This week was to be the “finish up with zone conferences” week and spend some time with President Ayekoue regarding turning things over to the Leavitts who are supposed to arrive about a month after we leave. However, in Africa there seems to be an unwritten rule that whatever you plan will not turn out that way. President and Sister Ayekoue arrived by air on Wednesday and brought with them their two children. Stephan, a 10 year old boy whom we had not yet met, and of course Happy who has been a regular since the beginning and is now walking and trying her best to talk non-stop although only a word now and then is understandable. We had a great conference here on Thursday. Soeur Black fixed a fine dinner of dutch oven potatoes and barbecue chicken–maybe not really but as close as we could come with what we had to work with in Africa–and the missionaries as well as Elder Black enjoyed it very much. That was about as far as the planning held. On Friday Sister Ayekoue woke up not feeling well. We took her to the hospital and it turned out she has miscarried a baby and so had to have a D&C. They were extremely disappointed as they would love to increase the size of their family a little and they have been plagued by miscarriages. While we were there, Elder Ghisquiere, our elder from France called and was having really bad stomach cramps and pains so we got him and also took him to the hospital. Both were there on Friday night. The Lome zone conference was planned for Saturday so we had to call and postpone it until Monday. On Saturday Sister Ayekoue came back to the apartment to rest but Elder Ghisquiere stayed until Sunday with a bad intestinal infection. We couldn’t leave with an elder in the hospital and Sister Ayekoue wasn’t able to travel anyway so on Sunday we sent President Ayekoue along with Stephan to Lome in a taxi for Sunday evening meetings that were planned and also to start the Lome zone conference. Monday morning Sister Ayekoue still was not doing well but we came to Lome anyway where she stayed in bed until Tuesday evening when they flew back to Abidjan but I am getting ahead of my weekly blog that is supposed to end on Sunday.
Before all of the medical problems started and even after we enjoyed the company of little Happy and Stephan. Stephan is a good boy and Happy is well named and performs the cutest antics of an almost 1 1/2 year old. Perhaps we are just homesick for our grandkids. We had hired a couple of girls from the branch that needed a job. Soeur Nadia is our regular that always helps when Ayekoue’s are here and knows how to do everything. Soeur Roka is sweet member girl about 16 or 17 years old. She goes to school in Burkina Faso but is home for the summer. She needed to earn some money for her books when she goes back next week so we had her come and help clean and generally take care of kids, etc.
The two were lifesavers especially for Soeur Black who had the major responsibility for the kids while the rest of us were at the hospital taking care of the sick. They did some of the cooking, washed mountains of dishes and entertained the kids all the time Ayekoue’s were here. We could not have gotten by without them. The hospitals here are interesting. For some of them “interesting” would not be a proper description. Actually we have found one that is quite clean and even has a decent private rest room with a shower as part of the room. They seem to do a credible job of taking care of things. Biggest problem is lack of communication. The doctor walks in, asks how you feel, make a note or two and walks out. That’s all. If you want any more information, you have to chase him down and ask and then he gives the impression it is not worth his time to visit with you. Someone else has to bring in all meals and everything else that is needed by the patient. Best part is that the room only cost $50 per day or so. We were glad to be through with the hospital stays and will not care if we don’t have to go back.
Well the blogs are getting shorter. That is probably good news and indicates the end is coming fast.