Misc items

Here are a few odds and ends pictures and comments:
Bel Air water tank (2)

This is a water tank we set-up in Bel Air apartment. The tank was at the house already, but never hooked up. The sisters who live there and work in the area had water on-and-off, but needed the storage for when there was no water. Just a few days before we finally got the tank set-up, their water shut-off completely… oh well…the tank doesn’t do them any good if there is NO water, it only aids them when they can fill it for future use.

We have spoken to the water officials (we pay month water taxes for the water–even when we don’t get it…), and they are looking into it. In the mean time we have to fill-up bidons with water and take them to the sisters every few days. What a pain.

Clawson Boys

The ‘famous’ picture of the Clawson boys–all of them, together! From left to right:

Kink, my father, John, my uncle and Kink’s older brother, George, Kink’s oldest brother, Kraig, my brother, John Spencer, my grandfather, and on the far right, me.

DSC_2886 A picture of my father taken by my daughter Liz. My father passed away on my birthday, Sept. 25, I was privileged to be at his side and holding his hand when he passed away. Both of my parents passed away at home in their own beds, surrounded by family members. I was there for both. My father was an incredibly kind and good person. Just yesterday my daughter-in-law told me a story that illustrated just how well thought of he was. A roofing company was working at a site where her father worked, and somehow his name came up. The workers not only remembered him, but went on and on about what a good and kind man he had been. He had not been with that company since the mid-80’s, yet they still remembered him fondly. I can only hope to leave the same kind of legacy when I pass to the other side!

Shirley001

A picture of my mother, taken by my daughter Liz. She passed away about six years before my father of cancer. The day she died a number of family members gathered at their home. My cousin Cris (a bishop) and I gave my mother a blessing that her suffering would end and she would pass quickly. She died about two hours later. I will never forget the picture in my mind: my father was kneeling at the side of the bed, holding her hand, while family members stood in a semi-circle around the bed, when she passed. It was a stunning spiritual experience. There was no fear or sadness, just an incredible feeling of peace. We knew she was going to a better place.

DSC00021

A family treasure: a drawing of my parents made by my nephew Stan. It is a classic example of what my parents looked like–on vacation somewhere, with my mother’s arms full of stuff she bought.

DSC00024

A picture of my grandfather. He worked for a movie company for a while as an extra. This is him back in his glory days–before he became an alcoholic, wife beater, and child abuser. He was a renowned detective for the railroad and had authority and police badges in about 5 states–so he could chase and arrest bad guys… how ironic.

Gecamine apt (1)

An example of the cheap products found in the Congo. This door handle bent because it wasn’t strong enough to open the door! We spend a lot of time replacing locks and doors and plumbing parts.

Golf gate (1)

The gate at the Golf apartment. All gates, doors, etc. have hinges welded in place. The door frames in homes (in and out) are all metal. Rather than screw the hinges in place (as in the US), all hinges are welded in place. When hinges break, you can’t just do a quick replacement–you have to get an arc-welder and re-weld a hinge in place. What a pain.

IMG_3119

Never get tired of this. Often the taxis get so full, there is no more room for the ‘barker’ (the guy that assists the driver in getting customers, takes the money, etc.), so he simply rides on the back!

IMG_4152

One of our biggest problems is finding mattresses. Most mattresses here are just foam pads–cheap foam pads. After just a few months the foam compresses into nothing and the elders are sleeping on wood slats. We try to find real mattresses, but have little luck. Our only other option is to try to get a thicker foam and/or better quality foam pads. With 170 missionaries, we are working to replace the worst ones. It’s been about 6 years since most of the pads were purchased (and most were just 4″ foam pads), and if you put them on the floor and put any kind of pressure in the middle (like a book) you can see it hit the floor underneath! We are trying to get mattresses (real ones) or 8″-10″ foam pads for them to use…when we can find them.

IMG_4232

Another sight I never get tired of: just how much stuff can you fit on a truck? And when it is maxed-out, you can still get someone to pay to ride on top!

Justin bday (2)

Justin (on the left) had a birthday this week. Emanuel (right) is cutting the cake after singing happy birthday. They celebrate birthdays here in the Congo very similar to what we do in the states. The ‘special’ dinner they fix is usually chicken.

Kakonda Annex (32)

The Kakonda Church annex we are going to fix-up to have missionaries live there. We have found a lot of the homes in the Congo have annexes built in back (servants quarters?), and have been fixing them up to use them for various reasons. We already pay rent on the house/property, so there is no rent for its use–just the cost of fixing it up.

Mission home painted

The Mission Home has been recently painted and spruced-up. It is very nice.

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