Mission Application Photo

Mission Application Photo

Monday, August 1, 2016

Missionaries, New Neighbors and Safari among the Elephants

It was a busy week with two multi-Zone Conferences but it allowed President Heid to address the entire mission.  We also welcomed the arrival of a new senior couple as our neighbors and enjoyed a three-day Safari escape to northern Ghana.

On the way to our Zone Conference in Kpong we stopped at a private school for 200 children.  It is operated by a church Branch President and his family in Asutuare.

 Stan loves the banana tree foliage.

 We have stopped at the pig farm/school previously.  This visit the piglets were showing off.

President Heid knows the Branch President and his son.  The son has graduated from college in technology, helps his family with the pig farm and the school, and is applying for jobs in Accra.

We had instruction by the President, Assistants, plus scripture skits and socializing.  At this particular session there were only 4 sister missionaries.  (The rest are in other parts of the mission).  President calls them the "flowers of the mission".

 We did a skit with President and Sister Heid about early missionaries going to Great Britain.

 Lucifer was trying to "persuade" his way into heaven.

 Portrayal of Jesus being brought to the temple at 8 days old. 

It is a busy scene as missionaries prepare to depart back to their proselyting areas.

On Tuesday evening Elder Wayne and Sister Meg Jones arrived from Kalowna, BC Canada.  She is our mission nurse and he will assist in the mission.  They live across from us in the apartment building.  They had no time to recover from jet lag as we "dragged" them to the second Zone Conference on Wednesday.

 The skit told of a story in the Book of Mormon where the missionaries are encircled by fire and are preserved.

 Elder Pace is popular as he hands out money for travel reimbursement.

We are not sure why these rocks are positioned under the overpass in a round about.  Perhaps it is to prevent vendors from setting up their business where they could have protection from the rain and sun, but any commercial activity here would cause a traffic jam.

 R & R time....arrival in Tamale, about 350 miles from Accra.

 We had two attorneys with us who assist in the Area office.  The Websters, in the foreground, were in the MTC with us.
Mole National Park is about 75 miles to the west of Tamale.  It is a savannah woodland of 4000 square kilometers. Some of the animals are:  Kob and Raun antelopes, African elephants, water buffaloes, wart hogs, monkeys, baboons, birds, crocodiles, leopards, wild dogs, hyenas, butterflies, etc.

 Arrival at Zaina Lodge.  The CEO is American, used to be in the Peace Corp, and is married to a Ghanaian.  The property tries to be environmental friendly. 
This is Shawn O'Connor from New Hampshire.  He rode with us from the airport to the Lodge.  He met the CEO of Zaina Lodge at Harvard Law School ten years ago and came for some R & R before beginning his political campaign running for Congress.

Looking out from the entrance to the Lodge.  Elephants actually deposited their "dung" right at the edge of this walkway.

 What a beautiful setting.  We felt like we were at the edge of the world.

Our cabin was to the right of the Lodge.  The pool is directly in the middle of the Lodge.  The Lodge overlooked two elephant watering holes.

The cabins had canvas sides.  The outdoor shower is the rounded structure in the corner.  There was a nice large indoor shower too!!

 Notice the elephant in the background.

 This is close to the Lodge.  The elephants come up in the morning to "greet" us.  Stan felt like he entered Jurassic Park every time we went through the gate in the background!

 The terrain was so lush!!
 Yes, we got stuck in a deep muddy elephant footprint!!

The guys pretended to get us out of the hole, but it required digging, branches cut for traction with a machete, and another vehicle to pull us out!!

The road was wonderful, one of the best in Ghana.  The baboons are enjoying the view also.

This is a wart hog.

 We went on an early morning safari and had breakfast on the hood of the vehicle.
 Jacob, on the left, was our "protector" with his A27 rifle.  George was our knowledgeable guide.
 We enjoyed the food.  It was a fusion of Ghanaian and world cuisines.  This meal was sautéed spinach, pork chops with green apple puree, Greek salad and kidney bean salad. 

 We visited an Eco Village, Mognori, which is on the edge of the park.  The community learns to manage their natural resources.

 The Ghana government actually installed solar street lights in the village.  Residents can charge their phones, but they do not have electricity to their homes.

This was the tribal chief of the village.  The younger man was our guide.  He is a teacher in the village and has had three years of college.

The guide and his son.

The goats did not like the rain!

Residents decorate the outside walls of their homes.
 This sign was near the peak of a roof.  We believe the message was supposed to be:  Love what is good and hate what is bad.

 One of the products in Ghana and from this village is Shea Butter.  The fruit of the tree is crushed, boiled and becomes a creamy substance.

 Next to the Eco Village was a river where we had a canoe ride.  (Yes, they have fresh water from a "bore hole," but the natives say it is too salty and so they use water from this river.  It is muddy because of recent rains.)

She is heading to the river for water.

Near the Eco Village is a mosque built in the 1400's.  This particular village of 4000 residents is 100% Muslim.

 On a walking Safari we learned how the native people use plants.  This particular one is good for cuts.  You chew the leaves, put the spit on the wound and cover it with the vine of the plant.  Other plants are used as antibiotics, for brushing your teeth, for "runny tummy", and for bedwetting!

That is an elephant footprint!

We came home to find that the ceiling "dropped" in the main bathroom over the toilet.  There was some cement attached so we felt blessed that this happened when we were gone!!

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