Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Goodbye Mike&Lara; My New House; Climbing Coconut Trees

Part 1: Goodbye Mike and Lara
Recently we attended a good-bye party for a need-greater couple who had been in Guyana for over two years, Michael and Lara Alston. Michael is the younger brother of Michelle Sanches, and it was thanks to Mike arranging things that I was able to stay with Tom and Michelle for the month or so that I did.

Actually, that's not nearly all. I first became interested in coming to Guyana because of a blog they kept the whole time they were here. I came across the blog and read it, and then e-mailed them asking general questions about the country. Originally, I didn't intend on coming at all. But through the course of several e-mails I became thrilled at the idea of being able to go and serve there. And so, for the next several months I was in constant contact with them, sending them an endless barrage of questions and asking for advice to help me prepare for coming. They kept responding happily, right up until the week I left to come here. I really don't think I could list all of the things that Mike and Lara did to help me get to Guyana.

So after all that, finding out they had to leave a month after I got there was a little disappointing, but I was very happy to be able to go to their goodbye party. It was very.... odd. The main event of the day was everyone playing a party game called "Cat and Mouse". I'm not sure if this is a Guyana thing or if it's played elsewhere too. It's very hard to describe, but it involves passing around two ties. If that sounds familiar to anyone, let me know. Otherwise, I'm assuming it's a Guyana thing.

Another event was having certain people relate stories about Mike and Lara, or just telling how much they enjoyed having them around, etc. The kind of thing that gets everybody crying during the party.

Mike and Lara

Where the party was held

Another shot of the party. Interesting note: The kid looking at the camera (named Timmy) is a Bible Study in Brighton, and just joined the Theocratic Ministry School.

From left: Naomi Hayes and Chris Hayes (the Brighton COBE). On the right is Brother Samson. During the part where everyone told stories about Mike and Lara, Samson had the best comment. See, they're leaving because Lara has major back problems, to the point where she can barely walk now. So Samson's comment was about how he once had a public talk in Brighton. "For me it was just going to be another talk, but when I see these two walk in, Lara clearly in pain, with Mike struggling to help her inside, I thought 'These two are putting forth this much effort? To come hear my talk?' So after I saw you, I made sure that I gave the best talk I had ever given."

And for the final picture of this segment: The people who got me here.
From left: Michelle Sanches, Mike and Lara Alston, Micaiah Young, and Tom Sanches.

Part 2: My New House
Some stuff about my new house, and the Hopetown congregation. First up:

One of our elders, Linel Brown (yes, that's how it's spelled). He is one of two elders in the Hopetown congregation. There was a third one, but he was re-assigned to work where the need is greater.

No, I'm NOT kidding.

The weirdest thing about it is we have 72 publishers, and our average meeting attendance is around 120. And only two elders. Another problem is, our hall is too small! The pictures don't do it justice, but still....

We've applied for a build to be done so we can get a bigger hall, but we're 14th on the list.

Now, my house!

I also have some shots of the inside, but they're not very good.

Part 3: Climbing the Coconut Tree
Now to let you all know, there are no existing pictures of me climbing one of the coconut trees. This is because everyone was laughing too hard to try to get a picture. However, I do have this: Aaron Bahksh demonstrating the correct way to climb one of these trees.

And Micaiah Young demonstrating the incorrect way to do it

A slight side story: The path back to this particular grove of trees was actually a dam that had been torn up recently. As a result, my shoes looked like this.

Cleaning off my shoes in the creek.

Tune in next time for.......


  1. HURRAY! He updated his blog!!

    So, when you gonna update it again??

    And you actually included pictures! Very impressive. One month and 4 days left til you get a hamburger...

  2. What is growing in that garden? Is it beans?

  3. The stuff growing in the garden is Bora. It's like a freakish mutant string bean. I'll try to get some pics of it.