Elder And Sister Richard and Sharon Porter's Mission Site
A Little of this and that.Date: May 19, 2011
Companion: The other Missionary Porter, of course
Dear family and friends,
Time for a little update from the wonderful land of South Africa. This may be some random this and that, but I wanted to let you know about some more quite unique things here in Africa.
You will notice that I posted some pictures. There is one of a woman who has a baby tied to her back. You see this all the time here. They simply use a blanket and tie the babies on. I am told that the disadvantage is that the children grow up with a lack of depth perception. I dont know how true it is, because all the black people do this. You see babies sleeping and they all seem very happy and content. The other thing you see quite often is women carrying things on their heads. Sometimes you see women doing both.
Well fall has arrived as you may notice by a couple of other pictures. It seemed really strange to do Easter in the fall. I have no problem with Christmas in the summer because that is like Arizona, but Easter in the fall is a little strange. Yes they do have Easter Bunnies and all the candy just like the US.
With fall it is getting quite cold. The days usually warm up to the mid 60s, but the nights get down to 40 right now and they tell us that it will be a very cold winter because of all the rain we have had. The really cold months are mid-June to September. What makes it so cold is absolutely no insulation in the walls or ceilings, single pane windows that let the air in, and no central heat. We do have space heaters, but we have basically closed off the office and work most of the time in the kitchen/living room. When the sun comes out in the day it is lovely, but by early evening we feel the cold. The very worst is showering and sitting on the toilet in the morning. Its like camping up at the Spruces and you hope someone has already used the toilet so it isnt so cold to sit on. There are no electrical outlets in the bathrooms and so no way to bring the heater in. The bathroom is floor-to-ceiling tile so it seems even colder. Some days, I wear my thermals and Rich-dad-papa wears long sleeved t-shirts under his shirt. Thank goodness the Institute is heated. Since we are there most days, its not quite so bad. However, I have started wearing tights. Church is always interesting. At one of the chapels we go to, we freeze they dont turn on the heat at least not yet. None of the classrooms, halls are heated. I can see that it wont be long until I start taking a blanket to put over my legs or wearing my new boots.
We are keeping really busy with activities. Last Saturday, we had the Temple President come and talk to the YSA (Young Single Adults) and had a picnic outdoors. It was wonderful. He opened it up to questions and I was amazed at the questions some asked.
Friday night is Movie night at the Tute with hot dogs ( Boerwurst). They are really good.
The one thing I havent been very good at is having my camera with me. I will try and improve so that I can share more pictures of our activities.
I finally have all the music arranged for this presentation in August. We are rehearsing the young people hard. Hope it all comes together.
One of the keyboard students (an older man in his 40s, who has taken keyboard for years from different couples) played the Sacrament Hymn in Church two weeks ago. We had been working really hard to get him to play smoothly (on the organ) and not detached. I thought he was ready. He played one of the simplest hymns in the book Page 180. MY HUGE mistake. We werent there but I was told that it was a disaster. He kept making mistakes and wanted the congregation to stop and back up to where he was playing. The Bishop tried to have him stop playing and he wouldnt. He wants to be a concert pianist. He is playing out of John Thompson Grade 3. The sad part is that he is an excellent singer and a very good conductor. I tried at his lesson to point out that not everyone can be good at the keyboard, that he should concentrate on his strengths. In his mind, he thinks he can become good enough, but no matter how hard I work with him, he goes back to old habits. Hopefully, I can help him see his strengths and accept that he will not likely ever reach the proficiency he needs to play piano and organ. There are so many other students who are playing really well after less than a year.
We are happy and healthy and so blessed to be here. May the Lord bless all of you. Go well.
Love the Porters Mom, Dad, Papa, Mutti, Rich, Sharon
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