Today happens to be my birthday and it turns out to be very special. Again we are having problems with the immigration people. The man working for us isn’t doing his job very well as we have 5 missionaries that had their 90 days run out yesterday and when I called Joseph of the Area Office yesterday morning he just about came unglued. He called President Poulsen later in the day and said they hadn’t trained Stix very well and now we were paying the price. President called me about 6:30 PM and said Joseph is on his way up to pick up the 5 missionaries and get them out of the country. He asked me to call them and get them all in Gaborone ready to go by about 8:00 PM an hour and a half from then. I asked him if I could call Stix one more time then call Joseph on his cell phone.
Well I did and Stix finally called me back about 7:30 and said he had an extension worked out so I called President Poulsen and Joseph and the elders didn’t know how close it was that they had to leave Botswana. I told the President I didn’t think Sister Morgan and I should or could go on the Couples Conference scheduled for the next morning. He told me that with the extension everything would be alright, so we decided to go.
Sunday 12 December 2010
The morning when we got to the airport they changed the flight for 2 hours later without calling or telling us. Then we found out we didn’t have tickets anyway. We had a confirmation number and they didn’t ask us how we were going to pay for the tickets so I thought we would pay at the airport that morning. Well at the bottom of the e-mail confirmation was two letters with a date (TL 25.11.10) which meant nothing to me. Later we found out that the TL meant too late. Other words if we didn’t pay by then the confirmation numbers were cancelled, and so was our reservation.
The flight had only one seat so I bought it along with a standby seat, with the agreement that if there wasn’t a standby seat I would get my money back for both tickets. Gladly we did not have to fight this out as we both got on the 11:30 AM flight. I turned off the phone in flight and when we landed a message said we only had 10 days on the extension that Stix got for us. Several phone calls during the Couples Conference and I think I know what we need to do as of Monday morning.
The rest of this letter will be pictures with captions added. The first picture is with Mon and I standing in front of a Baobab tree in the town of Kasane. After we all arrived we were picked up by Elder and Sister Cardiff and then the rest of the couples came in on a plane shortly after us. All in all there were 12 couples and we had a short meeting and went to our rooms and changed for a boat cruise. The second picture is President and Sister Poulsen in the front with our guide (Cornelia). As you can see the boat is quite big and it was a lot of fun. Not only did we see lots of animals but we also got to visit with all the other couples on the boat. We even had a small snack of crackers and cheese with water or soda. The weather was perfect. Third picture we saw many hippos and lots of them were very close in the water but not much shows while they are in the water so here are two on land. This is a big island and it is full of grass and the guide said most hippos don’t like being out of water for vey long but here on the island they seem to not let the sun bother them. The fourth picture is a shot of two elephants sparing on the shore. It was so relaxing to set around and visit with the other couples. A lot of them we hadn’t meet because they were all serving in South Africa. Ofcourse we knew some of them as they were here when we had the Couples Conference last April just after we had lost our passports from the top of the car in Mafikeng. Even the Olsens were here at that time. But this mission has many couples so some come and some go almost without even knowing who they are. Not only did we enjoy visiting with them but got to know where they are serving in South Africa. We still only have the Cardiff’s and us serving here in Botswana. The fifth picture is Mom in conversation and enjoying the boat ride. Later that evening we had a wonder buffet back at the lodge which was great with many different kinds of meat fruit desserts and drinks. It was a little expensive but lots of fun. After eating I took a picture of the Chobe River in the dusk of evening. Along with a picture with Mom standing in the area above the swimming pool. Of course we didn’t swim but they place was a wonderful place to time relaxing from the daily routene of the many mission responsibilities.
We had a relaxing evening and visited more with everyone and the next morning we had a buffet breakfast that was a great meal of anything that a person could ask for from cold ceral to fancy food that I don’t even know what it was. Again we were being very spoiled however as you may know we paid for it all in the long run but it was worth if.
The next morning we got on two big vans and headed for the Zimbabwe border as we were on our way to see Victoria Falls which is between Zimbabwe and Zambia. On the way we saw several elephants and The only country that we went into was Zambabwe but near where we went on the cruiz the night before is where all four countries meet almost like the four corners are are in Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona, but the names of these four countries are Botswana, Zambia, Angola, and Zimbabwe. We could claim being in the four countries but not legally as we didn’t get our passports stamped.
The next few pictures will be of Victoria Falls. Remember that these pictures are taken in the dry time of the year. Most of the areas in these pictures that don’t have water flowing over them are covered with water in the wet season (March and April). In a couple of the pictures you can see people standing at the in a pool or at the very edge of the falls. These people are in Zambia as the gorge the water falls down into is the dividing point between the two countries.
The falls were wonderful and we got really wet most of the time because of the mist coming back up from the bottom as the water hit between the walls of the gorge and if we would have had sun it would have made some wonderful rainbows.
The first picture is the vehicle the second the wild dogs that the guide said she had never seen them in the gamer reserve before. The next is a huge bird and if you look close you will see the leg of an impala hanging just under the birds feet against the main part of the V-in the tree.
Later we headed back to the lodge and out to the airport and headed home. We told the President we could probably last until the end of our mission now. I hope this comes out good on our blogspot. Mom and I love each of you very much and our thoughts are always with you and we pray for each of you as well.
LOVE OUT OF BOTSWANA, DAD AND MOM