Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Africa Part 3

Our fourth day in Equitorial Guinea brought us to church. The missionaries that are here split their attendance to several churches to as not show “favoritism” to one church or another as many of the local pastors attend their seminary.  And, on occasion, they have church at home.  Many churches here are 2-3 hour events, and with three children ranging from 9 to 2, that can be quite a challenge. 
We have been “lucky” with the electricity.  As of today we have had electricity every day since our arrival.  The week prior they had been without for 3-4 days at a time.  In addition, the house we are staying at has running water which is a luxury.  The typical Guinean house uses buckets to fill their toilets, to take showers, and wash their clothes with.  Most washing machines are top loading so they can be filled with buckets of water.  The house we are staying in, however, was built by a former American missionary, and plumbed the house with running water.  The water is not potable, but we can take quick cold showers, flush our toilets, and have water at the sink to wash our dishes.

Last night we were able to talk at length to the missionaries here about their ministry and learn from them.  We learned about their seminary and how they have had such a good success rate in graduating so many leaders and pastors.  They have three programs they offer – a diploma program, a Bachelors program, and they are currently running their first Masters level program.  So awesome to see!  We were also able to talk about medical/mercy ministry as they are very anxious to get something like that started here.  It was a very productive conversation and we know there are many more of those kinds of talks to come.

Dress – well – I did not come prepared for what the local national dress is like.  I have yet to see a woman wearing pants and certainly not shorts.  The two skirts I did bring have become my best friend.  And as it is, they are “almost” too short.  They come right at my knees as I am so tall, and the appropriate level of dress here easily goes to mid-calf or even lower.  The local missionary wife here did give me a dress to wear.  It is a typical African dress, so I feel a bit awkward wearing it, but at least I won’t be offending anyone. 

Typical African dresses at the market
Talk about a siesta!!!  Stores are closed here from 1pm until 4pm every day, and on Sundays typically only open until 1:00.  We got out of church with enough time to make a quick stop at one of the only 3 grocery stores in town.  I was pleasantly surprised at what I could find, and surprised at some things I couldn’t find.  Four oranges were $4, but a bag of grapes were almost $20!  Milk is almost twice as expensive as the U.S. and Honduras, but soy milk was not only cheaper than the regular boxed milk, but cheaper than in Honduras! 

Mike giving a message to the seminary students during chapel time
 After the grocery store we went to a restaurant where we had the most amazing falafels.  One thing I am quite amazed at is the variety of food here – this is definitely more of an international country than Honduras.  So far we have seen French restaurants, Chinese, Lebanese and more.
The internet here is not that great.  We have had a difficult time uploading anything, hence all my updates have been after we have gotten back from Africa. 

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