Sunday, May 29, 2016

Road Trip

This week we were invited to join a small group going to “the river”.  This is a well-known excursion made by many of the couple missionaries in Accra.  Near the mouth of the Volta River, there is a populated island, only reachable by boat, where a unique electrical project was completed over 10 years ago by Empower Playgrounds, Inc.   The playground action generates electricity which is carried to a battery facility where individuals can recharge their LED lights so the kids can study after dark.

We were invited on the trip by the MTC president and our guide was Isaac, who has been associated with the project for many years now.  We received permission to miss our shift on Friday, then arranged to get the temple van.  Once I declared myself as the driver, two other couples and a sister joined us.

We left about 7:15 AM and after picking up those who live off-site were able to get to the MTC in Tema by 8:30,so we had a brief tour of the facility.  It holds 95 missionaries at a time and they stay for three weeks.  About half are French-speaking or assigned to a French-speaking mission but the balance varies from group to group.  It is a nice facility.

Current MTC

The new MTC is being built next to our stake center and the temple, which will make logistics for getting the missionaries to the temple much easier.  The new building will roughly triple current capacity. 

                                                                        New MTC under construction

This interesting map on the wall at the MTC shows how the USA fits nicely into the NW corner of Africa, with China, India, and most of Europe filling in the spaces.  Africa is BIG!

On the way to Ada, we passed a lot of melon fields and stands.

Motorized canoe like the one we used to get to the island.

Typical mud home in the village with thatched roof.

Clothes dryer

Children attend this Jr. HS for 1 Cedi per day ($0.26) and 40% of the kids on the island can't afford it.  Some students earn their own way and take up to 10 years to finish 8th grade.  

The merry-go-round that generates electricity

Fresh coconut

It tastes refreshing on a hot day!

A captivating smile of a student

Traveling on the Volta to its mouth on the Atlantic

Our canoe worried us a bit

The only thing about Africa that has made Sue feel at home.

Fisherman throwing his net into the Atlantic

Independent women travelers on the Volta

Back at the "dock".  Notice the sacks of mussel shells.

Woman carrying supplies and her baby

Tomato, melon, and mango stand on the way home

The drive home was hair-raising, to say the least, due to the Friday night traffic. It didn't help that it was dark as we approached Tema.  A two lane road turned into six lanes of vehicles, filling both shoulders and every space in between.   Driving became a real game of chicken, inching and merging.  The huge trucks were especially intimidating, but we made it home safely thanks to the prayers of everyone in the van and Tom's prior experience with bumper cars.  


  1. Just for fun, we thought you would like to know that our son Craig, worked on the design of the merri-go-round while at BYU-I. It was further developed at BYU and then our niece Kim was part of the group from BYU that oversaw its installation. Kim worked on finding the place to install it. It was fun for us to see the picture and to know that it is still used. We love your blog. Thanks for sharing your mission. Dennis and Gail.

  2. If we have learned anything here, it's that the world is very, very small - and everything and everybody is interconnected. Thanks for covering our grandparent duties for us while we're away! It sounds like everyone is doing well.