Saturday, June 13, 2015

We had our new Lusaka stake presidency and their families for dinner at the mission home and watched "Meet the Mormons". Lumbamas, Chansas, Mushalas, Chikopas, and Aseras. We love these families!!

 Angie Chansa helped me do the dessert dishes. She is one good little worker.

In Malawi the road from Blantyre north to Lilongwe has some great scenery and this time we traveled a route that we had not yet taken. We switchbacked up the Zomba plateau and found a little paradise up there! We had breakfast by a fire atop the plateau and had lunch on the shores of Lake Malawi. Its the cool season here now and we have pulled out the sweaters.

                                                Does this red flower look familiar!

                                 Found these men selling local berries on a curve in the road.

Being with my wonderful companion  24/7 is pretty great. We both would not have expected how nice it has really been these 2 years. After all those years with Fidelity Investments and Leif traveling almost every week we just started to believe that maybe the reason we have such a good marriage is because we have time away from each other. Not true. Not true at all. This mission experience of working together every day has been... to be perfectly honest...terrific, comforting and very meaningful. Sure we have challenges and then we get past them as quickly as possible.
 So...yes... it is a pleasure teaching and training and traveling and dining with this eternal companion of mine....Although it would have been really nice to sit in this lovely spot for lunch with our children and new grand babies....or with our siblings...or a few special friends ;)

Goats, caterpillars, baobab fruit, and more miscellaneous fun

 Leif accompanied Brother Besa to Chongwe to collect and purchase these milking goats that are being used for a self reliance project for some of our members. The Binghams started this awesome project but then departed the mission sooner than planned due to medical emergency.

 We promised Chris and Angela Chansa that if she would fix caterpillars we would try here they are! To be fair, and really give it my best shot...I ate 4. The first one made me gag. The 4th one tolerable. I would not say they are good. But I would eat them again if I was really really hungry. Very chewy...almost like jerky or biltong as they call it here.
 This relish is my favorite! made from lumonda greens....eaten with Nshima (below) with the hands.

 I consider it a noble feat that I got Sister Mulunda from Kinshasa to smile this big. This is not usual. She is a lovely person...but not everybody sees it or knows it.
 The Luanshya branch Relief Society sisters waving to dearly departed Sisters Lowe and Query.
 Deepa made this traditional cardomon cake for Marissa Getts and we took it from Luanshya Zambia to Blantyre Malawi...a 15 hour drive. Marissa is home from her mission and doing a summer internship in Malawi.
 President and Sister Chinyumba and precious daughter Chloe after the Blantyre District conference,
Baobab tree
 Baobab fruit. I had to use a hammer to crack it open. The while chalky pieces taste like lemon kidding...and there is a seed inside that you spit out.

                             Driving through Malawi is NEVER boring.

We encountered this on our way home and drove right through! We see grass fires all the time in the dry season but this was a first for us to drive through fire on both sides of the road.
We had a parting ceremony for our beloved, albeit hated printer. Out with the old and in with the new. Thank goodness for wonderful office elders, Venter, Mwangi, Cahill, who quickly downloaded all the necessary software and got it all working in no time. Sister Skidmore put up with the frustrating glitches of the old printer for 23 months and she never had a nervous breakdown. That is the kind of woman she was :)