Daily Archives: November 10, 2009

10 Novemeber 2009


The Khanyile family would be a wonderful addition to the PD branch. Zinhle, the oldest child, comes to church and youth when the parents allow. The mother use to come to the English classes at the Nzamas. A neighboring child really wanted to be in the family portrait. We promised to take his picture if he would step out of the family shot. As I have mentioned there are huge tree farms in the country. Everyday we see truck loads of logs heading for the mills but it is hard to get a picture. I was lucky to catch this large load as it went around a corner.

10 November 2009 – Tuesday

Spent the morning doing many of the chores that did not get done yesterday. It seems that laundry, dishes, shopping, etc., does not get done by some friendly elves when we are doing game drives and holding FHE at member’s homes.

Finally in the afternoon we were able to go out and visit a couple of investigator’s home. At the Khanyile home we met the whole family and had a nice visit. When her parents let her, Zinhle has been coming to church on and off for a long time. She has two young siblings, her mother runs the house and her father is a boiler maker who makes a decent income. While the home is very modest, the children are going to very good schools. It is wonderful to see the parents invest much of their income in the future of their children. It is also great to find a family where there is a father at the head. We could sure use this family in the Port Durnford branch. We gave them a picture of Jesus and they asked us to offer a prayer before we left.

After that we picked up Bungumuse and took him to the RB mall so he could get to spend a few minutes with the famous South African wildlife painter Joe Marais. Mr. Marais looked at his work, gave him some instructions on how to improve and invited him back in a couple of months so he could evaluate his progress. Bungumuse was as excited as he would have been to have met President Obama. I was afraid he was going to have a heart attack. It was very nice of Mr. Marais to take the time to see this fine young man and help him with his drawing.

We dropped Bungumuse off at the taxi ring with enough money to take one home. We had checked with his mother to make sure it would be alright for him to go home by taxi so we did not have to make another round trip to PD.

I spent much of the evening – and some of the morning posting pictures and text to our web. I also put an album of our game drive on our Facebook page. It gets a lot of attention and we hope it might even get some couple thinking about putting in their papers for a mission in South Africa.

Mary has started a new puzzle we bought in Umfolozi yesterday – she does like to put things together.

Umfolozi Game Drive – 09 Nov 2009


Within 10 minutes of being in the park we got to see this and two other lions. Elder Musemare spotted two lions in the tree or we would have driven right by. He should think about becoming a game warden.

09-nov-2009-umfolozi-lioness-hiding-from-her-prey.jpg 09-nov-2009-umfolozi-rhino-wildebeests-cropped.jpg9-21-rhino-at-umfolozi-big-side-view.JPG

On the way out we came across this female hiding behind a bush. We think she was picking out dinner because there were some impalas nearby. We found a couple of rhinos around a waterhole with a small herd of Wildebeests under the shade of a tree. As the day went by we saw a number of single wildebeests among or near herds of impalas – we decided the richer herds hired them as bodyguards against the lions. The good side view of the rhino is actually from a trip to Umfolozi in September but Mary wanted to include it today.


The second of the big five we saw close up in the park was a large herd of Cape buffalo that hurriedly crossed the road right in front of us. Notice the young one at the rear. After they crossed the road they spread out and started grazing. I caught this older bull looking right at us and a number of them in the herd kept us in their sight.


Although we saw an elephant at a distance and found another along the road that I managed to scare away when I drove over a rock, it was not until we were on the way out that we came across four elephants near or in the river. The ones above were all taken at a distance of less than 30 feet and a couple were at less than 15 feet. The trees he is eating is covered in thorns – big ones that are up to 2 inches long and very sharp. I have decided it is the elephants version of spicy food.


The elephant we were able to get close to gave up eating and walked down to the river where three other elephants were grazing and drinking. One of the three left his or her friends and walked across the river where it greeted the other with what looked to me like a big kiss – which is not easy when you have a lot of trunk and tusks in the way, but it looks like love always finds a way.


There are so many wildebeest and impalas that we seldom take pictures but this wildebeest let me drive right up in front of him and then held still for a number of pictures. Mary took the one of the good looking male impala who was also close to the road. The picture with the two resting rhinos is just thrown into because the one on the right was really big even lying down.


As you can see we had our own herd of wild animals with us – the Richards Bay zone. We are told not to feed the animals in the reserve so we told the elders they had to bring their own lunch. However we did bring them some apples and left-over brownies.

09 November 2009

09 November 2009 – Monday

It was a wonderful P-day for us. We were up at 4:45 and on our way to the RB chapel at 5:25. We thought that would give us plenty of time to get fuel and still be at the chapel before 6:00. Unfortunately while we were filling up I realized I did not have a tie and since we had told the elders we were to go in our whites, I had to run back to the boarding to grab a tie. Even with this set back, we made it on time and of course we had to wait for the last car of elders – Babeeyo and Kekana – to arrive 15 minutes late.

It looked like it might rain but other than a few drops on the way home the weather was perfect all the time we were gone. One of the reasons we were going was because Elder Wengert had never seen an elephant in the 21 months he has been in South Africa. We decided to go to the Umfolozi side and we were not 15 minutes into the park when we got to see … three lions. We got to see a male and female in a tree – they were within 30 feet of the car and another lioness walking through the brush. The female got down soon after we arrived, but we got great pictures of the male.

We then went to a look-out where at a distance we saw an elephant, six rhinos, and cape buffalo. So within a half hour of being in the part we had seen 4 of the big five. Before the day was out we got drive through a herd of cape buffalo, practically pet an elephant, and was within 50 yards of a very large rhino. Elder Wengert and the rest were in 7th heaven. Besides this we saw lots of zebras – one as close as 6 feet. Ditto on a wildebeest and of course impalas, nyalas, and even a small herd of waterbucks. We did find it strange that we only saw one giraffe and that was at a very long distance. It was not giraffe day.

Besides the elephant at a distance and one very close up and personal, we got to see four of them in the river. We have pictures of what looks like two of them kissing – which is not easy to do when you have long tusks in the way. All in all it was probably the best single game drive we been on since we came to South Africa.

By the time we got home I was beat and I was tempted to call President Vilane and change the date of our FHE visit but we realized that it was tonight or not this week and so off we went. We had a great time. Mary had a short lesson that I got to be part of, we sang songs, and then played a Book of Mormon match game that they loved to play. Their 5 year old son Khaye (Ki-U) loved the game and was very good at it. In fact he and a 15 year old beat all the older people who were playing. After prayer we shared some Chelsea buns we had brought, thanked them for letting us be part of their family home evening and came home. We did not want to stay too long because they had not eaten dinner.

When we got home Mary fixed us a taco salad and soon after eating I fell asleep in the chair before waking long enough to fall go to bed.