I'm not sure if you've read every single preceding blog post, so here's a quick catch-up for you regarding necessary information in understanding this blog post. Neighboring us in Suriname is an English speaking village and congregation named Apoera which I had visited once before, three years ago, by taking a 3-day long vacation, then visiting the Kingdom Hall there to deliver a public talk. At the time, this was a very rare thing.
Since then we've gotten a congregation boat which allows us to trade speakers with some regularity. This last Sunday was my turn to finally visit again.
Okay, I think you're all caught up.
Every three months we trade a speaker, but since the boat holds six (and Apoera has almost the exact same model, so they also fit six) we take this opportunity to bring along other brothers and sisters who may not get an opportunity to visit other congregations very often. Keeps it fun, every trip is a different crew. Well, besides Geno. Geno is boat captain. So he always goes.
|Mathaus, my front row partner for the trip.|
|L-R: Anita Sarius (Mathaus' aunt), Geno Chacon, David Herman (newly baptized brother from Assembly post), and Janet Hendricks (Mathaus' grandmother and my fellow Pioneer School classmate)|
The trip is supposed to take about 1 1/2 hours down the river, but water was rather rough that morning, so it wound up taking closer to 2 1/2 hours to reach. Happily though, we'd left early enough that we still had plenty of time. Geno does not mess around. Meeting at 10 AM? Alright, we're leaving at 4:45 AM!
|What, you thought I was joking?|
Part of the reason for this is that Suriname is one hour ahead of us, so when we leave at 5 AM, travel for 2 1/2 hours, that means we've really arrived at 8:30 AM.
|Apoera's convenient dock.|
Even then that leaves us an hour and a half, but the trip isn't quite finished. After the time spent in the boat on the river... still not quite to the final destination.
|"Um, Geno? I think you took us to the Ohio University campus."|
From here you must catch a car to then drive you to the Kingdom Hall. Fortunately, even though the village is large enough to have cars, it's still small enough that everyone knows where everything is.
|There's a reason we only do this once every three months.|
So after that, we make it to the Kingdom Hall/missionary home, where they kindly let us shower, change, eat breakfast, etc and prepare for meeting. Yes, change there. No way you want to wear your meeting clothes during that trip.
With more than an hour to spare, we have a leisurely time eating and gaffing with our host, and slowly people begin trickling in to meeting.
|I can't think of a good caption. My sassiness has run out.|
Over time, this trickle becomes a deluge. If you read my entry on my first Apoera visit, you saw that at that meeting the attendance was around eighteen or so. This meeting, they hit 92!
After meeting, we went to the home of a couple who was sent here after graduating the former version of SKE (Bible School for Christian Evangelizer Couple Ministerial Bible School School?) who lived, conveniently, next door. After about two hours of conversation, I realized the brother there owns a guitar and harmonica. Aaaaand all conversation from me ceased.
|Upbuilding, encouraging spiritual conversation.|
|"An effervescing elephant / With tiny eyes and great big trunk"|
"Um, Josh, could you pipe down?"
"ONCE WHISPERED TO THE TINY EAR / THE EAR OF ONE..."
After several more hours of this, we determined it was time to go. Unfortunately, almost as soon as we decided this, rain hit, and hit hard. You may have noticed in the pictures that our boat doesn't have a cover on it, so we opted to wait it out. By time we finally got to Orealla, the sun was just about to set, but by golly we made it!
So now in the next three months Lennox Johnston goes again, then McKenzie, which means I get to go again in... August. Phooey.