It is Saturday evening already and we wonder where the week has gone. It has been a busy one and too much of it was spent in gas lines. It really is rather stressful. If everyone would be nice and take their turn it would be so much nicer but some are always trying to butt in - especially the minibus drivers (public transport). This fuel shortage is bad and they say it is the worst one yet. We saw a line last evening on our way to 'somwhere'(cant even remember where) and we called the Elders and they went over and joined in as they were getting pretty low. They were in line for probably about 5 hours and finally got their tank filled. They called us because they had forgottent he key to their money box so we took them over some money and decided to get in the line as well since it wasn't too long at that point. It was aggravating but we did finally get our tank filled as well as two jerry cans. We waste so much time waiting for fuel but at least they didn't run out before we got to the pump.
We decided we need to make friends with the right people -- so we have been chatting with the lady that manages a station nearby and it paid off because this morning she called us to say that diesel was coming very soon. We hurried over and got in line and Jim walked up and talked to her. She told us to come up closer and bring our jerry cans and then she put them right at the pump ahead of some others. We waited for the tanker to come, unload the fuel and then we did get 5 more jerry cans filled. That took about 3 hours but we are pleased because now we have 155 ltrs. in reserve plus our tanks are full. They keep saying that this shortage will get better but so far it isn't happening. They are also saying it could last for months. We sure hope not.
I spent a fair bit of time this week on Immigration stuff. Four of our Elders visitor visas expire (90 days) on Monday and their TEP's haven't come yet. We went into Immigration and ask what we should and they said to apply for TRP's (temporary residence permit) so we rushed home and did the paperwork for those. We need passport pictures for that and one Elder is up in Lilongwe and we had no picture but he is sending them by DHL. At immigration I explained that to the guy and he was really nice and said to give him the application anyway and bring in the pictures on Monday. Whew!!! TRP's get approved quickly and are good for 6 months so at least these 4 missionaries will be legal until their TEP's get approved. It is my fault I guess as I didn't apply for the TEP's as quick as I should have when they first got here but we were brand new at the time and I thought I had some time to do it. Now we know better how to do that stuff. We have 7 new missionaries with the present transfer and I am working on their TEP applications and will get them in right away.
Our gardener Davie and his wife are having marital problems again. She wrote us a letter (had someone write it for her as she doesn't know English) and wanted our help but when we can't even communicate with her it is rather difficult. Anyway - we again suggested they talk to their branch leaders, which they did but it seems nothing got resolved. The next step is that their relatives are getting together with them and will talk about the issues and try and help them work things out. I wish I could be a fly on the wall and hear what will be said (it is taking place tomorrow at the wife's family village).
President Padovich has arrived and called us. They will be coming this way about the 13th or 14th and spend 3 or 4 days. We look forward to meeting them.
We went for a drive this afternoon with Pres. & Sis. Chimyumba up the mountain to check out the road. All I can say is that I now have a headache -- it was so rocky and bumpy and we did turn around as soon as we could find a place (about 3/4 of the way up). It was a beautiful view of Blantyre and would have been even better from the top but..... We will check out a couple of other spots for what we need.
I need to finish off my financial reports for the month of June and was hoping to get that done today as the area office will be wanting them on Monday. I think I will wait until I don't have a headache though so I can think more clearly. :) They are mostly done but I need to finish them off and email them.
We have some people that we are teaching and are meeting with a girl on Monday that we met at a restaurant and another girl at the same restaurant ask us for a pamphlet.
I need to go make something to eat. I bought some vegetables on the street today while waiting for diesel.
Hope all the Canadians had a good 1st of July and that all the Americans will have a fun 4th of July.
Love, The Bullocks