Give Thanks for Simple Things

Today is P-day, Monday, and all of the elders, Southams and Pete went to a city in the middle of the lake, and I decided to stay here and catch up on our e-mails. The electricity is off again so I am writing using the battery and will send it on later. Southam’s apartment has the internet and is very comfortable and I had absolutely no desire to spend a day in the sun and heat that needed a boat ride to get there. Some of the elders had no desire to go either but they had no water so they could not do their laundry anyway. Pete and I got up early and washed most of our clothes until we ran out of clothes pins. I still wish we had Grandma’s wash board! When we move into this apartment, we will have a washing machine. Happy Day! Our apartment had no water on Friday and Saturday but it came on in the middle of the night so at least we could shower before church. We have learned to keep all of our bottles and a large bucket full of water at all times. I used some of reserved water to wash my hair on Saturday night just in case there was none in the morning. There was no water at the church on Saturday either so they had to siphon it out of the reserve tank on the roof for the baptism. That was pretty entertaining in itself. One of the members finally got enough pull on the hose to get a trickle going; it stopped and then they gave him the other end of the hose and finally got enough to fill the font.

After being in Africa for 2 weeks now, I can’t help but notice how much our perspective of life has changed. We express our thanks daily for simple things like water, electricity that keeps the fan and air conditioner working, a pickup that gets us around, a safe place to live, etc. The simple things of life that we take for granted at home are tremendous blessings here. Another blessing is that Pete and I have lost some weight. I don’t have an idea how much but our clothes are getting looser. We may come home looking like one of the elders. Elder Hubbard even had to have some new pants made so he would have a pair he could keep up! Elder Crooke’s belt is a good four inches tighter that when he got here. (Those elders in Blanding are so spoiled.) After we get home in the evenings, all we want is something to drink and eat some fruit and yogurt. Sometimes we settle for water and one of those chocolate-filled biscuit cookies we liked so well in France.

I still don’t feel completely comfortable here, and I had another scare on Saturday. We were on our way to the baptism and when we stopped at a traffic light, two police men walked over to the pick-up and of course, they came to my window. My heart was beating a million times a minute. They wanted to see our papers so I handed them the copies of our passports. They looked them over thoroughly and then wanted to see the truck registration. I gave them the Ghana registration, and they looked at it and then the light changed so they motioned us on. Boy, was I ever relieved! Dad tried to reassure me that the last thing in the world they want to do is provoke an incident with an old American grandma that could involve the American Embassy. They do seem to respect older women here and I am referred to as Mama wherever we go.

When they get back from the city on the lake, we will do our shopping at the marche again. This will be our third time, and I have no reservations whatsoever about going, so I guess Dad is right that we are gradually getting more adjusted to being here.

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