Two weeks ago we attended both our first funeral in Guyana and our first wedding. Our first funeral was for the mother of our YSA president, Aneeza Cuehlo, and her brother (our new Elder Mark Cuehlo). She also had two more children who were members, a son, Bruce, and Sister Crookshank. The mother was only 58, but she had a multitude of problems. We went to visit her in the hospital. She was there for maybe a month. Her family had to take her food because they don't serve food at the hospital. This hospital was the best we'd seen though. The room was large, about 30 feet by 90 feet. It had no windows, but the walls on the sides only came up maybe 4 feet and then there was an opening up to the roof. A nice breeze was blowing through. There were only 20 beds and probably 12 patients, and it seemed pretty clean. The father of the family mostly stays at the farm which is probably a couple of hours away from their home.
When someone dies they have wakes. The family and friends get together every night until the funeral. Catholics have wakes for 9 nights. I think Hindus have them for 13 nights. The family has to feed all these people, and provide drinks. They gaff (talk), and sing and wail (sometimes), and play games. The people who came mostly wore black, so we missionaries really stuck out.
We took a keyboard and Elder Beecher played the hymns. Branch President Bharat, conducted, and it was very nice. There was a good spirit there. Afterwards, we walked down the road a hundred yards and there was a cemetary. The father had already built the cement tomb, and they mixed the cement right there for the lid. The family had to do everything. I think it went really well.
The Beutlers attended a funeral where all the men drank and there was lots of wailing, and chanting at the funeral.
They had the funeral at their home. We had to cross a bridge made of 2"X10"'s laying across the trench - not too sturdy. They had chairs set up out front with a tarp over them. It actually did rain while we were there. While the family was spraying the body with perfume and saying their final good-byes the tarp shifted and a waterfall went right down a lady's neck. We were glad we went.
The wedding was a very grand affair. Our new friend Nelsion Nurse, sewed the amazing bride and groom outfits and did the incredible decorating. The theme was traditional African. The groom, Christopher Jordan is one of our PEF students. He is the Institute Director and on our PEF Country Committee. The bride is about 18 and very thin and beautiful. They made a striking couple. Elder Beecher was volunteered to play the keyboard again. There were some nice talks and Christopher's branch president, Sherlock Reece married them. Here are some pictures of the reception.
|The cultural hall looks great.|
|I love the head dress. They look great.|
|Here is Nelsion Nurse, Renetta Mentore, Nelsion's mother, and Ann Marie Meredith.|
He made his outfit and his mothers.
|?, Ronetta Mentore, Nelsion Nurse, and Ann Marie Meredith in the center and ?.|
|Dellon Murray, one of our PEF students, and his sister.|
|Christopher and Christine at the head table.|
|Brother Murray, best man, Ann Marie Meredith, Keon Taylor, Ronetta Mentore, Jamal Sobers, and Christine's sister|
|A niece, Kyra, and nephew, Omar|
|Many people got in the spirit and created their own African outfits.|
|President Sobers, head of our PEF committee, and Sister Sobers|
|The bride's sister and Naomi Frazer|
|Her shoes were interesting and HIGH.|
|Elder and Sister Beecher at the wedding.|