Our last trip North?

The Clawson Chronicles

We just got back from what may be our last trip north. We left on Sunday morning for the airport in Lubumbashi, and with the normal assistance received by paying someone to get us through, we got on the plane with all of our luggage intact (it is always a nerve-racking experience going into the airports here—simply a mass of confusion). When we landed in Mbuji Mayi, Serge (one of the FM people who recently took over for Emanuel, who was promoted and moved to Kinshasa) was there to greet us and aide us in getting through the other end of the airport process. The airport director wanted to meet the new Mission President and get the ‘fee’ for coming to Mbuji Mayi for the first time (about $150).

Mbuji Mayi

They had brought two trucks so that the President could be taken immediately to begin interviewing elders while we…

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Trip to Luputa and…way out there I

Travelling pictures in Kasayi…

The Clawson Chronicles

The Trip to Luputa/Lusuku
Our most recent trip to the far reaches of the mission was an interesting one. We took with us two men from Church headquarters in charge of building new chapels here in Africa. We have been attempting to change some of the ways and means that the church builds buildings here for some time, and having men come to see for themselves was both helpful and enlightening.

Mbuji Mayi

We first traveled to Mbuji Mayi by plane. Every trip to a Congo airport is a new experience. It is hard to describe the chaos that one experiences upon arrival at any of their airports…it sometimes reminds me of the pictures of emergency evacuations of countries, like when the US pulled out of Viet Nam, where hundreds of people are pressing forward in an attempt to get on the last flights out of the country—only they do it here every day…

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Mwene Ditu children V

On the road to Mwene Ditu and Mwene Ditu Children IV

On The Road to Mwene Ditu Children III

2nd Trip to Luputa V: trip from Mwene Ditu to Luputa

The Clawson Chronicles

Some sights leaving Mwene Ditu:

Mwene Ditu (125)Mwene Ditu (126)

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Mwene Ditu (119)Mwene Ditu (118)Mwene Ditu (117)Mwene Ditu (116)Mwene Ditu (115)Mwene Ditu (114)Mwene Ditu (113)

For some reason, I found the street coffins interesting (and they were near our hotel), so I went to talk to them. The wood coffin goes for $45,000 franks (about $45), while the purple one is $35,000. For an extra $15,000 franks they will also bury you.

Mwene Ditu (123)Mwene Ditu (124)

Some sights of our drive to Luputa:

Road to Laputa (2)Road to Laputa (3)Road to Laputa (4)Road to Laputa (5)Road to Laputa (6)Road to Laputa (7)Road to Laputa (8)Road to Laputa (9)Road to Laputa (10)Road to Laputa (11)Road to Laputa (12)Road to Laputa (13)

Road to Laputa (20)Road to Laputa (23)Road to Laputa (24)Road to Laputa (25)Road to Laputa (26)Road to Laputa (27)Road to Laputa (28)Road to Laputa (29)Road to Laputa (30)Road to Laputa (31)Road to Laputa (32)Road to Laputa (33)

Road to Laputa (34)Road to Laputa (35)Road to Laputa (36)Road to Laputa (38)Road to Laputa (39)Road to Laputa (44)Road to Laputa (46)Road to Laputa (43)Road to Laputa (53)

We had no problems on this leg of the trip, other than our bodies banging around in the car from all the deep ruts in the road.

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2nd Trip to Luputa III: Mwene Ditu

The Clawson Chronicles

The elders waiting to be interviewed by Pres. McMullin. While he was busy interviewing elders, Terri was checking on their health, and I was inspecting the Ward building.

Mwene Ditu (3)

The Mwene Ditu building– the chapel seats about 75, for a congregation of about 150-200! Every child must sit on a lap, and they use a large covered porch, as well as outside seating for Sunday meetings.

Mwene Ditu (16)

After the Pres. was finished, we walked to a small restaurant nearby for dinner with the Zone Leaders, and the Assistants to the Pres. who traveled with us.

Mwene Ditu (17)Mwene Ditu (19)

The Pres. and Sister McMullin walking hand in hand as we traveled to the restaurant, just ahead and to the right.

Mwene Ditu (21)

The view from the ‘penthouse’ suite of the restaurant. They had just opened this section of dining, and we all were getting a little overwhelmed by the fumes from the stain on the wood. You got…

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2nd Trip to Luputa II: the trip to Mwene Ditu

The Clawson Chronicles

This is typical of the road to Mwene Ditu. The paved road ended not far outside Mbuji Mayi. This road was relatively good, until you got closer to Mwene Ditu.

Road to Mwene Ditu (8)

I will be showing picks of many trucks that travel this road– just unbelievably over-loaded, and THEN have people on top to boot!

Road to Mwene Ditu (4)

Many, MANY trucks were broken down along the road. Some were being repaired on the spot, some had just been left. Several times we were lucky to be in a position to pass them, as they blocked the entire road. The larger trucks were out of luck– they just waited.

Road to Mwene Ditu (5)

Notice all the people on TOP of the truck! This is a combination truck and taxi…

Road to Mwene Ditu (10)

The rare patch of asphalt out of Mbuji Mayi was almost worse than the dirt road, as the pot-holes were quite large. Some of the holes we encountered could swallow a…

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