Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Nine Months Already?

Well, at long last we are updating our blog.  We know it sounds trite but we really have been busy doing the same things as before.  We can't believe how fast time is flying by.  If we stay for 18 months, we are half-way through but we may extend.  We haven't quite decided.
Here is Elder Nuzman loading a food order into the boot of our car.
 In March we had a very exciting visit from Nicole, Jeremy, Aurora and Eve.  Oh how great it was to see some family!  We took a few days off and just enjoyed being with them.  They met many of our friends here and we even traveled to Swaziland.  Of course everyone here immediately fell in love with them and they now ask about them all the time. 
Thandie Nzama and granddaughter, Eve, Nicole, Aurora and Jeremy
Thandie taught Nicole how to make putu (mealie) and sugar bean curry

Nicole and family visit the Port Durnford Branch

Gabriel, Shaka, Gugu and Mellissah Sanchaze,
Nicole, Aurora, Jeremy and Eve in Nseleni

Elder Nuzman, Aurora, Eve and Sister Nuzman at Timbali Lodge in Swaziland

Jeremy and the girls enjoying the Indian Ocean at St. Lucia

Eve wanted to see hippos on her birthday.

Eve and Aurora gaze at the beautiful scenery at the game reserve

Here we are at the Port of Richards Bay
Our car that was stolen was finally found out in the bush.  There wasn't too much left of it.  They even took the wheels.  We will never recover any of the other things that were stolen, but most everything has been replaced.  We still feel very blessed that we slept through the whole thing.

We also had a visit from our grandson, Owen, who sent himself as a paper image.  We were to take him around to all the places we go and take pictures of him in the various surroundings.  We had a lot of fun with this project and hope that he will like all the places we went when he receives the pictures at his school.  Of course it would have been even better if he had been here in person.
Here is Owen at the beach in Richards Bay

Owen with the Elders

Owen meets the Vilanes

Owen in the sugar cane
We thoroughly enjoyed General Conference; perhaps we enjoyed it too much.  We watched all the sessions via internet and hooked it up to our tv so we could watch it with the elders.  Then a week later we capped out of internet time and we realized that all the sessions plus theYoung Women's broadcast added up to about twelve hours.  So we used our portable modem for a couple of weeks, sparingly, and now we are back in service as of May 1st.  So we can Skype again! 
Watching General Conferrence

Saying goodbye to Elder Denning at the last transfer
Once again we are teaching two seminary classes and are starting a new English class.  Keeping up with the elders really keeps us busy as well.  We routinely inspect their cars and boardings and have zone and district meetings with them.  We have gotten so attached to them and now some of them are going home to their own countries.  We haven't been able to face the fact that we may never see them again in this mortal existence.  Oh, what giants they are in the gospel!  They will be future leaders throughout the world.  We surely have learned to love them and they are so kind to us.

We had the priviledge of taking Elder Sandile Chirwa to the mission home to be set apart for his mission in Johannesburg.  He is from Port Durnford.
Sandile Chirwa says goodbye to his family.
A few weeks ago President Vezi of the Port Durnford branch heard noises coming from a chicken coop by his house at night.  He went out to investigate and once inside the coop discovered a python killing his chickens.  He couldn't get out the door of the coop so he called for someone to bring him a spear and he wrestled the python until he was able to kill it with the spear.  It was three meters long.  It was a female and now he is watching for the male which is much larger.
President Vezi, a true Zulu warrior

Last week we took a couple of days and went to visit our friends who are serving in Swaziland.  We wanted to visit their branches to see how things are done there.  While we were there we made a quick trip to Kruger National Park.  We were so excited to finally get to go there.  We had a marvelous time and saw all of the Big Five.  The leopard was back in the trees and we saw his long tail held high in the air.  It was awesome! 

These children dance on the side of the road to attract
customers to their family curio stand.

An impala in front of the elephants

A blue wildebeest

A hippo enjoys the water

This cape buffalo walks toward the road with its baby still nursing

This monkey is enjoying a piece of bread that was part of a loaf
that we saw stolen off of a picnic table by another monkey as the
people were setting out their lunch.

Our good friends, Elder and Sister Blackburn

Our first spotting of a lioness

One of our favorites, a giraffe

Plastic bags are hung over the bananas to protect them
from the monkeys

Here we are enjoying Africa!