Here are just some odds and ends I thought you would enjoy. Many of these pictures were taken by Elder Eastman, who works in the office with me (mon chef) in dealing with apartments and supplies.
We were about a week without power and water at the mission home. It got so bad with the water that we started filling bidons with rainwater!
Water is so precious here…they will get it from anywhere! Here is a group of people waiting in line for water from a ditch.
You find lots of little churches in the villages; just make-shift buildings people can meet in to worship God in their own way.
Tailings from one of hundreds of little mines around the country.
Of course, you see these brick ovens everywhere as they are the prime source of building material in the Congo: fired brick from the local red clay.
One of the few monkeys I have seen here. You don’t see animals here at all (other than chickens and goats used for food)– no dogs, no cats, you don’t even see mice or rats (very often)… it’s kind of strange.
Elder and Sister Eastman, on the left, and a small congregation of saints in a tiny village north of Kakonda.
President and Sister Munga, on the left. He is a counselor in the mission to President McMullin. He has been assigned to seek out and find small clusters of saints around the mission, who are not close enough to a chapel to receive the blessings of the Church. This is one group he found out about and visited with the Eastman’s. They were very excited about the visit and look forward to seeing people on a more regular basis in the future.
The home where this small group of saints meet each week. Many of these groups cannot take the Sacrament as they have no priesthood holder to bless the emblems… yet they meet every week to worship. One of the goals of President McMullin is to find some way to contact and include these small groups of saints into the Church organization.
President Munga and the local leaders of this group of saints.
A larger mining operation
A large group of people standing in line for one of the few sources of water in the area. People here spend many, many hours each day simply obtaining enough water to live.
A typical ‘bridge’ used to cross the water ditches: old bumpers off of cars and trucks
Yet another of the many casualties we see along the roads. With no tow trucks or service stations, they just leave them there. Some they come back to fix, others the come back and strip down to the shell, and many they just leave–it is cheaper to leave it than to go get it!
It is always amazing how many people walk the roads between large towns and villages. There are always people on the road walking, or carrying a load on a bike, or on their heads, etc.
This is a new Catholic church being built not far from the mission home in Lubumbashi.
Sunset from the mission home
Now that rainy season has begun, many can be seen out in the fields preparing the ground and planting seeds for the growing season.
Typical sight coming into Lubumbashi–food to sell at the local marches
The entire country uses the same tool to farm with; a large hoe with a short handle. Very few tractors (you see them on the road occasionally, but never working in the field). And I don’t know why they don’t use a longer handle on the hoe! They all use a short handle, which means they must bend over all day to dig the dirt.
My local rock source. We have been trying to find gravel to put at missionary apartments to cover the dirt, so they don’t always track mud inside the houses. They don’t have sand and gravel pits here! This gravel is made by hand; field stones gathered during hand-farming are brought to the side of the road; then a person with a hammer beats on the stones and breaks them into smaller pieces. They separate them into two sizes: small and medium (these are medium), and put in in sacs for sale. Each sack costs 3,500 francs (about $3.50). When you drive by you will usually see a child with a small hammer whacking large stones methodically, with a small pile of smaller stones and chips surrounding him.