Saturday, June 11, 2016

A Day With Hendricks

Every now and again, after a hectic period of Memorial preparations, assembly preparations, visitors, studies, Siparuta trips, and all of that, it's nice to just take a day where nothing happens quickly whatsoever. Thankfully I got a day like that a little while back.

(some of you have already heard the first piece of this story, but there's more, don't worry)

On Thursday morning, only myself and another brother who is aged 19 showed up for field service. Since our congregation had recently finished working the whole territory, it was time to start back over again. We called the service overseer and he told us to pick whichever piece of the village we wanted to start the territory cycle over again. The younger brother and I discussed this briefly and eventually decided to work the furthest piece of our village. Since there's no vehicles in Orealla, all our territory is reached on foot, so it made sense for us to tackle the area that's an hour walk away, so then the nearer pieces could be worked when the rest of the congregation is out.

After we make this decision and begin to head out, one more person shows up. Sister Hendricks, who is a regular pioneer and nearing 80 years old. The brother and I looked at each other and had a moment of agreement. We couldn't ask her to march out with us to the way far out reaches (commonly called "over the creek"), so we said "We can work anywhere. Is there any place you would like to go?"

Her immediate reply: "Let's go over the creek. I haven't been there in a little while."

So we head out, and cover all of the furthest houses in that region. Along the way, we also meet several people from (the Dutch speaking) Suriname who were visiting the village, and without hesitation she pulls out a collection of Dutch literature she has and begins sharing it with all of them. Also started a study with one.

After the morning, we begin the long walk back home. Along the way she tells us about many different older customs, things her parents and grandparents had taught them. Such as how to recognize different types of trees from quite a long way away.

The larch. The... larch.

When we had nearly made it back, Sister Hendricks asked if I could help her with some of her farming work that afternoon. Since the village itself has only a set amount of space, and most of that is used for houses and such, most of the farming is done uphill and further out into the jungle, where each person can apply for their own plot of farmland. What she was needing help with this day was taking some of the very small plants she'd been tending in her yard and transplanting them to the larger farm that she had up hill.

"Yo tree. You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me?"

Despite having almost no skill in such a field (edit: just caught the pun) I agreed to go along, together with her grandson Matthaus. And I must say, I really enjoy their gardening style.

No gloves. No watering can. No shovels. In fact, only one tool to speak of. Specifically, a cutlass.

Right, as in "Arrgh! Landlubbers! Hand over your gold!"

It seems with this one tool, you can dig the hole, tear out all other roots and plantlike substances, bury the new plant, cover it back over, kill all nearby snakes, and finish the entire day with zero dirt on your hands. Hendricks in fact went out to farm still in her service outfit. By the end of the day, she still looked presentable enough to go on studies.

I, on the other hand...

We finished up surprisingly quickly though. Mostly because she's super fast and didn't need me there at all (I think my sole contribution was pushing the wheelbarrow up the hill for her). And from there, I carried on home, happily identifying many different types of trees from quite a long way away.

The larch. The... larch.

1 comment:

  1. Obviously that picture is not of you. Too young and not dirty enough.