We are heading off tomorrow morning for a little R&R with Elder and Sister Prete and the Collins family. We will meet in Liwonde and take a boat to Liwonde National Park and stay at a lodge there for 3 nights. The price includes meals and 2 activities each day - game safari, boat ride to see animals, etc. It should be good as it is the main Game park in Malawi. This is our first excersion on this mission so we are overdue. Colllins go back to the U.S. in June so we wanted to get together and do something. His next posting is Mali (August) and things sound a bit unsettled there right now. If things are not good then Meagan and the kids will stay States side. I guess we will find out more when we see them this weekend.
We had Aaron (from Liwonde) with us last night. He came to Blantyre to get his interviews for Melch. priesthood and for his mission papers. We didn't get them done in time so he spent the night with us. He is a nice young man and will be a great missionary and such an asset to the Church in Liwonde on his return. I had to explain how to use the shower as he had never used one before. I told him to enjoy it! He is from Sitima Village. We have done a lot to help him get his paperwork, passport, etc. for his mission. The only thing remaining is his ordination, which will happen next week when we go to Liwonde to Church. He is very appreciative of anything we do. When we go to Liwonde he has been bringing us cucumbers from the family garden and when he realized we like eggplant he said his sister grows that and he will bring us some. The cucumbers here are really good. Probably like the ones mom and dad liked from Mauritius (I think). They are yellowish and fat -- crispy and good!
We knew that one of the members in Sitima Village is a widow with a couple of children because her husband got taken by a crocodile a couple of years ago. Apparently that was Aaron's uncle. We were quizzing him about it and he said a lot of people get taken when they go to fish the river. He says they need the fish to eat so what else can they do? I guess it is a fairly common thing. I suggested he be careful because we didn't want him to disappear before he could go on his mission. :) He did say there have been some poachers and they have gotten 40 or 50 crocodiles so that helps a bit. Oh man! It just kind of makes my skin crawl thinking about it.
We will take pictures of our weekend. Our next trip needs to be to visit Lake Malawi. We cannot be here and not see that. Everyone always ask if we have been to the Lake. It is their pride and joy! It is huge and has 1000 different species of fish with very clear water (clearer as you go north). Next time -- maybe when Shields get here we will plan an outing. President Padovich has said that all couples are to take 2 or 3 days off every 3 months so that we keep our sanity and get a break. I guess that means we could go for a couple of weeks to make up for past months. :)
We are excited to be expecting grandchild #21 or is it 22. Mike and Janeal have made their announcement public now. We will be home for that one!! :)
We hate to miss all the family fun but...... We love what we are doing to (most of the time). What an adventure it is to serve these people who are also Heavenly Father's children. If we can do a little to bless their lives and teach them the gospel it is all worth it!
Love to all, Elder & Sister Bullock