Wednesday, February 19, 2014

February 12, 2014

Wendesday we began our eight hour drive home from Bloemfontein to Durban.  We decided to take a small detour through Golden Gate National Park.  We stopped for lunch at an artsy town named Clarens.  We had great fun walking from shop to shop and had a wonderful lunch outdoors.

We stopped at Basotho Cultural Village to learn about the people who lived in the region from 1700's to today. This is a chief and medicine doctor.  It was interesting to see the change in their dwellings as they were introduced to more modern influences.
The older huts were cooler and more efficent then the newer huts with tin roofs.  The guide said the changes were about status.

Friday night Sean and Diane from Joburg came to spend the night with us on their way to Port Edward for a short vacation.  Sean is the Southeast Public Affairs Director
They've lived in Joburg for 12 years. Sean speaks fluent French and he and his wife lived in Madagascar where he served as mission president. Sean and Diane carry out Rhino Captures several times a year, where you tag the Rhinos to discourage poachers from hunting them for their tusks.  Elder Cinquini and I are signed up for a June hunt,should be fun. 
We took a picnic dinner to the beach and watched the ocean until dark.  It was a nice visit.

Friends In Bloemfontein

Tuesday, we traveled two hours East to a lovely city named Bloemfontein. Bloemfontein is the capital city of the Free State providence of South Africa. It is a dry grassland area with warm days and cool nights.We had dinner and met the PA Council and the Stake Presidency.  They had some great goals set for 2014.  

President and Sister Grobler

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Maulti Hospital Equipment Handover

Saturday, February 8th, we traveled all day to the town of Ladybrand which is near the border of Lesotho.  The Bed & Breakfast was lovely and we were the only guest (the owners live on a small farm not too far away).  Early the next morning they came to fix our breakfast.  Sunday morning we went with Elder and Sister Olson to a small branch in Leribe, Lesotho. This picture is where they are meeting now, but they have purchased some property and will be moving soon.  We enjoyed visiting and meeting the members of this small branch.  We hope to return soon.

From left: Young Women's President, Sister Olson, Primary President

The Olson's invited us to dinner that evening and told us all about their missionary adventures.  They extended their mission to 23 months and will be going home in a few weeks. 


Monday on our way to the hospital we stopped in Maseru, the largest city in Lesotho with a population of 227, 880 (2006).  We bought native blankets and we stopped at an orphanage where ladies weave hangings to support themselves and the orphange.  I ordered two hanging that will be ready in March.

After shopping we traveled further into the country to a small town up in the mountains called Mapoteng.  The Adventist Church is doing wonderful work here and the staff treated us like royalty.  They fed us lunch and gave everyone a gift. At the Handover Elder/Sister Eggett told everyone that in 1984 the church asked its members to fast one day and donate the money they would spend on those meals to a special fund for Ethiopia.  They raised 10 million dollars and Humanitarian aid was born. The church donated three pieces of eye equipment to help diagnois cataracts and glaucoma. Dr. Gutierrez said they performed 1300 operations last year.  The hospital has "cataract finders" that go into the small villages and look for people with cataracts then help them to get to the hospital which may be seven hours away. Some people have waited so long that they can barely see or completely blind. Removing the cataracts they have their full sight again.  The cost of the operation in American dollars would be $50.00.  Glaucoma is a different story because they cannot restore what has been lost,but with an early detection they can slow down the disease.  
Elder Eggett and Dr. Rodriquez
  Dr. Rodriquez from Argentina has been at the hospital for 12 years. His wife is the only OGBYN in the country. The have a saying, that if the baby starts to kick, start walking.  Women stay at the hospital until their babies are born, sometimes for months.
Dr. Gutierrez demostrating the equipment

It was a "feel good day" at Maluti Adventist Hospital

Monday, February 3, 2014

Durban Botanic Gardens

Saturday we took our walk at the Durban Botanic Gardens located in the heart of the city.  I took lots of pictures, but here are a few to enjoy.

The common name for this flower is "shower head".  It has a hard, yellow center that looks just like a shower head.

These are bird nest. 

Heritage Tree

Hands Monument

  When we were in LadySmith the only tourist attraction we plan to see before we left town was the Hands Monument or Burgher Monument.  LadySmith is the center of the Boar Wars and you can see reinactments of the battles.  The Hands Monument is several large cupped hands pointing to the different battle fields.  Your can google it if your interested.  So we drive the 1.5K rugged road to the top of the hill only to see a wired fence across the entrance, but it also had a step ladder over the top of the fencing so we thought we'd climb it and walk the rest of the way. There were no cars, and no people anywhere to be seen.  Just as we were climbing over the fence with our cameras a herd of antelope crossed in front of us followed by a round of gun fire.  We paused to decide what we should do next when another round of gun fire went off, so we decided to go back to our car and try it again the next time we are in town.