We have had another wonderful week!
First, our big news is that we are staying a week longer. Original plan was to fly home to USA on 27-28 January. We could go to Utah first, to see family and friends there, then drive down to Henderson and Las Vegas to see family there, then drive home. We either needed to buy a new car, or pick up our old one. But the two granddaughters who have the old one are very attached, needless to say. It's a 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid, pushing 100,000 miles, so we are ready for a new car anyway. But we keep hearing about the car shortage in USA. [No such problem in South Africa. Why???]
With COVID so bad in the USA we don't really want to go home at all! This week's COVID rate in South Africa is about 6 cases/100,000 people. Utah is 337/100,000. California is 284 cases/100,000.
Also, our flights were Johannesburg to Atlanta and Atlanta to Salt Lake City. We were worried about that second flight, because no one has to be COVID tested to fly domestically. We didn't want to catch something on the flight and then spend the next week visiting family and friends, in and out of lots of homes and restaurants. We could be our own super-spreader event. Instead we asked Church Travel if we could move our flights. Our house renters are moving out on 1 Feb, so we need to wait until after that to come home. New plan: We will leave on 4 February and fly Johannesburg to London, then London to San Francisco. All are international flights so require all passengers to be COVID tested. It's no guarantee, but it improves the odds. We will go straight home and isolate for a week or so to make sure we didn't catch anything in the airport. Since we are not going very far from home, we'll just drive Sue's 1956 Thunderbird until we can buy a "real" car.
Monday was more office work. The Taylors really are wonderful. We are not at all worried about leaving the mission in their capable hands. They also gave us some cookies that they grew to love in New Zealand, and are also sold in South Africa. The fun part is that the missionaries in New Zealand also "slam." This was a missionary tradition in Russia, too. They take a little bite out of the top and bottom of the cookie, and then put one end in their mouth and the other end into a cup of liquid (milk, juice, herb tea) and try to suck the liquid through the cookie. When the cookie gets soggy you gulp the whole thing into your mouth before it falls apart on the table. Hard to describe. Messy to do. Missionaries love it!
Elder & Sister Hubrich invited us off on an adventure with them on Tuesday. They needed to visit a school an hour+ southwest of here, where the Church has funded some major repairs and renovations. The Hubrichs are Humanitarian/Welfare missionaries, so they do these kinds of projects all over.