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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Balloon Launch, Public Affairs Training

Here we are at the fountain in front of the "White House" near the Area Office in Johannesburg.  The "White House" is where the Area Presidency live.  They have a nice yard for our Balloon Launching Activity.

This training simulated a real Public Affairs event.  First we had to do tasks that would earn us some fake money that we could use to buy the materials to make the hot air balloon.   We found edible plants around the garden,  sang songs, danced and did word games all to earn the money to buy tissue paper, glue, etc. to build the balloon.  Here Edward Matale and Chris Chansa work to glue tissue paper together.

We had less than 3 hours to earn the money and glue together the tissue paper and plan, advertise with a news release, and hold the ceremony before the launch!  Here our directors from Malawi and Zambia work with a PA Senior Missionary from DR Congo and Sean Donnelly, our Area Director to fold the glued tissue before cutting and gluing the sides into a balloon shape.

"Our" country directors:  Pres. Goncalves from Mozambique, Sister Lasalette from Angola, Pres. Matale from Malawi, Bro Chansa from Zambia.  All are incredible people raised up to do a great work. 

Elder Hatch from Panguitch, Utah, Ken Sharpe from Zimbabwe and Elder Murdock from Monticello Utah.  Putting the strings on before the amazingly nice balloon has been made!

Getting ready for the launch.  People with papers on their heads are labeled, imaginary, dignitaries attending the launch.

Lightning and Thunder and a few raindrops threaten to destroy our balloon.

After drying off the balloon with a blow dryer the launch is started for the second time.  Our elected leader of this whole process, Ken Sharpe, from Zimbabwe thanks all those who gave time and effort.  Note the white launch T-shirts, made by our team...they say "We Are 1".

"Nelson Mandela" and Elder Louthan attend the launch ceremony.

The balloon is filled with hot air and lifts off higher than anyone expected!

They expected it to fall quickly...but it was built well and sails off over the Area Office.

And away it goes!  A successful ceremony with dignitaries and a successful project.  What a fun way to learn the value of working with a team and counseling together!


  1. Sooo neat! It looks like you may have had a hand in making that balloon building process a success. What a unique & memorable experience!! loves K&D&C