore were really being jostled by the waves; in some places, the white spray rose up over the wall and splashed onto the road.  There are some beautiful tile pictures along the road next to the water and Richard took a short movie of them glittering in the lights of the passing cars. 

Another thing we’ve learned how to do is to input the convert baptisms into the Church system.  Elders who live close, give the hand-written paper baptism records to the AP’s for inputting and filing.  Most of the Elders live far away, so they go to an Internet café and send a digital copy to the AP’s who print out a copy for inputting and filing.  Eventually, at Zone and District conferences, the original paper copy replaces the digital copy.  Some of the copies of the digital records are blurry; it reminds me of trying to decipher an online parish record.  Baptism records are important documents and we feel thankful to be able to help input this important information.
We found out that a letter mailed from Mozambique through their postal system costs about $3 and it may take 2-4 weeks before it is delivered in the United States.  So, we will continue to send email birthday greetings to you throughout our mission; we haven’t found any African greeting cards here anyway.  We might try designing our own using Word Publisher – and you can print them out there!

I have so wanted to see some interesting bugs to report to the grandchildren.  My desire came out in a dream I had the other night of an elongated black beetle.  I stepped on it ever so lightly to stop it so I could collect it and describe it better - and then I woke up!  We have seen flies, of course, a couple of small spiders, and a couple of mosquitoes - we are glad we're not seeing many of those because they are the carriers of Malaria :(   We don't go out after dark as that is when mosquitoes are out!

On Saturday we went grocery shopping and furniture shopping with the Hobsons.  There is a very modern furniture store not far from our apartment and we ordered a cabinet to put in the bathroom.  It will be delivered some time in September.

Whenever we're out we see people selling things from little booths by the side of the road or on the sidewalks.   Here are some examples. 

The colorful bottles on the long boards are bottles of nail polish; you can get your fingernails and toenails done right on the street! 

I love this one of a cute little girl with her purse!

This group of craftsmen have a regular spot at one of the intersections.

We are very thankful for the elevator!  Then there is the washing routine for fruits and vegetables; they must be washed in a bleach solution for 30 seconds, then rinsed and dried.

Our regular Sunday schedule is to attend 5 hours of Church.  We go to all of the meetings for the Maputo 2 branch (8-11), and then stay for the last 2 hours of the Maputo 1 branch (10-1 p.m.).   I go to Primary and Dad goes to Priesthood and Sunday School.  In Primary, they teach everyone together in one big group instead of separating for classes.  They are teaching from the Primary 3 manual.  Are any of you grandchildren on the “Forgiving One Another” “The Lord Helps Missionaries” or “I Can Be a Missionary”?  In singing time, I bet most of you grandchildren are practicing for your Sacrament Meeting program.  That is what the children in these two branches are doing.  I am anxious to print out the music and Portuguese words to the songs "If the Savior Stood Beside Me" ("Se ao Meu Lado Estivesse Salvador") and "If I Listen With my Heart" ("Se Eu Escutar come o Coracão").  I want to learn the children’s names, but when I ask their name, I don't understand what they say. I have to have them write their name down and some of the littlest ones don't know how to write their name yet!  The 1st counselor in the Maputo 2 branch is going to get me a list next week.

In sacrament meetings this week: A young single adult convert told how the gospel came into her life at a time when she needed it and her life was changed.  A young man told how his testimony grew as he saw unmarried couples being married and then all dressed in white with their children to be baptized.  The high councilor reminded us that though times change, the gospel remains the same.  A sister spoke of the importance of serving our neighbor.  Sister Kretly spoke of how we can endure our trial by putting faith in a loving God.  President Krety spoke of welcoming new members and investigators into the church where we support each other.  He encouraged parents to bring all children to church even though it takes patience.  We are helping the children to set patterns for their lives; step by step children learn  the gospel, grow to be strong youth who become missionaries, marry and have children of their own and the cycle continues.  Come to church and find peace and recharge your batteries.  God knows our hearts. 
On Sunday afternoon we went on a long walk.  We ended up at Jardim Tunduru Botanical Gardens which were "designed by the renowned English gardener, Thomas Honney, in 1885.  

The design of the garden was based on the gardens of the Sultan of Turkey and the King of Greece. Entering the park, a visitor will find a statue of Samora Machel, the first president of Mozambique. The gardens are filled with ferns, cycads and other exotic species of plants."  The gardens are exquisitely laid out, but are overgrown. Think Central Park but in Maputo. Here are some historical and some present pictures of the garden.

While we were in the park we heard this chattering sound in the trees.  I thought it was birds, but I couldn't see them.  Then we went to another part of the park and the chattering was louder.  I saw some bird-like things flying in the tall trees and then landing to join a big clump in the branches.  Then I saw one of them and it was hanging!  Yep, it was bats!  These pictures show the clumps in the trees, but we didn't get a picture of them flying.  Their wing spans were about 15" or more.  The pictures aren't very good as it was in the late afternoon and the park was pretty dark because it was overcast. 

We didn't stay around too long after that and made our way home to the apartment.  

No comments:

Post a Comment