Hogsback Mountain

Hogsback Mountain
Hogsback Mountain Wilderness

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cape of Good Hope

Namibia, which is part of our Cape Town mission, is similar to the state Nevada, a big barren desert, with few people.  Our church has only two small congregations in the entire country.  We would like to send more missionaries into Namibia but the government has denied visas, leaving only one Senior Couple in Namibia.   They want us to hire local Namibians as missionaries that would help solve the country’s high unemployment rate, not realizing that our missionaries are unpaid clergy that pay their own expenses. They think we are a business.  After much fasting and prayer on the part of many members, the customs officials changed there earlier decision and have now granted four missionaries visas.  We believe this unexplainable change is a direct answer to our prayers.

On August 20 our church sponsored a Mormon Helping Hands across the whole African continent.  Our part in this community out reach service was to clean a Senior Care Center doing yard work and washing windows. We had a fun time with the local members this day.
Paarl Members Serving at the Beaconvale Frail Care Center

 Yesterday we took an all day excursion to the Cape of Good Hope.  It was the most beautiful sight we have ever seen.  Beyond going to the “bottom” of the world and seeing the bluest ocean, we encountered Jackass penguins, baboons, ostriches, dassies (little rodent like creatures about the size of a cat) and lots of other human tourists.  We visited Hout Bay climbing an old stone fort built in 1670s.  We stopped at Miller’s Point (where the penguins live), and the Cape of Good Hope.  This is the furthest southwest point on the African continent. 

Oldhams, Mahlers and Fowers at the "Bottom" of Africa
Oceans meet at the Cape of Good Hope

As missionaries here we have begun to understand the hope and determination of this great country.

Cape Point Light House   1860

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Loving the People

As with any Fowers Family adventure there are so many adjustments.  For example it is winter down here and there is no central heating in any home, so I am always cold.  I go to bed with a heating pad and eat breakfast in my warmest coat.  Because it has been so cold, we leave the windows and doors closed so then everything is moldy and musty.  Cooking is an adventure as well.  I baked cookies the other day and I couldn't find shortening or brown sugar and it took me three stores to find chocolate chips. Even the flour is different, so it took several tries before Luci's famous cookies even resembled the kind I baked on Sunday nights.  We are finally adjusting to driving on the wrong side of the road but are constantly fighting 40 years of muscle memory so we both have to concentrate intensely while driving.   I was a terrible back seat driver when we were driving in San Diego...you should hear me now!

Check out the steering wheel on the right side of the car!

South African peoples are beautifully diverse.  We are constantly rubbing shoulders with individuals from different, fascinating cultures, races, ethic backgrounds and social economic levels.  They are a friendly and happy people for the most part and they are working their way into our hearts.  On Clarke's birthday last week we celebrated with a group of Young Single Adults that we have been helping.  They were so delighted to be part of his celebration. We have been working with them to bring focus and direction to their lives and help reconnect them to their faith in Jesus Christ.

Chocolate Birthday Cake
Poverty and unemployment are a crushing problem here.  We have had our large municipal garbage cans (here they call them the rubbish bins) stolen twice in the last month.  We were quite irritated by it until we realized that people were stealing them to live in...it keeps them warm and dry during this rainy season.  There are massive townships (slums) here that we have not ventured into because they are simply too dangerous, but we see the shanties from the freeways and it is heart wrenching.

Miles and miles of shanty homes without runny water or sewer lines.

We continue to be in awe of the landscape and vistas.  Last Saturday we took an enclosed cable car to the top of the famous Table Mountain which is located in the heart of Cape Town.  We went from sea level to 3550 feet in elevation in about 2 minutes.  We felt like we were on the top of the world and we could see for 50 miles in every direction.  We took dozens of pictures and they simply did not do justice to majesty of the view that was spread before us.  It is impossible to comprehend the beauty and magnitude of God's creations and His love.

Top of the World!
View of Robben's Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Beyond Words!

A day away from the office on our preparation day (commonly called P-day) provides us with an amazing taste of the rich culture, temperate climate and magnificent vistas found in and around Cape Town.  There simply aren’t words to describe the majesty of what we saw yesterday.  These pictures truly are worth a thousand words…enjoy!

Pan African Market    Tribal Masks

Original Carvings from many African Tribes

Master Carver with his Art

View of Cape Town from Signal Hill where South Africa was
dedicated for the Preaching of the Gospel in 1853.

Atlantic Ocean View from Signal Hill

P-day Pose on Signal Mountain (Table Mountain in Background)

Kirstenbosch Gardens...Magnificent!

Amazing Flora and Fauna 

Sun setting over Lion's Head Mountain

Drakenstein Mountains

High mountain valley of wineyards.

View from the Summit!