Sunday, February 24, 2013

Málaga Apartment Photos

Since we will be leaving this apt next week, I decided to show you what it looks like.  There are things we like about this apartment and things we don´t.  The floors are all high gloss tile, hard to walk on a lot but good looking and easy to keep up.
This is the front door and entry way. Notice the knob is just a pull.  You can't open the door without a key! That is standard here. Straight ahead is the living room. Just before that door is the hall to the bedrooms and kitchen.

There is a picture window behind me and a door to a small balcony.  Right now we use a space heater in the evenings to keep it warm.

This is the kitchen.  The fridge is about 2 ft wide. This one is much wider than the Fuengirola apt will be.  However we can´t use more than one major apliance (oven, washer, dryer, heater, mixer) at a time or we blow the fuse. 
This is the cabinet above the sink.  Notice that there is no bottom. You wash dishes and put them in the cupboard to drain.  This is the norm here.
This is the ´washer´!  We worked so hard to get it.  Now we leave it.  Above it is the dryer which comes with us.  It is an evaporation dryer.  They don´t need vents but you have to dump out water after each load.

With my back touching the dryer this is the view.  Just past the red tiles is our ´´clothes line.  If something falls, it goes 3 floors down into someone else´s patio.

Our hall, the door on the rt is to the kitchen. Next is the bathroom, left is the 2nd bedroom and straight is the master.

The Master.. has a cold and is resting. We really like this bed.  We will have to find one like it for the other apt.  It only has a double bed, and we want to sleep comfortably for the next 2 years.
Half of the master bath.  The small white machine next to the sink is a dehumidifyer. Yes, we have 2 bidets, one each bathroom, and we like them. I only photographed 1 bathroom.  The other is smaller, no tub, just a shower. 

The rest of the master bath. I am standing in front of the door.

The extra bedroom with some moving boxes already filled.  We have to move out all the stuff the mission owns but the furniture stays. 
This is the view from our little patio.  We have had rain off and on all week.  I have loved it, but you should see the moisture inside our windows!
This was taken near sunset from our bedroom.  We are really in Spain!
We go on little walks to get bread and fruit.  We hear cheers from the soccer matches at the city field down the street.  One evening, as we walked past we heard 2 men who were customers sitting in a cafe, singing. Work at the mission office is a lot to learn, and we have had some health issues that I am handling.  Rod was asked to be the branch clerk for the Mijas international branch today.  They called a member to replace Elder Stevens as branch President.  We were impressed with the Stake President. The Church is growing here and they are working hard on retaining their new members.  It is very exciting to know of the 58 new missions that are coming.  Pray for the new mission presidents and their wives.  They do a demanding job!  We already love ours, and our branch members.  It happens so fast.  As the Stevens have had several farewell events in their honor, it makes me think of when we go.  It will be harder than leaving home was.  Well, till next week. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013


It’s been another busy week.  I know, you’re just so surprised.  We did have fun though.  Sunday after our talks and my lesson, we went to the airport and picked up the Merrills.  I was so glad for name tags.  We had no trouble recognizing them.  We were pleased to have made it to the airport without getting lost.  Then we had to find their hotel.  We made it even though our Tomtom didn’t have the exact address.  Some streets are short enough that there aren’t house numbers. We still found it.

Monday we visited 3 hospitals with them.  The first was actually more of an urgent care clinic type place which was just down the street from the mission office.  We were impressed with their facility and the man who showed us around.  He told us that they are part of a group that has 23 clinics and hospitals all over Spain. That would save us lots of work if we like them and if they like us.  The clinic has 2 ambulances which look just ours inside.  Spain has an emergency system but the ambulances are owned by particular facilities, if I understood correctly.  You can still request the place you are taken to though (I think).  That afternoon we visited a beautiful hospital in a city between Fuen and Malaga.  This place caters to rich foreigners and has rooms nicer than most hotels.  They are private rooms but have 2 beds so that family can stay with the patient.  They have all the bells and whistles medically too.  The last hospital we saw was in Malaga and was just as nice, with all the equipment and specialties.  It is also part of the Quiron group like the first place and they told us that they have an agreement with AETNA.  The church is trying to set up worldwide coverage for the missionaries with AETNA so that would be super convenient.  Up to now, missionaries have had to pay up front and get reimbursed which is sometimes hard for them.  We will see if this works. 

The next day we drove for 5 hours to Murcia.  We drove through the mountains which were so beautiful, covered with snow.  The clouds behind them were almost glowing and it was sometimes hard to see where mountains ended and clouds started.  At the base of the mountains were miles of fruit trees.  Some of them are just starting to bloom.  Some were the same white flowers as almond trees, but some were pink, maybe some other fruit.  We found our hotel after one false start.  You have to put in the postal code, not just the city.  There were 2 streets with the same name.  Oops.  It was a beautiful, fancy hotel.  We ate lunch there, which was expensive but very delicious.  Instead of bread to eat while you wait for your meal, they offered a dish with green olives in 1 section, and potato chips in the other.  They had an amazing breakfast buffet too.   The thing was, after traveling with Dr Merrill, we were wary of eating cold meats.  He and his wife have served 6 previous missions, most of which were in Africa.  He spent a lot of our travel time teaching us about some of the illnesses he saw and how to prevent them.  He worked as a GYN Dr, but when he was called to Africa, he studied and became an expert on these tropical diseases.  Sooo, Wash Everything, and cook meats and eggs completely!  Our food comes from all over the world, and isn’t necessarily safe.  He says to soak fruits and veggies in bleach water for 2 minutes, even bananas, even if peeling them.  He also advises heating any cold meats, including cold cuts, before eating.  As we stopped to eat ‘on the road’, he had all our sandwiches toasted, which works fine for me.  He is a Coke Zero lover and claimed that it would kill intestinal worms. I am not sure if he was justifying his drink of choice or if it really works.  His wife is so cute.  She commented after a while, ‘We don’t get invited to eat out with people very much.”  So funny.  They have 8 kids, 5 were adopted.  One daughter has MS and tells them that she misses them while they are gone and loves to have them visit, but that she is stronger and healthier when they are out on their missions.  Claim your blessings, kids! 
 We saw 2 hospitals in Murcia and then on the next day drove another 1 ½ hours to see one in Alicante.  The third day we drove to Sevilla.  That is Seville as in the ‘Barber of’.  The hotel was cool, modern inside and the Stake center was just across the street.  The coolest part however was the entrance to the parking garage.  It was an elevator.  You drive into a box, push your floor, the door closes, and you wait for a while.  The first time we didn’t even feel it move.  Then the back door opens and you are 2 floors down.   Amazing! 

  We saw a hospital that evening.  Rod and I went out after we got home and walked a blopck over to see Puente del Alamillo. You can find it on Google if you want to see day time photos.  I loved mine. 
The pedestrian walkway is down the middle. The bright spot on the right 'wire' is the moon.
looking toward the 'back' of the bridge

looking back to where we started.
The next morning we had no hospitals to see, so Rod and I (the Merrills aren’t up to a lot of walking) went downtown and saw the Cathedral.  It is the 3rd biggest in the world, by volume, the largest.  We were in our first traffic jam there too.  The architecture is fascinating, with a strong Moorish influence.  I was glad to take some photos.  That wasn’t an option when we were driving.  It takes a driver and a copilot here. 
A small door.

Just one side's support.
The organ pipes are on two seperate walls, all with hand carved wood around them.

looking up

One side of the nave, not even the whole length.

I liked how the light looked streaming in.

These figures are carrying Christopher Columbus tomb.

notice the height and the open door

That same door.
One of 2 paintings by Goya
A nativity window.

The angel offering the baby Rod's favorite food
Outside the Cathedral.

A street in Sevilla  Note the arches and tile. 

The day after Sevilla, we drove to Cadiz.  We have to go back there when we have time to see the sights.  It is an ancient city on an island or maybe peninsula in the Atlantic. 
window arches and decorations.

Okay, too many arches, but windows, doors and even just walls.  I love it.

Sunset on the atlantic

That is a wide street here.
Their hospital is old, like everything there, but still has the equipment and an attentive staff. A member, Bro Lopez, who is a doctor, drove us around there. We were glad not to be the ones driving for a while.  He also took us to see an urgent care facility in San Fernando, near Cadiz, which will work for our elders.  We felt such a connection with Brother Lopez. It is interesting how quickly that happens sometimes.  We drove home that night, getting to Malaga about 10:30 pm Friday. Saturday we took the Merrills to the airport.  We spent the afternoon buying a new washer.  We will get to use that for only a week and a half, then the Stevens will leave and we will move into their apt.  Just call us gypsies.  At least we can move clean clothes and sheets instead of dirty ones.  Till next time.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Our third week in Spain

Our Third week in Spain.                                                             Feb 3rd – 9th

We have made it through our third week in Spain!  We are getting more comfortable driving and parking, and we have tried a couple different grocery stores. We spent a day and a half trying to get the washer fixed, and we have found our favorite ‘chino’ store (kind of like little dollar stores).  I watched Sis Stevens give piano lessons.  Friday, we were invited to dinner near San Pedro and I saw my first glimpse of the coast of Africa. On p-day we washed the car and found a gas station close to ‘home’.  We gave our first talks in Sacrament meeting today, I gave my first Relief Society lesson, and then we drove to the airport, picked up the Merrills, and got them to their hotel.   That was the nutshell, here are a few details.

I have enjoyed trying different grocery stores.  At home, every store has the same stuff, often grouped in the same way. Not so here.  The store we tried in Fuen (Fuengirola) had some products from England, the Lidel here in Malaga had more German products.  As you might guess, there are lots of tourists from parts north who visit Spain.  We spent Wed. trying to get the washing machine fixed.  Rod had spoken with the dueno on Sat. and he had sent his friends, who are our neighbors over to see if we were just doing something wrong, a good plan, however it wasn’t us this time.  They couldn’t get it to work either.  David and Virginia said that a repair man would call us on Mon. Well this is Spain so Patricio called on Wed morning as we were leaving, saying he would come at 10 am.  At 11 he called for directions, so Rod told him how to get here… giving directions in Spanish to a native speaker …tee hee.  He and Rod worked on it for a couple of hours and then he said he would get a new part and come back.  At about 6 that night, he called and said he hadn’t found the part, the parts store was only open in the morning this time of year, so he would get it and come on Thur am.  He actually came early, put in the part, which didn’t help, found another problem, fixed that and then we tried to get it to work.  It looked like it was working, so he left around noon, we put wash in and went into the office.  Oh, we were good missionaries and gave him a book of Mormon with a short testimony in it. After ‘work’ we went with the Stevens to the church where she gives piano lessons.  I enjoyed watching and would find it fun to do that if we have time.  One big difference, they use ‘do, ray, mi, instead of A, B, C.  Another thing to learn.

 When we got home, the washer was beeping and full of wet soapy clothes.  Ugg.  I hand washed some things, then we just took our white laundry to work Friday, and washed a couple of loads at the Stevens during the day. Patricio called and asked how the washer worked so we told him it didn’t.  He said he would call the Dueno and tell him it needs replacing. Ohala!

 President Hernandez had invited us to dinner that night, plus we were to meet with the Deeres after work. We found their house!!!  Sister Deere gave me the info for billing the insurance, another thing I have to learn to do.  Rod talked with Pres about ideas for distance ZL training, and how to get the missionaries to follow up on referrals.  We caravanned from there to the dinner as the Deeres and Stevens were coming too.  We drove down the coast toward Gibraltar and I got my first glimpse of Africa.  The sun was setting, so the photo didn’t work, but I could see mountains across the Mediterranean.  It was so beautiful.  The dinner was hosted by a family in the Spanish ward we had visited with after church last week.  They are so sweet and fun to talk to.  It took 1 ½ hours to get to there (Pres got lost) but we ended up in a villa on the top of a mountain overlooking the Mediterranean, very posh.  Turns out our member works for the owner of the home who is only there 10 days a year and he had told her to use his home for her dinner party.  We were starving, remember dinner is late here (we started about 9 pm), but it was wonderful.  Their salads here are lettuce, chopped green olives, salt and olive oil, plus whatever else you want.  This had tuna, tomatoes, corn, carrot, and more.  Try it, it’s very good.  So we started with the salad and or d’oeuvres, then lasagna with a white sauce instead of tomato base. Yummy!  For dessert, there was bread pudding custard that was wonderful too.  Rod and I spoke Spanish most of the time, and I understood most everything. Yea!

P-day the Jehovah’s Witnesses came by.  I gave them one of our pamphlets in trade for theirs.  We found a car wash just a few blocks away and learned to work that.  While we were there we saw 2 guys using it to wash their bicycles, the fancy racing kind, but still.  We also cleaned the house and car interior, and bought a few groceries.  The herbalista was closed when we went by.  They are supposed to have tincture of benzoin for taping cuts.  We will see. 

Sunday we spoke in Sacrament meeting.  We were to introduce ourselves and give short talks on how the church had impacted our lives.  The branch is so small that they are excited to hear from new people.  I was glad that my first talk was in English. Rod talked about his love for the temple, and it was so cool that the closing hymn was ‘How Beautiful thy Temples Lord’.  It was a little testimony of inspiration, cause those hymns were chosen a month ago.   I had also been asked to give the lesson in RS.  It was #3 and had the example about learning to play flute so I found a recorder for 1 euro at our chino store and used that as my object lesson.  It went well and everyone participated.  Our block is only 2 ½ hours so it was nice and short.  We had to leave immediately to pick up the Merrills. They are our Area Medical Advisors.  This is their 6th mission, most of the others have been in Africa.  We will spend this week touring medical facilities with them.  I am glad to have someone show me how this should be done.  Pray for us though, we have to drive to places we have never been!


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Málaga photos

I promised photos of our first 'tour' of Málaga.  Our first 'P' day (preparation day) was a week ago Saturday.  We hadn't been here long enough to need to clean so we took the bus downtown to get oriented to the town and see some 'sights'.  The weather was beautiful, and so was the city. 
they are getting ready for 'Carnival' or Mardi Gras so there are costumes on sale around town for the kids just like  we have around Halloween.  I don't think I photographed any of the lights a that are going up though. 

This is a small plaza and fountain.  It was a busy day.

This area is just for pedestrians and was quite wide as streets there go.
This is a Roman theater that they have restored and use for productions.
We intended to go into the part of the fort called Alcazaba that you see at the top of the photo, but ended walking all the way around the hill and climbing up to the higher part of it, El Castillo de Gibralfaro.  We got our exercise that day!
From 2/3 of the way up, the Mediteranean and the bull ring.  There is a 10 year moratorium on bull fights right now but we were told that most places still hold one a year. 
Near the cranes in the port is where the cruse ships dock.  The building is the old customs house.
that is the Cathedral

I think that is Paseo del Parque

The city inland.  I think our building may be behind the palm tree trunk somewhere.

This walkway goes all around the top of the walls though I expect the safety wall on the inside is new cause some parts didn't have that.  This thing has been rebuilt many times, at least once upon the ruins of a Moorish fort.

looking through the arrow slit

We were intrigued by the stone work.  Look at the different arches.

What he saw from the last photo.
 Entrances to forts were at right angles and uphill, giving defenders more chance to attack entering enemies.
See, I told you they had some similar plants. They had a whole wall about the history and uses of lots of the historically important plants of the area.  I thought this one was so beautiful!

             The bougainvilla is this purple color.
It is interesting to still see the Moorish influences in the buildings and tiles that are on them.