Friday, June 24, 2016

My Dad's House PA

We stayed here for the two weeks.  Walking barefoot in this beautiful green grass was wonderful.

Mountain Laurel was in bloom.
The Panties started blooming while we were there.  It has been years since I have got the pleasure of enjoying these flowers.  I had to cut a bunch and put them in a vase in the house.  They smell wonderful.
Was the season for rhubarb!  Many people had it for sale.  I remembered Dad had a plant and so made a rhubarb sauce that only Dad and I ate.  My family doesn't like it.  They did help eat a pie I bought made with rhubarb.
We also enjoyed eating Asparagus.
His little shed out back and more lovely green grass.
Princess was loving the window sills in the house.  Mostly, she liked that she could sit on them and look out the window.  Something she couldn't do in Zambia because of the double set of bars and then the screens on the window.


Our Trip Home: Picking up the Cat

After waiting in line at immigration that took forever - it seemed, we finally arrived at the luggage pick-up.  Every time we have come to the luggage pick up in this airport the turn styles are already turned off and the luggage is just sitting on the floor in a messy and hard to navigate maze.  

Steve went to see about getting a cart, which costs you.  We had some quarters but not $4.00 worth.  It does take bills, which we had a few and your debit or credit card.  After messing with one machine someone was kind enough to tell him this one never works and to use the next one.

The rest of us started working on the maze of suitcases to find ours.  After finding one, a Qatar Airline worker noticed which suitcase we found and then informed us the rest where right over there (pointing to the spot).  They had noticed our markings and had started putting our suitcases together.  We took a count and only had to find one more.  A very nice blessing after a long wait in immigration.

I then proceeded to ask her if she knew about the cat and where to pick her up.  She knew all about the cat and told us we had to go to Freight to pick her up.  It was at the same place as British Airways.  She really didn't have directions, just to follow signs.

So we met my dad and loaded up the truck and piled in.  We left the Airport and circled around to enter it again and read signs, trying to find the Freight area.  Steve saw a building with the word Freight on it in big letters, but we were already past the turn for it and had to navigate all the way around to the exit of the airport and circle back to the entrance again.  We still made a wrong turn and so lap three of the airport happened!  This time we make it to the building.

 Steve goes inside and was gone for quite awhile.  He comes out to report that it is mostly an empty build and he has walked the whole length of it upstairs and down.  He stood in line at the customs place that was inside there to ask where he should go.  They sent him to talk to the guard letting trucks in a gate at the end of the parking lot.  They in turn sent him back into the building using door 8.  They sent him back to the drop off counter of Qatar Airways.  OK, that doesn't make any sense but not knowing where else to go we again begin another lap of the airport.

The Qatar Airways drop off counter was very helpful, with very specific directions.  In the end, if the lady at the luggage pickup had used several airline names we might have found the place the first time.  We were seeing the building with the word Freight on it thinking that is where we needed to go, but we did come to sign with airway names on it.  Using British Airways as a guide took us to the wrong place.

So we arrived at the right place and indeed the cat is inside this building.  Now we need to take these papers to a customs officer and get them stamped and pay more money!!!  A customs office is 20 minutes drive toward downtown Philly?!?!?  WHAT???  We are tired of driving around, we are getting hungry, it is almost lunch time, and you don't have a customs office at the airport?!?!?!?   Then Steve remembers the customs line in the first building he was in and asked if he couldn't go there.  The answer, you can try but I don't think so.

Well, we tried and succeeded!!! Steve came out with paper work stamped only five minutes later.  The line that wasn't moving when he was there before was gone.  Yes!  Our spirits all became happy that the end of this airport visit was in sight.  We went back to the freight office, gave them the signed papers, paid the money, and picked up the cat.  We happily left the Philly airport behinds us and started our drive home to Lancaster Co. PA.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Our Trip Home: included a cat

Our next leg of the trip was on to Lusaka.  But I need to back track a little bit.  The next picture I wanted to post has a cat carrier in it and so I need to explain.  We have a cat "Princess" that has been with us for the last 6 years.  We got her when she was 6 weeks old, although I think she was younger than that.  She has always been an inside cat, I wouldn't let her out of the house.  She became a wonderful part of the family.  So we made plans to bring her with us.  That is also why we went to Lusaka a week before leaving, to make sure everything was in order for her to fly.

Her carrier, complete with paper work, taped on address and cat food, funnels to give her water along the way.
Also, two layers of diapers taped together and two old towels.

Princess at Thorn Tree
Our second night on the road Princess had to stay in the car.  We set her up with her litter box and food / water dishes.  She made herself at home!  When I went out to take a shower in the dark, I stopped to check on her.  She rubbed up on the window where I was shining the flash light in wanting to loved on.
On our trips to and from Lusaka we always pass this place.  Others had told us how nice it is, but it is never lunch time when we pass and we don't want to wait for food to be made on our already 13 hour trips.  It was lunch time and so we stopped.  The food was wonderful and the bathrooms the best I have seen on our road trips in Zambia.
We ate under a nice shade tree.  Since we couldn't park under a shade tree,  Princess joined us on the bench.
Princess in Lusaka
Steve had Princess at the airport by 5 AM on Sunday, May 15th.  She was dropped off at a building where they ship cargo from.  She had to fly a day early in order to land in Philly at the same time we did.  Animals need to be at the airport five hours before their flight.  Our stop over in Qatar was only two hours and she needed to be there five hours.  So she went on a day ahead of us.
We left Lusaka Monday morning on a 7AM flight.  We flew to Johannesburg, South Africa. 
Here we enjoyed lunch at Mugg & Bean!
We then flew east to Qatar as we were flying Qatar Airways.  It was a nice plane and airport.  We landed at 11PM and flew out at 1AM, so we cannot tell you anything about what the landscape looks like.  We landed in Philly on Tuesday morning.
My poor Dad arrived an hour after our flight was suppose to land and spent the next two hours waiting for us.  We landed late.  Then the wait to go through immigration took forever.  That was the longest time we have ever spent waiting in immigration lines for all of our trips over and back.  There were only two immigration agents on duty!  So it was after 10AM before we called Dad to drive up and pick us up.
A side note: we do not ever have a phone that works in the US when we land.  We carry quarters to use a pay phone to call my dad who is sitting in a waiting parking lot with a big screen up front with the flights on it.  There is a bay of five phones near the doors leaving the airport. 
 I used all five phones to call him.  First phone: dial the number and they tell you how much money to pay only to find out the coin box is full and so you cannot use this phone.  Second phone same problem.  Third phone worked, I could hear him, he couldn't hear me.  So actually the mouth piece was broken.  Fourth phone: money box full again.  Fifth phone: finally success!  At that point I almost had my Dad's cell phone number memorized!
I will leave picking up the cat :(  for the next blog, it was not easy!!!




Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Our Trip Home - Second Stop - Missionary Friends House

The second day we took it slow and easy.  We had a nice breakfast with the dogs as you can see in the last post.  Then we took off.  Steve didn't want to arrive in Lusaka in the late afternoon with all the traffic.  So we stopped off at the Sprayberry's house.  The kids and I (Rita) had been there once before.  So it was wonderful to visit with them and see all the changes they have made.  The Sprayberry's are like grandparents to our kids and the boys just loved all of Jack's stories.  They were fascinated!!

Grandpa Jack and Grandma Judy
What follows is pictures of their home.  It is built with dirt mixed with cement and poured into maize bags (I think, I maybe all wrong on this).  They are stacked, then chicken wire is placed against them, then they plaster over that and paint.  There might be something else helping the bags stay upright, but I don't remember.  It is very cool inside!  Cool looking and cool as in temperature.
"Lodge" looking is the new house.  Off to the side is the original.
Living room in foreground, then dining, and then the kitchen.
This is their first house.  The big window is an addition to it.  The original was only half this size.  It has been changed to all bedrooms and bathrooms now.

This is the outdoor shower.  I actually love taking a shower under the stars at night!
Inside the outside shower.  The first time I used it we had to use the 40/40 bucket shower (bucket with shower head on the bottom), boil the hot water, haul it out, pour it into the bucket and hang it up.  Now you can see that the water is piped in.  Behind the shower is something he lights a fire in to heat the water.  Sorry, I didn't get a picture of that but the water is boiling hot, which is good in the cold night air. 
One of the inside bathroom sinks which is in the hallway.  Sky lights are providing the lighting in here.
Inside shower if you prefer.
You are just going to have to turn your head and body to see this.  It is right in the computer and loads up wrong. 
It was wonderful to stop and visit them.  We drank coffee and told stores.  We smiled and laughed.  It was very good medicine.  If you are in Zambia and are going north out of Lusaka, you should stop in and visit.  You will leave with your spirits lifted!!!  And a few new ideas on how to do something.


Monday, June 13, 2016

Our Trip Home - First Stop, Kasama

I thought I would post some pictures of our trip home - back to the states.  Then maybe I need to change the name of this blog or actually quit blogging since I don't do a very good job of it anyway.

We left Mbala on May 5th a day earlier than planned since the truck came a day early.  Instead of staying around Mbala at the Schaefer's house (another missionary family living in Mbala) with no Schaefers (they were on furlough) we drove about two hours to Kasama and stayed at The Thorn Tree.  It is a guest house.  It is also where we buy our coffee.  If they are grinding coffee the parking lot smells wonderful.

When you pull in and park this is the front door behind all the flower.
  They love flowers!

More flowers and bushes!

We stayed in the bungalow out back and down the hill.

The door to enter was a wooden sliding door.

The walk back up the hill.

Flowerbed off of the back of the main house patio.

Wonderfull smelling flowers over the toilets.
Then we had a wonderful English breakfast with the dogs on an outdoor patio!

Dog two.

Dogs three and four.
More to come.