Thursday, April 3, 2014
This week we attended a meeting where two brand new branch presidents were trying to figure out how they would share a building. It's all so new, as they attempt to organize and discover how to use their new callings to make their branches work. It was exciting to watch them discuss and decide the best way to run the 2 branches. Like this had never happened anywhere before. Just deciding on the times for the 2 branches to start took 2 hours. The concept of sharing a building was difficult to grasp.
Once again, the Relief Society sisters were pointedly asked to participate in the decision-making, emphasizing the important role they have to play. Again, contrary to the cultural norm here.
Then last night we took 2 new missionaries to the airport to leave on their mission to the Ivory Coast. They had never been out of the country, had never been through an airport or flown on a plane. They kind of had that deer-in-the-headlights look on their faces. We had to explain what was going to happen, how seats had numbers on the plane, how luggage had to be checked, how to read the flight monitors to find their flight, etc. They were going to fly from here to Nairobi, to Ghana to the mission home and then on to the Ivory Coast. What an amazing experience for them! It's like we are seeing everything through new eyes.
We spend a lot of time going to embassies to get visas and passports. I have decided no one in any bureaucracy has any idea what is going on! We spend hours waiting for information and then it turns out that information is wrong. They seem to try to make it hard to accomplish what you are trying to do. We were supposed to pick up yellow fever papers for two missionaries yesterday. The inoculations were done, the shots were paid for, the papers themselves were sitting on the desk. But we had to sit for 2 hours waiting for the "boss" to come and stamp the papers to make them official. Some days it seems not a lot gets accomplished!