Tuesday, 30 June 2015
Sprawl II ( Mountains Beyond Mountains)
Apologies this is a day late, the power went out on us as we were using internet yesterday, which dashed all hopes of writing.
WELL, it turns out that I'm starting to feel the downsides of starting off in likely the two FLATTEST areas in the mission. I could tell as my plane flew over to Fogo that I would be seeing QUITE the change from what I'm used to.
The area that I'm serving in Fogo is called Cova Figueira, and happens to be the same area that two of my previous companions have already served in. However, this area, rather than just consisting of a main town or city, has other sub-zones as well that we get to work in. One of these zones is called Estancia Roque, and it just HAPPENS to be 5km UP the mountain, from the main village. I'd had Elder Crooks tell me quite a decent amount about the area before, and it happens to be the one part of our area that has anything really going on. When I arrived here, my new companion, Elder Gunther, told me that we end up working there just about every single day of the week, which would be pretty normal, except for the fact that we don't have a reliable means of getting up there consistently.
The first day I got here, we started to venture up the road, in hopes of finding a car, or more specifically, a Hiace (basically the main form of Cape Verdean transportation), but unfortuneately, the only Hiaces that head up that way, had already left. We started to walk up, but thankfully, turned back after realizing EVERYBODY from up there was coming down to Cova Fig. to watch the soccer games that go on here. The soccer games here are like the ONLY thing that go on, which means EVERYONE goes. That day was very difficult to find ANYTHING.
Second day, we were very lucky to find a Hiace to get us up there, which was wooooonderful, and once we were up there, it was great. They've recently started a group up there (that's one level below a branch), and we're working with a decent amount of people up there to progress to baptism. We're able to get really really good reception up there. The people are super nice, and really easy to get along with; the only strange thing, is that EVERYONE up there is always dressed in long pants, sweaters, hoodies, shirts on their heads, you name it! They are pretty well covered head-to-toe, despite the fact it's blaaaazing hot up there. I thought that was pretty darn funny. The sun is so intense, that they cover their skin from it (for reasons I know not why...).
On Saturday, however, we were unlucky in finding a Hiace, which meant the undeniable fact, that it would be a walking day. It certainly didn't help that that day I had a headache AND felt lightheaded, but I certainly felt like Regine Chassange of Arcade Fire in that the road kept winding with 'mountains beyond mountains' with 'no end in sight'. It's pretty fair to say I agreed with her when she sings, 'I need the darkness, someone please cut the lights'. When we findally got up there, I wanted nothing more than to sleep! Hahaha!
Despite it's many difficulties, I'm starting to like the area, I'm sure that I will learn to love it. In the town here, there is really only one store where they sell stuff, and it doesn't have a whole lot, so it was a HECK of a surprise when I walked in there one night and a guy said to us, in English, 'hey, you guys like Dr. Pepper?'. Using my interstellar negotiating skills, good looks and incredible charm, I was able to get the can from the guy for FREE, after he asked 100 escudos for it (like a dollar). It was truly an incredible tender mercy.
Well, it's certainly been a week of changes, but it's been fun too. Love y'all!