A Visit to Parys and the Past

We drove up to Parys with the elders to meet with our friend sister Bobbi. After a nice visit we went for a walk down to the Vaal River – Louis needed to make a trip outside – where I took a picture of an anhinga drying its wings on a rock in the middle of the river. This reminded me of the first time I saw one doing that. It was in the Florida Everglades when we were on an outing with senior couples instead of young elders.

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It was a very nice day in Parys – overcast with a breeze. As usual at the end of our visit Louis took us all for a walk down by the river. When I saw the Anhinga with it’s wings outstretched I was surprised because I did not know that they were found both in Florida and South Africa. I wondered if they were introduced in America like other birds. I was surprised when I found that Egyptian Geese that I first saw in Africa were in the park across the street from our apartment in Florida.

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YSA FHE and Our Missionary Grandchildren are Home…

Monday night we held YSA Family Home Evening at the school. We showed them Mr Kruger’s Christmas and the Piano Guys great video that was made just a couple of miles from our home in Provo. Then it was time for games – the love Book of Mormon Bingo and the chocolate prizes they get for bingo. It was great to have a good turnout and everyone seems to have had lots of fun and fellowship.

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The other important event in our lives yesterday was that our granddaughter Hermana McKay Pier returned from the Seattle mission. Our grandson Elder Shane Webb returned last week from Spain and was there to greet his sister. I am going to ask them if they can understand each other’s Spanish as the Castilian Spanish they speak in Spain is quite different from that spoken in Mexico! Just added a picture with all of the gang…McKay looks a little teary eyed in this one.

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An Unusual Visitor Drops In…

I was fixing lunch about an hour ago when a bird I had never seen before landed in the back yard to join the crowd of weavers and sparrows for lunch. I managed to get a couple of pictures of it eating – the chunk of bread you see got stuck on his beak and he had a hard time getting it off. A quick look at birds of South Africa turned up the fact that it is a crested barbet. I include a professional shot from the web with no bread. In looking at the pictures I do not think they show how strange and kind of ugly it is. Notice the single band of red on the tail!

The last picture is of a LilacBreasted Roller – we saw two of these flying along when we were in Botswana – or maybe Mafikeng but could not get a picture. They are very beautiful and are a blur of color when flying

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Its Raining Its Pouring and the Old Man is Getting Wet!

We were at a nursery looking for something to use as a Christmas tree – they do not do live trees or cut trees here it seems – when it started to pour rain and it kept up for a solid hour. It was the heaviest rain I had experienced except for February 2007 in Jakarta Indonesia when it rain like that for not hours but days.

IMG_7329 IMG_7328Notice the size of the splashes in the water which shows how much rain was coming down. It turned the road in our complex into a sheet of water.


However that is nothing compared to what the days of rain did to the streets in Jakarta. Looking back it seems like a great experience and there is a lot to smile about. However for the 3 million or so people who were flooded out of their homes I am sure it was not a very pleasant experience.

IMG_7323 IMG_7324Each Saturday a different group of members of the branch gives up part of their Saturday to come and get the school room ready to be a chapel. Sisters Williams and Kujane arrived with umbrellas – not to protect them from the rain but from the sun. They then traded their umbrellas for brooms and mops as the cleaned and then polished the floors. Two priesthood holders showed up soon after these pictures were taken and helped set up the room for sacrament meeting the next day.

While they were working the rain storm pictured above came in and so everyone stayed at the school until the rain pretty much stopped coming down in buckets. I imagine they used the umbrellas to keep off any lingering drops.


Monday was a Puzzle and a Game

We invited elders Liera and Taylor over for lunch and afterwards they helped with our half-finished puzzle. It turned out that both were keen puzzle workers and they got it far enough along that we were able to finish it on Tuesday.

Monday evening we were in charge of the YSA Family Home Evening where Bill provided the lesson on elder Bednar’s talk “Being Converted unto the Lord.” This was followed by a wild game of Book of Mormon “Go Fish” and then some of Mary’s delicious chocolate chip Rice Krispy treats. It was not until later that we realized that she spent the day surrounded by men because no sisters came to FHE. But she is kind of use to this since we have four sons and only one beautiful daughter.

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Two Dedicated Missionaries Return Home…

We have been blessed to have two of our grandchildren serving missions at the same time. Sister McKay Pier has been serving in Seattle while elder Shane Webb has been serving in Spain. They both are coming home within days of each other and will give their reports in their ward on the same day. We are proud of all of our grandchildren but we share a special bond with these two because we have been serving missions at the same time they have. We look forward to August 2015 when we can finally give them both and the rest of our family big hugs…

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A Game Reserve in Mafikeng….

On our way home from Botswana we had a chance to stop into a game reserve just outside Mafikeng and spent 3 hours looking for some animals. I think we were the only car in the reserve during that time other than the game wardens. We did manage to see a couple of rhinos and got up close and personal with three giraffes but mainly the animals were quick to bolt when the car came near. So most of my pictures were taken with a lot of magnification. What we were surprised not to see was a single zebra. I am sure this is the only time we have been to a reserve that had zebras and did not see one – the park rangers and the Taylors said there are large herds but they must have all decided to gather outside our view.  However it was fun to drive and look for animals, have a quick snack at a picnic area and then come home after a nice break.

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