Sunday, September 14th to Saturday, September 20th
Started the week on the road with Elder Allred as my helper to deliver some furniture out and around to a few missionary flats. We looped south and west of Joburg on about a four hour trip.
While we were doing deliveries, Melanie and Sister Allred did some shopping for more household furnishings.
I met with a disaster recovery service to get a bid for a smoke residue cleanup in one of our larger 4-missionary 3 bedroom flats. They left an iron on and it smoldered and smoked all day. Cost estimate was Rand 11,000 for a two-day, eight person cleanup project which is about $1000.
It takes quite an effort to get new Vendors setup for payment in the Church's system so we can accomplish getting our work done. Took a lot of my time and sort of tried my patience a bit, but we're making progress. Also spent some time working on getting set up to make EFT emergency payments to assist Pres and Sister Dunn, that is no easy process. Guess it needs to be tightly controlled, especially here in South Africa.
Got to move some duties to Elder and Sister Allred. They will be handling the flat inspections and follow-up on issues now. With over 100 flats to inspect and about that many maintenance and repair issues it will be a great help. The Allreds, from Lindon, are a great new senior couple we have taken to very quickly.
On Thursday morning this week Melanie and I had a very special experience of taking one of our Elders, Elder Iairo of Kiribati, to the airport so he could return home. His two years were up a couple of weeks ago but due to some difficult travel arrangements, he had to be re-routed to where he could pass with just a passport.
It seems Australia wouldn't let him pass through so by the time the Church got his itinerary set he was routed from here to Hong Kong and from there to Fiji where he had to stay over night with the Fiji mission and then from there he had to catch one of two weekly flights in to his little island nation, the Republic of Kiribati which lies about 1,000 miles south of Hawaii.
Pres. and Sister Dunn usually take the Elders, but they were tied up and asked us to take him. It was wonderful, but emotional for us as well as for him. He said he was anxious to see family and friends and to fish for tuna and lobster and swim in the large seas that surround his tiny island.
On Friday I took a couple of mattresses out to a flat where the Elders said they needed them. One was a bigger guy who also wanted to use his old one for a place to put his exercise weights because they have an 'all tile' flat' and we have warned the Elders about breaking tiles with their weights. These Elders have no car and no bikes so they walk 5 K each way to and from their township daily. Guess I have to give them credit for their hard work. They are good missionaries working hard and enjoying success.
Saturday we joined Pres. and Sister Dunn and a few other couples along with a young man neighbor of theirs whom they had engaged in a project to prepare and orientation slide show of Joburg. He is a professional photographer and seems like a nice young man.
We met at the mission home and drove to a train station where we caught a subway train, the Gautrain, in to the heart of Joburg. This train is sort of a high-speed, light-rail commuter train, very modern and quick. It travels up to 160 K per hour.
Then we boarded a fun sightseeing bus for a trip around and through the city where we could get off and on at different points to see and experience the city in a group and in a safe way.
|It was really a 'fun' bus ride with lots to see.|
|We had fun, it was a great sunny day, glad to have my hat!|
|Another landmark for me, a shareholder and patron, complete with a drive-up as well.|
|Another happy shareholder picture, note the skyscraper in the background above the street signs too.|
|This one is dedicated to our son, Jimmy, who happens to be a 'killer' fisherman. None escape him.|
|We couldn't pass up this African representation at their historic site of 'Constitution Hill' where both Mandela and Gandhi had been held as prisoners at different times.|
One stop was at the tallest skyscraper in the city, 50 stories high where we were able to get a few pictures of the city from the 'Top of Africa' as they call it. It was a fun day and nice to see what's here although we don't actually get in to the city much. We're out about 12-15 miles from the city in what's still one of many surrounding busy heavily populated suburbs.