Friday, September 23, 2011

Q&A! Quatro!

Okey-dokey. Now for the fourth round of Q&A.

Q. Where were the pictures in the previous entry taken? Isn't your KH indoors?

A. Yes, but out back we have an additional structure, seen here...

  This spot is used for numerous things. Recently, we expanded our Theocratic Ministry School to having a second school, and it's held back here. It can be used as additional seating if the hall gets to full, such as during Memorial. It's main use will actually be expanded on in the following question....

Q. For Sunday afternoon service, we meet for service right after meeting, go home, & then meet at a planned location at 4pm. I was wondering if yours was the same?

A. Our meeting ends at a little before noon, after which many go home. However, many will go into our rear seating area (as soon above) and eat lunch, talk, etc. This goes on until about 1, at which time there's a brief meeting for service. Every Sunday the territory we work is nearby the hall, so we don't have far to walk. This way, we can leave behind our jackets, meeting books, and whatnot, go out in service, and then whenever we're done we go back to the hall, gather our stuff, and go home.

Q. Can you describe for us your typical day?

A. Each day varies, depending on which day of the week it is. This handy chart, which I spent nearly a minute putting together, will explain my weekly schedule.

Sunday: Leave for the meeting at around 9:15. Meeting begins at 10. At 12, meeting ends, at which point lunch begins. This is the signal for me to remember I forgot my lunch, yet again. Fortunately, everybody brings extra food. After eating, I tell myself  "NEXT week, I'll remember my lunch." At 1, the meeting for service begins. Service typically lasts until 2, after which I continue in service with Jehu Cadogan (a 14-year old regular auxiliary pioneer) seeing various calls. We're usually out until 4:30/5-ish.

Monday: Field service. The place for meeting changes every week, so it's very important that we check the information board at each meeting to see where we'll meet for the week. After service ends (usually 12:30, though you can quit anytime you want), Monday is usually my day for getting back to magazine calls.

Tuesday: Tuesday in one of two days that there are no meetings for service. So in our house, Tuesday is cleaning, shopping, going to internet cafe, and laundry day. (Due to the lack of service Tuesdays, Monday also happens to be 'Stay Up Late Watching Movies' night.)

Wednesday: Again, service. This is my shortest service, due to door-to-door lasting until noon, and me having scheduled all my calls for other days. Sometimes I haven't finished my laundry on Tuesday, so Wednesday gives me a chance to make up for it......

Thursday: Thursday is the other day that there's no meeting for service, so I use this day as an opportunity to study for the meeting. Our meeting begins at 5 PM, and is over by 7. It's interesting though, because it's typically very hard to get a bus anywhere after dark (it's dark here by 6 PM), but there's one bus driver who's figured out "Every week there's a huge group of people standing outside the Kingdom Hall who need a ride in that direction...." So he waits outside for us. Also, there's a shop right across the road from our hall, so before we get in the bus some of us buy snacks, and then pass them around on way home. I myself am a Shirley Biscuit guy....

Friday: Again, field service in the morning, after which I go to calls I have nearby my house (say, within two villages either direction).

Saturday: On Saturday I meet for service with my service group. We only have two, so it's easy to keep straight which on I'm in (which is number two. Wait a minute... One! Yes, I am definitely in group one.)

(wait.... two? No! I am for sure in group one!)

After morning service, I visit my studies. At the moment, I have one (who's left over from my last visit), but I have three others which are close to being studies.

There was also a request for more pictures of the neighborhoods and such, but I hadn't gotten the request until a few minutes ago when I came into this Internet cafe, so I'll have to save it for next time.

Well, in recent news, Micaiah's family came to visit him (arrived today), and will be staying here for two weeks. Due to that, our house is a little full. Fortunately at the same time, Br. Dinoo and his wife will be going to Trinidad, so I'll be house-sitting for them during that time.

And it occurs to me as I sit here typing, I haven't got any pictures of the house, or Sister Dinoo.
Next time!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Meet Hopetown

Sunday was my first meeting back in Hopetown. There were a few changes that had occurred since I'd been here last. The most noticeable was an entirely new body of elders. Last time, it was Shane Antony and Linel Brown. Now, it's these two:

This is Brother Denoo (pronounced Dean-o). He and his wife are from Trinidad. For once, I have no idea what the first name is.

Our other elder is the one on the left, Sean Smith. Last year he was in Paradise, our neighboring congregation, but after Brown and Antony were reassigned, he was the one asked to take their place.

The brother on the right is James Bruce, who several years ago moved here from Antigua. He's been serving as a ministerial servant in Hopetown for at least two years. Here's a better picture...
He has the best hat collection in the congregation.

Aside from Micaiah, we have three servants in our hall. James Bruce, another is William Lynton.

Our third is Claudius "Br. Mac" MacAlmont. He wasn't at the meeting Sunday, so I haven't seen him yet. If memory serves, I may have posted a picture of him on the blog a few months back.

I was reminded of one thing I had forgotten how much I enjoyed. Sunday afternoon service! Whenever I think about going in service after the meeting, I think to myself  "Ugh..." Or something along those lines. But yet, I find I love it every single time. You'd think I'd learn eventually.
One handy thing to have with you is a partner. I personally spend nearly every Sunday afternoon in service with Sean Sarjoo....

He's helpful because he refuses to slow down. Anytime I find myself thinking "That should be enough houses for the day" I look up and see him already marching to the next one.

Now for some standard updates. I finally got back home Friday, around 2 PM. Fortunately I didn't have much to unpack because I had left all my stuff here when I left. Two suitcases of clothes, meeting books, all he necessary shoes, ties, etc. As I was unpacking what little I brought, Micaiah was filling me in on some changes. For one thing, he had bought a washing machine (YAAAAAAAAYY!) One thing he mentioned was he had been having difficulty with rats. He had looked through the house several times trying to find the nest, but couldn't.

(note the foreshadowing going one here)

He also mentioned he maintained a decent schedule of house cleaning, including my room. Sweeping, dusting, etc. "The one thing I haven't cleaned," he said "Is your suitcases. I've left those alone."

(again, foreshadowing.)

So I finally go open up one of my suitcases. Inside, we find....

A nest of rats. They had chewed through the side and settled into the bottom under lots of old jeans.
The good news here though, is they had only gotten into one, and they were in the one I had filled with clothes that were on the verge of being completely ruined anyway. The other suitcase - the non-rat-infested one - is the one I had put service clothes in. And then the meeting clothes were all on hangers. So no real harm done.

To be honest, there's really a whole lot else of note. The few days should be fairly uneventful, so for the next blog, I'm relying on you. Tell me what you want me to write about.

Send questions and suggestions to, or if you prefer,
I check the first one much more. Just so you know.

Friday, September 16, 2011

I'm Baaa-aaack!

Well, I finally made it back to Guyana. Arrived at 1:30 Friday morning. I technically didn't get out of the airport and to the hotel until past 3, but otherwise....

Anyway, the story:

I left from Columbus Airport at 12:10 Thursday (Noon. Not midnight.), and it was a straight flight to JFK in New York. From there, I boarded onto a flight that was a straight shot to Guyana. I had noticed though, while sitting at the gate for the flight, to bordering gate was "Flight Uzbekistan". I'll be honest, up to this point I had always thought Uzbekistan wasn't really a country. You know how when people need to make up a name for some ridiculous sounding country, and they'll come up with like Zwyshkistan. I was sure Uzbekistan was one of those. But it's one of those that actually exist. (Like Chad.)

Question: How come we haven't yet had a Yearbook titled "Highlights From 2012 / Chad / Uzbekistan"?

So anyway, the flight from JFK to Georgetown Guyana went well. Except for half the way we were flying through a thunderstorm. And the guy sitting behind kept bonking his head against the back of my seat.


After the plane landed at 1:30-ish, it was just a matter of going through immigration (which went fine) and finding Micaiah, who had come to pick me up. And he did so in the only appropriate Welcome-Back -To-Guyana way...

So from the airport, he gave me a ride into the capital Georgetown (commonly abbreviated G/Town), and there we stayed overnight in a hotel designed specifically for backpackers, called The Tropicana.

And so, right now we are now in the only coffee shop in the country, Oasis. I am updating my blog, drinking coffee from Guatemala (the Ethiopian coffee's better). And it's a total downpour.

(the picture of the bike is more recent than the picture of Tropicana. Note the extent of clouds and gloom and rain. It's wonderful!)

Soon I should have more. But for now, I'll leave you with this thought:

Kyrgyzstan is one of the world's six independent Turkic states (along with Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan). Located in Central Asia, landlocked and mountainous, Kyrgyzstan is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the southwest and People's Republic of China to the East. It's capital and largest city is Bishkek.