Friday, June 27, 2008

Yaba Relief Society Choir

Our Stake Relief Society put on a Women's Conference last Saturday. The Yaba Ward Relief Society Choir came early and sang some prelude hymns, performed a special musical number and then also sang some postlude hymns. Nigerians love to sing and most do it quite well. They also love to dress up and have matching outfits for special occasions. They all used the same fabric, except the sister in yellow. The sister with the white top had it all trimmed with the same print to match her skirt. I've seen other women walking in small groups all dressed up alike a few times. It's kind of cute, but somehow I don't see this as a coming trend in the U.S.

I recorded a very short clip during the prelude singing. It seemed a little inappropriate to record them without asking, but they were happy to pose for the "snap" (photo) afterwards.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Another Large Career Training Group

We really had a nice time training these young people as we presented the career workshop for the past three days prior to returning to their homes at the conclusion of their missions. Elder Erhabor, Sister Frimpomaa and Sister Ikpeamah served in the East Mission with us. The others served in the Lagos West Mission.
left to right: Otuonye, Erhabor, Frimpomaa, Isikuru, Ibe, Nnaji, Williams, Bundu, Boadu and Ikpeamah with Elder & Sister Krupp in the front.

Friday, June 20, 2008

One of these things is not like the Other

Does any one remember that old Sesame Street Song? That's what I thought of when I looked at this pictures of the Elders in our District! They are a mighty fine bunch, and we had a really great District Meeting the other day. The meetings are kind of a highlight to our sometimes boring weeks. The missionaries are always so prepared as they teach each other their responsibilities from our white Missionary Handbook and lessons from Preach my Gospel. This is our dynamic group of guys, but transfers are coming up on Thursday. We have 8 new missionaries coming from the MTC in Ghana, so that means our group will probably be in for some changes!
Standing: left to right Elders Mau, Oheugbe, Kamara, Wyse, Osim, Abu-Bonsra, Epenyong, and Ukpai Front row: Elders Attah and Krupp

Monday, June 16, 2008

Esther, our Veggie Delivery Girl

Esther comes to sell us veggies almost every Monday and Friday evenings. Her produce is pre-packaged in little plastic bags, except for the pineapple and bananas. Her prices are a little higher than the guy with the produce stand down the road, so I like to shop around. But it is convenient to have things delivered to your doorstep. It doesn't matter what we want, it always seems to be at the bottom of her bag, and she has to totally unload it and then repack it. Sometimes I buy things that I don't even need.

Her brother, Stanley, usually accompanies her, but she can pack the whole bag on her head. I haven't seen Stanley do any of the work. Maybe he is just her bodyguard.

Kurt helped lift the bag onto her head, and it was at least 50 or 60 pounds! Not an easy job.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Man in My Life a.k.a. My Missionary Companion

This was a very happy day for a dad - Alicia's homecoming from her mission to Washington.The last stop on our Alaska cruise was a tour of the Bouchart Gardens on Victoria Island, B.C.

With his good buddy, Kenny, on our "Birth of a Nation" trip. I think they are inside a replica of the Mayflower.

A Good Grandpa - here he has Emmett while he hangs out with son-in-law, Kelly during our bowling activity with the whole family.

Kurt is a wonderful son and big brother to his siblings. Tim, Lucy and Roger are in the back. Kurt, Susan, Mom and Mary in the front.

Pictures of that GUY that I Love!

Here we are together with our newest granddaughter, Miriam, the day she was blessed.

Kurt with son, Adam, daughter, Heidi, and granddaughter, Brianna.

Sons, Kurt Jr. (l) and Jeremy (r) threw a retirement party for Kurt and Ted Kasper prior to kicking them both out of the office so they could go and serve a mission.

LONGTIME GOOD FRIENDS and co-workers, now these two retired guys are out serving missions with their much-younger wives. Ted and Shona are in India!

Kurt with our youngest and obviously most spoiled daughter, Haylee. We took her to Hawaii with us on a very fun vacation. We are so glad that we could do that!

There has been no order to this bunch of pictures. Hopefully, you will all see that we have had some great times together as a couple, and especially as parents. Kurt has taken wonderful care of all of us, and he is honored and loved by us in return.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Beyond Ibadan - Our trip to Ondo

This sister was so friendly. She loved posing for a "snap" with her three children after church.

More chickens! They were right in front of the church so I couldn't resist another shot of chickens.

The road to Ondo was more rural and had small homes, many made from mud blocks rather than concrete blocks that the city homes are made from. The shiny, new motor bikes is an interesting contrast!

I think this family must have sold firewood.

More homes with jungle for the back yard.

A cute little Christian church.

We encountered a small herd of cattle crossing the road. I know it's a poor picture, but they were really close to the car. They must be a very skinny breed because you can see their ribs.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Traveling to Ibadan and Beyond

We traveled with President and Sister Dyreng up to the city of Ibadan. There are mixed opinions as to the population of Ibadan. If compared with all of Lagos State, it is probably a smaller number, but if compared to just the city of Lagos, it may be larger. It is a sprawling city that covers seven hills. What we saw of Ibadan appeared prettier than where we live because there are more trees and we saw more nice homes.

These first two pictures were taken up at the Premier Hotel. There is a nice Chinese Restaurant there, and we were going to have an early dinner on Saturday, but they were closed when we were there. So we just enjoyed the view and took a couple of pictures.

Ibadan has a larger population of Muslims than does the Lagos area. Here it is about 40 or 45% and there it is about 60% Muslim. This is one of their mosques that we drove by to get to the home that President and Sister Dyreng stay in when they are working with the missionaries or members up in that area. While staying in Ibadan, they can then travel on to other areas where the church has active branches, such as Ife, Ondo, Akure and Ilorin. They stay about 10 nights out of every month up in Ibadan. The drive from our residence in Ikeja to Ibadan can take from 2 hours to 10 hours, depending on the road conditions, traffic and police stops. It's best not to drink a large glass of water before leaving!

I was excited to see this large statue depicting the Rotary International Symbol. Rotary Clubs worldwide have done much to eradicate polio throughout the world. Rotarians worldwide donate to this cause. Kurt is a former Rotarian, and my sister, Sandra, is an active (Past-President) Rotarian!

While President and Sister Dyreng went with the sister missionaries to conduct a baptismal interview, Elder Krupp and I waited in the van next to this partially constructed home. It looks like it has been damaged by fire, but it might just be mold that makes it appear blackened by smoke. We frequently see large buildings that someone has started to construct that are just abandoned. We assume that the money ran out, but, who knows!

Since we were just sitting in the van, it was nice to observe the birds and goats that wandered by.

This is a dove, and we have the same kind living all around us in Ikeja. I hear them cooing frequently when I'm in the kitchen.

This is about the smallest bird that I have seen so far here in Nigeria. It was the size of a little finch, but was a mixture of black and gray feathers. It was hard to get a good picture of them because they were busy down in the grass going after the bugs.

This is a popular shrub that I see growing all around. I hadn't ever looked at one up close and was surprised to see all the thorns on the branches. They are pretty cute and colorful, though.

Ibadan was where our mission was based until 18 months ago when the boundaries were realigned and it became the Nigeria Lagos East Mission instead of the Nigeria Ibadan Mission. The Dyrengs then moved to Ikeja. They showed us the home they used to live in there, and it looked nice and was in a very nice neighborhood. The home they now stay in has several bedrooms and there was a senior couple there that left about 6 weeks ago. Even though it was a plenty nice home, Kurt and I cracked up at the way things were wired there in the kitchen. That's the kitchen hot water tank sitting above the range. I'm not sure what the purpose was for all the outlets there on the wall, but it's not the way things are built in our neighborhood. I had to take a picture.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Poor, Dumb Goat

I wasn't fast enough with my camera to get a really good shot of this goat, but if you look carefully, you will see that his head is stuck in a teapot. It was really bugging him, and we felt sorry for him, but he wasn't about to let someone get close enough to help him.
Hopefully his owner found him and was able to get the pot off. He was one sad little goat, that's for sure.
Posted by Picasa

Refrigerator Woes

We acquired a larger refrigerator about a month after we settled in here. The small fridge was moved to the utility room , and it was great to have all that "back-up" storage capacity. We have been able to keep flour and other things that might get "buggy" in the fridge. Plus we also had better freezer space for extra chickens and bread. Then the bigger fridge started to make some loud noises and wasn't feeling very cold anymore. Unfortunately the thing has a leak and the coolant had all escaped, and our mission president doesn't want to try and fix it. I experienced some real grief contemplating how I was going to cope with this loss!

After I quit moping and pouting, Elder Krupp started combining partially empty jars of jam and mustard, we ate up the leftovers, took out the flour and other not so important things, and now everything fits in the smaller fridge. I don't know why I get so upset about such unimportant things. I should just be grateful to have so much food, don't you agree?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Construction Office Lifts Off

This sequence of pictures shows a genuine Nigerian construction process one would never see in the U.S. The large building on the right is the new Mission Center Building. It will be ready sometime this year. Two Mission Offices, two Mission President Suites (4 bedrooms each), four small apartments for couples (one will be ours), and two small "hotel" rooms for visiting officials are in this building.

The green and white "trailer" looking structure was originally the construction office. The building and the compound wall, to the left were built and the only way to get the trailer thingy out was to hoist it, straight up, and lift it over the 12'-15' tall posts. One of them is behind the arm of the man on the scaffold in the first picture. The trailer has a cradle assembly under it and the crane is just hooking up in the first picture.

The second picture shows the trailer in the air on the building side of the compound wall. The cradle assemblies can be seen in this second shot.

The third picture shows the trailer at the most precarious position in the sequence. It is higher than the posts and is straddling the wall. An accident at this point would have broken the
trailer and the compound wall. The crane operator and his men on the ground did a great job. You can see their project started gathering spectators. Each of the spectators was very vocal as the project progressed. They expressed their opinions about the wisdom or lack there-of of the moving crew. To the right of where I stood to take the pictures was another group of 8 or 10 spectators keeping their distance.

The flat-bed truck they loaded it on looked to be a relic from World War II. It sounded like a truck and pulled the trailer out, just fine, after it was finally down and tied down.

The fourth picture shows the trailer outside of the compound wall but not yet straight with the flat-bed. The last picture shows the trailer almost down and in the next post it is on the trailer and being moved out.

The part of this whole episode that cracks me up is that this could have been hoisted onto a flat-bed a month ago. The fancy compound wall and posts would not have been there. The tight quarters the crane man and the truck driver had to deal with could have been eliminated. I guess I'm not smart enough to be a Nigerian Construction Superintendent, yet.

The corrugated steel fence you can see behind the truck comes down and goes right back up in sections. It could have been removed and the trailer moved so much easier. I'll quit second guessing them. The office trailer is out and gone.

One last "funny". In the first picture, there is a man in a black shirt on the cab of the Red Fiat Semi-Truck. He was doing many things. The most important and dangerous was lifting all the wires up as the truck and trailer pulled out of our "close". That's a cul-d-sac to most of us. The wires, in most cases, were live. We saw arcing several times. The method for lifting the wires was a "T" shaped stick that he would get under the wires with and hoist them up. There were no stops on the "T" portion of the stick. I could just see one set of wires slip off and that would be lights out for the helper. This stuff goes on almost every day. Enjoy the pictures!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Serious Construction Happenings Continued

The first picture shows the trailer being pulled out. The man I thought had a black shirt must have changed it because it looks blue in this picture. What do you think? He is the guy on top of the green and white trailer. He will hoist the wires that are too low for even a tall van. This contraption would be in serious trouble without the "cable lifter". Either that or all the wires would be down.

This picture shows the cable hoister doing the thing that scared me the most. He has a set of wires on a stick. The trailer roof was steel. All he would have had to do would have been to drop it and it would have lit up everything.

He had several of these to lift before they were successfully out on the big street to the North of us. It is called Opebi Road. I think you can find the junction closest to the Mission Office and our Apartment on Google Earth. We are just south of the junction of Toyin Street, Allen Avenue and Opebi Road. There is a major Round-A-Bout where the three of them meet.

This last photo is the crane truck backing out after every thing is done. All in all it was pretty amazing. It took about 3 hours, total. We were made aware of the start of the project by the inordinate amount of noise. The truck and the crane made their share of noise, but the locals raise their voices to soccer stadium volume when this kind of an event starts. You can hear the locals above the noise of any equipment.

The yellow shipping container next to the crane is a storage unit for one of the Missions. It is used for all kinds of records and misc. storage.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Turning Lemons Into.....

These lemons look somewhat deformed or diseased. But they are just Nigerian Lemons, and that is how they are supposed to look, I think. They smell like lemons and taste like lemons. I don't think they will ever get that "Sunkist" stamp on them, though.

I turned my lemons into lemon meringe pie. I made the crust with cookie crumbs and it was a pretty tasty pie. It wouldn't win any ribbon at the fair, but it was good enough for us.

Linda's Flowers-2nd and 3rd Week Updates

After two weeks of growth, the flowers had come up a little farther, but they look somewhat spindly. They only get direct sunlight in the morning, so they tend to lean toward the light.

Here they are one week later. The ones that are planted in potting soil definitely look better than the ones that are planted in the sandy soil from our compound. I think they need some fertilizer, but I'm not sure where to come up with that. I will keep watching and taking photos.

What good is it to have lots of heat and sunshine if you can't grow some flowers?
I will be disappointed if they don't produce some blossoms. Maybe in another month!