Tuesday, February 28, 2012

It's a Jungle Out There!

How about this?  My office "Room With a View"!  It is so lush & beautiful outside the Mission Office, with banana and coconut palms and other greenery.  Of course it rains a lot to make it that way, but the added benefit of rain is that it tends to discourage all the various types of policemen from coming out and that is VERY good!   We have blue-uniformed, green-uniformed, khaki-uniformed, purple-uniformed & motorcycle riding police.  The latter are more to be feared because they tend to be a little nastier and can actually come after you if they decide you have done something for which they can extort money from you.  The others are on foot and less a threat.   

After we'd had a fun dinner at the Binghams (left) the night before, we all met at the Staggs (center right) for dinner and homemade ice cream (which Elder Smith was afraid he'd never get in the Congo).  It was a welcome for us and a farewell for the Hatches (center left), who left two days later.  These folks are already feeling like old friends.  I love to see the beautiful paintings, sculptures, dolls, drums and artifacts with which they have decorated their apartments.  Sister Hatch is wearing a Congolese dress made for her by one of the women at Church.

Our first day in the apartment!  It is customary for incoming Senior Missionaries to have 2 or 3 days to recover from jet lag and general fatigue, but Bishop Burton of the Presiding Bishopric & our Area Authority, Elder Renland, had come to Kinshasa to look at some prospective sites for the new temple, so we wanted to be able to be at the office.   Elder Smith (I'm still getting used to the fact that we are now 24/7 full-time missionaries) may look as if he is awake, but we were both pretty much in zombie-mode for several days!

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