Sunday, July 12, 2015

15,000 more hoes in Africa

We have had a very busy week.  We lost our humanitarian couple (the Hannans) who served so richly.  In their place we had the Howards from South Ogden arrive and they had a huge handover of 15,000 garden hoes to accomplish.  This was to be done over several days and in many different villages.  One problem, the Howards know how to drive on the left hand side of the road from serving in Fiji but not what turns to make while driving on said roads.

President Chatfield asked if we would accompany them to Soroti, a town about 5 hours from Kampala.  Each morning we would drive for 1 1/2 hours from Soroti to some village in the bush.  The Howards  arrived at our flat in Jinja and after Church last week we headed out for our big adventure.  The pictures will follow.  

When we got home I had the opportunity of speaking at our District Branch Presidency training meeting.  I talked about how to be a great Stake (soon) by building our lives around having a good foundation.  In Helaman 5:12 we read: “And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

In an article where Elder Hallstrom taught that in order for individuals to build and maintain a foundation, that will help one to face the trials of life,  they need to remember three principles—vision, commitment, and self-discipline.

1. Vision is the ability to see the eternal perspective, and as Jacob described, it is seeing “things as they really are, and of things as they really will be” (Jacob 4:13).

2. Commitment is the willingness to make promises—covenants with God—through priesthood ordinances. “In addition to God, we should be willing to make commitments to ourselves, to spouses (or to become a spouse), to friends, and to those with whom we serve.”

3. Self-discipline means individuals are able to live consistently with the vision and commitments an individual has made.
“Developing self-discipline is essential to progress because it seamlessly connects learning and doing,” he said. “Ultimately, the strength of our spiritual foundation is shown by how we live our lives, especially in terms of disappointment and challenge.”

I really like those three principles for building a successful life.  Now on to a very small part of all the pictures I took over the past week.  

I have often wondered why they don't have me out in the field working with the people more.  I think this video sums it up nicely.

Chicks on a stick, ready for transport (they are all still alive).

We thought this was a horse but later you can see it is a wheel toy.  Very ingenious on finding and building toys for their children.

If there is room, climb aboard.

These feet are made for walking.

Honorable Musa Ecweru, the State Minister for Disaster Preparedness and Refugees.  He is wearing an Arrow Boy shirt from when he was in this area fighting Kony (the head of the Lord's Resistence Army that killed many people in Uganda and stole their children to become child soldiers and sex slaves).  He is a bit of a hero in these villages because of ridding the country of Kony.  He is now a member of Parliament and the people love that he comes out to visit and bring needed supplies. He is also a great friend of the church and has two sons in America attending BYU Idaho and UVU.

The hoes come 24 to a box and weigh around 75 lbs.  The women were given hoes first and then what was left was passed out to the men.  The women do most of the gardening.

This was a horn flute.  We were greeted by parades, dancing and music at most of the villages we attended.  Two of the villages had never had a Caucasian come in their village before.

We saw many twins.  It was fun to look around and see how many children are here in Uganda.

A duck getting a bath at the bore hole.

One of the parades where they yell, wave flags along with tree limbs while dancing in front out us.

A very modern look.

Musa is assigned his own military guard to keep him safe.  He dug right in to help pass out the hoes.

Some of the happy recipients.

We have had grandchildren that like to sit on their heads.

A little dirt spot never hurt anyone.

Just one of the many village meetings.  Musa would have them laughing and enjoying his talk at each village.  He would speak around 15-20 minutes and then each senior couple would introduce ourselves.

This guy was a school teacher and when I was getting ready to take his picture he pulled his arm out of his shirt so it could be in the picture.  Some of the kids look a little nervous.

I may be sweating but for some it is time to pull out the old winter coat.

Never too young to ride the adult bike.

This was one of the most fun stops.  We were led in with a dance troupe and then we had three musical numbers performed.  Loved it.

At every stop the villagers would give talks about the need for medical care, roads, and many other problems to the Honorable Musa.  They would also bring him notes asking for monetary assistance for someone sick or other need.

Some crowds were very large.  We arrived here around 3:30pm and they had been waiting since morning.

Even the trees were full.

John Christensen, a very deep thinker, will have to explain this one.  I have no idea what it all means.

This is how the sisters greet the men (on their knees).  It is a sign of respect.  The children all greet this same way. We often are greeted the same way by the sisters and children.

School children marching to provide a welcome song.

This sister is a chief over many villages.

Traditional meal on the go in Africa, grilled maize.

The sister in the pink and black has a growth around her neck.  In America we would have her in the hospital to get this fixed.  Not here.

Picking tree limbs for his seat.

This sister was mentally affected and was overjoyed to get a hoe and the empty box it came in.  Everything, including the banding was taken to be used back at home at every village stop.

These two brought their hoe stick with them.  Everyone will have to cut their own branch to get their hoe ready for the heavy work.  The hoe is very heavy duty and really works well.  They use it for everything from gardening to installing water and other pipelines in the towns and villages.

To market, to market to sell a big pot...home again, home again...

Come visit, we found a nice place for you to stay.

On the way home we saw this bed moving and he was not happy to have his picture taken.

Light or heavy, it ends up on the head to be carried back home.

Poor girl has little feet growing out of her side.

Rare to see one of the thumb sucking beasts.

Black cobra bite from in the night. They live in huts with fabric doors that don't keep unwelcomed visitors out. He came to us to help. Sister Squire cleaned it and put antibiotic on the site, but who knows if it will help.  He had gone for treatment at a clinic, but they hadn't even cleaned it.

This will be one of the uses for the new hoes.  These are sweet potatoes and have to be heaped up to grow.  They did a very good job on this I think.

Look at these big eyes.


Running for the mayor of some village.

Always ready to boogie.

Seriously, you want me to sit on what...

It was a lot of fun to spend time with our new humanitarian couple and having served in Fiji on a humanitarian mission they hit the ground running.  Well done Howards!
A big old chicken for your efforts.

1 comment:

  1. From the sounds of things, this was probably one of the more interesting weeks of your mission. All these visits to the brush sound amazing.