Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Saints go Marching

I have enjoyed listening to the drums in the mornings. Some mornings a man plays a trumpet while the students play the drums. I assume he is a teacher. Some of the kids can march so well.

School Time

Almost all children start school here at a very early age - 2 or 3 years old. Since most mothers work outside of the home, the children go to a day care or "creche" as they call it. The school behind our apartment is a very nice private school, and the children look quite sharp in their dark navy and white uniforms with red accents. The girls wear white anklets and black shoes. They rotate classes that have a sport day or P.E. classes. On their P.E. days, they wear a red, yellow, blue or green t-shirt and shorts. Their morning opening exercises include a rousing drum ceremony.
Sometimes the pre-school age classes have a swim day for about an hour once a week.
Recess time with the nursery helper giving them a ride on the merry-go-round.
Many of the older girls participate in a group similar to Girl Scouts every Friday. They wear these horrible, brown sack dresses. They work on crafts and I've noticed that they help with the young children.

I really enjoy watching the children playing outside from our apartment window. Now they have ended their school year, and it is so quiet out back. I will take home lots of nice memories, though, of the Abiola International School.

Lawn Mower vs Grass Cutter

This is a Grass Cutter - not quite the same thing as a lawn mower. Elder Lynch snapped this photo yesterday when he was coming back from Ijebu-Ode, (Ih-jay-boh-day). She wasn't happy that he was snapping her picture. We have also seen them selling these delicacies by the side of the road. They refer to this as "bush meat". There are many different critters that are considered bush meat, but basically it is wild game. This rodent is as large as a big cat and is supposed to be quite delicious. The cost? She wanted 1000 Naira, which is less than $7.00. We pay more for a little chicken, but it's all cleaned and ready to cook. This guy is still all hairy, etc. No thanks, I'll stick with chicken. Look up Grass Cutter on Google. Someone says it's considered a delicacy?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Super Family Home Evening

This was the super group that came for a Super FHE last Monday. Brother Chimezie, 2nd counselor in the Bishopric, brought his family. Elder Krupp taught the lesson, and I did an activity. Many of them brought food, and they stayed and ate while Elder and I went home. We stayed later than our normal 7 p.m. We like to keep to the mission rules and be in before dark. We really enjoy hanging out with these young adults and will miss them when we leave. They say they will also miss us. I hope some of them will email us and include us in their lives. We had hoped that one of them would marry while we were here. That hasn't happened, but some are engaged or getting engaged soon and getting married next year. We hope we have set a good example in that department.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

More Glorious Women in Faith

Lots of volume doesn't always mean lots of great sound. Some of these preachers really like to hear themselves, and they go on and on. No singing talent is required here, just lots of enthusiasm.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Glorious Women of Faith

This group of women come together once a month or so. They meet out in the yard of the Abiola International School right behind our apartment. This meeting had the mics and speakers going and they have had some special speakers or preachers there this day. It's quite fun to listen and watch their doings.
Clapping, singing and dancing or walking around in a circle seems to be part of the celebration.
This is VERY typical African clothing. Four of these women have on a simple pullover top and a wrapper (skirt). The wrapper is just a piece of fabric. You can see the selvage edge (white strip) around the bottom of the wrapper. This is totally acceptable and normal. I really love all the colors and prints they wear.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sequel to Noises in the Night

Sister Krupp (Linda) is standing beside the large tank that was leaking. The leaking created a pond and the pond attracted the frogs that made the horrible noise in the video of blackness and the frogs' horrible noise. The large tank is repaired and is standing properly on the concrete base we showed pictures of in a previous post. This is the back yard of our Mission Building. The concrete slabs cover access to a system call a "suck away". We think it works similar to a septic system. It seems to work well and there is never any noxious odor indicating what the system does.
View of the tanks from the other side. This gives you the perspective of how much larger the damaged tank is than the one on the concrete support box. It holds 7500 Liters, however much that is in gallons.
These two pictures show the hole made by the plumbers to correct a water leak in our new building. We have lived in it eight months. We noticed a significant leak in the southwest exterior wall some weeks ago. The building folks thought it was being caused by Air Conditioner drain tubes leaking. The Air Conditioners were shut off and the water continued leaking. The next solution follows the normal African "fix-a-building-process." First, bash a big hole so you can see the problem. Next, you fix the problem. And, then lastly you patch the bashed in hole and re-paint.
One of the plumbers climbed their ladder and took this. It's supposed to be close-up, but doesn't show where they are working on the leak. We'll know in a week or two if they repaired it. The side of the building will dry out. That's how we will know they repaired the leak!

That's a lot of Bananas, Hannah!

Brother Bright, our mission driver and Mom were talking on the phone when he was moving missionaries around the mission. He asked her if she needed anything. She told him she could use a few bananas and a Pineapple. He and Elder Iyiewuare showed up with two banana tree branches loaded with bananas and three pineapples. The bananas filled the counter by the microwave and some others are to the left of the kitchen stove. There were more in the sink. She paid Bright $7.33 for over two hundred bananas and three large Pineapples.
Brother Bright, in the red tie, is cutting the bananas from the banana tree branch\stalk. Two of the three Pineapples are on the floor. Elder Iyiewuare is the one closest to the camera. He is from Benin City, in Nigeria. He is serving as Mission Secretary.
Brother Bright working on one stalk of bananas. The dark brown, question mark shaped thingy, to the right, is the other stalk of bananas. Our living room, exercise spa and office is behind Bro. Bright.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Olumo Rock-Entrance and Elevator\Lift

The entrance to Olumo Rock Tourist Complex. This the first thing we have seen that even pretends to be a Tourist Spot in Nigeria. They charged us to enter, to park, for a guide, to climb the rock and to have our camera. It was a regular racket. If we had wanted to go up the rock in the elevator (lift, to them) it would have been about $5.00 each. We used our feet and climbed the sucker.

The Tourist Group. Linda (Sister Krupp), Elder Krupp, Mike Judson, Elder Odume & Elder Olukanni. The Rock is the feature behind us and the Lift\Elevator is the glass enclosed thingy to the left, behind us. The Rock is 150-160 Meters tall and is made up of three different levels.
This is showing the area surrounding Olumo Rock and the Lift. It is the Rainy Season, so everything is very green.
This shows the two of the Lift stages that one could ride to get to the first level and then the second level of Olumo Rock. We're no slouches. We hiked the Rock!
View of Abeokuta from the First Level of the rock. The city is a few million people, two to three million, maybe. Looking across the roof tops, it could be any city in Nigeria. If you see a roof that is not rust colored, it is newer than 4 years old. Anything older than four years succumbs to the constant heat of the normal season and the rain, rain, rain of the Rainy Season.

Olumo Rock Historical Spot

Elder Olukanni and Elder Krupp in the residence cave portion of Olumo Rock. Between 1830-1833 there was a tribal war in the area now known as Abeokuta (under the rock). One tribe established refuge high above the valley in, under and around this huge rock. From the rock, they could spot raiding parties from other tribes and, silently, go down and set ambushes. They would destroy the invaders and retreat back up the rock. A remnant of the victorious tribe maintains residence on the rock today. There were 5 "family rooms" in this over-hang area during the war. The divots in the rock floor were created as they ground their food over the years of the war. The entire living area was rock.
There are some rustic, primitive dwellings on the second level of the rock today. I am standing with some of the tribal men who are preparing cooked goat meat from a sacrifice. There are some Priestesses on this level who pronounce blessings and cursings based on the requests and the payments of the visitors. The man with the yellow pajama bottom britches could cut the meat and flip pieces in the air, catch them and eat them faster than you could follow his movements. The goat meat is on the slab between his feet. The men wore more clothing than some of the Priestesses.
Elder Krupp, Sister Krupp & Elder Olukanni in the cave, pretending to pound food to prepare it. The divots in the cave floor are very apparent in front of us.
Cute goats were everywhere. The tribe raises them, eats them, and they also earn income selling them for sacrifices. They eat them after the sacrifices have earned them some spending cash.
this is a dog that was sacrificed and laid in this tree to "ripen". It had been sacrificed two days before our visit and was "ripening" just fine.......whewwww!
Left to right is the Branch President who guided us, Mike Judson, Linda, Kurt, Elder Olukanni and Elder Odume in front of a 600 year old Baobab tree on the first level of the rock. The bark on the tree is used for medicinal purposes, and you can see where the bark has been scraped off over the years.
Elder Odume going up the "crack in the rock". This is the hard way to the third level of the rock. Mike Judson, Kurt, Elder Odume and Elder Olukanni climbed the crack. Linda and the Branch President went up the civilized stairs.
Elder Odume is on top and Elde Olukanni is finishing his climb to the top of the rock. We could see the entire valley from the top of this formation. Spread out behind us is the typical rusty roof-tops of the homes in Abeokuta (Ah-bay-oh-koo-tah), the city under the rock.
This is Kurt (Elder Krupp) in front of the sleeping elephant rock. Once I stood there for a picture,
everybody wanted to stand there. It almost covered up the elephant. Left to right: Elder Odume, Elder Olukanni, Kurt (holding Linda's Africa purse, guide, Branch President, Mike Judson from LDS Public Affairs, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Abeokuta is well-known in Nigeria for the traditional tie & dye fabrics that they make here. We didn't go to where these are dyed, but I could see lots of the dark blue fabric drying on lines when I was up on Olumo Rock. I really like the light and dark blue fabric they make the best.
Here's a cute mom with her little boy.
They are selling some of the traditional fabrics here. I bought 3 pieces of the blue fabric, each a different pattern. Hopefully I can turn it into a quilt of some sort.
These wooden sidewalks are a little scary to walk on. If a board breaks, they just find another one to lay across the big drainage gutters.
They also sell ready made African garments here. We didn't take much time to shop since our main purpose was to go to Olumo Rock. Also, there was only 1 lady (me) and 4 guys, so I was lucky to be able to look around. It was a fun trip.