Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Chapter 52 - Scout Camp

Scout Camp....  They don't need fancy tents or equipment.

You could see inside and their sleeping mats were
folded neatly.  Clean tents - that may be a first...

Lashing Project  and Troop Flag
They spend Spring Break at camp - but they go home for a couple of hours each morning to do their chores....   The Scouts had just completed a service project - clearing and mowing the jungle (about one acre) on the property where they are going to build a new stake center sometime this year.
In the process, some of them had mowed down some Taro Plants by mistake.
Scouts are Scouts no matter where they live.

Chapter 51 - Island Wedding

We were invited to attend a wedding for a special young couple on the island.  It was great to experience a little bit more of the Samoan Cultural.

 We were seated at the front table with the bride and groom and their parents and the stake president and bishop and their wives.  We ATE and ATE and danced and enjoyed the celebration.  Dennis was asked to give the closing prayer...  It was a great end to a very CRAZY week...
Groom, Bride and Father of the Bride - Traditional Dance

Chapter 50 - Dennis's Birthday

Blow out the candles....

Dennis had a great birthday.  He received so many birthday wishes via Facebook and email.  It was so wonderful to see how many of our friends and family remembered.  It made the day very special!  We had lunch at one of our favorite restaurants and miracle of miracles; the phone didn’t ring once the entire meal!  The day ended with a surprise party – and he had no idea!!!! 

It was amazing that I was able to pull it off without him having a clue…  

Chapter 49 - Week-end With The Presidents...

WEEK-END WITH THE PRESIDENTS – On February 24 – 25 Sister Burton, General Relief Society President and Sister Wixom, General Primary President, along with Elder Watson of the Area Presidency and their spouses were on the island.  

The Church donated a mammogram machine to the hospital and they were here to present it on behalf of the Church.  On Sunday evening they spoke at a fireside.  When they walked in, I realized that Sister Burton’s husband was one of the stake presidents I worked with as facilities manager.  After the meeting we had a chance to chat, and it was so great to see him again.   We were also invited to the presentation ceremony at the hospital on Monday.  

They flew out on Monday night, and we were at the airport to send off two missionaries going to the MTC.  There is about a two-hour wait from the time of check-in until the flight leaves and we were invited to go into the Governors Lounge to wait with them.  Elder Jessop, an area seventy was there, along with his wife.  

He played his guitar and he and Sister Hunt, the wife of the Public Relations Representative for American Samoa sang several Samoan songs while we waited.  What a neat experience to be in a room with two members of the Seventy, two general presidents, along with the Church Public Relations person for American Samoa, and their spouses and just chat….  

Needless to say, we left the airport walking on clouds and feeling really lucky to have been with them on such a personal level.      

Chapter 48 - Medical Challenges

MEDICAL CHALLENGES – We have our share of sicknesses and injuries every month, but the week of March 9 - 17 presented some real challenges! 
  • ·      One of the elders developed a rash that wouldn’t go away.  At first we thought it was heat rash, but as time when on the medical personnel thought is was Scabies – which is very highly contagious.  The treatment is easy – he just had to cover his body from his neck to the bottoms of his feet with a prescription crème and leave it on for 18 hours.  But to prevent it spreading we had to follow the same procedure that is done for lice – cleaning and washing everything in our house and the two where he had lived since he arrived.  Laundry facilities are limited here so it prevented a little challenge.  After two days the rash was getting worse and so they decided it probably wasn’t Scabies.  They still don’t know what it is – so he is being treated with another ointment.  We won’t know for sure if it is Scabies because it takes 30 days for the symptoms to appear. 
  • ·      Another elder got a fungus infection on his neck.
  • ·      Another scratched his eye. 
  • ·      We had two with food poisoning from eating bad sausage.
  • ·      Then we got a call from an elder informing us that a centipede bit him while he was sleeping.  Centipedes here are very poisonous and many times the person can end up in the hospital.   We started him on an antibiotic right away.  There was a funny side to it though – he had been bitten on his behind!
  • ·      One sad note – we have an elder that has only been on his mission for about a month who noticed a week ago that he had a split on his knee that was oozing pus.  He said he hadn’t bumped it, but told us that a couple of years ago he had a staff infection in the same knee and it had taken two operations and several different antibiotics to get rid of it.   Because of his past history, and the lack of good medical facilities here they are sending him home to get it treated.  He was devastated, as were we.  He is praying that when they get it cleared up they will let him come back here, instead of reassigning him stateside.  We put him on the plane last night (3/18/13) and it was one of the hardest things we had to do since being here.

Needless to say, we spent a lot of time at the hospital or pharmacy.  We waited over 3 hours one day for a prescription, and four hours two times in the emergency room.  We hope this week to only have to deal with heat stroke and the symptoms that come from not drinking enough water…

Entry # 47 - Look Who's in the Church Magazines

When the announcement was made about the age change for missionaries, Brother Hunt, Church Public Relations Representative for American Samoa asked us to find out from some of our institute students how they felt about it.  Dennis told him it had a great impact on our grandson, Andrew.  Brother Hunt asked him to have Andrew email his feelings to us.  We forwarded his comments on to Brother Hunt and he in turn forwarded it to Church Headquarters in Australia.  His story was included in the Australian Insert of the February Ensign.  It was so exciting and, of course we are very proud grandparents.  It is not too often that you get published in a church magazine.
But when the March Liahona came out, we were shocked and surprised to see our picture in the Samoan Insert with an article about the conversion story of two Philippian converts of which we had a small part.  It was written in Samoan, but we had the English translation.  Of course we just had to buy enough copies for our family…