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!

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