Finally some pictures! These pictures were given to Cody and his companion Elder Hales through Facebook from this African man Benjamin Rickydeboss Massaquoi (pictured below) who they have been teaching. Quality not the best but who cares ... we finally get to see Elder Beckett and Elder Hales in action!
You really have to be carefull of how you donate to third world countries. Most of the clothes that people wear here are donated from America and all the shops that are selling clothes are the same clothes that are donated from the US. You can see alot of US aid foods here, but most of them are just being collected and sold. Elder Hales and I wonder how these things are distributed here in Africa and who gets what and how much? How do they know who needs it? It's really funny to see all of these shirts here that have American cartoons on them and no one here really knows what they are or what shows they are from. You see a lot of highschool t-shirts here too. I can't wait to see a Trabuco Hills shirt that was donated to Africa!
So in short don't send money to me to give to people or even to the mission. Donate through the church, it is the best and safest way to get stuff over here.
I have a funny story about this past Sunday. We have a member in the branch who is blind and every Sunday Elder Hales and I will go and pick him up for church at the blind school where he lives. All of the people that attend the blind school are required to go to the Sunday service if they do not have anywhere to go to church or they have no one to pick them up. So we showed up late to pick up this man, his name is Jacob Jalo and their service had already started. The church services here are loud! There is a pastor at the front yelling some kind of doctrine from the bible .... he's yelling, "In the name of Jesus"! So this is taking place in a classroom we can hear across the yard and we go over to the building to find Jacob.... remember that everyone there is blind except for the headmasters children, even the pastor is blind. We look in and there is the pastor striding back and forth in the front of the room yelling " Praise the Lord" and all the blind people are either sitting or standing (it really doesn't matter what you do, everyone is blind) and we find Jacob. Meanwhile the congregation of blind people yell "amen". So Elder Hales and I decide to go "stealth ninja" on all of the blind people. We made a plan to go in and get Jacob. Jacob was at the back, so we had to go pat the pastor and the others to get to him. We started in and the headmasters children ran to Jacob and told him that we were there. So Jacob just walked out having no problem to navigate his way out of the room and we left to go to church. So yesterday we broke a blind man out of his school and no one there knew, but the story gets even better. After church we were walking Jacob home and as we reached a main road he stopped and said he wanted to go to the internet cafe to email someone (remember this man is blind and wants to go email). We told him that he needed to go back, but he insisted, so we called his head master and asked if we could send Jacob on a bike to go to the internet cafe. The head masters only concern was to know if the internet cafe was open. According to Jacob the internet cafe was open. So we hung up the phone, I called for a bike and Elder Hales asked, "Jacob do you even have any money?" Jacobs response was ... "no, I'll just figure something out, if you know what I mean!" (Jacob thinks he can just pull the 'I'm blind card' and get out of anything). So we send him off and I turn to Elder Hales and say, "did we just send a blind man off on a motorcycle with no money to pay the driver?" and Elder Hales adds, "to an internet cafe that is not open on Sunday." Haha ... so we have no idea how he got home or anything but I'm sure he's fine ... he's funny and good with words.
There are still some things that I am not used to here. These include: cold showers! Pouring cold cups of water on your head in the morning is never fun. And I can't get used to throwing trash on the ground. There is no trash system, so it doesn't matter if I throw the trash on the ground by our compound or if it's in the bush but when I do it I feel like a bad person.
The other day a naked boy about Zac's age (15) came up and gave me the biggest hug, then gave one to Elder Hales then asked for money haha (I think he has a few bolts loose)... He does it every time we see him. Its so funny when he comes running at full speed to give you a hug.
I'll send you pictures next week.