Monday, August 19, 2013

Manga First Week! August 19th 2013

Family and Friends,

Wow-Wow-Wow. This is Africa!
It doesn’t feel like Africa like “Whoa I’m in Africa” it feels like Africa like “Whoa I’m home.”
It is really weird especially since I have only been in my area for four days.
So Chapas, scary crazy we literally have 24 people in a van smaller than a Chevy Astro. It hurts! Especially when you have to stand and you are tall, but they are fairly cheap and fast.
So my area has been white washed. We are starting from scratch basically contacting and teaching the first lesson a lot.
It is really hard here. Any single person will invite us in and listen to our message, but we really have to try and discern if they are ready for the truth.
Star Tripping! You stare at stars while spinning then stop and someone shines a bright light in your eyes. You fall over you can’t help it. Haha it is hilarious!
So we helped one of our investigating families with some work. They are digging a new bathroom so we carried buckets of dirt for them. They thought it as the funniest thing ever!
Afterwards they had food for us. Now we aren’t supposed to eat and I certainly didn’t want to, but if we denied them it could be very bad. So we ate, and let me tell you it was pretty bad. It was rice with some greens on top and I had to try so so hard to not regurgitate!
Haha, good times.
I love this place and everything.
All the people are so nice and talkative!
Elder Kanaga

I thought I would fill in some information from personal emails.

He is sharing a house with five other elders whom he likes. He thinks his trainer is the best. The house they are living in has not had power for the past three days. He said a repairman was coming today and he was hopeful power would be restored. It is hot in Manga and heading into summer yet, he said even without air-conditioning nights aren't too bad.

Their yard has a wall with glass and barbed wire. The house has many locks and bars on the doors and the windows. He says "we are safe!"

There were 201 people at church but he had a hard time understanding the language. When they teach lessons he thinks he does better with the language and knows it will take some time for him to come up to speed. 

Other elders have told him that regular letters through the postal service don't usually make it. Pouch Mail (including through services such as Dear Elder) is delivered to the mission office in Maputo. Maputo is a 15 hour drive from Manga. His mail will be saved for him and delivered when someone travels to Manga which might be weeks and weeks later.

He is asking that family and friends write him through email. If you are a family member or friend and do not have his mission email contact me by email or text me (hint to friends: replace the last digit of his old phone number with the number 2 to contact me).

He will hopefully be able to travel to an internet café in Beira once a week. He may not be able to write you back but I know he will appreciate the support of a few lines from family and friends. 

Beira is about two hours by foot from his home. He mentions the chapas in his letter above. He can get to Beira in about 30 minutes if they take a chapa. Below are two examples (not his pictures or mine) of the chapas that are common  public transportation in Mozambique. They do not have bikes and walk most everywhere unless it is far then they bravely take a chapa.

Just a few days ago, we had read about the dish I think he is talking about. Basically, it is rice with a topping of shredded and mashed up leaves (I am not sure what kind). His usual meals will be at home and so far for breakfast he is eating cereal with shelf stable milk. Dinner and Lunch are either pasta or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

He says the fruit from the street vendors "rocks". They have a store called Shoprite close by where they can buy almost anything they need.

I wish I had some pictures from him to post. He was going to send them to me. I don't know if he ran out of time or had another problem.

I can't wait to hear from him next week!


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