Thursday, May 29, 2014

Crossing the Congo

 Our days are number in the crossing of the Congo, once the mission is divided we will not be crossing the river.  So I thought I would share with you some of our experiences with this mighty river.  We are able to cross on a private motor boat which is so much nicer than the Congolese have to cross on a ferry. You can see how good it feels to have the wind blowing and cool off alittle.  The river is very fast moving, I was so surprise!  All along the river there are big clomps of grass and weeds just floating down the river.  Once we saw a dead animal I don't know what is was and I didn't WANT to know!!  It takes us about 10-15 minutes to actually cross the river. But to go through all of the formalities because we are crossing into a different country it can take an hour on each side.  I want all my swimming students to notice that I have on my life jacket !  "Don't just pack it wear your jacket"!  When we take missionaries across the river they are so frighten of the river.  None of them know how to swim and they have many drownings of people in Kinshasa and Brazzaville !
Here is a picture at the "Beach" there is no beach ! They are being loaded by the thousands on to the huge ferry!
This picture of the ferry crossing is filled with people from the DRC who have been evicted from Brazzaville Congo.  It is so interesting that the people of these two countries only a river dividing them do not get along and theirs is a history of wars.  These people have been living in Brazzaville for years and now are being kicked out leaving their homes and jobs and are being sent to DRC.
Here are our Aps and our Sister Trainers crossing the Congo . They are the best!! 
Here is the skyline of Kinshasa from the boat on the Congo. Sorry it's so light!
Here is the view of Brazzaville the capital of Republic of Congo and the headquarters of the new mission from the boat.  The big round tower is Brazzaville focal point.  I will miss crossing this river.
Further down the river near a town called Matadi the rapids are huge on the river.  They could really cash in on the white river rafting rides if their weren't so afraid of the water!  These pictures were taken from the little Indiana Jones airplane!  What an adventure!!
We crossed the river this morning and I took some more pictures.  Here is the "Beach" on the Kinshasa side
Here is a better picture of the skyline on the Kinshasa side
Here is another ferry empty
Here are the clomps of grass I was telling you 
Here is a picture of the "Beach" on the Brazzaville side
Here they are dredging the sand out of the harbor
Here the "houseboat" that the workers live in that work on the dredging or at the "Beach"

Monday, May 12, 2014

Things carried on their heads/Mission President Seminar

The first thing one will notice coming to Congo is how everyone carries things on their heads.  Carrying things on their heads, the women have the most perfect posture and balance.  It's amazing what they carry. Here are a few examples. Here is man carrying baskets
Here is a man wood planks
Here is a boy carrying plastic bags of water selling through traffic in between cars passing by
This is one of my favorite pictures here a man is selling shoes.  He puts one shoe on top of his head to advertise he's a shoe salesman !! 
Here is a lady carrying her plastic blue chair on her head this is hard to tell sorry!
Here is another shoe salesman ! We have had an exciting month of May.  Bryan our son graduated from Duke University with his MBA. We are so proud if him and were able to see his graduation on you tube amazing.  He received the Fuqua Scholar award for being in the top 10% of his graduating class. So proud of him.
The other fun event this month was going to Johannesburg for our Mission President seminar. We are fortunate to be able to go twice a year for this training.  It's so helpful to be taught by our Area Presidency and the other Mission Presidents in our Area. President Renlund who has been the Area President after 5years in Africa has received a new assignment back in Salt Lake City.  So this is the last we will see him here in Africa.  Everyone has loved working and knowing Elder and Sister Renlund.  They are wonderful. Best wishes to them they will be missed !
We had a marvelous time with all the mission Presidents and their wives. We ate, compared stories and came home better prepared and excited to put into practice what we learned.  Here are the Merrill's from Angola we love them!
Here are President and Sister Wood from the Capetown Mission
Here are Elder and Sister Hamilton from the Area Presidency. They are the best
Here are the Area Presidency's wives Sister Hamilton ,Sister Cook, and Sister Renlund
Here is  our Area Presidency sorry the picture blurred on me.
Here are the Adams president of Madagascar, the other Bryson Cooks serving in Zimbabwe, the McMullins serving in the DRC Lubumbashi mission and President and Sister Kretly serving in Mozambique mission ( which is all Portuguese) Amazing people amazing country!! Love to all