This is a quote from "Hillel the Elder" from the first century. (I thought I was so original!)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Missionary "Flats"

I thought I would show you where some of the missionaries in Lusaka live.  This gate is pretty typical.  It is locked with a padlock but no guard inside.  If the electricity is on then there is 240 volts running around the top of the wall.  The wall is only about 8 or 9 feet high plus the wire.  Most missionaries walk everywhere.  My best guess is about 15 miles a day.

Inside you see how twenty year olds live.  Not much different from dorm rooms or twenty year olds anywhere in the US.

The kitchens are minimal.

Most use mosquito netting, especially in the hotter months.

No washers or dryers.  They use a tub for washing clothes and hang them up to dry inside.
They get stolen outside.  Yea, how does that happen with 240 volts running around?

The quarters are probably quite a bit more reserved in decoration than their contemporaries' rooms who are not on missions.

It is a constant battle to keep old bathrooms clean and working with hot water.

A cleanliness inspection serves a real purpose when basics can be ignored while engrossed in missionary work.  Notice the light above and below the door.  This one you can also see the light through the cracks in the door.  It is impossible to keep the dirt (not only dust) from from blowing in.

Here we are looking at a new flat to rent that is pretty big to house four missionaries and those that are passing through on transfers.

We always need to supply a stove and refrigerator and all other furnishings.

This is the key to a happy missionary.  We would call it a water heater but in all of Africa they are called geysers.  That is pronounced "geeezer".  I just had to get used to it.  It is a geezer.

They all hang on the outside of the flat or house and the pipes are not insulated one bit.
In fact plumbing is pretty simple as all the pipes are exposed on the outside walls.
Apparently, they don't expect a freeze in the near future.

Best shower in the mission.

Best closet in the mission.  This is not a real selling point since their clothing is sort of limited.
Most flats have portable wardrobes or just an open clothes rack since most don't have a built-in closet.

Moving from one flat to a newly leased one is a real chore.

These flats have an inside guard.  The geyers are near the front doors.  Only one set of Elders live here but there are three flats.

Here the sisters have chosen to all sleep in the dining room and the bedrooms are left with desks and used as study rooms away from each other.

These three flats house two senior couples and then two sets of sisters in the end flat.
All the sisters have access to a vehicle.

I had to take a photo of this painting a departing Elder purchased.  He absolutely loves it and it reminds him of working in a village at night.  I thought he was kidding, but luckily I kept quiet.  Some of the senior missionaries thought it looked a lot like Halloween.  We talked later and joked with the Elder that when he dated a girl who liked it, he should marry her.

My guess is that it will end up on a garage wall or in his "man cave".

Now this cracked me up.

Missionaries are encouraged to have some religious art around but not to have distracting things from home on the walls that will make them homesick.
Here is the perfect compromise - Adam and Eve, holding hands walking in the garden.

This is right above the water cooler where they can pause for a little reflective refreshment after a fifteen mile dusty day.