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Monday, July 23, 2012

Victoria Falls at Livingstone, Zambia

Above the falls...too close to the edge!

Dr Livingstone, I presume!

Bridge to Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls so large we couldn't see both ends!
Zambezi Sun Hotel at the gateway to the Falls.

I see my family name! The Bird Hide turned out to be awesome!


Giraffe trying to hide...can't even see the baby one!

Head of giraffe....couldn't get the whole thing in one photo!

The Zebra came out in the evening to munch grass at the Hotel.

 Only one crocodile and he was small, but still....I didn't get too close! 

Sunset on the Zambezi!
We did have a purpose in Livingstone.  Here is Bruce with the display.

Many people were friends already.  Some are new friends

Lots of interest in the humanitarian work of the Church.

Busy days with lots of success!

View from the Bird Hide.  There are nests hanging from the tree. What a peaceful place at the end of the day!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Lusaka District Fun Day

Missionaries and investigator excited for the big day!

Elder Louthan talks to Elder Lookhart who is getting ready to referee the match.

Reuben and Angela, both from Munali!

Sister Boitumelo was one of the few Sisters who could play with the guys, notice that some players don't wear shoes.

The missionaries team plans a strategy.
Reuben has control of the ball!

The crowd gathers

The match begins!

Lusaka District Fun Day!
A Soccer tournament was the main attraction at the 4th annual Lusaka district fun day.  The seven branches in Lusaka, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were paired off with each other and a team of young missionaries.  Some had been practicing for weeks to be prepared for the big day. 
It was like a three ring circus with three matches being played at once.  Fans filled large bleachers on both sides of the field.  Matero vs. Lusaka,  Misssionaries vs. Lilanda,  Munali vs. Chianama,  and Woodlands vs. Libala started out the first level.   It was a rugged, lose one and you are out tournament.  The second round competition was narrowed down to  Lilanda vs. Woodlands and  Matero vs. Munali.  Finally,  Munali and Lilanda fought for the title.  There was pressure and a disputed goal but the referee finally ruled that the score was tied at the end of the final match.  
During the soccer games, there were other activities spread out over the large sport complex at the International School.   There was basketball and netball, frizbe, and even music and dancing.   Younger children seemed happy with their own smaller soccer games and making up other games of their own.  Everyone seemed happy to enjoy the beautiful weather and good company.  A luncheon was prepared and served to over 600 attendees. 
At the end of the day the group lined up on one end of the field and walked to the other end picking up trash and making sure the complex was even cleaner than when they arrived.  An awesome end to a fun day!

Younger kids are just as serious as the older ones about soccer.

Game after game, we are amazed at the endurance.

Matero branch uniforms were helping hands!

Sister Mayeya, Sister Louthan, and Sister Mukondia of Munali Branch.

Over 600 were fed.....seemed like 5000!

These kids like to pose for photos!

Mothers and Daughters!
Cleaning up the field at the end of the day!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Music in Africa!

How can you blog music?  We  imagined a very musical people when we thought of Africa.  The radio music is different from what we imagined.  Not many drums....kind of high pitched melodies our part of Africa anyway.  Sometimes the Church across the street from our house turns on their speakers and belts out some repetitive organ music to garden by.  We went to a restaurant in Malawi that had live music and they played American oldies!  We have seen some traditional dancers and traditional music that was awesome.

When we first went to church, our branch had no one to play the keyboard.   There is only one keyboard in the chapel.  No keyboard for Primary or the other rooms.  Some branches have no keyboard at all.  As my family knows, I am not an accomplished musician, but I have taken piano lessons for the past few years before the mission.  I felt I had to volunteer to play for our branch.  They have been very tolerant of my mistakes and yesterday, even though I am still making mistakes, I had someone tell me the music in Sacrament meeting has been an answer to their prayers.  Zambians are so tolerant and kind.   Makes me want to try harder.

The other wonderful thing is that after my first week of playing for Sacrament meeting, there were several young adults who asked for lessons.  It has been my pleasure to hold open lessons every Saturday morning (when we are in town) at the Church.  There are more than 20 students now.  Usually only 11-14 show up on a given Saturday.  We have been able to supply 9 practice keyboards through the Harmon Music Foundation....and several Keyboard Course Kits.  Some of my students have surpassed my ability in the 6 months that we have been doing this and one now plays in the Lusaka Branch for Sacrament Meeting.  Yes there is some awesome musical talent in Africa!  And yes there are miracles here.   My association with these students, has been one of the great joys of the mission!   Love the piano students! 

Returned missionary, university student, seminary teacher, piano student....awesome!
This young man had been taught  by a previous missionary, and he quickly finished the course and earned a keyboard to keep.  He now has students of his own in an outlying branch.  Here he is with mother and sisters.

This young man started in January and is now playing for Sacrament Meeting in his branch.  He practices several hours a day but is also has lots of  musical talent.  He teaches the lessons now when we are out of town.
This student even got her grandmother interested, now they are both students!

She teaches me a little Portuguese, I teach her a little piano.  Did I mention all of my students speak at least two languages?  This student speaks three.

A new member and talented pianist, a University of Zambia student!
Playing some postlude at church!

The first one to ask for lessons, wants to be able to play on his mission.