Saturday, April 26, 2014


We reported earlier about one of our Elders that was found to have congestive heart failure.  We recognize the hand of The Lord in his behalf several ways: 1) he was called to serve in an area where they have a cardio doctor (there are only 3 missions in South Eastern Africa that do); 2) When he complained of being tired, he was taken to a place where they could do an EKG etc.  Sis Squire was going to take him to regular doctor but prayed about it and was clearly prompted to take him to a cardio doctor; 3) once he was diagnosed with Rheumatic Heart Disease he had an appointment set up in South Africa for a specialist that has a 14 week calendar for appointments.  The appointment was made but in Uganda they have Friday and Monday around Easter as a holiday.  We found Elder Rami (short for Elder Ramiaramanana) visa had expired to South Africa and it is a very lengthy process to get a new visa approved.  The office and Sister Squire filled out paperwork on Tuesday with a booked airline flight for Wednesday so he could make his 8:30 appointment.  We found out even if we got an emergency visa he would still miss his appointment because of the time difference.  Dr Hoffman, the medical authority in South Africa called and, just by chance, they had a cancellation for 1:45PM and so he would get off the plane and make this appointment; 4) Visas have been difficult for all missionaries.  We have had some missionaries waiting for months for authorization to come into Africa.  They went into the visa department and waited most of the day but finally were approved for a 3 month medical emergency visa.  I find miracles in this work every day, the trick is to recognize them because they just happen, and I need to show gratitude by giving thanks.

This has been crazy busy for the past two weeks.  We had a missionary with sickle cell that had an incident and had to spend a day in our 24 hour medical center having pain medication pumped into him all night.  He is doing much better but he has these incidents every couple of months.  He is a real trooper with his great attitude and also a great missionary. 

We had a sister that was ill and had to be sent home to Kenya so we took her to the border where her aunt picked her up.  We had to park on the Uganda side because we did not have our passports; they are at immigration waiting for our work permits.  Once her aunt got to Busia, Nancy and I each grabbed a suitcase and started for the border.  I was really surprised how open the border was.  We were able, with a whole bunch of other people, to walk from Uganda to Kenya passing four automobile checkpoints along the road.  Once on the Kenya side of the border we left the sister with her aunt and headed back to Uganda.  On the way back we had two different people try to get us to pass through the immigration office in Kenya and again in Uganda.  We just told them we knew where we were going and didn't stop so fortunately you will not be reading about us in some jail along the border.

It was interesting they did not have that many bodabodas in Busia but did have tons of bicycles with seats on the back.  They all had a pink shirt as a uniform and were everywhere.  We had to wait for an hour or so while the bus with her aunt arrived in town.  The shopping was called customs row and they had tons of shoes and other items.  Sister Squire now has another pair of shoes...

We also had our first stay in a hotel.  It was getting dark on our way back to Jinja where we were to give hepatitis shots.  On the way up we gave shots in Bugembe (I have to put the name because Tyler actually looks them all up on a map).  Most of our African missionaries get shots in the MTC but are not there long enough for the boosters that have to be done 6 months later.  We make a lot of missionaries very sad when they see their name on the list.  Some of the sisters basically freak out about having shots.  Sister Squire has given close to 75 shots in the past month.  The hotel was very clean but the bed was like sleeping on a board.  Thank heavens for Ambien!

We also had a wonderful day at the zoo.  We had to take some medication to a sister missionary and it was right by the zoo.  I admit that I have not been much of a zoo person, other than obviously being someone who should live there, but it was a good time.  Things are much more relaxed here in Africa and that makes a much more enjoyable experience (like the snake park where you can play with the python).

 Our first open area

Queen of the roost

Humm, I wonder what the big one would taste like.  I didn't like the way he was looking at me...

Hey, you laughing at me!

I know you are wondering why Zebras have stripes, well:  “Again and again, there was greater striping on areas of the body in those parts of the world where there was more annoyance from biting flies.” Where there are tsetse flies, for instance, the equids tend to come in stripes. Where there aren't, they don't.

This little guy (about 4 or 5 feet) was in the road as we were walking around the park.

They wiped out the rhino population in Uganda for the tusks.  They have reintroduced them from Kenya to try and build the population back up.

Chimpanzees just chillin around the town.

This little guy was just hanging around.

Even gorillas need a little love

OK, I was giggling like a schoolgirl, this was fun.  The giraffe on the right was whispering sweet nothings in my ear.  Tell me, when was the last time you had a giraffe whisper in your ear?  Come to Africa

Sis Squire was cool, calm and collected

This was our beautiful African guide (Joyce) showing us around the park.  They have to volunteer for 6 months and then if there is an opening they can apply for the job.

 Meet the Grey Crowned Crane, the National bird of Uganda which is also on their national flag.

Finally, the Water Buffalo, one the big five of Africa

Sunday, April 20, 2014


This is like saying earthquake!...only different.  We took our first big road trip without anyone to hold our hands.  We had the senior MLS couple (Elder and Sister Holyoak) that are in Masaka stay at our home when transfers happened at the first of April.  They didn't want to go out but insisted on making us dinner.  Well, you know me, I am not much of an eater but thought it would be a good idea anyway.  Wow!  She can really cook and Elder Holyoak used to run a ranch down around Gunnison Utah.  He also did his own butchering.  This is going somewhere, hang with me...  When the Holyoak's got to Masaka they didn't like the cuts of meat so the good Elder took matters in his own hands and found a butcher that raised his own hogs and had him butcher the hog and told him the cuts he wanted right on the spot.  We got some of the pork chops from this endeavor and I think I am going to start eating again :)

So, you ask, how does any of this relate to the subject of the Equator?  Well Masaka is below the equator and we are above the equator.  Knowing that Elder and Sister Holyoak would not want to go out to lunch we told them we would take them out.  What a surprise when she insisted that we should just eat lunch with them.  Well, OK, I guess if you insist.  Lunch was awesome.  They have been growing their own vegetables and showing the members how to grow some of the things we like in the USA.  They only have less than two months so we knew we needed to get down and see their place before they leave. 

This is the place where the four missionaries assigned to Masaka live

This is the meeting house in town, the building is pretty large for Uganda

Elder and Sister Holyoak

This is a building next to the meeting house, they use the poles to hold up the ceiling while it cures

 This is the Holyoak home behind the Elders apartment

 These bananas weigh about 2 or 3 hundred pounds, give or take 2 or 3 hundred pounds

After we had lunch and a wonderful visit we headed back to Kampala.  It is crazy driving around here but we are getting used to it.  We just drove past the equator on the way down because it was taking longer than we thought and didn't want to miss lunch.  There isn't much to see but they did have a few shops that we have to stop and make sure there isn't something different.  One interesting thing is we were down in Southern Uganda where they had arrested 13 people for cannibalism.  When I joked about it during my talk at church, I really didn't think it would be a problem.  The village by Masaka is where they would sell the "meat".  I understand it tastes a lot like chicken...

This is on one side of the road as you cross the equator

 This is on the other side of the street, you can see the restaurant and shops behind

When you are sensitive to mother nature you can unite both the north and south hemisphere, you may have felt the shift in the universe as I healed us all
 You can see the equator is a straight line but it goes diagonal across the road - hummm

Speaking of beef, I love the long horns of the cattle in Africa. We saw these trucks near the equator. They tie the horns to the roof and then riders go on top if the cab is full.

One last shot for your enjoyment...the moons of Africa

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Ouch! We got that a lot this past couple of weeks.  Many of the missionaries do not have all their booster shots for hepatitis A and B so guess who gets to catch them up.  Yep, the good old mission nurse.  With her mean streak, Nancy had no problem giving them nightmares about the shots.  OK, that isn't true, she actually had a lot of empathy for them but I tried to make it as hard as possible with comments about how large and difficult it will be putting a needle into their arm that may become stuck or dislodged into their blood stream.   It was quite comical to see how nervous and anxious both the sisters and elders would get about these shots.  We had a couple of elders that looked like they were going to pass out.  Loved it!  I wonder why I don't have very many friends...

We caught most of the missionaries while they were down for zone conferences.  It was a pleasure to go to the mission home where these meetings were being held.  First, because we went at lunch time and Sis Chatfield and her helpers are all good cooks and Second, because we were able to listen to the teachings from the APs and the Mission President.  When the announcement was made that some of the sisters and elders had won the shot lottery and to meet us in the laundry room, it got to be quite fun. 

Clean the spot first

You can see the band aid in my hand, it is the most critical part of the whole operation, if not done correctly the tongue will hang out uncontrollably.

Holding them down so they don't bleed all over the room

Sister Hansen and Sister Squire teamed up to give the A and B at the same time.  If they didn't cry, they got a sucker.  Elder Hansen was making sure the needle went in the required distance.

Marabou Storks - beautiful?

 I was able to take some time during Mission Leadership Council (MLC) to discuss the vehicles and how to care for them.

One of the random drug deals that go down every day here in Uganda to bring health and strength to the missionaries.

The MLC picture at the end of training

President Chatfield taught about how in any sport or physical endeavor we have to learn muscle memory.  Once you practice over and over the same skill you begin to do it without having to think about it.  He likened it to having spiritual memory.  We need to train and spend the time necessary to where we have the answers to the questions we will get as missionaries.  I think for all of us, spending the time to get comfortable with what our loving Father in Heaven has provided to us here on earth with scriptures, prayer and good books will allow us to build a strong spiritual memory.  Now, how does someone like me that can read a book and then read it again in a few months and wonder if I have ever read it before build a spiritual memory? 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


We finally made it to the "real" Africa.  Kampala is a very busy city and you can find much of anything you would like.  We were very excited to go with Suzy and Godfrey and their humanitarian group to help a village they sponsor.  The village is outside of Jinja, a city about two hours out of Kampala.  Jinja is the city at the headwaters of the Nile.  We left on a Saturday and then stayed over the night because the Branch we are assigned to is only 1/2 hour away, heading back to Kampala.  There is a two bedroom senior missionary apartment that is currently vacant (hint, hint, they could use more senior couples here in Uganda).  Elder and Sister Story are the Perpetual Education Fund Missionaries and they live in our complex here in Kampala.  They use one of the bedrooms in Jinja every weekend and teach a PEF class every Saturday and Sunday night.  They then come home on Monday afternoon.  We spent an enjoyable night with them on Saturday.

When we arrived and turned off the main road to go where we would park, the children lined the road and ran along side the caravan or stood and waved to us as we drove by.  We felt like celebrities!  There were children everywhere and only a few adults.  It is amazing how you come to love a people the way we have the African people.  Their smiles brighten our day and they are truly some of the most beautiful people you will ever meet.

The women of our little group going to the village, (LtoR) Sister Chatfield, Ann K., Sarah E., Sarah B., Sister Hansen, Suzan Apondi (Director), Sister Squire, Sister Wallace...these women play a big role in our mission

A picture of Jackfruit, a staple in Uganda.  This tree was located where we were doing the procedure.

 The process is as follows: the kids have their feet washed in soap and water, then washed again in antiseptic soap.  They are then carried to the "CHAIR"  where the women examines their feet, trust me it is not a pretty sight. These kids feet are in poor shape... cuts, broken nails, and  callused like a sole of a shoe.  They always walk around barefoot because they can't afford shoes. The jiggers are parasites that enter the foot from the dirt and embeds itself.  It starts to itch and creates a puss filled infection.  The women cuts the top off the sore then with a pin, flips the jigger out from the wound like you were removing a splinter or sliver.  It pops out like a tiny white eyeball. Sometimes after cutting they can see the jigger and just pull it out.  When  all the jiggers are removed from the feet and hands, the child goes to another chair where Sister Hansen and Sister Squire, both nurses bathed the spots with hydrogen peroxide to help get any jigger eggs left, out and once the feet were dry, they were fitted with sandals. My job was to hand the child a sucker and a cookie and of course, to take pictures.

Here we witnessed another tender mercy. Usually when they do this in the village they have around 15 kids that need to have their feet treated.  Part of the process is they get a pair of sandals to wear so they are not walking on the dirt and that will help them not come in contact with the parasite to get infected again. They humanitarian group brought 23 pairs of sandals so they would have plenty of shoes. We ended up with 23 children of all ages and every child had a pair of sandals that fit. The Lord loves these beautiful African children. 

This little one is malnourished judging from her protruding stomach but most seemed to be healthy and strong.

Godfrey inspecting the children that were already lined up to receive care when we got there.

Love these kids!  Look in their eyes...

Everyone wanted to watch what was going on.  The village ladies would shoo them away but soon they would creep back up for a better view.

More cute kids

You would have to cut the nail to get to the jigger.  Some were under the nail so far you had to take the entire nail off to get them out.

Most were on the bottom of the foot or heal of the foot.

Never mess with a lady holding a scalpel.  Dang, where did that toe go...

The pre-wash to get ready to get in the Chair with the scalpel.

Notice the construction of the buildings.  Some were of mud bricks but others are made with mud mixed with cow manure.

Random picture of a chicken with chicks that will wander around until it is time for them to become dinner.


You see the young children who are in charge of their younger siblings.

Sister Wallace had the great idea to bring bubbles and fingernail polish which were both a hit with the kids.  You can see the number of doorways that were each individual houses.

Excuse me, could I get a little attitude with this picture!  Love it!

Sister Hansen and Sister Squire put the final hydrogen peroxide wash on the wounds and then fit them with their new shoes.

Again, just look at these faces and beautiful eyes.

Just sitting quietly while they cut away on her feet.


Tell me you don't smile when you see this face!

Time for a group photo with Elder Hansen and Myself

High-Fives and then we are out of here

Love you all!