The New Year was welcomed by us by having a dinner at an outdoor restaurant with other senior couples. Afterwards two couples went home but the Humpherys came to our house for some games and dessert and we watched the fireworks from the balcony upstairs. There seemed to be more fireworks this year and we could see them being lit off all across Lusaka. They have been selling them on the streets and I was very tempted but I didn't want to set a bad example for the younger missionaries. Oh -- but they had some neat rockets! Pretty! Big BOOMS, but no firecrackers.
These are baskets sold in the market for tourists. The seller has a group of women in the south of Zambia who makes these. They can do one of these bowls about a foot across and ten inches deep in two days. They sell for between eight and twelve dollars here in town.
Packages for the missionaries for Christmas have been arriving for the last six weeks. Here is Elder Allred opening one of his. I think the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups were the most valued.
I continue to go to the bank a couple of times a week. It is more often and to different banks the last week to pay rents at the end of the month. Here I am standing in line, as usual it takes about an hour or more to finish and be on my way. This bank's name is a good example of how most things are pronounced in Zambia. In California we would say: Zan-aco but Africans tend to have two-letter syllables instead of three letter syllables. The name of the bank is Za-Na-Co.
I got to meet a new Elder, Elder Ketchum at the airport as the President was involved in a Leadership Conference. Elder Ketchum had been up for over 36 hours traveling from Provo, Utah. I felt a little sorry for him as his eyes were rolling and head swinging from side to side as I drove around Lusaka before I could get him settled with his new companion. He did get to meet Pres. Erickson on the way there.
Kristi and I finally took the time to drive outside of town a bit to "Mary's Bookshop". Here were three enterprising young men who were selling bouquets to make a little money.
This is Mary's bookshop. It consists of this building and a twenty foot shipping container full of books. It is in her back yard. She usually has a booth at the monthly craft fair. There isn't much on our one channel of TV so I tend to read at night or work on a puzzle.
Now that the rains have come the maize crop is looking good.
This is a nice field but in town it is planted wherever there is a little space.
This lady was heading home with her bundle of tools.
Kristi wanted her photo taken by this large bougainvillea so we could judge the size.
While she was standing there a man came by and asked if she wanted to buy a turtle.
Kristi is now the choir director and this is after-church practice.
I watch this lady do her laundry or dishes each Sunday while we drop Noel off from Church.
One more random beetle passing through.
Last Saturday Kristi and I conducted some Branch training at the Chainama Branch and these missionaries, Elders Barton, Massey and Sisters Scott and Komiha were there teaching investigators.
It seems to be raining a little more this year. The rains have turned to floods in Malawi and especially around the city of Blantyre. We have had seven families there lose their homes. Without a metal roof the walls just melt away or the walls can collapse. The church is helping as much as it can.
This is what Lusaka looks like after about an hour of rain.
There just isn't a master drainage plan.
Within ten minutes of a cloud burst many intersections are difficult for walkers.
The biggest problem for walkers is that you can no longer see where the big holes are.
It also slows down the income for the merchants or "traders".
But if there is a will, there is a way.
These chickens are dry and all will probably be in a pot before nightfall.
So I would say the lesson is don't accept immediate comfort as always a good thing.
Be careful to assess the big picture and perhaps a little dampness or discomfort now will provide a happier and longer future.