This week we had several anniversaries. Wednesday was our 44th wedding anniversary. We married at age 22 and so we’ve lived together for twice as long as we were single. It has been at least 10x as fun and that multiplies exponentially as our children, their spouses, and grandchildren grow. When we look back and realize how little we still know, we think we were just babies then. We enjoyed the evening at a restaurant with 2 other couples retelling our courtship. Anne, just for your information, Sue had a hamburger.
Sue's spectacular live anniversary flowers
Yesterday marked the end of 8 weeks in Ghana. It seems to have gone quickly but looking back over our posts, we have adapted well and are grateful for the opportunity to serve here. There are about 15 other couples assigned to the Africa West Area with various interesting responsibilities (auditing, medical, mental health, self reliance, welfare, literacy, family history, legal, public affairs, etc. etc.). These are all fascinating people with a wealth of experience. Most are from the US and Australia. Some have served multiple missions. It makes for a community of very committed members. We have large group family home evening gatherings twice monthly which occasionally includes mission presidents, the MTC president, and Church visitors from elsewhere. Most of these couples live in apartments outside the temple complex and are assigned to attend other units in the area. Our ward meets in the stake center next to the temple and includes the two sister temple missionaries, the Area Legal Counsel couple, and the Medical Advisor couple. The temple presidency also attend when not assigned elsewhere.
Another milestone yesterday was the dubious celebration of 4 weeks without hot water. We figured out that the cold water tap provides at least lukewarm water, and so we use it for showering. The parts for the hot water heater are (by rumor) stuck in customs - an uncertain limbo from which some things never escape.
Sue toured a textile factory this week and saw how cotton fabric was hand-stamped and sealed. It was a complicated process. The fabrics are sold all over the world. She bought one piece to make a skirt. The trip home was delayed by heavy rains that flooded roads and knocked out traffic lights. It took about 1 1/2 hours to go 10 miles and they could not figure out why the traffic was so congested until they were told that later.
A van full of mangos
We had a very busy 2 days Friday and Saturday in the temple. Almost every session was more than full (40 normal seats plus 10 added chairs). The first sessions both days were full to that capacity 15 minutes before the sessions were scheduled to begin. Those who couldn’t be accommodated were invited to sealing and initiatory sessions. The baptistry was bulging with participants, with a full waiting room and a line outside waiting to get in the door. Some patrons schedule their visits, but many also come without prior notice (Friday we had double the number of first timers scheduled, due to walk-ins). What a wonderful challenge to have!
Other scenes from our week:
Sue negotiating at a vegetable/fruit stand
Hoping for buyers
Requesting 2 mangos not yet ripe - determined by feel.
Street wares: sunglasses, electronics, shoes, etc.
Babies are carried like this. Between what they carry on their heads and on their backs, the women have wonderful posture.