Saturday, 26 November 2016

November 7 to December 25

We scheduled a flight to Scotland for November 8 to be with Meg's mother, since we heard that she was not doing well.  After spending Monday delivering some bikes we packed up and took off Tuesday evening at 11:30 pm.  We arrived at the nursing home at 4:00 pm the following day and Meg stayed with her mother till her passing at 6:30 morning.  Meg's sister and brother-in-law arrived a couple of days later and preparations were made for the funeral.

We did some travelling around seeing some of the nearby sites such as Caelaverock castle where 60 Scots were beseiged by 3000 Englich soldiers in the 1300's.

Meg's hometown, Dumfries, provides many opportunities for good photos.  I just wish I had a better camera.  The river Nith runs through the town and often floods the street where I am standing. The building with the torquoise domes is the town hall.

Sweetheart Abbey is a ruin just outside of Dumfries with an interesting history.  The builder of this ancient structured also founded one of the colleges that is part of Oxford university.  We visited the coastal town of Port Patrick that has a lighthouse and a good cafeteria.

In the nearby hills there is a Tibetan Buddist temple.  Also close by is the town of Lockerbie where the 1988 air tragedy occurred when the Pan Am 747 fell of the town, after been blown up by terrorists.
We went to the Craven Arm's for dinner and were about to order when four of our children (Fergus, Nicole, Ramsey and Vanessa) plus our son-in-law Marty ran into the restaurant shouting "SURPRISE!"  They had gotten together and planned a joint trip to be with their mother at this time.  So very nice of them.  Our other son, Gareth, flew in a couple of days later to complete the reunion.  The video below captures the moment of the surprise.  It will play on a laptop but not on an i-phone.
They arranged through Air B&B to rent this cottage in the countryside with enough room for all of us to stay together.  It was located right on the River |Nith.   We had a great time together.  We saw some more castles, had dinners together and attended Meg's mother's funeral as a family.


Vanessa brought me my favourite snack food from Canada - Hawkin's Cheezies that will be made to last througout the next year.  The meal below was ordered by their cousin and was haggis and steak - good way to ruin a good steak.

Some nice countryside views including the Wickerman, which has been the site for folk festivals.  We spent the last day together touring downtown Edinburgh.

Back in Accra in time to see the mission take ownership of a new transport van and to help some missionaries move from the worst apartment in the mission to the best new apartment. 

On December 7, Ghana held an election that resulted in the ruling party being replaced by the opposition party and so far things have been peaceful even with some lively rallies on the streets.
Once again, some missionaries left for home as well as some new ones arrived with fears and a few tears of what would be in store for them for the next two years - a lot of new experiences.

What a coincidence!  Meg met two other senior missionaries here in Ghana that also served in the same mission she did and at the same time over 40 years ago!

We also greeted Elder and Sister Haglund who will serve as member support missionaries in the town of Koforidua which is about 60 miles north of Accra.  They previously served in Armenia so they know how to operate in a foreign country on their own.
|Oh mercy, we see some strange sites but one that stands out is seeing a goat tied to the top of a van going 100 km/hr going down the highway!
We attended the Ashaiman zone meeting and bought coconuts for all the missionaries afterwards.  We bought 33 coconuts for a cost of $22.  The vendor cuts off the top of the coconut to enable you to drink the water which is very refreshing.  He will then split it open so you can eat the coconut meat with is about 1/8-1/4" thick.

A couple times a week we take Fred Abwaji with us to help with apartment repairs.  He visited the mission home Christmas open house with his family.
A choir from, Tema, a nearby town came to the open house with santa hats to sing to the mission president and his wife.

The senior missionaries gathered the Monday before Christmas to have dinner and a gift exchanged that provided a lot of good laughs.
We also had two multi-zone meetings last week with a meal of Ghana food for the  missionaries and some entertainment including some of the missionaries from the south seas islands doing the haka.
Christmas eve was made special by joining the other senior missionaries at the temple apartment poolside for a great meal which included salmon from Norway and BBQ chicken.

At another mission open house Gilbert Oppong and his family visited.  Gilbert is the facility manager who we work with to get the apartments repaired.
We went to a pharmacy located in the Movenpick hotel to get some medicine and saw this nicely decorated tree.

Meg found some new friends during the week.


  1. I bet you feel like your time in Scotland whizzed by! I sure do!!!! Love you both!

  2. I like all your pics dad. It was an amazing experience to be there with everyone :)

  3. Thanks for updating the blog. So fun to read through it!
    The goat picture made me laugh!
    For some reason the video of us surprising you in scotland did not upload. Anyway. love you both!!!!!

  4. What's up with the goat on the roof. Lol . Great update dad.

  5. That memory of surprising you both in Caven's will be forever be one of the best experiences of my life. Amazing moment indeed!