Monday, December 1, 2014

17 - 23 Nov 2014 BeiraVisit,EnglishClass,Maputo,Pond,DistConf,Hives

Monday morning we went across the street to the beach!  The weather was windy and cold!  We were hoping to find sand dollars, but I only found one!   Sister Snelson explained that the tide wasn’t low enough.  You need to look for 3 indentations in the wet sand next to the ocean and then dig a little and find a live sand dollar!  I guess we’ll have to have that experience on a different beach in the world.  We saw many crab holes and some of them were quite large, different from Maputo which only has little crabs.   We saw one of the bigger crabs up on the beach, so we decided to “save” it and take it down to the ocean.  I found a piece of white Styrofoam, scooped him up, and started carrying him.  Sister Snelson, always ready for a good snapshot, ran back to the apartment for her iphone.  She explained that it is best not to take cameras or phones with you on the beach, because somebody might see you using it and try to steal it from you.  I walked along slowly and was doing OK, until the crab moved one of his legs and touched my hand!  I freaked out and dropped him!   We corralled him until Sister Snelson returned.

Since the clouds were very threatening, Sister Snelson had left her camera at their apartment so it would not get wet. However, she went back to their apartment to get her iphone so she could take the picture. We continued on our walk up the beach, found some interesting shells, and stopped when we couldn’t go any farther.  When we turned around to go back, the sand and water were whipping at us and we were a sight when we got back to the apartment. 

Because of the storm, we couldn’t do our lighthouse trip and climb the winding staircase to the top, but here is a small picture of the lighthouse we found on the Internet.

Instead, we took a driving tour of the city. We saw that the storm has blown up lots of sand on the road next to the beach.  Brian commented that the poor people would be rejoicing.  The women come and scoop up the sand and sell it.  They can’t get sand from the actual beach, but when it blows onto the road they can collect it!  He has seen women carrying these big heavy bags of sand on their heads!  

We drove by the once glorious Grand Hotel.  According to Wikipedia: “The Grande Hotel Beira was a luxury hotel in Beira, Mozambique from 1954 to 1963. … After only eight years, the Grande Hotel Beira was closed, deemed by the company to be unprofitable and too costly to keep open… The building was used as a military base in the Mozambican Civil War (1977-1991)and it is currently home to 1,077 squatters.” Here are pictures of The Grand Hotel in the 1950's and today, complete with a Barber Shop!

Next we went to the Macquinino Market to get couve, ground peanuts, and tomatoes for Tuesday’s dinner.  The market is a very interesting place – very informal and everywhere you turn there are little booths with people selling everything you can think of!

Because of the rain, the ground was muddy and one had to be very careful where you stepped.  At one juncture we walked on a metal rain gutter which had been placed over a huge mud hole. 

Then we went capulana shopping.   There is one street that has many capulana stores, so we looked at each one before we decided on which capulana to buy.  I was hoping to find another capulana with African animals on it for the 3-tiered skirts I’m making for grandkids.  Instead, we found some other beautiful ones!

That evening, after dinner at the Kanemambos, a Chinese restaurant, I worked late into the night inputting the rest of the Manjala Minha Familia booklets. 

On Tuesday morning we all went to the beach at low tide, hoping to find sand dollars.

The tide apparently still wasn’t low enough.  [Since that day Brian and Kim have been out at a really low tide and found lots of sand dollars.]  Oh, well, guess we’ll take a rain check and go back someday. Instead of sand dollars we enjoyed watching the flocks of terns and lesser egrets.  There were 5 boys at the beach who were catching the birds with pieces of fishing line strung between sticks set in a mall mound of sand.  And they were successful!

Before lunch, I went up to Sister Castro Deus’ apartment and oriented her to Family History.  She is very experienced with Family History, but welcomed the new information.  While we were there, Richard visited with Elder Castro Deus and found out they were able to see Alda when they stayed in Maxixe on their way to Beira from the Couple’s Conference.  I have since texted her, but have received no answer.  As for Stelio, she didn’t know where he was.  I have since called Sterlio, since he talks English, and discovered he is now living and working in Inhambane, which is across the peninsula from Maxixe.  He was very cordial and was glad to hear from us.  He had received our text messages, but was always very busy at the motel, where he had worked with Alda, and little time for himself.  He is happier with the work schedule at the new place.  

In the afternoon, after a fairly short Staff Meeting, I went to the Palmeiras chapel to the English class Kim teaches.  What a great teacher!!  Everyone was involved, even me, as she used my visit as a way for each student to practice how to introduce themselves to someone.  Their last class will be Thursday evening and those who have attended 20 class times will receive an English Book of Mormon.

Kim and Isabel, Kim’s maid, prepared a couve and chicken dinner and invited Josh Philipps and his parents, who were visiting from the United States to share it.  I was sorry that the appointment I made with the Manjala Family conflicted with Kim’s plans, but that evening would be our last and I had to meet with them about their Minha Familia booklets.  Their booklets are the most complete I have seen since being in Mozambique.   I like to sit down with the family before I accept a booklet to ask questions about the spelling of names, date format, etc., but, since I wasn’t able to do that with Brother Manjala, I had many questions to ask him and his wife.  We had a great visit and accomplished a lot.  They are a humble couple and appreciated the help in getting their information put into FamilySearch.  They look forward to soon attending the temple for the first time and doing some ordinance work for their deceased ancestors.  I bore my testimony about Family History and Temple Work and hoped they continued to realize many blessings for all of their research on their families. 

When Brother Manjala  heard that Elder and Sister Snelson would be completing their mission In a few weeks, Brother Manjala was very sad.  They have had such a positive impact on all of the people in Beira/Manga and the surrounding areas.

Here are some pictures of dinner with the Philipps Family:

Worked late into the night again inputting the corrections into FamilySearch for the Manjalas, and the next morning woke up early to  compile a list of things the Manjalas need to find out to complete their families.  They will work with the Family History Consultant in their Inhamizua Branch to accomplish these things.

All too soon it was time to end our visit to Beira.  Thank you, Elder and Sister Snelson, for sharing some of your experiences with us and giving us memorable days to think back upon.

The Secretaries picked us up at the airport and took us right to the office.  Since Monday’s transfers, Elder Reinstein is now part of a Secretary-threesome.  Elder Cummings is back into the field, bringing his positive attitude into his vibrant missionary work; Elder Mason joins Elder Hamrick as an AP. I worked at inputting fichas, and we reviewed missionary recommendations, sent out reminder emails and texts, and printed out transfer cards for the new missionaries and later helped Brother Campira recover his user name and password for his account.  He was very thankful, as he had lost much of the original information about his family – luckily that was after it had been input onto FamilySearch.

We got home when it was still light out on Friday – a rare treat!  The circuits to the power to the first floor at the mission office blew out due to some crossed wires, so the missionaries wanted to go out into their areas and be more productive!  We stopped by to meet the Pond couple who arrived last Saturday while we were in Beira.   They are from Ashton, Idaho, and are on a Humanitarian Mission and are replacing the Hobsons.  He is learning to drive in the crazy traffic.  Neither of them speak Portuguese so they are using Naldo, part of the mission physical facilties staff, to go with them to make visits about Humanitarian projects.  We are excited to go shopping with them on Monday.

Saturday morning we took an almost 2 hour walk on errands, looking for green yarn and animal capulana materials for the skirt project, and milk and bread to tide us over ‘til Monday’s shopping.  Found some Feliz Natal capulana “treasures” and at the Casa de Paris store, down from the capulana shop, we found the perfect piece of fabric with African animals on it.  It washed up like a dream!

District Conference was held Saturday afternoon and evening at the Maputo 2 chapel, which made it very convenient for us.  I was hoping Laura and her family would come, but she texted that she was going to try to make it to the Matola meetings on Sunday instead. The District R.S., YW, Primary president, and Sister Lopes spoke upstairs for the Auxiliary Training in the Saturday afternoon meeting while the brethren had Priesthood Auxiliary training in the chapel.

That afternoon I finished cutting out the rest of the fabric for the 3-tiered skirt for the granddaughters.

On Sunday, the District met to receive the broadcast from Salt Lake City of the Africa Area Conference in the Matola chapel. 

The translators had to speak so fast to keep up with the speakers, that I didn’t understand much from the speeches.  I am anxious to see if they will be available on the Internet in English. 

Decided to tough it out and attended the Africa Conference with the Ponds in Matola.  Met the Reed Family, an American family who have begun a 2-year assignment with the embassy and who are attending Maputo 1.  Also saw many of my friends from Maputo 2 and had pictures with Rosalina Congo, who had befriended me on Saturday in Maputo after the meeting.  She had told me that I couldn’t go home from my mission.  I needed to go and live with her in her house – she says she has room for me!  I explained that I had a big family at home that I needed to get back to.  She was amazed that I had 6 children (3 boys and 3 girls) 25 grandchildren and one-on the-way.  She marveled at my age, because she said I looked so young and energetic.  She was born in the same year I was married!

Sister Lopes held the first practice for the Christmas Devotional that the missionaries will be presenting on December 14 at the Matola Chapel.

Well, looking back to Saturday, it was also the beginning of a challenging tribulation for me with hives.  I don’t know what I ate or touched, but by Sunday evening my body was covered with raised red welts.  And boy, did they itch!  When Richard sent pictures to the area doctor on Sunday evening, his comment was, “Holy Cow!”  Guess we did this one up good! 

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