Sunday, April 26, 2009

Grocery Stores

This picture shows the entrance to Park & Shop, one of our regular shopping stops. We do find parking spots at this store when we shop before afternoon. Parking is not planned or well provided for in Lagos. It is almost as if the appearance of automobiles was not anticipated. We pull in to the right of the cars you see. The driveway is wide enough for one skinny car to pass between the building and the aisle of large commercial generators that keep the lights on in the store. Many times we can not move down the narrow aisles in this store because it is plugged up with merchandise they are pricing and stocking on the shelves.
This is a picture of the outside of Opic Plaza where the Oasis Market is. The Afribank is the sign you can read to the right of center. The Oasis entrance is to the left. The mural on the wall is the only sign to announce the store. Despite the lack of signs, the place is always busy.
This is the entrance to the left of the "Welcome to Oasis Supermarket" sign. Large bottles of water are stacked to the sides of the entrance. This is very typical. Merchandise is stacked everywhere in these markets. They seem to almost take pride in how much of an obstacle course they create for the shoppers.
This man is Ali. He is the General Manager of our Oasis. His home is Beirut, Lebanon. He has given his personal cell phone number to Linda so she can call to see if they are baking wheat bread. If they are baking and we will be delayed in our shopping, he will put the number of loaves we want away until we get there. They bake wonderful bread, rolls & hamburger buns. His goal is to save a serious stash of money and immigrate to Canada, or the U.S.

Grocery Shopping at Oasis

This gentleman takes good care of the senior mission sisters when they shop at Oasis. He speaks English better than the others at the meat counter and goes out of his way to always wait on us. This picture shows him making what we would call Hamburger. It is referred to here as Minced Meat. It is much finer ground than hamburger in the U.S. Nigerian cows are the skinniest most mournful looking cow creatures you have ever seen. That makes the hamburger almost fat-free.
The meat department boss is Lebanese and you can hear him hollering anywhere you are in the market if he is giving orders. We waited until he was not around to get this photo. The boss is pretty attentive to the ladies, but this man is polite and lovable. You can see it in his smile and his sparkly eyes.
This nice lady is one Elder Krupp's special Oasis friends. She manages the department with all the shampoos and girlie goo's for staying pretty. I look for her and she looks for me when we go shopping. Most patrons treat the helpers as non-people, giving them no notice or courtesy. I love them and visit with them every time we shop. Sitting on these little stools seems to be part of their job. If they are not moving or standing, they work from or rest on these stools.
Oasis is in two major levels. This ramp moves your carts from the upper level to the lower level. The meat department is down with canned goods, personal care, soaps and kitchen wares. A man like this one moves your cart down or up for you. As a customer you are not allowed to move your own cart on the ramp. Notice the 12 packs of soda pop stacked along the ramp. That's where they keep our pop. You can move up and down the stairs you see with a basket like I have in the one picture.
This is an aisle shot with Elder Krupp and Sister Jones. This aisle is fairly uncluttered. Sometimes when we shop you can hardly get down the aisles at all. There is no such thing as stocking the store at night. It all happens during the business day.
Sister Jones has obviously found something she wants to share with us. Shopping is a treasure hunt and we find unexpected things at times. One hard-to-find item is raisins. We have found them here on occasion. Twice we have found real American brown sugar in 2 pound bags. When we find a treasure, we buy all we can. We have learned not to expect to find it again the next week.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Praises - Then and Now

I posted this picture of Praises Martin last year. He was born the same day as Haylee's little Miriam - December 31, 2008.
This is Praises now. He is a small featherweight boy who walks very well. He's not real friendly towards me since I look so strange to him. But he doesn't cry if I pick him up. He was walking down the hallway at church, holding the hand of his older brother, and was not watching where he was going. He bonked his forehead on the metal door frame and started crying. I picked him up and took him to his mother so she would know what had happened should he get a little lump on his noggin.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Tradition Continues

They don't sell any Easter candy in the stores here. So our Easter sweets were limited to my home-made chocolate covered marshmallow eggs. They turned out pretty yummy.
What to do with the chocolate covered hands after dipping things in chocolate is always such a dilemma. What a waste to wash it all down the sink. I had to eat just a little.
Have I mentioned that I'm not getting any thinner? I can blame it on things like making and eating chocolate-covered marshmallow eggs. Sister Jones, our Mission President's wife, and I did this together, and it was lots of fun. She has a big kitchen to work in and had never made marshmallow before. We shared with the other couples and I took some to the Elders at our District Mtg. the next day.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Tree Trimming - African Style

This big tree is in the school yard behind us. Our security people made them trim off the branches that were coming over our fence. Tree trimming is done a little differently here than at home in Idaho. The worker climbed up the tree and started with a machete cutting off the smaller twigs, etc. Then out came the axe to work on the bigger branches. I took a few video shots and have included one of those. He is barefoot (no sissy steel-toed boots), so I am glad that the axe never slipped. Have fun imagining you were here in hot, steamy Africa with us!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Happy Birthday Josh

I wish I had a picture of Josh on my computer from back in high school jazz band days. He looked pretty sharp in his red sequin vest. He and Alicia had some good times together back then. It was fun to be at the airport to help welcome him home from his mission to Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Here he is with his parents, Wes & Susan Wood.
Josh and some other band friends were at the airport to welcome Alicia home from her mission to Kennewick, WA 5 months after his return.
A big day for Josh was his white coat ceremony at the start of medical school.
He is now the proud father of two children - Emmett & Melynn. Even though he is a busy student, he is serving in his branch presidency at church and helping out with the kids. We appreciate your efforts and wish you a Happy Birthday, Josh!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Wood Worm Invasion!

Kurt noticed this layer of white dust on his side of the headboard. My housekeeping isn't that bad, so he did some investigating as to the cause of the dust.
Looking up he noticed these holes in the ceiling. Actually, there were only 2 holes when he first checked 2 weeks ago. This is what it looks like when you have wood worms. It seems like our not-so-reputable contractor used untreated wood in the construction of the building. I've been making a serious effort to sleep face-down with the sheet covering me since I discovered this problem.
This is what the little destructive pest looks like. I've been finding them for the past week. They have been wandering into the bathroom & dying there. You can read up about them on the following link. This guy is only 1/2" long, but check out the head that looks like a drill bit. Today the fumigator came to spray our apartment to get rid of the problem. We are temporarily living in the upstairs spare apartment until we get our place all aired out. Having Bugs & Wood Worms are some of the fun things that come with living in a tropical climate.

The spray they use is so toxic we moved everything we could out of the apartment into a "Hotel Room" across the hall. It is so fun to move & relocate everything so it doesn't stink for the rest of our mission.....NOT!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

More than One April Fool's Birthday

Sister Jones and Elder Krupp share the same birthday, but he is a few years older. I was able to make a chocolate cake and frost it with Kurt's favorite cooked 7 minute frosting, which turned out more perfect than ever.
She got the pink candle, and he got the blue.
Happy Birthday Elder Krupp and Sister Jones. You are both awesome missionaries!