Last Saturday we went to Aburri or Oburri with the Nielsons, about a 45 min drive up into the hills (not in our mission) . Over 125 years ago the British developed a Park/ Biological Garden in this town. I am sure they used it as a resort and of course a Garden where they planted all the different native species at that time. The trees there are still marked (although faintly).
The Cocoa tree was brought to this country from "tropical America" and planted in that Garden in the early 1800's . Below on the sideways tree you can see the Cocoa fruit. Ghana is the leading exporter of Cocoa now.
Those tall trees probably planted over 100 years ago are in a nice straight line with the Nielson's in front
Elder Nielson and Elder Wall being excellent missionaries!!
This is a completely hollow tree, the ficus tree grew around another tree and then that killed the host tree. Now they have strange creatures in the tree.
That day they also had a meeting of all the local Kings and Queens. This is a picture of the first one, the rest are all late and unfortunately we could not stay. They had about 30 more King/Queen chairs set out. When ever they have an event, even at church they usually start late. An event like this could start 2 -3 hours after the starting time. Even though the King/Chief tradition is pretty strong here, they really do not have a lot of power in the government. They had police there guarding the event and they had were dressed in full riot gear with tear gas canisters, grenade launchers, and machine guns, so it was time for us to go.
Yes, what you are looking at is not an outhouse but a new well in Oda Ghana (the bush) where we have 8 missionaries, who have had little or no water for the past 8 weeks. You also see the well diggers at the market and Elder Nielson purchasing a live chicken for them, an old tradition, to celebrate the completion of the well. And of course the missionaries writing their names, for posterity, on the top and side of the concrete well cover. One step left to complete it is a steel cage to keep the neighbors from pulling a very expensive pump from the water and having it burn up. Prior to this we were using the landlords well but after 3 pumps but decided something had to be done as the elders had no water and we had burned up pumps. Elder Nielson has been our McGyevor on the spot, including negotiator, supervisor, doctor and worked through the details at every well emergency, and there have been many of them. This well was dug by one man in the hole at a time, in fact that is all the wider it is, one man climbed down using a rope and stair steps carved into the dirt sides. It is about 50 feet deep. The dirt was hauled out with a bucket. The two men used a small handled pick & shovel to dig and go down. When they reached water to their waist they quit digging, then started plastering and have plastered starting at the top to the bottom. The last thing they did was to bucket out the water and dig again as far as they could until the water stopped them, they could not bend down any longer without being a fish. Now we still have to deal with a landlord who agreed and in fact encouraged us to do this signing an agreement to the same stating she would do her part by applying the cost to rent, and then after the well diggers were about 3 days into the digging announced her change of mind, saying she would not give us credit on our rent. WELL, we shall see about that. She already has three years worth of rent money but now she wants a free well for her compound and other renters. I will probably be taking a ride to Oda to let her know where the cookie crumbles.
The highlight of Heidi and my week was our branch Temple trip on Saturday, from 10am to 2pm, 43 came including about 27 youth, 6 new converts, and the remainder endowed members. They all came in a couple of tro-tros. I am glad I was asked to witness the baptisms for their kindred dead rather than do the baptizing and pronouncing the native names. Heidi and I also did initiatory's and just loved on the good souls who came. We love these faithful saints, although we may not know what is always being said as it is Twi. But we laugh and listen and hope God will bless us to understand. We have felt the brooding of the Lord over this land and its people this week. We have also felt that the people want the truth but do not know where to find it as they are driven about by every wind of doctrine. (Ephesians 4:14) Oh, how we hope they can hear and accept the truths of the restored gospel have for them.