A Saturday Morning Wander in our Neighborhood

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (2)

We went out for a walk this morning.  John needed to transfer some money to a missionary, so we took a wander through our neighborhood.  All of these pictures were taken during our 30 minute wander.  This is our place.  These are our neighbors.

There were very few people out today.  It must be a holiday.  Last night people were everywhere until quite late.  This morning the vendors shops were empty and the sellers were gone.  Unusual for a Saturday morning.

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (3)

Below is a hair place.  There are so many cute little shops where the women and girls go to have extensions put in their hair, or to have their hair plaited into fun designs.

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (5)

Empty vendor stalls:

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (6)

Typical roadside decor:

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (7)

This is our road.  Every few weeks someone dumps a load of rocks and construction debris in the roads.  It’s spread out and smashed down by passing cars until it turns into road base.  You have to watch your step.

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (8)

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (10)

A new building going up:

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (11)

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (12)

More beauty shops:

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (13)

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (14)

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (15)

Transferring money:

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (16)

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (17)

A local plumber:

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (18)

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (20)

We were hoping to find some nice fruit today!  We filled our bag with 3 pineapple, 2 mangos, a bunch of mandarins, bananas and some popo.

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (26)

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (27)

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (28)

I love the fruit here.  And it’s Beautiful!

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (30)

Lovely helpers!

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (31)

2020-5-23 Fruit Stand (1)2020-5-23 Fruit Stand (5)

A furniture store:

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (36)

From this spot you can see the temple.  See the crane in the skyline?  That’s the temple site.

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (37)

The temple is just to the left of the crane.

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (38)

A man making mannequins:

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (40)

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (41)

There are so many car junk yards full of dead cars.

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (42)

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (43)

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (44)

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (46)

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (47)

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (48)

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (49)

Happy to know we can refill our gas tank here:

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (50)

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (52)

Interesting construction:

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (53)

Chopping block:

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (54)

Umbrellas for shade:

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (55)

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (56)

A laundromat.  Loving the washer in the window:

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (58)

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (59)

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (61)

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (63)

Cassava, pines and peanuts:

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (64)

Plantain, potatoes and cassava:

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (66)

Our local tailors.  These women sew in these little shops day and night.

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (68)

Our shoe repair guy was gone for the day:

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (70)

Nice entryway:

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (71)

Almost home again.

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (72)

This is right next to our building.  I’d always assumed there was a water source in this little shack because these water jugs come and go every day.

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (73)

It’s a mystery–no water source.  There is, however, a toilet sitting there.

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (74)

These are our neighbors.  Their homes are made of tarp and boards.

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (76)

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (77)

Their firewood supply:

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (78)

Their trash pile, right outside our windows.

2020-5-23 Neighborhood walk (79)

We are surrounded by so many interesting things.  We love it here.

The Streets of Abidjan

2020-4-21 Abidjan streets (3)

Here are a few pictures taken from the car of a typical day on typical streets in Abidjan.  It’s always interesting here.  Always.  You can see that even some of the mannequins here are sporting COVID masks.

2020-4-21 Abidjan streets (4)

2020-4-21 Abidjan streets (5)

The ice cream man!

2020-4-21 Abidjan streets (6)

Plumber’s shop

2020-4-21 Abidjan streets (7)

2020-4-21 Abidjan streets (8)

2020-4-21 Abidjan streets (9)

Motorcycle repair shop

2020-4-21 Abidjan streets (10)

Jerseys for sale

2020-4-21 Abidjan streets (11)

Fast food

2020-4-21 Abidjan streets (12)

2020-4-21 Abidjan streets (13)

Brooms going by:

2020-4-21 Abidjan streets (14)

Wigs for sale

2020-4-21 Abidjan streets (16)

Under the umbrella

2020-4-21 Abidjan streets (17)

Ivorian handcarts:

2020-4-21 Abidjan streets (18)

Mechanic row

2020-4-21 Abidjan streets (19)

2020-4-21 Abidjan streets (20)

2020-4-21 Abidjan streets (22)

2020-4-21 Abidjan streets (21)

2020-4-21 Abidjan streets (23)

Furniture maker

2020-4-21 Abidjan streets (24)

2020-4-21 Abidjan streets (25)

Stopping for a cup of tea under the overpass

2020-4-21 Abidjan streets (27)

Pineapple juicer

2020-4-21 Abidjan streets (29)

China has come to Abidjan!

2020-4-17 China Mall (25)

We took an outing today–just down the street–to visit a new store that has opened.  It’s called China Mall.  We’ve been watching this huge store being built since we arrived.  It has recently opened for business and today we went to take a look.  We were looking for some office supplies.

When we stepped inside, I was Amazed!  The store seemed to go on forever–it was huge!  The store workers are still unloading boxes and boxes of goods, but the shelves were full and we were excited at what we found.  Office supplies, household supplies, dishes, tools, appliances, home decor–just about anything you’d need!  Come take a look.

2020-4-17 China Mall (1)

Kitchen tools.

2020-4-17 China Mall (2)

There were boxes everywhere waiting to be unpacked.

2020-4-17 China Mall (3)

Dishes.  Great prices.

2020-4-17 China Mall (4)

2020-4-17 China Mall (19)

2020-4-17 China Mall (18) - Copy

2020-4-17 China Mall (6)

2020-4-17 China Mall (7)

Office supplies

2020-4-17 China Mall (8)

Games and toys

2020-4-17 China Mall (9)

Oh, the tools.  Rows and rows of tools.  It was like a builder’s paradise.

2020-4-17 China Mall (10)

2020-4-17 China Mall (11)

2020-4-17 China Mall (12)

Fake plants and flowers

2020-4-17 China Mall (13)

I have never seen so many locks in one place before!

2020-4-17 China Mall (14)

2020-4-17 China Mall (15)

I smiled when I saw African drums made in China, coming back to sell to Africans!

2020-4-17 China Mall (17)

2020-4-17 China Mall (21)

2020-4-17 China Mall (23)

2020-4-17 China Mall (24)

There weren’t many customers in the store.  The floor is marked with social distancing tape in anticipation of more coming.  There just aren’t many people out and about these days.  This is a hard time to be opening such a big grand store, it felt like China has arrived in our neighborhood.

The Supermarche, Restocked

2020-3-23 (47)

This afternoon after our lunch at Cap Sud shopping mall, we went to see what the supermarche looked like.  Our last trip there was a week ago, and it was mayhem.  Crowds had flocked to the store–it was the day of the first announcement of closures here of schools.  People were panicking and the shelves were stripped bare.

I was happy to see that things looked back to normal today.  Most of the shelves were full again.  There were no crowds.  People were respectful of space and distance.  The floor in many of the aisles was marked with tape to space out shoppers.  It was a lovely experience to be there.

2020-3-23 (37)

2020-3-23 (38)

2020-3-23 (39)

2020-3-23 (40)

2020-3-23 (41)

2020-3-23 (42)

2020-3-23 (43)

2020-3-23 (44)

2020-3-23 (45)

If we are allowed to stay here, we’ll be back so we can stock our shelves with some supplies in case we’re ever put on lock down.  There are only a handful of COVID-19 cases in the Ivory Coast, but things can change quickly and we’ll need to be prepared.

2020-3-23 (48)

A Visit to Labadi Beach in Accra

2020-3-11 z Accra Beach (1)

After a full morning in the temple and a lunch in the cafeteria, we took our friends to Labadi Beach, just a little way down the coast.  Elder Shepherd was our leader, he had been here before.

2020-3-11 z Accra Beach (3)

2020-3-11 z Accra Beach (2)

Young men trying to sell horse rides on the beach:

2020-3-11 z Accra Beach (4)

Seeing the ocean for the very first time:

2020-3-11 z Accra Beach (6)

2020-3-11 z Accra Beach (9)

This experience felt a little like a Christmas morning for us–watching Rose and her family playing in the sea.  It was such fun for them!

2020-3-11 z Accra Beach (13)

2020-3-11 z Accra Beach (22)

 

There are a few hotel properties along this beach, but there weren’t many people here.

2020-3-11 z Accra Beach (37)

2020-3-11 z Accra Beach (27)

2020-3-11 z Accra Beach (32)

2020-3-11 z Accra Beach (38)

2020-3-11 z Accra Beach (42)

Seashells for sale:

2020-3-11 z Accra Beach (53)

2020-3-11 z Accra Beach (55)

2020-3-11 z Accra Beach (57)

2020-3-11 z Accra Beach (58)

2020-3-11 z Accra Beach (60)

2020-3-11 z Accra Beach (62)

2020-3-11 z Accra Beach (64)

2020-3-11 z Accra Beach (66)

2020-3-11 z Accra Beach (68)

What a perfect afternoon after a wonderful morning!  This evening we all went back to the Shepherd’s apartment for a spaghetti dinner prepared by Sister Shepherd.  The kids watched the Disney movie Moana, and then we took them back to the patron housing for their last night here.  We all depart in the morning.

2020-3-11 z Accra Beach (41)

What does our future hold??

Today we’ve received lots of interesting news from Salt Lake.  General Conference will be held virtually.  There will be no public gatherings because of the Coronavirus which is spreading around the world.  It was previously announced that all leadership meetings surrounding conference would be cancelled.  No international visitors will come to Salt Lake for training this time.

The next announcement was about Missionary Training Centers.  Beginning March 16, 2020, all missionaries scheduled to enter missionary training centers in Provo, Utah, or Preston, England, will be trained remotely by video conference.

Next we heard that “the Church Educational System has adopted pandemic-related guidelines Wednesday that will either cancel graduations, devotionals and performances at Brigham Young University and other schools operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or lead them to be broadcast without audiences.  The BYU Women’s Conference scheduled for April 30-May 1 is the first confirmed casualty of the guidelines.”

Temples are also closing.  “The temples closed Wednesday by the church are those in Asunción, Paraguay; Boston, Massachusetts; Copenhagen, Denmark; Louisville, Kentucky; and Manhattan, New York. The church now has closed 12 temples on four continents.”

This is an interesting time to be out in the world.  Things feel calm and peaceful here.  We understand that’s not the case in Europe and Asia, and the implications of the COVID-19, as they are calling this virus, could be far-reaching.

 

An Artisan’s Market in Accra

2020-3-9 Accra Artisan Market (4)

If you’d like a visual feast, come take a look!  This afternoon we visited this artisan’s market in Accra.  It’s about a 20-30 minute drive from the temple grounds, depending on traffic.  As you will see, our African friends love color and texture.  The fabrics are fabulous and the crafts are amazing.  I love wandering through these markets.  They give us a good feel for the local culture and what is created here.

2020-3-9 Accra Artisan Market (6)

2020-3-9 Accra Artisan Market (10)

2020-3-9 Accra Artisan Market (7)

Ghana is known for its beads.  You can read more about the history of beads in Ghana here: https://www.worldremit.com/en/stories/story/2019/10/09/beads-ghana

Most of these beads are made of recycled glass, which is then hand painted.

2020-3-9 Accra Artisan Market (8)

2020-3-9 Accra Artisan Market (11)

2020-3-9 Accra Artisan Market (33)

2020-3-9 Accra Artisan Market (38)

2020-3-9 Accra Artisan Market (39)

2020-3-9 Accra Artisan Market (12)

2020-3-9 Accra Artisan Market (13)

Ghana is also known for its Kente cloth, which is woven on looms in long strips.  You can learn more about Kente cloth here:  https://kitengestore.com/everything-need-know-kente/

2020-3-9 Accra Artisan Market (15)

You can also find wood carvings of every variety, some decorated with beads.

2020-3-9 Accra Artisan Market (16)

2020-3-9 Accra Artisan Market (21)

2020-3-9 Accra Artisan Market (22)

2020-3-9 Accra Artisan Market (23)

2020-3-9 Accra Artisan Market (24)

These reading ladies reminded me of my book club friends at home!

2020-3-9 Accra Artisan Market (25)

2020-3-9 Accra Artisan Market (26)

2020-3-9 Accra Artisan Market (27)

2020-3-9 Accra Artisan Market (29)

2020-3-9 Accra Artisan Market (30)

2020-3-9 Accra Artisan Market (31)

2020-3-9 Accra Artisan Market (32)

2020-3-9 Accra Artisan Market (34)

2020-3-9 Accra Artisan Market (35)

Taking a nap.

2020-3-9 Accra Artisan Market (37)

The baskets here are incredible.  In the next post you’ll see how they’re made.

2020-3-9 Accra Artisan Market (40)

Stopping by 1001 Wonders Supermarche

2020-2-27 (50)

Because we were in the neighborhood this morning, we walked over to the 1001 Wonders supermarket for a few more things.  At the top of my list were some packets of German salad dressing herbs that we tried last time and loved.  If you see something here you like, you go buy more because you may never see it again.

IMG_7928

We also picked up some more cleaning supplies.

2020-2-27 (49)

Here are the prayer rugs for sale:

2020-2-27 (51)

I think the packaging here is interesting.  Many things are not sealed.

2020-2-27 (52)

And different kinds of things are shelved together.  Here we have condiments, margarine, cheese and some canned vegetables.

2020-2-27 (53)

John loves to stroll through the cookie and treat aisle.

2020-2-27 (54)

Locally packaged chips and treats:

2020-2-27 (55)

We have good boxed juices.  If you look for them, you can usually find some that are 100% fruit juice.

2020-2-27 (56)

Interesting canned chicken luncheon meat:

2020-2-27 (57)

Mosquito repellents and bug bait mixed in with the food items:

2020-2-27 (58)

At 12:45 the muezzin prayer calls began and the lights in the store when off.  Time to go pray.  We took our things to the check out and were on our way.

2020-2-27 (59)

2020-2-27 (80)

 

A Walk in Bamako

2020-2-27 (29)

We walked alongside this little family today.  Everyone had something to carry, even the baby.  The twin girls were beautiful.  The mother asked me my name and told me the names of her girls.  She was delightful and never missed a stride.  I eventually asked if I could take a photo of her with her beautiful girls and she was happy to pause for that.

2020-2-27 (33)

Shipping containers:

2020-2-27 (34)

I think in Bamako there are more shops outdoors than indoors.

2020-2-27 (35)

Hotplates, teapots and incense burners:

2020-2-27 (37)

Clothes drying rack for things like socks:

2020-2-27 (38)

Are you noticing that we’re walking over the sewage trench as we go?

A hammock:

2020-2-27 (40)

Children’s playthings:

2020-2-27 (41)

2020-2-27 (42)

Laundry hampers and clothes drying racks.  In this heat, you can dry your laundry in minutes!

2020-2-27 (43)

A gas station for motorcycles.  These are everywhere.  You can almost see from one to the next because, well, you’ll never know where you’ll run out of gas.

2020-2-27 (44)

Sunglasses for sale:

2020-2-27 (45)

Phone cases on the go:

2020-2-27 (46)

We walked behind this young man, who is a shoe shiner.  He had 2 brushes in his hand that he clicked together so people could hear his trade.  Everyone has dusty shoes here.  I’m sure he does good business.

2020-2-27 (48)

2020-2-27 (47)

On our way home, here are a few things I noticed from my taxi window.

Here’s a fellow taking a mid-morning nap:

2020-2-27 (64)

The interesting thing is where he chose to rest–in a sewage trench at a very busy intersection:

2020-2-27 (65)

Furniture stores are usually outside along the main roads like this:

2020-2-27 (66)

2020-2-27 (67)

The upholstered sofas are usually covered to keep the dirt and dust off.

2020-2-27 (68)

2020-2-27 (69)

The things in the plastic bags are stuffed animals for children:

2020-2-27 (70)

Here is a beautiful woman with her child begging in a traffic jam.

2020-2-27 (71)

These are the water pouches that are for sale everywhere.  They sell for a few cents.

2020-2-27 (72)

2020-2-27 (73)

Beautifully dressed women on motorbikes:

2020-2-27 (77)

And this is my neighbor and friend, Miriama.  She sells fruit right by our apartment and I love visiting with her every few days when we need something fresh and delicious.

2020-2-27 (79)

A Local Car Wash

2020-2-27 (7)

This morning we went back to the Ghanaian Embassy to pick up our passports with our new visas to Ghana.  Across the street is the American Embassy.   They keep us posted every week on any unrest in the country and where to avoid to be safe.  This week’s report was a little frightening.  We do our best to blend in and stay away from any hot spots or dangerous areas.

2020-2-27 (60)

Then we walked to the 1001 Wonders store again to pick up a few more things.  We went past this very nice car wash and stopped to visit with the hard-working young men there.  I’m guessing they do a pretty good business here near the embassies.

 

2020-2-27 (8)

They had a pressure washer, wands and lots of soap!

2020-2-27 (10)

2020-2-27 (11)

2020-2-27 (18)

2020-2-27 (20)

2020-2-27 (24)

2020-2-27 (23)

This fellow was washing the inside of this car that was for sale.  We asked the owner what he was asking for it.  It’s a 19 year-old Toyota and his first price (before negotiating) was about $6,000.  Cars are pretty expensive here, even used older used ones.

2020-2-27 (26)