Saturday, July 26, 2014


What we refer to as the "Temple Complex" is a little "temple square". It's a gated area where the temple, the area administration building, a stake center and apartments are located to serve the needs of the church.

As always the grounds are well kept and beautiful
I love these palm trees that grow in a fan!

The Accra Temple is smaller but beautiful and functional.  The first session is 10:30 a.m. and sessions are held every 2 hours.   I believe they only have one endowment room that holds 40.  

We try to get there every week and so enjoy our sessions. 

 I get a special fitting for my dress at no charge.

The temple is an hour from our apartment because of traffic and it takes about 40 cedes (currently 3.6:1 exchange)each way in a taxi; so we try to schedule meetings and temple attendance on the same days.

Church Administration Building for the Area Offices (all of West Africa - 17 countries)

We attended a FHE at the home of the DTA (Director of Temporal Affairs). It was on the property and very nice.  Other Area Authority personnel live in the complex area.

Missionary apartments are very comfortable also.  Only the area missionaries and traveling couple missionaries stay there.  Other missionaries have apartments near where they serve.

Randy and Sheryle Crisp who are serving in the Accra Mission, have their offices not far from this complex. 

They run the mission office for President & Sister Heid.

David and Delynn Heid just came as our new Mission President for the Accra Mission.  

They had previously served a PEF mission in Ghana.  

We discovered they are good friends of the Rudens,
our son-in-law's parents.

We had a very interesting visit with President Norman Hill of the Accra West Mission, located not far from the complex,  He is personally trying to get some of the people in his mission set up with a chicken coop to help them support themselves. He and his wife, Raelene, attended the FHE.

We had a lovely visit with Philippe and Regula Kradolfer when we had dinner at Stephen Abu's home. Philippe is the DTA for West Africa (Director of Temporal Affairs)  They are converts from Switzerland and such a delightful couple. They have worked for the church all over the world for the past 32 years and will soon return to Salt Lake.

 Philippe is an amazing photographer.  Some of his works hang in the West Africa Administration Building.  He showed us his photos of Africa - Incredible. 

I'd love to have one hanging in our home!

We meet regularly with Elder John Koranteng in the Administration Building
He is the Area Authority over PEF for all of West Africa and has been so supportive. 

So many good people to get to know and love! All doing great things to serve the people of Africa


Probably our biggest adjustment is trying to figure out how to handle meals.  We have a nice kitchen, fairly well equipped and makeshift stores right in our neighborhood.  We don't however, have a car and rely on taxis to get us around. Therefore we have only been to a regular store twice.  Both times we have had a taxi or others waiting so were not at our leisure to browse.  Store brands are different and it's hard to determine what we will be able to find once we are there.  It will probably be a different store each time.

Foods, available daily that we have come to LOVE!

This truly is our vice.  This butter is DELICIOUS so we use it generously in our cooking, to flavor our bread, on crackers, whatever!  Then for an evening treat we pop some in the microwave in a brown paper sack that we are hording and add butter.  I would never do that in the states!
Obviously we are not losing weight!

We also buy Snickers, cut them in two and freeze them.  These are our deserts!

The bananas are often dark and look spent, but are firm and delicious
As you can see we use a LOT of them.  They are our filler. Also, pineapples, mangos and apples!
We eat fruit at every meal! 
All yummy!

Food at the School

Food on the Street

Meat inside pastry & ice cream you suck out of the corner just like the water.

Neighborhood restaurant.  We haven't tried it!  We'd just like to buy a chicken to take home!

Had a treat through the car window.  Polo, tastes a little like a macaroon because it has coconut in it

Water comes in sachets - sealed pint size plastic baggies. Everyone bites off the corner, spits it out and sucks out the water.  Unfortunately, they then throw the baggie on the ground.

Speaking of Coconuts!  We also had this through the car window - So many "Drive Through's"!

Food we make at home

To accommodate my vegetable soup I broke down and bought cabbage. The potatoes are small and expensive but at least we have lots of fruit.

We soak our vegetables and eggs in a treated water bath, then peel them. Not sure we have to be that careful but try to use good sense.

Foods we are glad we brought with us! 
We'll be sorry when they run out!

Peanut butter, ***Morning Mew Instant Milk***, Nuts, High Protein Granola Bars

Our total milk allowance is 1 quart per week.  We may go without the last week or so but the Morning Mew Milk is great!  Haven't found a boxed milk we could tolerate but may keep trying.
No dairy except eggs!  Thank goodness for those fresh brown eggs!

People we have fed

We have had missionaries twice.  Same elder on the right, Elder Peterson, New elder on left, Elder Van Wagoner
We bought some Kentucky Fried Chicken once and fed Elder Dayley & Elder Peterson.
We long too be able to get that again. We may try this week.

We sometimes feed these folks when we have meetings at home.  Emmanuel likes peanut butter, but not Hans. He opted for grilled cheese.

We loved having Brandon on the weekends to share meals with us Friday night through Monday morning.  We miss him! He was an "Easy Keeper" as Anne Osborn would say.

Those dear souls who have fed us!

Emmanuel and Natasha make sure we get fed well every time we go to the Golden Sunbeam School

Russell and Shelly Cannon SAVED us from starvation on long day!

Stephen Abu sends out for Sesame chicken whenever we are at his office

Vivian, on the right, is Stephen Abu's sister.  She had us for Sunday dinner, spaghetti, fried chicken, fruit...Yum! 
Her friend on the right joined us with her son and another friend.

Can you tell I have a special fondness for food?

Thank you to all those dear people who help us thrive.  
We are definitely not wasting away!

Friday, July 25, 2014


This IS Malaria season (rainy season) and we have heard of several suspected cases, but they turned out to be something else.  We don't have much of a problem with mosquitos,  we just wear repellant if out in the evening and stay under a light quilt at night. Both of us have had only a few bites.  They say one in four mosquitos carry malaria (so we are hoping the ones who snacked on us were health-friendly)

 Everyone from the states takes Malaria medication, some daily and some weekly. We are weekly

It is just an antibiotic to build our resistance, no more.  There is no vaccination for Malaria  

We were given the advice to buy Malaria medication before leaving in case it was found after.  When I asked about this, I was told that the medicines here in Africa are much better and the doctors here are more proficient in treating it than in the U.S.  It made sense to me. They deal with it all the time! 

If you are treated for it and it is not Malaria, it can make it worse so testing is essential.

Our missionary, Elder Dayley (left), was in the hospital with Malaria last week for a few days.  He was in the main hospital in Accra and said it was not bad. He added, however, that from his experience in the local hospital, he'd rather just die. At least we know where to go if needed.  

Our prayers over the food and concerning health and safety are probably more sincere and intense.  We purchased a health insurance card for an emergency but certainly hope we never have to use it.  Stephen Abu's brother-in-law is a doctor at a reputable hospital which gives us some peace of mind. We'll be sure to get his number before Stephen leaves to join his wife for the arrival of their new baby.

The following story illustrates what many Ghanaians experience and was touching to me:

Emmanuel and Monica Opare's daughter, Marion, had a baby girl after years of waiting and medical intervention. The baby had a heart defect which needed a surgery that had never been done in Ghana; but a German doctor agreed to come to perform it. The baby was in the hospital for 6 weeks. During that time Monica spent a lot of time at the hospital. It was a heart rending experience for her as she saw other children who needed medicine and services but were denied them because they could not pay for them. She provided the money on many occasions.

Due to the lack of appropriate "follow through" on the baby girl, she passed away. The Opare's were counseled that they could sue but decided they should "let it go".. They have been thanked many times since by the hospital administrators. Much fasting and prayer had been exercised for the baby to recover, but the Lord's will was accepted. Monica feels the time spent in the hospital was to save the other babies rather than their own.

Marion has since had two more daughters age 5 and 2. She told us that the day her daughter died, before she was informed, songs of consolation kept going through her head. She was anticipating that her daughter would recover and wondered why she as not thinking of songs of joy and celebration. When she arrived at the hospital, she knew why. Her parents were most impressed with the faith Marion demonstrated in accepting this very difficult outcome.

Sometimes our prayers are answered by giving us an opportunity to answer those of others.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


The evening of the Ghana vs U.S. Soccer game we stayed at the "temple Complex" to enjoy the game with some of the staff members.  There is little opportunity to eat when we go there and it was dinner time (no lunch). Shelly Cannon invited us to their missionary apartment and fed us.  It tasted SOOOOO good.  We ate a vegetable soup and I've made my own version every week.  (with what is available to me on the street) It's a staple!

We've never been more appreciative of a meal in our lives I believe

Russell and Shelly Cannon, directors of that Self Reliance Center saved us from starvation

The Self Reliance Center is an amazing operation of classes, monitoring and required "follow Through"  They promise that if an individual will follow ALL the steps they outline, they will find employment in 30 days!  That's quite a promise in Ghana.  It is still hard for them to accomplish.

Watching Soccer with true Ghanaians

Game was projected on a white board. Never were able
to get the sound!

A cute couple we met who had just completed an internship


Bob and I are quickly learning the value of having limits!  
We've learned this by not recognizing them at first.  Ghana is a "pay as you go" country and there is a certain beauty to that!  

We are so used to bills being paid automatically with little thought of when and how they are being accumulated.

This is our electricity breaker box.  When the electricity goes out, we wait to hear the generator go on then switch it up to access the generator.  Eventually the generator goes off, that means the electicity is now on again, so we switch the handle back down to access the electricity. We need to be sure it is in electricity mode when we leave because otherwise the refrigerator won't be working once the electricity goes back on.

Our electricity is purchased in advance and this little box tells us now much electricity we have left.
If it runs out there is no more electricity.  We can't use the generator either since that's not under our control.  We are just "left in the dark".

We had made one trip to the company that sells electricity but didn't buy nearly enough.  Sometimes $140 cedes sounds like a lot but that's really less than $50. If you bought your electricity in $50 increments you would be running to the electricity store pretty often.  

Think about it!

Well, we were smart enough to check the electricity now and then and could see we would need more.  However, we realized that the next day was a Ghana holiday which meant we would need to be very careful and hope it held out for another day.  We used no A/C, turned off all the outlets, watched the lights, etc. We were blessed to make it through the Tuesday holiday, still have a fan during the night and just as it was getting light on Wednesday morning the electricity went off.

It was a rainy day so we didn't tackle the long walk to the electricity store, caught a taxi instead.

Nope!  This isn't Bob!  
He was on the phone so I had to respond when our number was called.

Whether it is our special Ghana "unlocked" cell phones
or the internet, we have to go through a "process" of adding credits that we buy on the street


We have run out of each of these.  Thank goodness they are fairly available.  Not like electricity!

Limits help us think about the things we enjoy and have come to depend upon.  
Regardless of the cost or availability, it's good to have limits!