While the Pres. and Sister McMullin were busy with Zone Conference, Terri and I walked around Luputa. We walked up to the market to find if they had sunglasses for some of the Elders, and just to see the town.
After coming into the market area, we could go one of 4 ways. We turned right, into a dense market area.
They have just about anything and everything you would want: food, bicycle parts, car parts, phones, clothes, tires, pots and pans, chairs, etc.
After walking up this street a ways, we turned INTO the market, through an alley, to find the market expanded to 10 x the size, once inside!
Terri found sunglasses almost immediately, and later found many more stores carrying sunglasses of all types.
We continued to walk through the market, and found some beautiful cloth that Terri bought to make some ‘African’ clothes to wear.
After coming out of the market, we decided to take an alternate route back to the church. We did not know how far astray we would end up!
You can see how many homes are built into the hillsides of Luputa– there are few that you can see from the main road, but once we ‘wandered off’, we found lots of homes. People were very surprised to see us, but very kind and friendly.
We found lots of bricks being made from the sides of the hills here.
We ran across three men making bricks. They had a wood mold on a stand, would mix water and dirt, then ‘pound’ the mold with a mallet, to compact the dirt as much as possible. After the brick was dry, they would build a large kiln out of the same bricks, and put a fire inside. The fire would burn for two days, hardening the bricks. They said they did not ‘turn’ the bricks (only one side of the bricks would face the heat, as the bricks themselves made up the oven). So I assume, when building, they would face the hardest side to the weather. You can tell if a brick is fired, because it turns a red/pink color.
They said that they could make 400 bricks a day.
After leaving the brick yard, up over the hill was a soccer field.
It was about this time we decided we were kind of lost (although as you can see, we had lots of people traveling with us!). A young man wandered up, and said he was a member of the church (we were surprised at how many people we met that were members of the church here!), and he offered to help us find our way home.
A small trail led off from the soccer field, and into another section of the village,
People make their own bricks from the dirt in their yard.
Every where we went we had children coming out of their homes to see us, and follow us.
After going through this part of town, we were led by another trail through the old train yard (I told you we had wandered, didn’t I?).
Once we found the tracks, we followed them for a ways.
To our amazement, as we hit yet another trail and followed it, it came out right in front of the Stake Center! Some of the children had followed us the whole way, while others seemed to have a ‘don’t go past here’ place where they turned around to go back.
It was a great experience, and we had a lot of fun, met many people, especially the children. [Terri’s edit: Mothers – many of these children were about 2 years old and came with us great distances. I wondered how they would ever find their way home, but they were veterans, having wandered all over the village at will. It really is a wonderful place.] We learned the next day that the whole town knew about our little excursion, and were talking about where we walked, what we did, what we bought at the stores [and that we had paid too much], etc…
We love the small towns like Luputa and Mwene Ditu!