Saturday, October 25, 2008

Baptismal Bucket Brigade

Last Sunday Elders Kamara-Soire (far right) and Pasika (on blue water tank) had two baptisms scheduled. The water for the church compound was not working, and no one wanted to postpone the baptisms. Have no fear - this is Africa and we have buckets for hauling water. The tub on Elder Krupp's head held two buckets full of water per trip and one of our skinniest, smallest elders carried it, time after time after time on his head.
An international group: Elders Ekanem (Nigeria), Krupp (Idaho), Afangbedji (Togo), Quansah (Ghana), Ma'u (Tonga), Pasikala (Tonga, on tank), and Kamara-Soire (Sierra Leone)
They were posing for this picture since I didn't get it snapped Sunday when the water was being hauled. There were 5 young Elders, 1 old Elder, and 2 or 3 young men from the ward that helped with this project. It took two hours to fill the font. They really worked up a sweat in the hot Africa sun.
Elder Pasikala did the dipping and pouring to keep everyone supplied with water. Elder Quansah could haul the equivalent of 3 pink buckets in his dark green washtub. He told us he used to haul water for his grandmother every morning before school for 45 minutes per trip.
Many mornings he would make 2-4, 45 minutes trips in the dark before school for his grandmother.
Sister Krupp rewarding the Bucket Brigade with cinnamon rolls Thursday after our District Meeting. Elder Ma'u had mentioned that someone had made them Cinnamon Rolls a long time ago and he still remembered how good they had been. Linda has a real soft spot in her heart for Elder Ma'u (sounds like Meow, without the "e")

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mouka Foam Mattress Factory

We visited the Mouka Foam Factory on Tuesday the 14th of October. The visit was to pick 6 of the mattresses that will go in apartments in our new Mission Building. One of our Ward Members is the Sales Coordinator for the entire operation. This is the largest mattress factory in Nigeria. They produce 11 Billion Naira worth of mattresses a year. We see Mouka Foam Mattresses everywhere. Every missionary apartment is equipped with these mattresses. Our apartment is equipped with them as well.
This young man is standing next to a stack of completed mattresses.

This spring affair is the insides of the mattresses we chose. The blocks of foam support the springs
The entire assembly is then covered in foam thicker than the blocks you see between the springs. After that, the foam-spring "sandwich" is covered and sewn with the finished cover you see in the first picture. Most Mouka Foam Mattresses are just foam. They make different firmnesses of foam and you pick your mattress by the firmness or softness. The colors of the foam indicate soft or firm. There is a wonderful machine that cuts the slabs of foam in the next picture from huge blocks of foam.

These "slabs" of foam have just been cut by the amazing machine. We saw no heat. We saw no shavings from the cutting process, but these slabs came from blocks of foam more than 6' tall. The next picture shows stacks of raw foam slabs before it is covered. The covers are stitched on by a sewing machine mounted at an angle and at the exact height of the platform the foam lays on while being covered and sewn. The sewing machine operator doesn't have to bend or move into any uncomfortable positions to sew the mattress covers on. The mattress turns on a table to bring the foam and the cover to the sewing machine and the operator. It is cool.

The stacks of raw foam mattress slabs are just waiting to move to the next station in the process. The factory was laid out with fire safety and physical safety of the workers in mind. Every section could be shut off in case of fire. Every worker we saw who worked in an area of chemical reactions or dust wore masks like the one to the left.

This last picture shows blocks of foam that have not yet been cut into the thicknesses for mattresses. We saw mattresses made from this foam that were as thick as 18" and as thin as 6". Linda is not so sure we will receive the size and type of mattress we chose. We will update you after we move into the new Mission Building.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Happy Birthday, Jeremy

Yes, Jeremy has always been pretty funny. Around Christmas when he was 3 years old, he came out of his bedroom buck naked with his pillowcase slung over his shoulder saying "Ho Ho Ho". He just has a very happy-go-lucky personality. We love being around him.
He still likes to play, and his boys Dylan and Ethan enjoying 4 wheeling with him.
He's a cuddly Dad. He doesn't look too happy here, but I think he's working hard to be serious.
We got to travel with Jeremy and Tara to Nauvoo, Illinois, 3 years ago when we went to St. Louis for business meetings. It was pretty special to attend the Nauvoo Temple with them.
He and his older brother, Kurt Jr. have taken over Kurt's business, and they are both doing a great job. Jeremy has grown up to be a pretty nice man, even though he is still a kid at heart.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Clapping & Singing at the Alpha Pharmacy

It is very common to see religious tracts from various churches displayed at offices and stores. I went in to the pharmacy yesterday and it sounded like a revival meeting. They were all having a great time so I decided to record a little as I was leaving. If this were going in the U.S., one might expect the ACLU to be out picketing in front of the store. It's just good ol' gospel music here. I enjoy their enthusiastic style of singing.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Happy Times for Emmett

Daughter, Alicia, and son-in-law, Josh, were both happy, smart kids. So it's only natural that they would end up with a happy, smart child of their own. This is how he looked when he got blessed. I made the little outfit he wore, and Alicia knit the white blanket for him.We are quite certain that he will also inherit some musical talent from both sides of the gene pool.
The stickout tongue is definitely a Krupp trait, though.
He is definitely a bright boy. He looks like a future valedictorian like his mom or a med school student like his dad.
The lack of hair could be inherited from either Grandpa Wes or Grandpa Kurt.

Emmett can say "I'm Two" and Now He Is

Happy Birthday to our little Emmett. He's too young to read this, but we know his mom will show it to him. We hope Emmett knows he is loved and missed by his grandparents in Africa!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Independence Day - Nigerian Style

Wednesday, October 1 was Independence Day. Most businesses were closed, except some retail stores. We worked at the mission office, though. There was lots of noise and commotion coming from Opebi, and it turned out to be a parade. I missed most of it, but managed to snap a photo and take a little video.

There were several activities at the church that day. In the morning, the Stake had a Young Women's activity upstairs in the back part of the church. I didn't ever go and see what they were doing, but it looked like a good turnout. At the same time, our ward Primary had a "sports day" activity in the cultural hall, which seemed very popular. Sports means that they played different kinds of games. They fed the kids a bottle of soda pop, which is customary. The bottles tip over and spill pop all over the floor and sometimes they end up with broken bottles. That's what they like, though.

At 4 p.m. the Stake Young Adults had a big activity with loud music and dancing. They had a young man from one of the wards acting as MC, and they called girls up to ask them dating type questions. I couldn't understand a lot of what was being said, but I thought it was somewhat lame. It reminded me of those Stake dances when the kids won't dance with each other. I explained to the MC and the DJ about doing a "snowball" dance. They had never heard of such a thing, and of course they don't know what a snowball is. I don't know if they ever tried it out. They catered a dinner with lots of spicy rice and chicken, but we left and went home to our nice quiet apartment and food that we are used to. Yes, we are showing signs of being old fuddy-duddies.

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Sweet Birthday Treat

I was so surprised and excited to get a package from Margo and Kenny on my birthday. It was a box of Alene's chocolates from them and our other friends in the ward. Amazingly, they weren't melted or badly smashed up. We shared one with the office Elders (Elder Quansah on the left and Elder Afangbedji on the right). We also shared with President and Sister Jones. The rest we hoarded for ourselves. They are almost gone. What a "sweet" friend Margo is to us and everyone she knows.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Okada Driver's at Rest

These guys make their living giving people rides, wherever they want to go, on these small motorbikes. They are called Okada's ( pronounced Oh-cot-tuh) The men know addresses everywhere. If we get lost, you can pay one of these drivers $1-$2, depending on the distance to your address and they will lead you there. You pay them after you arrive at your destination, not before! Think about it. Why would they lead you where you needed to go if they had your money. There are thousands and thousands of these in Lagos. All of the Africans who have any money at all use them to get places, quick.

We were surprised to see these men resting or sleeping on their bikes. Linda counted at least three or four on their bikes. One is resting or sleeping in the tree. We have never seen that before. They normally work from first light in the morning until after dark every day. This picture shows (in the back ground) the black and white concrete barriers that divide the traffic, otherwise drivers would go both ways on both sides of the street. We still see them coming head-on toward us, or we see them backing up against the traffic to get to where they want to go. It is really crazy to see these bikes or cars going the wrong way all the time. If you cross this street, Opebi Road, on must look both ways before you go to the middle of the road. You can only go 1\2 way, stop, look both ways again, then go the other half of the way across. As we were waiting in the middle of the street to finish crossing, we saw an Okada with a driver, and a passenger carrying a huge, live sheep\goat. It had long curvy horns like a mountain goat and longer hair like a sheep, but it was larger than the man holding it on the bike. Too bad the camera was tucked away in the bag. We love all the funny sights we see as we walk or drive around this city.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

New Convert, Christy

Elder Quansah, left, and Elder Afangbedji, right, taught Christy. She is a single young lady who is friends with a recent convert, Tayo. It's nice to see new member's be missionaries, too.
Even though we didn't teach Christy, she asked Kurt to baptize her. They started filling the font a little late, so it was a challenge to get the job done in knee-deep water.