Mission Application Photo

Mission Application Photo

Monday, September 5, 2016

The BUSH and BANKU

This has been an interesting week.  For highlights, we said farewell to two of our outstanding sister missionaries on Monday; Sister Nwagboso from Nigeria and Sister Nkambule from South Africa.  They were our last two "Sister Training Leaders" or STLs.  In our mission, the STLs are equivalent to the Zone Leaders for the Sisters.  They train new sister missionaries, do exchanges with companionships periodically and help solve problems.  They will be missed.




Sister Munro is Nancy's counterpart in the Ghana West Mission office.  At Sister Scripture Study she was given a container of Vegemite, a favorite of hers.  She is from Australia!


We had a large number of missionaries in town renewing their "non-citizen" id cards.  Nancy took the opportunity to take care of some mission business.  She got their attention.


Also, on Monday, President, Heid, Stan and Wayne (our new neighbor) went golfing at the Achimota Golf Club.  It is the finest course in Western Africa.  You are required to employ a caddy to play 18 holes.  (There are no carts).  Stan's caddy was Moses.  He was very helpful and encouraging.  He helped make a terrible round of golf, actually fun.



Our office elders, Elder Fuller and Elder Falk, were so excited to retrieve mail at the post office this week and find that they personally had long awaited packages.  Elder Falk was waiting almost a month for his renewed International Driver's Permit that had recently expired.  He is now legal again!!


The mission nurse and her husband, the Jones's, were asked to attend the Ho District Conference this weekend with us.  (Ho is officially "in the Bush").  Typically, there is a leadership session and an adult session on Saturday.  On Sunday is a General Session for all members.  The Mission President was not able to attend on Saturday.  Thank goodness we didn't have to speak or instruct.  We were there as support.  A new Area Seventy was presiding and all the speakers were selected by the District Presidency under his direction.  (Elder Koranteng is actually from this region of Ghana).  It was well attended and the instruction very good.  The emphasis was on building unity and living the gospel.





This is Gilbert Oppong, the mission facilities coordinator, posing with his wife ,Cynthia, and their daughter, Matilda.  (Several months ago we shared a picture of them.  Only Matilda has changed!)

On Sunday, groups of saints came from neighboring branches of the church.  They came in buses, Tro Tros and taxis.  Our estimate of the attendance was between 400 and 500.  Again, the talks were very good and it was a great opportunity for the members to gather in a larger body.  This bus seats 45 people.  The day of the Conference there were over 100 crammed in for the 1-2 hour ride to Ho and back to Aflao, near the Togo border.  The inscription on the bus window is so typical in Ghana, and so appropriate for the occasion.


Saturday evening, we invited the 6 missionaries working in Ho, over for a brownie and ice cream at the senior missionary house where we stayed.  (John and Sarah Bodine lived there during their senior mission and were mentioned in earlier blogs. There is not a senior couple to replace them at this time, so there is a young college student who is the "caretaker".)  A few hours before the young elders arrived, we endured a major thunderstorm.  We had no way to measure the rainfall but estimate that 6 or so inches of rain fell in about 1 hour.  We learned quickly that the house has some "issues."  Within minutes, we had 4-5 major leaks to contend with and water also coming in under the front door.  There was a gutter system, but it just couldn't handle the volume.  There really wasn't anything we could do about it.  We were just hoping that we could keep most of the water out.  Fortunately, we were able to manage things.  At the same time we were dealing with our "flooding," the power went out.  That is not a good thing in Ghana.  No power, no ac.   The house actually has a system installed that captures energy through solar panels and stores the power in batteries.  We didn't really know how to operate it, but we used our best guess to get it up and running.  The city power came on after a short time. Things just worked out.

Doris is the neighbor at the Ho House.  She greeted us when we arrived.  Her son built and owns the Ho house.

We didn't have enough containers for all the drips!!

The young missionaries have been "encouraging" us to taste some Banku.   They brought some to the Ho house for us to try.    "Banku is a Ghanaian dish which is cooked by a proportionate mixture of fermented corn and cassava dough in hot water and mixed into a smooth, whitish paste. It is served with soup, stew or a pepper sauce with fish." (Wikipedia).   We liked the flavor of the groundnut soup, but would prefer a chicken rather than fish base and to serve it over rice!! 

Wayne and Meg Jones were also "brave".  Wayne has been talking about trying Banku since they arrived in Ghana about six weeks ago.  After sampling, he decided it would not be part of his diet!!  Yes, you eat with your hands!

Everyone was relaxing after having dessert.

It was a nice Saturday in Ho.  This picture was taken from a new hotel in Ho.  It really is beautiful there.  We had been asked to bring some deposit money for senior missionaries who will be staying there this next weekend.  We also will return to the Ho house for the Kente festival, so watch for highlights next post!

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