Thursday, February 5, 2009

Swimming party

Here are a couple of pictures from our walk on Tuesday the 3rd. Sister Hoagland loves lilies, especially their scent. This did need to be weeded but the lilies were so pretty.
Here are dahlias. They grow these everywhere here. They grow into big bushes. Ours didn't do this. The blue are the agapantha.
On Thursday we had to drive up to Nelson for interviews with President Jolliffe. We are having another all south island zone conference on the 17th with the area president, President Baxter, so we came up for just interviews this time. Every time I speak with him he has another idea to send us out of Greymouth. This time he was thinking of making me branch president in Westport. The youngest priesthood up there is at least sixty and only one is healthy. The branch president is in his seventies and is leagally blind and can't hear very well.
We had to leave for Nelson by 6:15 am to arrive at our appointed time so here is some early morning fog.
On our return we visited the Clough's who live 45 minutes from Greymouth. This is the first time we were there during milking time. While dairy has become a big export for NZ, farming is not very scientific here. The cows are quite small to US standards and some are down right tiny. They keep no records of individual production and the volume goes up and down with the availability of grass. Prices have dropped here lately which has hit some farmers hard who just switched from sheep to cows. They have spent millions on refitting their farms.
Sister Hoagland and Elder Bair looking over the milking shed. The Clough's 23 month old fell from the railing where Elder Bair is standing a few minutes after this picture was taken. Elder Bair picked him up and got a really bloody shirt for his trouble. Litttle guy is doing fine with a cut at the hair line. They milk one side and release and refill the cows on the other side.
They have about 400 cows here, and they bring them all into this area at the back of the shed.
Sorry we have not been to anything new. We have covered most of the area in the 7 months we have been here. Yesterday was a Maori holiday and we missed the festivities because we do not have access to local media. It was free food, ouch!!! You can be sure the Tongans didn't miss it. On our early morning walk we went down by the airport and on the way we walked on the flood wall in front of the runway. Here is a picture of down town and the gorge the grey river runs through. In the forground is what we would call a slough.
Some of the wild life in the slough.

I turned around and took this picture of the runway, which is not used very much. The hospital on the left uses it to transport patients to Christchurch and other locations for specialist care. This is a general hospital with only care for emergencies and minor surgery and care. Heart patients go to Christchurch and other hospitals specialize in nurology, etc. You don't want to get really sick here. Nationally, medical care is rationed. There are only six beds in the country for eating disorders. Auckland sends it's patients to Australia. Not very good for parental support.
It was not far from the beach from the airport and as you can see the Tasman was very calm today.
Walking back from the beach we saw this helicopter land. Lots of helicopter activity from this area. This one just landed to refuil and continued on north.
On Saturday the 31 of Jan. our branch had a swimming party at the memorial baths. Here is a game of touch water rugby. For those who know them, Sister Iraia is in the forground and Sister Scott is on the far right. I do not know why the men wear t-shirts.
This is George. He has been in country about three months and works in the forest. He is still trying to get a work visa so he can stay more permanently and bring his family. We are hopeful as we want him to be the Elders President and teach institute. Behind him is our seminary student Tim (peki) Kinikini, who had just pushed George in the water. That water is much colder than the Tongan surf George is used to.
This is Lisa, an 18 year old new arrival. We hope she will be here long enough to be part of institute. She is home sick for Tonga.
This is Tim, who is 16 and about 14 lbs heaver than I am. He is our second biggest 16 year old.
This is one of Sister Hoagland's favorite primary students, Maui Kinikini, who is 10. He is another big boy.
This afternoon I went to the church and with other priesthood members, we cleaned up the chapel. I washed the door windows that I don't think had been touched since we got here. There is also a glass door and partition that gives access to the chapel from the hall. It was also in great need of cleaning. Looks good now.


Jen said...

that 16yr old didn't look like he was 16 he has a mature face.

Jeff and Fawn Hoagland said...

LOVE the new pix!
so, Jeff and I are off to church today-for the first time since Christmas
we met with the new Bishop this morning before Jeff's two games, I'll be at sacrament with the boys by myself, but Jeff will join us for the last part of the meetings.
We're trying really hard to get into an apartment, but our credit is so low (like 500-ouch) due to taxes and credit cards and such that we can't even get accepted to one. My not working due to my health is making things worse-we were keeping our heads above water until I stopped working. but now, wiht the attorney bills adding up again from my fight with my ex (the attorney bills really are the reason for the debt we're in-and taxes. It bites) we are drowing now.
the bishop said he'll help as much as possible, and hopefully Jeff will get a day job again-he has been looking for 5 months and nothing, not even fast food or temp agencies are hiring in Washingont county
we're frustrated, overwhelmed and downtroden.
but, we have great family and love eachother so we're trying to count our blessings and, as Jeff says, "put our shoulder to the wheel"
love ya, miss ya
Jeff and Fawn