Dear Family & Friends:
In spite of construction, cars in the shop (including mine), chilly weather and a whole set of issues we haven't ever had to deal with before, we managed to welcome two new elders and send four seasoned elders home to bigger and better things. Elders Khubeka and Hall arrived with a planeload of Spain supporters, and two 12-year-0ld boys blowing vuvuzelas. If two are that loud up close, thousands at the soccer game must be deafening!
The Davises were kind enough to have the dinner and testimony meeting at their boarding, as the mission home was unavailable; it was very nice - and cosy!
The mission home is currently like Grand Central Station. One day we had 6 or 7 tilers, 3 or 4 painters, Nthombenhle trying to iron shirts and clean whatever she could get at, and the yard crew all working away. As you slide along the wall on a path one tile wide to avoid the new tiles being worked on, you have to avoid touching fresh paint. Furniture gets moved from room to room and occasionally I come home to find the closet where I cleverly put things so I could get at them, blocked by 6 lamps and a bookcase. This happened to the overnight bag I packed the day they painted our bedroom. Regroup and move one!
Hunter went to two FIFA games this week at Moses Mabhida Stadium. We dropped him off at the Pavilion Mall, and they took one of the many shuttle buses (full-size buses) to the Workshop mall downtown, and then smaller shuttles to the stadium. It was a madhouse at the Pavilion, but nothing compared to downtown. The stadium holds 88,000 (I think) and was totally full, and very loud, and the fans were all in team shirts and scarves and hats and face paint, blowing vuvuzelas or yelling. Apparently it was way fun. I liked it on TV.
The roadside vendor trade in national flags to hang on your car window is dropping off - most people have them; if South Africa had won, business would have been booming, I'm sure. The vendors have now added back in their plastic hangers and trash bags - it's an interesting combination!
One of the highlights of the week was a dinner after mission presidency meeting, with all the senior couples. It's the first (and last) time we'll have this whole group together. Not everyone knew each other, so it was nice to get everyone acquainted. We ate at Durban's revolving restaurant, and since it had rained earlier, the air was clear and the views were great. We saw one the lights of one ship leaving the harbor, and several more in line along the coast waiting to get in. We now have a Yearbook (Yearsbook?) with messages from all the current couples, compliments of the Knudsens. I'm planning to carry it around with me so I can have all our couples sign it. What a good way to remember everyone (as if I could forget them!!!). The book is full of pictures and information about South Africa, which I will also enjoy, but not as much as the notes from the couples.
I am furnishing our house-bought-over-the-internet with appliances-bought-over-the-internet. I look them up, then I email Parker and Morgan, and they go buy them with my credit card, and install them. Groceries are next. We'll be able to move right in and start living there...as long as we sleep on the floor; we get in on the 2nd our boxes and furniture won't be delivered until the 6th. Won't be much different than now, except the paint will be dry...
ps In their struggling young married years, Vic & Grace Rawlings drove a VW that required two drivers: one to hold the stick and keep it in gear, and one to steer.
pps More new terms (from Brother Vic):
Active Citizen Forces (ACF) = Army Reserves
Built-in cupboard = a closet
Lad = a male any younger than he is!
ppps They have pulled the R200 note out of circulation because there are too many good counterfeit bills out there.