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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas with the Missionaries in Zambia

Senior Sister's made the treats!

       I wish I could give an accurate picture of Christmas in Zambia.  I have visited several homes and asked people about their traditions here.  Most have told me they have a special dinner where they invite family or friends.  Many who can afford it, set off fireworks on Christmas Eve and in the evening on Christmas Day.  There are few if any decorations in the homes.  Few if any presents and Santa doesn't come here....maybe because it's too warm!   Many people do have the love of Christ in their hearts though, and they are kind and good.  We celebrated with our blending of American and many African countries customs with the missionaries on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Elder Cook is an excellent piano player, he accompanied the Missionary Choir in our "Musical Celebration of Christmas"  Program, a few days before Christmas.   There were many piano students who played and some other good musicians who sang and acted out the Nativity.  Many loved the program and said they had not had anything like that for years and years.

The Missionaries practice for the program.  They sang a medley of "O Holy Night" and "Silent Night."

Sister Makau practices for her piano solo.
Christmas Eve, President Padovich has just carved the turkey and announces it is time to eat!

No No......Elder Okumu!  Not yet!

The Christmas Eve buffet....turkey, dressing, rolls....the works!

White Elephant gift exchange, Elder Katomb makes his choice....but will he be able to keep it?
So much food, so little time!
Sister and President Padovich with Elder Fly enjoying Christmas day in more relaxed attire.

After the gift exchange, there is still a little exchanging goin on!
Our only mission game "The Great Dalmoody" gives some fun between activities.
Christmas Day!  More food and more singing carols, more sharing of fun and love....and then a chance for everyone to call or skype, and talk to their loved ones at home.  What a wonderful day!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Road to Luanshya

We stayed at Lowden Lodge again last weekend.  I had forgotten how peaceful it is out in the country with the beautiful flowers and trees around.  Lowden Lodge is located off the road to Luanshya which is not a very busy road so things are pretty quiet there.  At the Lodge there is a framed history of the road to Luanshya.  This incident happened in the 1920's when motor vehicles were new and there were lots more wild animals roaming the area.   

An Englishman was driving to Luanshya and going quite fast in his new automobile when he hit a leopard!  He stopped and noticed the leopard wasn't moving and wondered if it were dead.   Finally he decided to go out and check and sure enough....the body was still.  He started to think how nice the leopard pelt would look in his den.  So little by little, he managed to drag and pull and push the large animal into the back seat of his auto.  Finally, with his prize pelt on the backseat and floor, he took off again for Luanshya thinking of how proud he was of his trophy.  He glanced back for a look at the pelt and noticed it was sitting up on the seat!  It looked a little dazed but was a live leopard after all!  He immediately stopped the car and got out.  Fortunately the leopard soon remembered an appointment he had and sauntered off into the trees.   

Now there are only a few guinea hens left of the wild animals in the area and those even appeared to be quite domesticated.  I didn't realize guinea hens made such a noise but they are sort of like peacocks....they can disrupt the peace a little.  Still they are my favorite bird here.

First a video to show the rain....lots of impressive to us.  We are used to the desert and 9 inches of rain a we get about 57 inches of rain, all during the 4 months of the rainy season!  I expected cloudy days all during the rainy season but there are rains, beautiful clouds, and sunshine!  Big rains bring beautiful flowers.  See the weather and the flowers of December!
A more exotic version of the Hibiscus.
Janet, the owner of Lowden Lodge, says they call these the Candlestick Flower.

Cosmos and other flowers in the bed.

Mums, of course, are part of the display.

Two really well fed guinea hens....with good vocal cords!  They sound a little like a rusty gate or plumbing gone wrong....but they are so cute!

Hydrangea...reminded me of Bev and Paul's wedding reception in Portland, Oregon.

These looked like Indian Paintbrush Flowers to me.

A flower from the Plumeria tree.

These flowers grow on the edge of the pond...just gorgeous!