Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Another Suriname Visit

Visas: those delightful little stamps that grant you the right to freeload in a foreign country for a set period of time. In Guyana, the visas are very simple to obtain. You simply walk off the airplane and into the airport. At Customs, someone will ask "How long are you staying for?"

"Three months." you reply, because in this scenario you're intending to stay for a while.

"Okay" replies the nice Customs person and stamps your passport while jotting a few things down.

"Thanks" you say and proceed to walk into the country, because I'm your puppet master in this scenario and you do as I say. Then you tie your shoes because you forgot to do that on the airport.

So as you can see from this brief scene, getting the 3-month visa is very easy. However, the trouble comes if you're actually intending to stay for a longer period of time, like many of the need-greaters who are serving here.

Supposedly you can apply to the Ministry of Home Affairs for a longer visa, but that doesn't work in reality (what are they doing in there if not extending our visas??). So how do you get to stay longer than that? Simple. Go to Suriname for a few days, and come back. This used to be a fairly perilous endeavor, with at least one Witness I personally know having gotten arrested trying it. However, things have eased up considerably over time, to the point that last year I was able to go to Suriname and come back on the same day and got a new visa. However, I was under some serious duress and was praying for it to go smoothly nonstop for nearly a week. Thus, I got to wondering if this time my visa trip go as smoothly.

Short answer, it did.

So last week I headed out for the coast to get the February Broadcast video and hop into Suriname. I made it there in plenty of time to catch the first ferry, checked into Suriname, asked the people if I could go back on the same ferry, and they said "Sure!" and pulled me around and put me back on the ferry. Went back across the river into Guyana and got another three months.

And I watched Pollyana. Because that's something that plays
on TV down here. Apparently.

And after I got back we had another of our awesome Broadcast parties. We had the highest attendance for a viewing of the JW Broadcast we've had yet. There was 26 people there, which is more than we have publishers in our congregation.

So what else has been up? We've been having a good time with the Work Camp I talked about last time (even having had three of the guys show up for meeting!). This last Saturday when we arrived it turned out only one of the guys was there since one of the tractors broke down in the jungle, so most of them hustled out there to provide some emergency repairs. However, it wasn't a wasted trip since we were able to chat with the one remaining guy for a while, plus when we were getting ready to embark on the 30 minute + walk back home a boat passed by. They stopped and said "You guys need a ride back to the village?"

At which we obviously said "Sure!" So we got a good view of the coast on the way back.

Orealla beachfront property, anyone??

So that's been the biggest developments of late. Apologies for such a short blog entry after such a long time without updates, but rest assured there'll be lots of good stuff coming soon. For one thing, we've got the Circuit Overseer coming next week which never fails to provide some good stories.

Additionally, there's another reason I was on the coast for a couple days, helping set us up for a cool project.... but I'll be telling you about that when it begins!

Stay tuned!

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