I might seem like a pretty milk toast generic type of old man in his 60's to most.
However, in my own mind, I feel like a caged animal that is used to roaming free.
Below is my first "selfie" as I felt that old senior missionary ailment coming on.
The above photo captures why I haven't posted in this blog lately, along with out internet at our home not working often or well enough to post photos on the blog. Today is a Zambian holiday, "Hero's Day", so I am at the mission home primarily to use the internet. Of course I need to correct some accounting errors, submit a vehicle report, and purchase more "talk time" for everyone.
To get caught up I will post several random photos to let you see a sampling of what has gone on.
Below is Jackson at the mission home. When not opening and closing the gate he works on his garden and he then can take as much home with him as he wants. His wife, Precious, will be delivering a baby any day now.
This was one of many baptisms in the mission. The font is a fiberglass tub out in the yard.
I stayed back to take a photo to preserve the dignity of the event.
I remember how keys were such an issue in our home church building. We went from standard, to electronic keypads, to electronic keys to finally having the church provide a patented unique blank that is highly controlled. Below is one set of keys to the Lusaka chapel. I shuddered when I saw it and I am very thankful that they are not entrusted to me. (All the vehicles and all the flats are enough for me).
A couple of roads are being widened in Lusaka to try and accommodate the large increase in traffic we are noticing. Here many beautiful Jacaranda trees are paying the price of progress.
We had a general authority, Elder Hamilton, and his wife visit and tour the mission. This is a photo of eating lunch at the Zone Conference.
That evening between meetings, Kristi was hurrying back from taking missionaries to immigration and poked her nose out into traffic. This was the result. They were all fine but the little car was out of commission for a month waiting for parts from South Africa.
I have also had several other vehicles in for repairs and touchups, which is just more paperwork.
Here is a little nest I found on the top of the windshield wiper. It was something I had never seen before. The nest looked just like a miniature clay pot that had been turned. Inside were inchworms.
We get invited to weddings for people in our branch. Here Chikumbe and Kate have just gotten married.
The receptions are really nice, though traditionally start much later than planned.
As the only white folks in attendance we tend to be some of the "honored guests". However, being the token white is not bad as our table was excused to hit the food first and the rest of our table was thrilled that we were seated with them. Of course we are called upon to help get the dancing started. You can see Kristi's pale countenance trying to catch the rhythm of the "congo" line.
We started attending District Meeting with the missionaries who attend our branch.
Some have moved on since this photo and we miss them. In the back row is Elder Welling and Elder Mwambu. In front, Sisters Griffus, Nakitende, Fuamatu, and Jones.
Below is our present family home evening group. Skidmores, Humpherys, Binghams, Lyles and Ericksons. Those that are in town get together every Monday evening and read a short story from our lives that we would like to pass on to our grandchildren. It has been a good way to get to know each other and have a little dessert.
We drive by this sculpture often so I finally had Kristi pose.
This was the refreshments after a home teaching activity in the Woodlands branch.
(Golden, Pauline, Sianga, Ben and Jacob)
We alternate with the other branch in the building cleaning it each week. The first time there I looked and looked for a vacuum. No vacuums, and these traditional brooms worked the best and fastest. Here Sister Zemba is making short work of the Young Women's room.
Often books and paper are in short supply so schools have many simple lessons permanently painted on their walls. Everyone should know the provinces of Zambia. I was ready to visit them all. I am sure it is the cure for my mental derangement. So here I am feeling sorry for myself with plenty of work and worries, no internet, and not being in control of my own life.
Then I drive down the street in a new truck to my nice home and full refrigerator feeling sorry for myself and this lady comes by. Yes, she is the best dressed, cleanest beggar in town - but with one arm and a totally distorted face that she lives with every single day of her life.
I suppose my gripes ring a little hollow.