Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Part 4: From Yupukari Til Now

Alrighty then. If memory serves, I left off as me and Tom had just gotten back from Katoka, and were crossing back across the Rupununi River. From there, we went back to Yupukari.

We had left a box of literature there, seeing as our plan originally entailed coming back, and from there going on to the rest of the villages. But since there was so much good response in Katoka, we were now completely out of stuff. Except the one box we had hidden away in Yupukari. So we decided, in lieu of what had happened, that we would instead cover as much of Yupukari as we could with the one box. But seeing as it was about 2:30 in the afternoon, we realized we would have to stay overnight, for two reasons: So we could have more time available to preach, and also so we could get back to Lethem while it was daylight. So Tom found the Toushau (well, the Deputy. AGAIN! These Toushaus are never home). he got permission to preach in the village, and also the man provided us with a place to stay.

As soon as we'd gone inside and set up our hammocks and such (The place was actually an abandoned hostel. Really) we got the box and started preaching. As I said previously, the objective is usually schools, but this time we thought "We'll just try and blitz this village. We haven't got much literature, it's been raining off and on all day.... we'll just do quick house-to-house."

First house we go to, Tom is showing a woman the "My Book of Bible Stories" and she says "If you have more of these, I think the Nursery School teacher would love this."

"Ahh..." we thought "Haven't got time. House-to-house."

Next house, I show the "Learn From the Great Teacher" book, and the woman says "Do you have more of these? The Nursery School teacher would love one of these."

"Okay," we thought "This looks like direction. We're going to the Nursery School."

So we went. It was 3:30 in the afternoon on a Friday. We passed by all sorts of schools and things that were closed. Approach the Nursery School.... front door is wide open. Standing in the doorway was the teacher.

And we talked with her until 6:30 that night.

She told us basically her entire life story. She has two kids, is going through a divorce, has become disillusioned with a variety of churches, and had moved to Yupukari to try and "find herself". Even after we were done talking with her, she asked us to come by the next morning so she could give Tom her e-mail address so that someone could study with her online.

This picture tells another story that's quite interesting. The man in the middle came into the school while we were talking with the teacher (to the left), and so Tom invited him to look through the box to see if there was anything he thought looked interesting. He said "I've already read all this. My wife is a Witness." Apparently, his wife is in a congregation called Annai, a ways north of Lethem. Tom explained that we had come from Katoka, and had intended to go to other villages named Samara, Yakarenta, Apoteri, and Rewa (not all on the same trip, but eventually). The man says "I could take you. I have a boat, and I go there all the time." So he gave Tom contact information for him, and said "Whenever you go, I'd be happy to take you."

So that was an interesting Friday. Saturday, we continued the door-to-door we had started. We began at about 8:30, but everyone wanted things so much, by 10 we were out of literature. However, since there's someone with that tractor (mentioned earlier) that goes into Lethem every week, we were able to tell lots of people about the Kingdom Hall, and that there would be more there. One woman told us "I'm trying to change my life. Can you help me?". So we mentioned the Hall, the books there, and also told her to ask for a Bible, a Teach book, and a study.

There was a lot of people that wanted Bibles in Yupukari, but we'd placed them ALL in Katoka. I even had to place my personal Bible because we found so many people wanting them!
But anyway, after we'd emptied our box, we saw the teacher (Denise) one last time, cleared our stuff out of our luxurious hostel, and got back on the road to Lethem.

Unfortunately, due to the massive amounts of rain, the travel back was...... funner than previously (note heavy sarcasm). All the way back to Lethem we were going about 10 mph, because if we went any faster the bike lost grip on the road/mud. Perhaps I should mention it's 60 miles to Lethem.

Finally though, we got back to the Lethem Kingdom Hall. Michelle saw us through the front window, and came running out to see us. When she got a good look at us, she doubled over laughing.

We did get clean again.... eventually. Afterward, I was offered to stay in one of three apartments that have been built into the Hall there. Yup. In a  few hours I went from sleeping in an abandoned hostel to a private suite, right next to the Kingdom Hall library. Life is good.

So. Sunday. I woke up, took three steps to my left, and was in the auditorium. Tom had the talk, and afterward I got to meet lots of the people in the congregation, including this kid....
.... who gave me this present...

Also, one fascinating story: Last year, Tom and others went on a trip in (I think) the Pakaraima Mountains, and one of the villages they reached was called Paramakatoi. Well, a few days before this particular Sunday, one of the men they talked to and placed books with recalled Tom telling him "If you're ever in Lethem, stop by the Kingdom Hall and ask someone for a Bible Study." So this man gets on his bicycle, and rides it for three days through the mountains. After getting out of the mountains, he finds a truck going into Lethem and hitches a ride on it, and shows up and the meeting, and asks for a Bible Study. And it just so happens the man who had invited him was there giving the talk!
(on the right is Paul Donlon, a brother from Ireland.)

Monday comprised mostly of me scraping mud off the bike.

Tuesday we left Lethem, and got back on the dreaded Lethem/Georgetown road. It was mostly without problem, until.....


It was bad last time we had come through. This time, it was raining (yes, still) and we were going down a hill made of mud. But there was one other little hurdle....
The bus had stopped at a checkpoint, so everyone could use the bathroom, buy food/drinks, etc, when the driver gets a call on his phone (the bus always has a satellite phone with it), saying that a truck trying to come up the hill on the other side had flipped, tires in the air, and slid into a ditch. "So be careful going down" was the helpful advice he got. And we head back out.

A few minutes later, he gets another call. "A tanker truck full of gasoline was going up the hill, and tried to dodge the flipped truck, but they got stuck in the middle of the road."

So now the driver, when we arrived, had to try and maneuver this bus around a tanker full of fuel (say that three times fast. Fulloffuelfulloffuelfulloffuel) To do that, he had to drive literally off the road and into a small waterfall (you heard me) and drive down that instead.

Long story short: It worked out fine, as did the rest of the trip.

Which brings us to now. Just trying to get back into my routine (in other words, catching up on my laundry) Also, one of our elders (Linel Brown) just found out he's been reassigned to a congregation called Wakenaam, which means we'll be back to one elder.

So, that's all for now! I'm wanting to do another Q&A, so remember, if you've got any questions, feel free to send them along!


  1. WOOHOO! First comment!

    This one was good too.

  2. If we didn't know you we could think all of this was because you have one oar in the water. Haha
    What awesome stories. Thanks for letting us live through your adventures!

  3. Why DO they call them business socks? ^_^

  4. Josh! I really enjoyed reading your interior adventure. Are you back in the States now?