We crept out along the camouflaged board walk out onto the edge of the lake. We were less than a 100 feet from the springs. Wart hogs were rooting around on their knees, several different varieties of birds. We had already seen giraffes, wildebeests, impalas, mongooses, zebras and hippos as we drove through the roughs of the Pilantisberg game preserve. Now as we made our way with the Davies out to the shrouded viewing platform we were focused on the rhinos across the bay. It was mid-day and we didn't expect the treat we were about to get. Then, from to our delight and surprise the family of elephants emerged from the bush and made their way toward us. Actually they were making there way to the Elephants Beauty Pallor - the springs and mud wallow. Here's what we watched for over half an hour while they got a real mud treatment.
Here are a few shots of the other residents of Pilantsberg.
Hurray! The Kingdom and the family, is growing - #15 --
TK is here!
have been a lot of comings and goings for us this past month. Of all of the
comings, that of our new grandson, TK Jason Clyde, borne to Bryndi and Jason on
September 28th, is Marshyl’s
birthday as well. He is “going” to
be one spoiled little boy upon his grandpa and grandma’s “coming” home. He is a
real cutie, but Bryndi reports that all he wants to do is sleep. That makes feeding difficult, but we tell her
to enjoy the slow start up because what is “coming” will have her longing for a
few of those restful breaks in the schedule of a rapidly growing little boy. So
the coming of grandchild #15 is proof that life is going on for the Clydes as well
as for all the other family members.
were grateful for Nykelle coming to Bryndi's assistance, which was a wonderful
service, joy and bonding for the sisters.
Because of a foot injury, Krysti had to postpone her coming and is now
going to the new parents and her second-generation namesake for some Auntie Krysti time. They are both looking forward to that coming visit. It is
going to be a lot of fun for all of them.
Freak Hail Storm
in South Africa Spring, rather Summer, is coming and winter is going quickly. We
had a horrific hail storm the other day and we thought our car was going to be
demolished by the onslaught of thumb-sized ice stones that were coming at a
rate that I have not seen before. It was
an awesome, though scary experience for about 20 minutes. Luckily our car
didn’t get the worst of it, but others did. The dimpled skins of the cars made
for some good work for the “Panel
Beaters” -- their term for body shops.
storm stripped the new leaves of spring from the trees that line the streets and
created a carpet of green that looked like grass on the dirt under them. Generally,
the weather is nice and the beautiful Jackanda trees are in bloom with their incredibly
bright lavender flowers. We see them where we are going throughout the area and
more are coming into bloom each day.
A myriad of flowers coming on remind us
each day that our Winter (back home) is now our Summer here. It’s going to be a
beautiful season. Here are just a few shots of what we are looking at. There would be a lot more but... (see Robbery below.)
walk with the Davies each morning about 3.5K to get our bodies going.From 6:30-7:30 AM the road in front of our
flat (a nice tree-lined neighborhood) turns into a thoroughfare for moms and
dads taking their kids to the various schools in the area.
The comings and
goings of these cars makes it a bit tricky to get across the street to meet up
with the Davies for our morning jaunts.It also makes it a little tricky to get out of our VERY narrow
driveway to get onto the road in the car when we have to leave early.Then in again in the mid-to-late afternoon,
the pattern reverses with kids and parents going home. Our street
is a convenient bypass for clogged arteries for both mornings and evenings. So we
see a lot of people coming and going.
On a not-so- nice note, however, we did not see, nor hear, the coming and the going of
the thieves that broke into our flat while we slept the other night, sometime
between 11:15PM and 3:30AM. It was probably a good thing that we slept through
it. The possibilities of confronting
them as they walked away with Judy’s MacBook, my iPad and iPhone could have
been tragic, for me, or for them, or both. Their coming and going was through a
window that doesn’t have bars barred on it and was not protected with
electronic alarms. The owners will remedy that issue in about two weeks. In the
meantime, we sleep a little less soundly and we pay more attention to the
comings and the goings of everything around us. I am also going to purchase a
cricket bat today and not to play the game either.
goings and comings have been the coming of a new “Preparing for Eternal
Marriage” and “Teachings of the Living Prophets” Institute classes for the Summer Semester. Also, we started a new cohort
of Pathway students. These comings are a real challenge, blessing, thrill and
frustration. The challenge is with the technology and the transport (Taxi)
schedules and the availability and speed (or lack thereof) of both. It is a challenge for the students to get to
the classes at all, let alone on time. So starting and ending on time is a
challenge for them and for us. We do enjoy teaching the classes and the
interaction with the students is wonderful.
Seminary & Institute
are coming to the end of the last Term of Seminary and Institute and are going
into the pressure process of crunching the numbers and records to get ready for
the coming graduation.
That is going to
be a lot easier for us than what we ran into as brand new missionaries last
year in Botswana. The coming Graduation of the Soweto will only have a fraction of the numbers to deal with.
Unfortunately, that is going to be the sad fact of the matter. Far fewer
graduates and student course completions will be met by far fewer numbers of Stake members. We are going to have a dinner meeting with all the Bishops,
Stake Presidency and their wives at the end of October. They are coming to
review the challenges we faced in 2014 and are going to learn about
significant changes in the accountability of the program that the church is
going to implement in the new year.
try to get out on P-days with the Davies and do a little exploring each Monday.
We went to a lovely naturalist area with a waterfall and trails that is close
to us. There were interesting benches and metal art and a beautiful water fall.
Great Green Hoards of Greasy Grimmy Grasshoppers
Also, the comings and goings there were a near plague of very large green
grasshoppers – 4-6 inches long.
When they fly they look like iridescent red/orange/yellow/purple-winged birds as they are coming toward
you and going away from you. Unfortunately it was hard to get a clear picture of their colorful winged flight.
garden had a number of large metal craft bugs and spiders to greet the hikers
as the were coming through the trees and going out toward the falls. The real spider is about six inches long. There were
flowers, a stream, lots of birds and a wonderful little restaurant where we
enjoyed an outdoor lunch together.
Garmin Trouble We
have to rely on the Garmin (our GPS) in our car to help us in our goings and comings to
get to where we need to go here in this very non-Brigham Young laid out area.
Sometimes it is a life saver and sometimes, well, let's just say we have not
fully abandoned some of our less-than-admiring adjectives thanks to its regular
misguiding directions. So it was in our recent going to Tzaneen in the Limpopo
district about six hours northeast of here. I’ll reserve the full details of the most recent adventure trip to Sun
City and Pilanesberg for a blogpost next week. You’ll enjoy the comings and
the goings of the elephants and other big game we were able to sneak up on.
These P-day jaunts with the Davies give us added understanding of the terrain,
people and riches of the African continent. These comings and goings reveal the
non-city side of South Africa and are a pleasant diversion from the traffic,
pan-handlers and noise of the City.
couple of weeks ago we drove about 6 hours to the northeast to Tzaneen to
visit the Heyen’s, another CES couple who work in the Limpopo region (where we
thought we were being called to originally before the call to Botswana). We
spent a wonderful weekend there going to the various local haunts and attended a
spring festival at a tiny village on the mountain pass. The area was beautiful and the mountains
reminded us of going to Flaming Gorge. Huge man-made timber forests of Pines
and Gum trees covered the mountains. Then on the other side we ran into large
groves of bananas and miles of orange groves.
we drove through vast areas of orange and avocado groves, we came over a small
hill. There was a pond and swampy area
on the left side. As I glanced at it I saw something moving through the water.
It turned out to be one or two hippos. We spoke with someone driving through
the orange grove near the pond and he confirmed that there were 18 in that area
and another 23 just a short distance away.
a few weeks earlier one of the hippos was crossing the road (a two-lane paved
road) in the lower area between the pond and swamp area on the other side. A pickup truck came over the hill and did not
see the animal until it was too late. The crash killed the two in the truck and
the hippo. Six locals came out to the site with butcher knives to harvest the
hippo meat. A large orange truck came over the hill and again did not see them
in time. All six were killed. They tell
us that hippo encounters and wrecks account for far more deaths in Africa than
any other animals.
would think that the return trip would simply be the reverse of the journey
into the jungle of orange, mango and avo groves, but not so, at least not so
for the Garmin who I am absolutely sure is a female as it seems to change it’s
mind and directions frequently. That time, the going was the problem. What should have been a 45-minute drive all
on paved roads, became a 2 hour and 45 minute journey through the back
country. The result was a little
stressful, but I must admit also very interesting as we wondered through
country that was reminiscent of some of the brush country of Utah. Obviously we
did make it out, but with little thanks to our Garmin. Take my word for it, the Tom
Tom GPS tool is a better choice. We saw
some wildlife and did not encounter any Hippos on the roads, at least not that
day. I’ll explain next post.
significant realization about comings and goings is just how fast the weeks and
months are coming and how even faster they are going. We continue to love the
people and hope to make some contribution to their faith, testimony and gospel
understanding. However, it is also becoming so very clear that these young
first-generation African members of the church and coming to this continent and
to the church is the result of the Lord’s foreknowledge and timing. They are
coming at the precise time that they need to be here to be prepared to be the leaders
of the church in the next several years. These bright, faithful Seminary and YSA age members
are clearly going to lead the church to the return of the Savior in the years
ahead. Being a part of their comings and goings is a privilege and a challenge
to be much of a contribution to their faith and testimony.
Remember the Jingling Bells of the Ice Cream Truck coming and going up your street? Here is Soweto's version - complete with the same jingle we knew as kids in America.
Well sweetheart, you better add a few of your musings about September now because we have already piled up a lot for the October blog. We need to get on with the Elephants, Hippos, Avos and Rhinos of Pilanesberg and Sun City. But first, you had better reassure them that we are okay and that the thieves will have a much harder time sneaking in to our flat next time.
Can you believe it?! An Icecream van in Africa! Unfortunately, I only had time to snatch a picture on our drive by because Elder C didn't stop to try one of them....maybe next time he will :-D (Come to think of it, would that make it a drive-by "shoot"ing for me? :) Our African break-in has caused us to become more vigilant about our safety. We were definitely blessed
that night! And continue to be blessed as we drive and walk. The Lord is answering the prayers of our children and loved ones and hears and answers ours. We are on His errand in this beautiful country.
We certainly learned a few lessons that night. Driving and walking in South Africa for the past 9 months certainly has raised our awareness that our safety should take precedence. And now, it will. We will have our security checked this week as well as outside security installed. But we will continue to trust in the Lord and His timing for us. And for now, we are here, and safe, and sleeping soundly again. I am so grateful for the Lord's tender mercies!
Our lives have been spared from harm many times already. I have witnessed miracles as we continue our long drives on this beautiful land which reminds me of many places in Utah. Like the United States, Africa has varied terrain and what I've seen so far and reminds me that we are one BIG family in one Beautiful world created for us. We love and pray for you. May the Lord bless and keep you and give you peace.
That’s how the frantic participant in the campfire
program got everyone’s attention as he ran up to the campfire interrupting the
Campfire Leader’s Introduction to the next sing along song. Franticly he called
out as he ran around the fire in front of everyone, “It’s all around me! It’s
all around me!!” he yelled looking off in all directions out beyond the fire ‘s
light. “It’s all around me!!!”The
Campfire Leader saw his frantic movement and calmed him while he looked out to
see who had the young man so worried. “What?What? What’s all around you?” he asked.
The frightened camper looked out with terror at each
of the campfire participants then calmly back at the Campfire Leader (who had
put him up to it in the first place) and lifting his sweatshirt so everyone
could see, he simply said, “It’s all around me, my belt!”
So ended the stunt and the audience laughed and went
on to the next sing-a-long song.
There have been times in this last couple of months
where I too have felt the reality that “it” is all around us too. In this case,
though “it” is not a belt. Sometimes “it” feels that close. The “it” of this,
non-stunt explanation, is the “it” of the spirit working with the people of
Africa, especially the youth and Young Single Adults. As we see them in their
Seminary and Institute classes, hear them at the podium in talks, testimony and
prayer, we feel that excitement and wonder of “it” being all around us.
“It” continues to amaze us just how the Lord is
preparing, calling and nurturing the future leaders of His church in this
great, but oh so challenged land. They need but a few years of maturing, experience
and deepening their understanding of the management of the Church and its
programs to become ready for what is obvious…
a great surge in the membership and influence of the
Saints of Africa.
We have just finished a series of “mine-field”
initiative course adventure activities for the Institute students of the Soweto
Stake.This time we couched the game as
“Escape from Babylon.” This was appropriate following on the Institute Choir’s
performance of “Israel, Israel, God is Calling” practiced and recorded under
our direction for use in a World-wide CES Broadcast last month. (Song attached)
The event of the Escape activity saw participants,
groups of 12-15 students, ages 14-21 (including a few returned missionaries),
start out at one end of the cultural hall with the challenge to move the entire
team(s), all together, as a group, across the floor to the other side (stage) –
without ever touching the floor with their body or clothing.The only place they could step was on one of
the 6-8 1-foot square carpet runner pieces.
AND, to do it all in absolute SILENCE!
When anyone did touch so much as a shoelace, or
finger tip to the floor, the referees called “fault” and that person had to
immediately return to the starting point, “Babylon”.
But, the goal was everyone, all together, as a
united group AND no verbal or sound communication (written was out as
well).Oh yes, after three faults, the
whole team had to go back to “Babylon” and start over – minus one of their carpet squares. YIKES and MOANS, but remember no
sound – or else! It was a daunting task that took from 1:49 to 2:25 hours for
each group to figure out how to do it.
We have done this exercise under various scenarios
for well over 30 years now in Wilderness Treks, Pioneer Treks, Youth Conference
events, indoors (Las Vegas Convention Center) and outdoors from the high Uintas
to football fields.It is always
fascinating and amazing to see the efforts and patterns of attempts that lead
to a common simple slow process that works.It is always fascinating to watch the leadership and non-verbal communication
develop and operate.
It is interesting to see and feel the highs and lows that
is “all around them” as they progress and then fall and try again, each time
getting a little better at the balance and teamwork that is required to go the
It is a wonderful thing to remove the Activity’s gag
and allow the participants to express their feelings, learning and life
parallels to this experiential activity that unites the group in a common
challenge that, at times, feels absolutely hopeless, helpless and totally
frustrating. Oh, but the success and sweetness of“We did it!” is a powerful reminder and
memory hook for yet future challenges.
They may meet with frustrating challengesin their personal
lives, church and school work and workplace. For each of those challenges that
truly will be “all around them,” the activity is a great preparation and
They find out very quickly how vital "unity" is and how much more effective they are at completing the challenge when they rely on each other. Real leadership comes through more clearly when the more vocal can't vocalize.
The "Iron Rod" that they discover on the
floor about mid-way across becomes as significant help to "balance their
efforts" and speed their success.
Of course the goal is one mind, together, commitment and
The Iorn Rod is also an invaluable tool when it comes to mounting a "rescue" for someone who has fallen and needs to have a little "Martin's Cove" help to get back to the tail to Zion .
Progress seems slow at the moment. Its all step-by-step. Here a little and there a little, carpet square after carpet square until through the lesson of persistence they reach "Zion".
"It is all about working together. When they figure our the "straight and narrow" way, the "how" becomes clear. After the trial comes teh answer to the "why".
They laugh, they cry, the fume and they vent - just not verbally.
They fall and they fail and they try again, and again and eventually they figure it out. Once they do it moves very quickly - relatively speaking that is.
They, "we" just can't seem to get through life without stepping on a few feet.
Now they can achieve anything, or at least they have teh "can do" attitude that comes from accomplishing what they all had thought, more than once was IMPOSSIBLE!
They discover that the very help they need, individually and collectively, is truly "All around them".
There is much more that is all around us these days.
Gratefully the winds and air that has been all around us is moving on and the
warmth of approaching spring and summer has chased away the “see your breath”
mornings and walking on frosted ground. Now we are seeing the flowering trees,
hearing more of the nesting bird songs and smelling the fragrant buds of
spring, reminding us that after the
challenge, comes the reward of hopeful and faithful waiting on the sure fact that
spring will come and the this too will pass of the cold and hard
days of winter, is now upon us.
Now each morning as we walk, we are greeted with the
sweet smell of Jasmine, wisteria and several fragrances that are “all around us.”
We are also greeted with the reminder that time waits for no-one and that ours
is marching on and the next several months that are all around us will soon be
all behind us.We hope to affect the
people and the Seminary and Institute process here, just a little for the
better, all though to be honest, the challenge is that we see very little
evidence of that --- yet.
This past week Elder Davie and I tried our
hands at making Sushi. It wouldn't have won any reward, but we did
learn how to get it all around us.
It was time for another gathering with Ann and Wally Krambeck. So we skewered up some kabobs for the Braii (BBQ). The finish product!
The enjoyment of good friends and good food. Any of our family and friends will know that that is our life and joy - at home and here.
We are amazed at teh size and price of bread here. It is tightly regulated, as is petro (gas). These huge loves were about $1.50. People here, especially the poor are weened on bread and it becomes literally the "bread of life" as that is about all they can afford.
So we continue to wait on and rely on the harvest of
the Lord’s watering and the spirit’s cultivating influences over the long term
and know that we are just one little rainstorm in a lifetime of the Master of
the Vineyard. There will be other laborers who will add their influence and
work when we are finished with our little hour.
I had the impression to visit my High School
graduating class web site today.So
interesting.I left that experience
clear that we are not who we were – none of us. There are 27 of our small
graduating class that have crossed the veil From Bill Gammell Connie Crane, Alan
Bartlett and Pierre Harding who were the first to go, to Jeanie Benally and Tim
Woodward the most recent. We came, we shared a little time together, we went
our separate ways and left memories, sweet and not so. Now one by one we
continue on – rather we return to where we started.
Interesting how I have developed such interest in
the lives of my classmates. Interesting how, now, to me, their lives,
experience and family matters. I am looking forward to seeing many of them at
the 50th in a few years. And yes, I know that some of them, us, may
not make it to that gathering.Yet, I am
clear that it will not be many years hence until we will all meet again with
clear memories of who we really were, became and are. So, for now I salute you
my classmates and friends of 1969.
Now to a little family and friend business regarding
our pending return to Utah.
NOTICE TO ALL
FAMILY AND FRIENDS
As we look forward to the distant return to the
mountain, we note some important dates for family and friends to consider. We
expect to return to Scofield about May 24-25. We are in the early planning
(Calendaring) of these events that may be important for you to note.
Party Family and Friends (Yes this means you) Gathering – May 28-31
staining the cabin – mixed with a little Dutchovening, ATVing and adventuring.
Lewis and Amy
Cloward Family Reunion(Doug, Paul and Amy and descendants) ---
June 26-27 at the Cabin. RVs, Trailers, tents welcome and plenty of floor
Doug and Judy
Cloward Family Reunion --- July 1-6 2015 – this may well be our last Reunion at the Cabin.
Sibling (and spouse) ReunionJuly 16-19 at our Cabin.
Ella Jarvis Cousins Reunion --- July 24, 25 at the Cloward Cabin
We love you all and look forward to sharing the
essence of our African adventure with you more intimately upon our return.
Until then, it’s onward and forward in the battle and the service. Judy you are
up for comments and adds….
Judy and Maxine (sister Davie) at a street vendor lunch in Mafikeng
Doug's home made bread bowls and corn chowder
So…..my turn......let’s see, what can I add that will
lift and inspire you as well as my eternal Companion…whom I love so deeply. I
am so grateful to serve my first mission with him and I look forward to serving
more missions with him! I love to take the time to ponder and pray and weep and
yearn and resolve….which I’ve been doing while I’ve been proofing this blog. So
if it was just up to me, I’d end it here, but then y’all wouldn’t “hear” from
I have been so blessed with tender mercies every
day. I like to acknowledge the Lord in all things and at all times and in all
places and find myself inwardly saying “thank you!” over and over again as I
acknowledge another answer to a heart-felt prayer, or plea or request.
Sometimes when I am alone, I verbalize my gratitude
as my tears water my mortal shroud, which in turn feeds my continual growth
through my first African missionary
experience (and yes, my first of more!).
So many tender mercies! If this mission helps me to
journal more and write down all that I consider to be tender mercies (as we
have been counseled to do by our Apostles and Prophets) this mission will be
worth every tear, laugh, smile and hug
(which I preface with “it’s okay to receive a Grandma hug” as I share my cheesy
Last month I accidently dropped our car keys in the
trunk of our car as I closed it. Unfortunately, the mission office didn’t have
a spare key for our car. Elder C asked our neighbor if he and his boys could
come over and help us figure out a way to retrieve our keys so we could be
about our S&I (Seminary and Institute) business. What seemed to me to be 15
minutes later in the sweaty mid-day heat, as Elder C was trying the wire hanger
between the window and the door lock thingy, I went to offer a fervent silent
prayer and in less than a minute, Elder C was able to pop the door lock, which
allowed our neighbor’s youngest son to pull down the back seat handle and climb
over the boxes in the trunk to retrieve the dropped car keys! After all we can
do…and the Lord continues to hear and answer our prayers!
Twice this past month my cheap $1 earrings have come
apart. Sometimes I didn’t know I didn’t have all the part to one of the
earrings until I went to put them on! “Miraculously” I found the metal loop hook in the turtleneck part
of my turtleneck! A week later I noticed the same earring was missing the itsy
bitsy teensy weensy metal loop that attached the earring hook to the earring….I
found it on the floor by my chair by my table “desk.” So tiny and yet
completely known and not lost to the Savior and whomever was serving as my
guardian angel at that time. And yes, in both instances, I fervently prayed for
help and help came.
I guess my part of this blog is my testimony of
sincere prayer. When someone is sick, or something is lost, or we are driving
and I just happen to look up in the opposite direction of my husband and see an
accident waiting to happen to us and we are spared, again, and again….sounds
like the Atonement to me. We come to the Lord’s last supper each week to
partake of the Sacrament and renew our baptismal covenants as we review His
atonement for us…for me….for you.Our
Savior is concerned about the ONE. The lost sheep. The hungry, the out of work,
the hungry, the tired, the poor. We have this wonderful opportunity to make
afresh our covenants every week, wherein we covenant to remember the sacrifice
of our Savior (his Atonement—Gethsemane—where he bled from every pore) which
was shed for US, and take upon us His name, and keep his commandments, and
witness that we do always remember Him, that we may always have His spirit to
be with us. I look forward to taking the Sacrament every week and review my
renewal of these sacred covenants.
Every week we attend one or two sacrament meetings
so that we can meet and greet our Seminary and Institute students and teachers
and fellowship with them. To do this, we must travel long distances. On August
3rd, Fast Sunday, as we entered the N1 (like L.A. freeways) on our
way to church, we noticed that the 12-lane traffic (6 in each direction) was
diverted into one lane and at a standstill.
Apparently the police thought that
the Sabbath was a good day to check for expired car registrations. We sat in
our hot car and watched the clock as the minutes ticked on and on and on. As we
sat there, Elder C realized that he had forgotten to transfer his wallet from
his other missionary pants. I suggested that I could switch places with him and
he graciously declined my offer. 30 minutes later, we were the next car up.
“Miraculously” the red plastic cone was removed from our lane as we inched
forward and we were all free to go! We were the first car to go through and we
got to the chapel just as the sacrament prayers were being offered. The chapel
doors were closed to us. And the sacrament was not offered to those of us who
stood outside the “bridegroom’s” door. We had arrived too late.
I was devastated. However, we were able to sit with
the saints and enjoy the Sacrament meeting testimonies. We then headed over to
the stake center which has two wards meet there. Unfortunately, there were slow
downs again and we arrived at the chapel after the doors had been closed and we
once again, we stood outside the “bridegroom’s” doors and were not allowed in.
This had a profound effect on me. I was inwardly
weeping. I do want to be found unworthy to attend the Bridegroom’s feast! Not
EVER!! I want to renew my covenants with Him every week and recommit myself to
keeping His commandments so that I may always have His spirit to be with me!
The serendipity to this is that I have become more aware and I’m working harder
to be early or ready to leave when we have appointments to keep. And I am
finding that the prayers of my heart are being answered as I continue to try to
do a little better each day....When it’s too late…it’s truly too late. It’s
easier to repent along the way and improve each shining moment….
When we returned from the two meetings we attended,
we found that the N-1 was still blocked headed in the other direction! ONE HOUR
LATER, the lanes were opened and we arrived at the Davie’s flat an hour late
for the lovely dinner they had fixed for us…
Tender mercies are happening every day. I thank the
Lord all the time as I try to have a prayer in my heart. As I am typing this, I
am weeping, again…..Guess it’s moldy age—but then doesn’t cheese become better
with age? I guess that was cheesy…sorry.
We love and miss
all of you. You are in our hearts and on our minds every day and we are praying
for you and looking forward to reuniting with you next summer (our winter
here). Until our next blog, remember, Onward
‘n’ Upward!Sister Cloward