Thursday, October 30, 2014

Oops! Encountered a bump in the road!

FIRST OOPS:  Saturday, we moved from the Bed and Breakfast to our new flat late in the afternoon. After they showed us what we needed to know about our flat, we took off for the mall for a quick bite of dinner and grocery shopping. After eating, Dad decided to have us make a quick trip to our flat in the daylight to make sure we knew how to get there. Because of Dad's bad navigation skills, it only took us an hour and 45 minutes to find our way back on a path that should take us no more than 10 minutes. (Dad said it was because it was dark and he couldn't find his way -- and that was even with the Garmin, but it seemed to have a mind of its own.) We arrived back in time to join the other Senior Couples for the rest of Movie Night, which finished about 10 p.m. And then we had to unpack and put things away, which took until way late!

We had to get up early Sunday morning to ride with those we are replacing, the Andrus', to meet the church group we have been assigned to work with -- the Molweni group -- a 40 minute drive from our flat. We arrived jst after 8:00 to join with them on watching General Conference. We watched both the Priesthood Session and the Sunday Morning Session of Conference for just over 4 and 1/2 hours, counting breaks. We meet most of the group and took pictures, but that's about all. Please note the pictures of some of the members of the group, along with pictures of their meeting place, extremely small external classrooms, and the multiple school buildings there where they meet. They rent their one building, along with two external classrooms, from the city. Almost all the members walk a great distance to get there, up of them up to an hour walk -- and it was raining when church was out!

We returned to our flat with the Andrus' who decided to introduce us to Premie, our Indian neighbor who lives above us.  What a delightful lady!

SECOND OOPS:  While coming down the stairs following the visit, Mom slipped and fell coming down the rain-slick stairs and broke her arm! At first we hoped she had just dislocated her shoulder/ Then we decided we had better take her to the emergency room to the recommended private hospital 30 minutes away. After we checked Mom in, they took her away for X-rays, only to discover she had broken her arm just below her shoulder and was in quite a bit of pain. They gave Mom something for the pain, and put her to bed. The doctor came in, showed us the X-rays, and discussed the situation. We had two choices: (1) immobilize her arm for over 6 weeks and let it heal on its own, (2) go through surgery to realign the bones since they were slightly displaced, pin the break, and immobilize the shoulder for 6 weeks.  We didn't have to make the decision until Monday, the earliest they could schedule the surgery. By this time, we were all tired and worn out. Mom wanted to rest and told Dad to go back to the flat, with it being about 8:00 at night by then.

Early Monday morning they tried to take Mom off to surgery, before Dad's arrival and a joint decision on what to do. Meanwhile, Dad contacted the Mission President's wife, who inturn contacted the Area Medical Advisor who definitely recommended the surgery because of the displacement.  So Dad drove to the hospital and told the doctor of our decision to have the surgery, which didn't occur until after 6:00 that evening. Dad was asked to go to the "Comfort Room' (their waiting room), until Mom was to be brought back to the recovery room. Dad went to have a burger in the cafetria, then returned to the Comfort Room. He was so exhausted from lack of sleep that he kept dosing off. Finally just after 9:00, Dr. Rahjah came out and told him that Mom was in recovery and that he would be summoned when she awakened. He explained that they put 3 pins in her shoulder, to remain 6 weeks until removal in minor surgery. Dad waited until about 10:00, but no on had come for him.  We walked out into the hall just as a nurse came along, who asked if she could help him. He said he was waiting for his wife to come out of recovery. The nurse said, "Oh, there is no one left in recovery. What's your wife's name?" She checked on it and came back to say that Mom had been taken to her room, and NO ONE had come to tell him!

(By the way, CASUALTY is what they term the Emergency Entrance here.)

Dad checked on Mom, talked a few minutes with her being in a groggy state, and left for home. Wednesday Mom was released from the hospital and returned to our flat, rested during the afternoon, and again enjoyed the company of many of the Senior Couples for dinner, this time at a Thai restaurant. Today, Thursday, her first day back at work, she was tired and wore out by the end of the day, but made it to the end of the day. SURPRISE: another Senior Couple was waiting for us at the flat with a deluxe pot-roast dinner they had prepared. It was delicious, especially since Mom didn't have to fix it. So far Mom's doing OK. She is very frustrated with her hairdresser, however. (Dad) Not to worry, however, Mom is doing fine.

Maybe we are through with the OOPS! Love ya all and hope all is OK on the homefront. We will try to keep you updated. Our next big adventure is our trip to Rhino Coast in St. Lucia next Wednesday. We discovered that JD and Kyle need to get reservations for their excusions ASAP since they are coming during the Christmas Holidays, which is summer break for them, and accommodations fill up quickly.

Love ya lots,
Mom and Dad -- Grandma and Grandpa -- or Judi and DeVon

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Arrival and Training in Durban

It is now Friday morning and we thought we would recap the major events between our arrival Wednesday and this morning. We flew into Durban about 1:30 Wednesday afternoon to be met by President and Sister Zackrison, as well as a huge group there to meet the returning Sister Matthews who had served in Manchester, England. It was great to finally arrive at our final destination -- Durban, South Africa!

We were brought straight to the Huntley House, a quaint Bed and Breakfast and the most gracious and friendly hostess ever! They left us to settle in and get some much needed sleep, with plans to pick us up to join with the office staff for dinner. We were taken to Lupa's for "high class food" and the eight of us (President and Sister Zackrison and all the office couples) struggled to hear each other as we tried to get acquainted over lots of background conversation. We shared appetizers of calamari, french fried zucchini, and other seafood treats new to us. Definitely a friendly bunch who were eager to make us feel welcome.

We dropped into bed, exhausted, between 10 and 11:00. Both of us awoke about 1:00 a.m., with Dad solving the worlds problems as he tried to get back to sleep while I listed to John Bytheway on the MP3 telling me how to enrich our marriage. We both probably drifted off to sleep again about an hour later, to be awakened by a pesky alarm clock, along with the noisy birds and monkeys on the rooftop at 6 a.m,.
Jane, our delightful hostess, treated us to a made to order breakfast for just the two of us. You can't believe the quaint home and cottages in this bed and breakfast, set in this tropical paradise. Then we were off to training at the office, when Elder Andrus arrived to begin teaching us how to get around  and find our way to the office.

Thursday, we spent the day in training and still don't get it all!! Immediately following work, we headed over to Elder and Sister Rowberry's, another Senior Mission couple, still being chauffered by Elder Andrus. All the  seven Senior couples serving in the metropolitan area of Durban gathered for a potluck dinner to welcome us. We left there stuffed with fabulous homemade food.
From there, we attended at concert performed by the Durban Philharmonic Orchestra, along with a youth choral group and a full mixed choir at the beautiful, historic City Hall --  the one in the slide show we had put together prior to departure without knowing we would be able to see it so quickly. Dad had to keep poking Mom to keep her from nodding off. She seemed to suffer from whiplash.  We had not overcome jetlag yet. Dad is still kind of "dopey." He almost goes to sleep standing up and is still extremely tired (and this is Saturday when this paragraph is being written!!)

Friday, more training, and more training and more training, then Mom and Sister Andrus went shopping to totally stock 2 new flats (Mom and Sister Andrus, who she is rplacing as housing coordinator). They needed to purchase EVERYTHING, from spoons to washers and refrigerators. They went to a huge store, much like a stepdown from Sam's Club or Costco. They accomplished the OVERWHELMING task in just 2 hours, arriving back at the office past closing time. We rushed to dinner in the Hillcrest area at a restaurant called Oscars, for some authentic South African sandwiches, wraps and salads. Across the street, we went to the Hillcrest Stake Center for a youth talent show. It was obvious the hours they had put into preparing for their performances. But the amazing part was the support the audience and other performing groups gave to those onstage. They even had two very young performers, maybe 3 and 5 years of age, dancing and singing to everyone's delight. It was engaging enough that Mom didn't have to keep Dad awake this time! Again we fell into bed about 11:00. Dad's internal clock woke him up about 3 a.m. and had a hard time going back to sleep before we needed to get up for another of Jane's fantastic breakfasts in her "island of paradise."

Saturday, this morning, following breakfast, we had to pack so we can exchange accomodations with Elder and Sister Andrus. We sure hope we get settled soon. It is now mid-afternoon and we are sitting out on the patio enjoying the beautiful tropical setting. (Are you jealous yet? We will send you a picture.) Hopefully, we can get into our flat and get organized before this evening's event -- several Senior couples getting together to play games. Hopefully, we don't fall into bed, exhausted, again this evening because tomorrow's plans are to attend church and be introduced to the Molweni Group we have been asked to work with.

Don't expect so many details in each update from us, but wanted to share with each of you, our introduction to life in the South Africa Durban Mission. WOW!!

Love ya all!