Friday, September 12, 2014

     Big changes here in missionary land!  Seven of our elders were supposed to leave last week due to transfers that came in.  Unfortunately, because of airline ticketing problems, they are not able to leave until Friday, Sept. 12th.  That would be fine except that we already received their replacements plus two more this past Sunday and Monday.  And 4 of their replacements are sister missionaries!  That is very exciting here in Bujumbura, as there have never been sister missionaries here before. It is a first!  The 4 sisters are in an apartment together, and that leaves all 12 elders in one apartment till Friday when the elders are set to leave.  Can you say "slumber party?"  We hauled 2 big mattresses from our house over to the elders' apartment, plus bought 2 more singles.

     Monday we took the sisters to do some food shopping.  Remy accompanied them to the market to show them how to get good deals, how to use Burundian money.  Here they are after shopping, heading to the truck with their blue bags.  One of the sister missionaries is from Madagascar.  Her name is Randrianarina.  Say that 3 times fast!

 After shopping, we headed to a meeting with the 2 branch presidents who will have the sisters serving in their branches.  After that meeting, we needed to talk to the presidents for a few minutes, so the sisters left the office.  We expected to find them standing in the church waiting for us, but about 10 minutes later when we came out, we found them out on the busy street already preaching the gospel.  They are great!

One of our new elders had hurt his knee 8 days earlier at the MTC while playing soccer.  The knee was quite swollen and we were asked o take him to the doc to have it checked out.  It took us all day, from 9:00am to 5:00pm to accomplish this task and involved going to 2 different hospitals and sitting and waiting.  Finally, they decided to drain his knee and prescribed meds and a knee brace.

Two small examples of men vs women in Burundi:

Gary and I were lugging a wooden table from one building to the other at the church.  A couple of sisters saw us and jumped up from where they were sitting to come help.  I was thinking that was really nice of them, but that I was doing fine.  Imagine my surprise when they went to Gary, offering to take his end, leaving me with mine.  Gary politely declined their offer, and we got a chuckle out of it later.  Then, the day we spent waiting in the hospital, there were no more available chairs, so Gary sat on the floor in the hall and I remained standing.  A nurse saw our situation, grabbed a chair from another room, brought it over and presented it the the sitting Gary.  So interesting and so different from home.  

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