Tuesday, November 29, 2011

All's Well That Ends Well

As my second Guyana trip draws to a close, I feel as if I should impart some wise, encouraging words to you all.

But nothing comes to mind. So instead, here is what comes to mind....

To start, I am quite fond of that Caribbean style of homes. In particular, the paint jobs.

This was in Bush Lot, one of the largest villages in our territory. It has a great variety of houses, yards, and such. As an example, here's a house not too far from this one.
This country has some of the best bridges... some of them are downright frightening trying to cross. Typically not, but there are always exceptions.

Bush Lot is a village nearby our Kingdom Hall, a short walking distance. This is nice because Bush Lot has some excellent snackettes and restaurants. So just in case you're going in service Sunday afternoon and have forgotten lunch, it's always an alternative.

Due to it's close proximity to the hall, most people reserve Sunday afternoons as a time to go on calls and studies in Bush Lot. I've gotten into the habit of going in service with Shaun Sarjoo, both door-to-door, then on our calls. We usually get in a brief visit to a Chinese restaurant called Dabit Young.
This picture above is from a study Shaun did last Sunday. This boy (whose name escapes me at the moment..... AAGGH!) has difficulty with reading, so Shaun is attempting to not only study the Bible, but also teach him to read. And let me just say, I was blown away. When we first got there, the boy couldn't recognize his own name. After half an hour, Shaun had him reading entire sentences.


One aspect of service that's different here (aside from all territory being door-to-door preaching), there is no such thing as a "Coffee break". Instead, we have "a five". Since it's all walking, there'll usually be at least two occasions per morning where the whole group gathers together somewhere there's shade, and sits down. If anyone's too tired, they'll take this opportunity to head home, or to get on a bus and go on calls/studies instead.
Taking a five very late in the day. Hence there being so few people. At the start of the morning, there's about three or four times this many in service.

Actually, that's another strange thing. Guyana is not hot. The air is very cool from the constant ocean breeze. The problem is the sun, which is very intense. So you just sit in the shade (as seen above) and it is, quite literally, instant relief. Because of this, shade is not called shade. The name for it is "cool". As in:
"Too heaty today. Let's go sit in the cool."

(Yes, Heaty. Like the hot version of chilly.)


In other news, Hopetown had a new couple move in. Due to this, we now have three people named Joshua in the hall.
From left to right: Joshua Persaud (or Josh #1), Joshua Westfall (Josh #3), and Joshua Taharjit (Josh #2).
Sometimes, depending on who's giving the talk, and whether he can remember last names or not, we have been called on like this: "Brother Josh 1... you had a comment?"



So, on to recent events. I must say, this past week has probably been the best week I've had during this trip. Here's the breakdown:

SATURDAY: Field service from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM. Most of the day was spent going to calls and telling them I'm leaving, be back soon, etc. Especially though, asking if they wanted me to find someone else to call on them while I'm gone. I'm glad to say that I was successfully able to find someone to go back to all my studies, and most of my magazine calls.

When we got back home from service, it turned out that there was a party waiting for us. Since I'm leaving Thursday morning, December 1st and Micaiah's leaving Friday, December 16th, they had a going-away party for the both of us. In our house. It was..... interesting.

Bible pictionary is surprisingly popular here.


SUNDAY:
On Sunday, I thought it was about time I visited Brighton again (plus I had a few things to give back to some people....). It turned out, Elder School is starting this week (today actually) and class is being held in Brighton congregation, so after the meeting they asked that people stay behind to help clean the hall as thoroughly as they could. This included taking out all the chairs, sweeping and dusting everything, then mopping. After work was done, I made rounds to various friends in the congregation, just to tell them my plans (leaving Thursday, coming back, hopefully, pretty soon...).

After getting back home, I kinda just settled in, when I heard calling outside the house. I go out to look, and there's Linel Brown standing outside. In case you don't recall, Linel Brown was one of our elders in Hopetown before getting reassigned to a congregation called Wakenaam, then reassigned again to a Georgetown congregation. This particular day, he was on his way to Brighton for the elder school. Riding with him he had a brother from Lethem named Jordan Harrison (see previous post: http://nutso42.blogspot.com/2011/03/part-2-special-assembly-and-some-fun.html). They came in for a little while, we talked a bit, then they moved on.

MONDAY:
Monday morning, we went to a beach. Admittedly, I'm not terribly fond of going to the beach, at least not very often. Except this time was different. This time, we found a refrigerator door!

The wonderful thing about refrigerator doors, or this one in particular, is that it floats! Not only that, but the tide was coming in while we were there, and coming in fast.

Surfing on a fridge door.... it's now one of the funnest things I've ever done. Unfortunately, I hadn't taken a camera, so no pics of it.

That evening, we went to a families house for dinner/card games. They'd invited a few others, so there was about twelve people total. It was a classic game night setup.



So that's what's been up. Now I'm just passing time until Wednesday night when I head for the airport.

Once again, I feel as if I should impart some wise, encouraging words to you all. But I've got nothing.
 I will say, as much as I hate leaving Guyana, it is made much easier knowing how many people I'll be able to see when I get back to Ohio.

And, of course, the snow. Must never forget the snow......


Monday, November 14, 2011

A Bit of Signing and Speaking

To start off, let me clarify something in the previous blog post.

E appears 449,825 times in the New World Translation
O appears 358,865 times
Next is A with 343,205 occurrences
Then I comes next with 272,159
Finally, there's U with 123,981

And of course (sometimes) Y.


So, on with recent events!

The primary thing that's been happening that's new or unusual is some calls I've been going on with our Service Overseer, Season Dinoo. He used to be in a sign language group in Trinidad, and has retained enough of it that he conducts several studies with deaf or hard-of-hearing people in our territory. I just recently began going with him.

Naturally, the sign language here is different from ASL, the main difference being that here, signing is much more descriptive, almost like playing charades. Also on the studies they make abundant use of pictures to go along with the signing. Many of the deaf here don't even know sign language, so that doubles the workload of the brothers and sisters that study with them. First teach them sign language, then begin the Bible Study.

Due to the descriptive nature of signing here, and the fact that half the study is pictures, I'm able to keep up fairly well with the conversation. I don't necessarily know what signs to make if I want to talk to them, but I know what they're saying.


Of course, I have several calls of my own to keep up with. The most notable recently being a guy named Peter who lives in a settlement called Bath (you may recall me and Micaiah lived there for a period). He's been wanting to come to the meetings for a while, but he seems to have difficulty finding the hall. He knows exactly which street, but he asked which building on the street the Kingdom Hall is.
"Uhh..." I say "The big blue building shaped like a Watchtower."
How many of those are there in the world?

So anyway, that was the last time I talked to him (which would be.... Friday? I think.) Maybe next time he'll make it.
(We even offered to meet him at this house, but that didn't work out. Anyway...)

The most irritating problem I run into here (and frequently!) is that of finding a call who has loads of cool questions that take tons of research to find the answer to, getting everything together that I'm going to talk about, go to the house, and.... "No, he nah home! He gone out! Next time!"

For instance, I have a call on a Hindu man named Amid, and he says that according to one of the Hindu books, Jesus went to India (in between the Bible's references when he's 12, then later when he gets baptized and begins his ministry). While there, he learned yoga and all that stuff, and that's how he could walk on water, etc. Well, after said research, I found the answers for all of that, go back.... "No, he nah home! He gone out! Next time!"
And subsequently, every time I go back "He nah home!"
"Well, when can I find him home?"
"Wednesday! After 5!"

Go back Wednesday after 5... "He nah home!"

You get the idea.


Anytime you can get your calls home, it's without fail a fantastic call.

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Well, that's about all there is in the world of news. I'll just begin typing whatever Guyana-related topics come to mind that I may not have shared before.

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Rain! The rain here is cool. The way to tell how long it'll be raining is how dark the sky is. The darker the clouds, the shorter the rain. Whereas if the sky is very light gray, even white, it means the rain will last most - if not all - of the day. For instance...

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As per the question on the previous blog entry about several bridesmaids in wedding dresses.... I actually have no idea. I wasn't attending the actual wedding, so...

It does seem strange, now that you mention it.

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Did you know the phrase "Train of Thought" was created by Thomas Hobbes? That was something I had been wondering about for a while, but just now looked up.

I'm not sure exactly how that's Guyana-related, but still.

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Thomas Hobbes is also who Hobbes is named after in Calvin & Hobbes.

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Okay, I seem to be at a loss for Guyana-related information. I could keep typing, but it would be a bizarre and increasingly unrelated string of trivia that I'm not entirely sure you all would like to read. So perhaps I'll bide my time and just update you more next week.

Till then..... POLL!

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Wedding of Rishana Bakhsh

About the most exciting thing happening recently around here was..... a wedding! One of the pioneer sisters in our congregation (named Rishana Bakhsh) recently got married to a Canadian brother named Randy Wade.

I didn't personally attend the wedding, because they wanted two or three people to stay behind and keep watch at the place they were having the reception. But as far as receptions go, it was pretty standard. However, it did give me a chance to get pictures of people who usually shy away from the camera! First though, shots of setting up...

They also had this neat place just outside....
This was actually on the fourth floor of a hotel, so there's a bit of a view of downtown Georgetown....

Okay, now as I said.... pictures of people and stuff. I suppose it only makes sense to start with the two the whole wedding is about....
Randy Wade and Rishana Bakhsh.... I think it would've been cool if he'd changed his last name to hers, instead of vice versa. Rishana Wade sounds okay, but Randy Bakhsh is awesome.

They had a huuuge wedding party. Too many friends between them I guess.
And now, bunches of other people!
Morlon and Jehu Cadogan (unless noted, the people are from Hopetown)
 Here we have....
Micaiah Young (sporting his new white suit), Season Dinoo, and Tim and Claire Johnson from Rosignol, our bordering hall.

Here we have one of our Ministerial Servants, Claudius MacAlmont (Br. Mac) and his wife Carmen.


Now for..... the Hat Gallery!















So. That was fun.

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Now, as for the poll:
The correct answer, how many vowels appear most in the Bible, the majority were in fact correct! E is the most frequently appearing vowel. O is second.

There's a simple way to find this out. You can even get the exact number!
Tinker around with it, see if you can find out how.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Day In The Life

Well, I'm at a loss for what to talk about. So I've decided to put down whatever comes to mind. Gather round and let me tell you about my standard day.

Wake up, anytime from 6 AM to 9 AM (yes, 6 AM. I wake up then. Sometimes. Rarely, but sometimes.)
Breakfast varies. Anything as simple as toast with Golden Cream (a substance that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike butter), to an odd mix of eggs, okra, onions, garlic, and bora, with just a hint of soy sauce.

(according to martha.stewarts.mega.empire.com, "a hint" is similar to 3 liters)

After breakfast, depending on what time it is, either I do Bible reading, or I have a frenzied attempt at getting ready for service, all the while screaming "AAAAAAAAGGH!!! I'm late!! I'm late!!! I'm supposed to lead out today!! Or maybe tomorrow! But anyway, I'M LATE!!!"

For service, we meet at a location pre-arranged before the previous meeting. Sunday we'll get a list posted on the information board saying "Monday - Gas Station in Village #10. Tuesday - Bacchus Residence. Wednesday - Middle Dam, Bush Lot." So we meet at whatever place, and do door-to-door until noon. We have nothing besides door-to-door territory. You can imagine how hot it gets while we're in service....

After service, I'll typically go on calls I have. If I'm with someone who has a car or motorcycle, we can go all over. But if I'm not with one of them, I take a bus, and therefore have to be much more careful about which calls I go to (so as not to run up a massive transportation bill for the day).

A shot of the buses.

I'll finish up with my calls anytime from 2 in the afternoon to 6. After that, the rest of the day varies. Maybe cooking dinner, maybe cleaning or laundry, maybe reading.... whatever tickles my fancy at the time.
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I'd like to apologize for it being a while since updating this. Internet's been down forever.... I also had been working on this particular blog update for a while, when somehow the page reset itself and I lost everything I had been working on.

And I really don't feel like rewriting every bit of it at this moment. So I'll leave it at this for now and give you more later.