Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Drive through Georgetown

One afternoon after we finished at the stelling for Family Awareness Week we dropped Sister Chin off downtown.  School was just getting out, and it was crazy as usual.
It had been raining.  It's hard to see how deep the water is on the side of the road.

Armed guards stand outside of Mohammeds gold and jewelry store.

School children wear uniforms.  There are many colors and kinds.

Driving is crazy.  The rules are often for somebody else to follow.

Buses like the one on the right are everywhere.  They take the people all over.  They rush in front of you and then stop so they can be there first to get the customers.  The number shows what route they drive.

Even the little kids are out and about in all this traffic.

There are few sidewalks so people walk in the roads - wandering horses, too.

The horse carts make deliveries all over town, and there are hundreds of taxis.

A big beautiful new building.  We watched one day as they hauled  by hand over hand the cement up in buckets to make the columns.

Oh, there a sidewalk here.

We are driving down Sheriff, one of the main roads.  We live 2 1/2 blocks off Sheriff.

The students wait for buses after school.

This guy is crossing the road with all his equipment.

Almost home from our drive through Georgetown.

I found some cousins!

I met the Ramsay family who are in the Garden Park Branch.  Sharmain is one of our employment specialists.  There were 10 children in the family, two are deceased.  They are so happy, fun, beautiful, and friendly.  When I met Sharmain I said we must be cousins!  So now I am cousins with the whole family.  We are so happy when we see each other.  One of these days we will talk family history.  One of the son in laws said that their Ramsay ancestor came from England.
Malia, Ronetta, Christine Braithwaite (Sharmain's sister), me, and Sharmain Ramsay

Family Awareness Week

June 13 -21

Family Awareness Week was kicked off with an opening ceremony at the Prashad Nagar chapel.  Many members were there and also the Leader of the Opposition for Guyana, Georgetown Mayor, members of the Interfaith Religious Organization, also Cynthia Massay and Miss Simmons from Ptolemy Reed, Bernice Mansel and Zarina, and Rae Seebarran the Lion's Club President.  Several speeches were given.  The importance of the family to our lives, our communities, and the world was proclaimed.  The mayor said that he had two sons who were members of the church.  The President of the Religious organization said that he would be a Mormon if he didn't have his own church.  We helped Sister Cook with a slide show about all the humanitarian projects the church had done in Guyana.
After the program, the special guests were invited to a little social where some of them offered prayers and gave thoughts.
Family Awareness Week kick off in the chapel.

Sister Beecher, Cynthia Massay, Miss Simmons, Xaviera Henry, Sister Rawlins

Vo Nella , Randy, and President Goodluck and Nicholas Witter who was blessed to be able to read when reading the Book of Mormon.

President Sobers and Christine Jordan

Marcia Meredith and Rowena Bowen

Sister and Elder Surujbhan in the pink and gold

President Chin, President Reese, Marcia Meredith, ?, and Sister Surujbhan

President Pooran with Zarina and Bernice Mansel

Georgetown Mayor, Ray Seebarran, Ronald McGarrell who is a pastor, and others.

On Sunday talks in the branches were centered on the family.  On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday during the days.  There were three exhibits around Georgetown where the importance of the family was discussed, pamphlets were handed out and the missionaries were there to visit with people and share a gospel message.
We were asssigned to go to the Vreed-en-Hoop stelling.  A place where speed boats give people rides across the Demerara River, and there is a marketplace.
We had good support from the members the first two days.  Thursday, there was also a Health Fair at Prashad Nagar and many members were served there.
We moved our booth next to this lady who has her "tangerines" so attractively stacked.

The outside of the stelling with the view across the river.

The passenger boats lined up ready to make the crossing.

People getting off the boat.

Sister D'Oliveira, Sister Ramotar, SherryAnn, Mark Ramotar, Elder Benson, and Bro. Stewart

We had a great discussion with a lady named Zally who owned one of the booths.  She wanted the Elders to come back and teach her.  On Saturday there was a great service project.  There were about 25 members who came including the Cooks, Beutlers and us.  We cleaned a men's boarding house.  We swept and washed walls and mopped etc.  It was fun to work with all the members.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

May's Monthly Report

MAY’S MONTHLY REPORT IN THE WIM by Elder and Sister Beecher
The time goes by in lightning speeds sprinkled with a few moments that drag on like heavy weights pulling at us.  Those moments are usually tied with communication problems. Much time and effort was spent to get the PEF loan ready for President Sampson in Barbados. Information was submitted and then the waiting would begin and then it would be repeated over and over. Hopefully everything will be in place soon.
The Young Single Adult training and activity were fantastic even with no power, no water, rain… The limited number of YSA participants was supplemented with neighborhood kids. One mini-missionary said that it was the best activity he has ever been to in his life. I guess all the bug bites were worth it after all. We had an incredible Family Home Evening/celebration for the cast members that had been in the play/roadshow. The idea of tying a gospel principle to every activity was so powerfully felt by everyone at the Family Home Evening. The hymns, the lesson, the activities/games everything was tied to a gospel principle. We were also able to use that in a Family Home Evening with members.  A member invited us to FHE and after we got there assigned us to give the lesson. Of course, FHE was started with a song and then as the lesson we took the song and discussed the meaning.  When the brother tried to twist things to reprimand his wife, the discussion was turned around without offending him or anyone else. That was a miracle.
The piano lessons are going slowly.  The students that make progress are the ones that practice. It would be wonderful if they had support from home to make sure they were practicing and practicing correctly. It would make a marked difference. Sometimes the power is off and only one keyboard has batteries.  We can solve that problem. The lighting is another thing and sometimes the building is locked. We have some students that are consistently there and twice that number that come sporadically. Jimmime is always excited to help others learn.  He is the most advanced and is so proud of his accomplishments. They are all anxious to help carry things out to the car. They enjoy being helpful. Perhaps they are learning some other valuable traits, i.e. being helpful, even if the music learning is limited.
The CXC preparatory classes got started.  They are a little shaky. If it has been a rainy day, there have been both teacher and students who have not gone to class. There are many surprises for us.  We are learning slowly. We are excited that a strong possibility for free textbooks has opened up. We are overwhelmed with the offer to teach classes for a year or maybe longer for free is so freely offered.  We are trying to make contact with an inactive member of the Church who has verbally expressed to his branch president that he is willing to teach both math and English in Rosignol. That will bring the total to four places in Georgetown and one in Berbice for members to get their CXC preparatory classes in math and English.  These classes are especially important in light of the Daniels’ twins in Rosignol who have dropped out of school because their regular teacher became ill and they have not been able to learn because their new teacher is unable to maintain discipline.  This means that the Daniels have become dropouts without their CXCs with a big debt and no way to pay off their loans. Another huge happy note is that a grant is approved, verbally at this point, to help purchase materials, including computers for the upcoming Office Management, IT, and other computer classes. We think that is fantastic.
PEF changes continue to evolve. When we go to the Utah for our son’s wedding we are spending some time with Robert Hokanson who is over self-employment and small business loans. He is going to help us know what is available and what to do to help in that area. We seem to have a growing number of interested people in that area. We have talked to a couple sisters about building earthen ovens. We have learned that better information is obtained by visiting in person rather than by talking on the phone. Some of our PEF students are struggling and others are marching forward.
The Dunfords visited Guyana to get some video for a new Caribbean project. We took them to the D’Oliveiras home because they have a Church Humanitarian chicken pen. The D’Oliveiras have an incredible setup.  It is inspiring.  They exemplify being self-sufficient. Then Elder and Sister Monson gave Sister D’Oliveira a ride home with all of the things she had supplied for the YSA activity. They asked to see her operation and were delighted with what they found.
President Pooran asked us to provide a slide show of the Humanitarian, PEF, CXC… activities for the Family Awareness Week. Sister Cook has done most of the work. We have provided some pictures and editing suggestions. I will include it in an attachment. Sister Cook has done a remarkable job with this Smilebox.
We feel very needed and we know that Heavenly Father is guiding and helping us.  We know His hand is in this work and miracles happen.  We are excited to go for our Ramsay’s wedding and while home to learn new ways the Church can help, and return to hopefully help a few more people.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

YSA Water Party

May 25, 2013
The Monson's came from Trinidad to help us with our YSA water party.  They are teaching us that every part of every activity should be tied to a Gospel principle.  The water fight could be compared to the war in Heaven, and then you discuss how it applies to you in your life.  It works really well and makes the activity more meaningful.
Anthony and Steve D'Oliviera and Elder and Sister Beutler

Elder Monson, ?, Elder Beecher, and Jimmime, one of our piano students.

Sister D'Oliveira and the Singh family.  Sister Singh cooked the  Cook-up  rice, which is rice with chicken and vegetables and spices in it.  We love the Singh family.  The father passed away while we were there, and left the mother with 6 children to care for.

The Monsons' led the fun and games.

Sister Singh whipped up this big pot of cook-up rice. The port was at least 2 feet diameter and deep.

The three slip and slide winners, Courtney Douglas, a mini missionary, and Keon Taylor.
 It was a great activity.  The attendance was not great because it was pouring rain all morning, but the food was good.  We sent them home with a hot dog and started the party with the Cook up rice.  Those who came had a great time.  We enjoyed having Elder and Sister Monson come to visit and train us. The water was off at the Church, so nobody could clean off, nor really clean up very well.

Adventures in Georgetown

 June 1, 2013  Here are a few pictures from around Georgetown and a story about our evening with the Indian High Commissioner and his family at their new restaurant.
They are building a big house across the street.  This guy
is balancing there working on the electricity.

This picture was taken from the top of our steps.  They were
working on this house when we came eight months ago.
There are many interesting plants.

We see this lady every now and then carrying her goods on her head.

We love the orange blossomed flamboyant trees.

Those trees are planted all the way down Thomas Street.

Here are Elder Richard and Sister Hazie Brown.  They are the auditors.
They are going home soon.  We love having visitors.

Because our windows are always open the floor gets very dusty in a week.

The construction here is mainly concrete, but they use skinny poles to frame things up.  They haul up buckets of cement by hand to pour into a framework for a mold.

This is a picture of the new Indian Restaurant called the Aagman located on Sheriff Street.. The restaurant is on the top floor.   We were invited to a private dinner party there last Saturday night.  The son of the Indian High Commissioner and his wife are creating the restaurant.  Their names are Raj and Neha Meena.  We sat by them at a Christmas party hosted by Reza Chowdery, an India Indian, who lives in Maryland and has developed a medical school here.  He goes back and forth to India doing fund raisers for his school.  The party started at 7:30, and we were about 10 minutes late and were the first one's there.  Neha sat us down in a portion of this beautiful restaurant with her father-in-law, the Indian High Commissioner and his wife and son.  We visited with him for about 20 minutes before any one else came.  We asked him to tell us what he does here.  The population in Guyana is around 47% East Indian.  They have many holidays.  He sends students to India and brings students here from India, and is very involved in many kinds of businesses.
The next couple who came were the Sizovs, the Russion diplomat and his wife, Maria.  We enjoyed visiting with them very much.  He had a fun outgoing personality.  His English was good, but his accent was strong.  The more beers he had, the harder he was to understand.  He tried to teach me some Hindee words.  Then about eight gold miners came, and the Commissioner spoke to them in Hindee and we couldn't understand.
About 8:30, they took us to our table to eat.  We sat with the High Commissioner's wife and son.  The son just graduated in India with his MBA, and came to Guyana to help take care of his mother who has had a stroke.  They started bringing out appetizers.  First they brought vegetarian dishes like Veg Hara Bhara Kebab, Paneer Tikka Shaslik, Tandoori Aalu, and Tandoori Mushrooms.Then came the non vegetarian appetizers; Tandoori Chicken, Chicken Tikka, Chicken Hariyali Kabab, and Mutton Seekh Kebab.  After that came the spinach soup.  This was followed by the vegetarian main course Paneer Tikka Masala, Veg Handi Hyderabadi, and Dal Makhani. and then the non vegetarian main course which included Butter Chicken, Mutton Rogan Josh, and Fish Goan Curry.  These were served with Jeera Rice and Pineapple Raita, and Tandoori Roti, Missi Roti, Plain Naan, and Butter Naan which were different kinds of breads.  Then we finished off with two desserts, Gulab Jamun, and Doodhi Halwa.  It was 10:30 by then and we passed on the tea.  All the food was delicious.  Elder Beecher thought a couple things were a little spicy.  The son showed us how to eat the roti and the dishes that went with it.  They eat it with their right hand and then they brought a little bowl with lime slices in it to wash your fingers in.  It was a delightful evening.  We had an enjoyable time with our table mates.  Raj and Neha stopped by to speak with us as well.
The church is having a big Family Awareness Week from June 8th to June 15th.  On the 8th they are having an opening ceremony and 27 dignataries are invited.  We took invitations along with a framed Family Proclamation to the Indian family and the Russian couple.  We hope they come.  When we delivered the invitations we were blessed with a tender mercy and we were able to speak to the son and his mother and also the Russian, Petr Vizov.
Georgetown is an interesting place.  Elder Beecher is always after me to take a picture of the pot holes.  Here are a couple of good ones.
Sometimes you can't drive around the potholes.

This fellow sold newspapers. He had an energetic stride and manner. He seemed to work hard and we saw him often.