Thank you all that are on Facebook and wished me a Happy Birthday. We had a granddaughter due last Monday. On Wed she had not made her arrival and our daughter -in-law, Nichole and her Mom and our grandson were out doing errands that morning and a truck ran a red light and T-boned their car. The car was totaled and all 3 and the baby were fine. They did take Nicole to the hospital and put monitors on and checked out she and the baby out for a few hours. Nicole did not go into labor and they sent her home. To me it was such a miracle that no one was hurt. The baby decided she wanted to wait and be born on Grandma's birthday so she was born on Sunday, an exciting birthday gift! This is number 12 for us, 13 and 14 are waiting for a little later this year. So we were on Skype a long time yesterday. That is why I am writing this before I go into the office at 8:00.
Every day it seems like there is a plumbing problem at the missionaries apartments. Last night some called and said the water that they shower in and their drinking water smelled like sewer water. So Terry left early about 6:30 with our Maintenance man to go check it out. Our maintenance man is a young (just off his mission)man who is from Ghana who does not really have any maintenance experience, he also finds our new apartments for this mission that is growing from 100-150 missionaries in 6 months. Terry is trying to teach him some basic plumbing and handy man skills. The problem is most of the plumbers we hire have very little plumbing training. We thought we should put out an SOS for someone who would come and train a small class of future plumbers for about 3-4 months, and they could take business course on the Pathway Internet Course, and that could improve the future of Ghana and a group of young men.
I could write a whole dissertation on the sanitation and the trash problems of Ghana that no one is addressing. From Elder an Sister Nielson telling us that they saw a new bore hole (well) being dug about 2 yards from an open sewage ditch,... to all the open ditches that people use as their personal , tooth brushing , car washing, and all other personal and private use. When we go for a walk in the morning between 5:30 and 6:30 ( remember we live in an nicer area with embassy residences and embassies) I see about 5- 10 people using the open ditches for their bathroom. We do not have a pleasant smell when we walk. Most of these people do not have a bathroom in their home, nor are there public bathrooms. There are no trash cans around so all the trash ends up in the street or also in these cement open sewers, that goes into the river etc.They want to be a modern country so badly, but they really need to address some of these basic problems. The Gov. has very oppressive taxes for the middle and upper classes and businesses, but you don't see that any of this money is going to help the people. There are a lot of new government workers and fancy new buildings being put up.
On the other hand we have gotten a new Director of Temporal Affairs, and he is shaking the church employees up a little. When things don't happen around here, every one always says " well this is Africa". The new Director is very forward thinking in planning and efficiency. He is a Swiss man and he has done this for many years all over the world, he has a very pleasing and friendly personality. So far they have cleaned the area office which was great according to African standards, and is now up to church standards. I am sure that this change is coming to the church buildings, budgeting, offices and every thing else that he is in charge of in West Africa. The Gov. of Ghana should hire him he would get things done. President Hill always refers to him as my cousin since we are both Swiss, I will have to get my brother Peter on this, maybe we have some family history that crosses.(he is short so his family is probably from the Berner Oberland)
This week we had one of our missionaries go home to Nigeria, so we had a brunch for him after we all went to the Temple. Elder Onyo is standing right next to Sister Hill. the others are our favorite missionaries (because we know them the best) our AP's and Office Elders Elder Christensen (yes he is from Shelly where some of our other favorite Christensens are from) Elder Asay and Elder Keremateng and Elder Thornhill.
Terry has had a loaner truck for the last month or so. The van is driven by the office elders who have put a little dent on the side. Now Terry has a new truck and there is no way the Office Elders are going to drive it.
After church we went to see a couple that had not come to church for a long time and we invited them to come to church next week, the husband said he would be there. When we took a picture of the husband, the wife wanted us to take a picture of her. She is making palm oil and then she uses it to fry fish and she sells the fish. She also sells the palm oil to other food vendors. The palm oil is made by boil the nuts of the Palm tree and then the nuts use the oil. Everything here is fried in Palm Oil. I asked why they did not use Coconut oil as they use a lot of coconuts,I guess this oil is easier to extract and there is more of it.