Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Update & Safari

Email to Everett,

Back from our safari to Pumba animal park.  It was quite the adventure riding in a safari truck that could climb rugged hills, ford streams, slosh through mud, go over uneven and rugged terrain plus plough over trees.  It was bumpy and bouncy but certainly an enjoyable adventure.  This was our first safari.  Our previous visits to animal parks were drive throughs in our own car.  What was interesting about this one was we stalked lions while they were stalking impala and zebras.  We followed two of them for about an hour.  The mother lion killed a warthog.  We saw hippos for the first time and baboons.  It was cold so the elephants were not out in abundance.  In fact, we only saw three.  When it's rainy and cold the elephants hide in the bush.  When it is sunny and hot they come into the open to graze.  It rained yesterday and today was cold, but we saw a lot animals of different species.  

The hippos are large creatures.  We descended a hill to a pool and river scaring off three hippos but two adults remained with their baby.  We drove as close as we could and the adults became defensive of the baby and moved about three feet toward us.  It looked like the male was going to charge.  Our African driver backed the truck up, turned and we left not wanting to disturb them more than we did.

The baboons hang out in groups of thirty plus as though they are a tribe or combination of several families.  Unlike the giraffes and zebras that don't seem to be bothered by a vehicle, the baboons move quickly away with little ones riding on their mothers' backs.  It's an interesting sight to see a group of them swarming across a hillside.  There are animal parks that have accommodations for those who want to spend a night or so, but they charge outrageous prices that seemingly only the rich and famous can afford.  I guess they pay for the privilege of sleeping in an environment inhabited by wild animals.

The Taylors are wonderful people and so helpful to us.  If it hadn't been for their help we would be at a total loss with this PEF job.  Elder Taylor's knowledge of computer technology has salavaged me many a time, plus his comprehension of the PEF program and how and what to do.  Sister Taylor is a great cook and makes wonderful spaghetti, Lasagna, cakes and cookies.  The seminary and institute students, and people in the wards and branches really love the Taylors. Elder Taylor has a great sense of humor and constantly cracks me up.  They are a great blessing to us and their living just two houses away has been most convenient.

The Arts Fesitival begins this Thursday and I've bought tickets for a lot of events.  Pumba is only about ten miles out of Grahamstown where the festival will be held so we went there after the park visit.  I wanted to familiarize myself with the town, its streets and location of various theatres before Thursday. Unfortunately, and to my chagrin, there are so many unmarked streets that even though we drove around for 45 minutes, I could not find one theatre or venue location for which I have bought tickets.  I now understand why the Festival catalogue says "Allow one hour between events."  It's going to take an hour to find the next event with so many unmarked streets.  We'll give an account of the festival when it's over.  Have a good day.

Elder S. 

June 26  Email Sister Stokoe 
From: everettyoung@juno.com

.  . . From your "On the Go" SmileBox it looks like you and Elder Stokoe have a wonderful relationship with the young elders.  (We do.  Went visited the Clarke's again last night with Elders Pack and Acton.)
      I am imagining on coming to visit you guys, hopefully in the February 2013 time frame and am excited to see the Elephant Park and hopefully also go on that safari to Pumba and the other national parks in and around Port Elizabeth.
     Thank you for the followup information on the blanket project.  Glad it was very well received by the people who had to actually do the work of purchasing, cutting and sewing.  It is even so much more meaningful to hear that they added their contribution of knitting hats and sweaters to add to the layettes.  Please THANKS all those who helped to make this endeavor possible.  I had no doubt that 100% of the money would be used properly.  Would the sisters be willing to do this again?  
     Note that Everett Young is a counselor in an Orem Young Single Adult Ward.  When they learned that newborns are going home from the hospital  wrapped in newpapers, the ward took up a collection to buy fabric to make baby blankets.  He gave the money to Janette Lake, Relief Society President of Lorraine Ward, when she came to Salt Lake for General Conference in April.  

On Sat, 23 Jun 2012 08:22:34 -0600 Diane Stokoe <dianestokoe@msn.com> wrote to Everett Young:

. . . We did not go to the missionary activity they sponsored last Saturday.  Nor to the Elephant Park.  Both groups of young Elders invited us to share that experience with them on their P. Day but we  had just gone the week before.   Too bad we missed going when the P.E. elders went.  It was a bright sunny day.  They saw hundreds of elephants.   It would have been nice to make a Smilebox of the baby elephant that fell in the watering hole.  Elder Southerland said all the elephants started trumpeting and running over to help get the baby out.  
We enjoy being neighbor to the Taylors.  They have really helped us understand our PEF assignment.  We visit informally with them two or three times a week.  However they  are very busy covering 29 different Institute and Seminary classes. Their teachers and are in place but they attend as many classes as possible each week as possible  They have monthly attendance reports to send in.   The  Van Sickle’s are also busy helping members  here and in Port Alfred, East London and other areaz find jobs.  They are often out of town.  We seldom see them unless they stop in to pick up post from Cape Town.  All mail goes to the mission office in Cape Town.  There it is boxed up and  flown to various locations throughout the  mission.   Elder Stokoe and I drive to the P.E. airport every Thursday afternoon to collect and distribute it.  Normally someone else takes it to the outlying areas. . .
Almost all of the 30 infant layettes the R.S. put together with the money sent from your Young Adult Ward are ready.  Last week Tom and I visited Sister Palmer who insisted on showing us the financial records to verify that every dime you sent went to the project.  Freda said that there is so much graft in government in South Africa that she wanted to assure us that all the money you collected went to the cause.  the Relief Society sisters really loved this activity.  Several knitted hats and sweaters from the yarn  purchased.  Each kit included a baby blanket, a hat and sweater in blue, pink, yellow or green, a cute card showing Christ with little children and a note about our church. . .

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