We began to wonder that night about the members on Soche, high up on the hill.
Tuesday morning we were glad we had a zone meeting so we could get out and feel like missionaries again. Yet when we reached the Blantyre building and talked with the elders and sisters, we realized that there were some serious problems for the members though no one really had the details. George headed out to check on the Nthenda family and I stayed behind though it was difficult to focus on the missionary presentations.
When George called, I knew it wasn't good. He came back to get me and we went home to quickly change into our jeans and practical shoes for the nastiness outside. Then we headed for Manga where fortunately there is a paved road most of the way up the high hill where the Nthendas live. Only five days earlier I had gone to visit Sister Nthenda to see if I could help her with her upcoming Primary lesson.
I had approached her house unannounced and found Sister Nthenda studying her Primary lesson along with daughter Towera and her brother-in-law Earnest. We sat outside in the nice weather.
These are pictures of her house from an earlier visit.
However, when we parked the car, the Nthendas were no longer in their house because it looked like this.
The "uncooked bricks" and mud mortar had come crashing down about 3:00 AM. Fortunately, the Nthenda family escaped and managed to make their way to another partially finished home up the hill. They tried to call us at 5:00 AM but we didn't hear the call. By the time we arrived, they had salvaged most of their belongings and had carried them to the large unfinished nearby home.
Brother Nthenda, who is a welder by trade, is in the aqua rain suit.
He salvaged everything he possibly could.
George is loading up the truck for our first run.
I carried out a backpack and several totes. One had a small teddy bear sticking out on top. Brother Nthenda sat in the back seat with daughter Towera and two nephews.
The road didn't look too bad at first though we saw much damage on the sides.
The further we drove, the worse the roads became, until both George and I were practically holding our breaths. The rains had left many, many jagged rocks exposed in deep ditches that would traverse the roads. At one point it felt like we were driving down a waterfall. We eventually ended up in some open areas but the ground was so saturated it could not hold any more water. This was the first stall.
It took about fifteen minutes to get us on our way again.
When we got about as far as we could drive, we unloaded and hiked across fields to get to our destination.