A Visit from a Traveling Sewing Machinist

When you rip your jeans, you pay the sewing machinist to come to you to repair them!  We often see young men with a sewing machine on their shoulder, walking down the street.  They take their skills to your place, wherever you might be.  This machinist came to our apartment building to help one of our security guards fix his jeans.  It was so fun to watch!

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A Walk Through Town and Celebrating Sekou’s Birthday

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This evening we walked through some neighborhoods on our way to meet Sekou.  Today is his 31st Birthday!  We wanted to celebrate with him.  This week he is having his final exams for this semester and Sunday he flies to Accra to prepare for his wedding on March 7th.  We are so happy for him.

Here are a few of the things we saw along the way.  Evening is such a fun time to wander.  It cools down a bit–we had a nice breeze this evening–and people are out in the streets.  Children are playing after a full day at school (most come home late in the day).  We see them playing marbles and other games in the dirt.  Women are out preparing the evening meals.  Men are sitting with friends, relaxing a bit.  Kids are running and playing, some are on bikes.  It’s a good time to be here watching life around us.

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New cement being poured to make covers for this trench:

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Friends walking home from school:

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These women are dyeing fabric.  It was fascinating to watch them work, in purple dye up to their elbows, churning big pots of fabric.

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The did not want me to photograph their faces.  Here are the pots of dye:

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And here is some of the dyed fabric hanging to dry in the street:

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We met Sekou at Amandine’s restaurant at 7:00.  He showed us the exam he took today and one of his medical books.  We had a wonderful evening together talking about the Bamako Branch and things we’d like to do here, talking about his upcoming marriage to Dina, and learning more about his studies at the medical school.

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Sekou told us this is the first time in his life he’s had a birthday celebration.  We were all so happy to be together this evening.  He has 4 more days of exams, then he’s  finished with school for now and can concentrate on his trip to Ghana and his marriage.

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Lunch Prep with the Elders

I smelled something good in the kitchen today, so I went to investigate.  Elder Gbedevi was shedding tears as he chopped onions and peppers!  It was his turn to cook.  He was making spaghetti.  These Elders are so good.

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The price of propane gas is  still very high here in Bamako, so these Elders continue to cook over a fire with charcoal.  They are so good at it.

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A Delicious Treat: Yaourt!

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These Elders are so good to us!  Sunday after church they sent us home with two little frozen bags of deliciousness.  Elder Kouakou described it as “lait, fromage, or yaourt.”  When we got home and tasted it (after it had thawed a bit in the hot taxi ride home), we loved it.  It was like delicious frozen yogurt.

Today during my French lesson with them after our District Meeting (we practice conversation skills) I asked them how they made this treat.  Here is how they described the process to me:

1 kilo of powdered milk
5 liters of water
1/2 kilo sugar
3 packets of vanilla sugar
1 cup of vanilla yogurt

Mix 4 liters of water with the powdered milk. Stir well.
Add the 5th liter of water, but heat that liter (hot) before adding it.
Mix well.
Cover tight so no air can get in.
Put in a warm place, cover with a blanket.
Leave for 6 hours.
Pour into plastic sacs to freeze, or pour into bottles.

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By next week the temperatures in Bamako will reach 105 degrees.  How fun to have such a delicious cold treat in this heat!

District Meeting in Bamako

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This morning we had our District Meeting with our four wonderful Bamako Elders.  We love being here with them.  We are making good progress here and we are so happy to be here.

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These Elders are great teachers.  Today we got to hear from Elder Kouakou.  We had a great discussion about obedience and how teaching obedience will bless others.

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2020-2-25 District Mtg (6)After our meeting we filmed a shot video clip of these Elders with for our missionaries at home.  Our Washington Yakima Mission reunion is coming up and we want to show them our mission experiences here.  We miss our other missionaries so much, but are grateful to represent them here.

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Interesting things in Local Supermarkets

2020-2-24 Market 1001 (1)This morning we went back to the Ghanaian Embassy with our paperwork to get our visas for our upcoming temple trip.  After that, we walked to the 1001 Wonders Supermarket.  This is a great place to shop.  Their prices are good.  Much of the inventory comes from the Middle East rather than Europe.  It’s a very Muslim store, which is interesting in itself.  Here are a few of the things I found interesting to look at as we wandered through the store.

Above:  ground corn, lentils, dry beans, chickpeas, and also several types of rice.

Below:  plastic good are very cheap and used by everyone here.  For example a large dishwashing pan was about a dollar.  These dipping cups were about 30 cents.

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The potty pots above are used in every bathroom (instead of toilet paper) and are used for ritual cleaning before prayers.  Everyone has them.

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Household goods:

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Cleaning supplies:

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Scratch pads for cleaning the large pots, hot pads made of wood, huge (long) whisks:

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Mosquito nets.  The government supplies these to people in the villages.  They’re not very expensive.  Everyone sleeps under a net here, including all of the missionaries.

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In the middle of the store is a prayer area where men can go to worship at prayer time:

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Prayer rugs and the Koran:

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Prayer beads for sale:

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Muslim prayer caps:

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Home decor:

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Clothesline ropes:

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The check out:

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Yes, we found Top Ramen!!  It might be fun to introduce that to the Elders here!  We found a few other essentials like bug spray, mayonnaise, TP, fruit juice, and some treats for the Primary kids.  It was a good day for shopping and looking!

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Teaching the Children — Primary in Bamako

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Waiting for Sacrament Meeting to Begin


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Now that we have a new branch presidency in Bamako, soon we will have callings for these good members.  Right now, aside from the branch presidency and the ward clerk, no one has a calling, so we all just fill in and help where we can.   My favorite place is with the children.  They forgive my French and help me when I don’t know the words.

Today I taught them about the Book of Mormon.  We talked about how we got it and what’s inside it.  I brought pictures and stories and we took turns reading and we learned together.  These children are like sponges.  They feel the good here and they want to know more.

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We learned two new Primary songs today:  The Books in the Book of Mormon:

Premier et Second
Livres de Nephi,
Paroles de Mormon, Mosiah, font le Livre de Mormon.

Trois, Quatre Néphi,
Ether et
Nous connaîtrons bien les prophètes dans le Livre de Mormon.

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And we learned the first verse of Book of Mormon Stories:

Dans le Livre de Mormon, on nous conte très bien
L’épopée des Lamanites dans les temps anciens.
En ce pays, leurs ancêtres vinrent de très loin,
Pour y vivre, ils devaient faire bien.