Monday, December 8, 2014

The Missionaries of Charity and John Ganesh

February 2014
The Missionaries of Charity had a Catholic nunnery right next door to the Garden Park Branch.  President and Sister Chin did most of the landscaping and mowing at the branch buildings.  Sister Margaret Chin was a great friend to the nuns and instigated humanitarian projects to help them.  The nuns invited us to come to their celebration of the completion of their home for the elderly.  The Nuns there were so amazing.  They had a nursery for about 43 children.  A couple of times we went to visit and they had all of the children ages 2 to 4 all asleep or resting quietly.  We thought it was miraculous.  They had a center for the elderly and were taking care of 15 elderly people.  There was a therapy pool and the Church helped them with a water pump and a power washer.  The Church also supplied the beds and mattresses and bedding for the beds, and  a fridge.  They had to feed those who lived there, but they were also getting ready to open a soup kitchen.  We became friends with Sister Leonice, the Mother Superior.  She was quite young, maybe 35, but we felt a real bond with her.  
The power washer - not me, it's in the box.

The Nuns' center for the elderly.
 John Ganesh was a good Catholic who helped the Nuns with their building projects and many other things.  He owned a large shipping business.  He imported many things to sell in Guyana. We ordered the water pump for the Nuns from him.  He was willing to hire some of our Church members.  

The Nuns center for the elderly.

The container for the water pump and the garden

The bedroom for the elderly.

John Ganesh, Sister Leonice, Sister Beecher and another friendly nun.

John Ganesh and his wife

The children asleep at the Nunnery
The nursery at the Nunnery
This was amazing to us.
John Ganesh has a shipping business and he was just completing his new warehouse.  On the very top of this four story building he built a kitchen and area to serve guests and have parties.  It is built of the nicest materials we saw anywhere in Guyana.  It is on High Street across from Ashmans, and just up the street from Carnegie.
It is close to the Demerara River
The green building on the left is Carnegie.
The Ashman's store on the right.
Starbroek Market with all the cars.  On the right you can see the spire of the famous largest wooden church in the world.
It was a great view.

Interfaith Harmony Week

February 1, 2014
Interfaith Harmony Week is an impressive celebration of harmony with all the different religions in Guyana.  Leaders from the Rastifarians, Muslims, Hindu, Bahai, Catholics, Seventh Day Adventists, Mormons, Presbyterians, Lutherans, and others are included.  There are many prayers, and speakers.  Each religion is invited to set up a display and have information to hand out.  
This year it was held in a big white tent in front of the International Cultural Center.  The highlight for us this year was to have our picture taken with President Ramotar, the president of Guyana.
Sanjay Pooran from our District Presidency spoke.  He is a gifted speaker.

President Ramotar, the president of Guyana

Pastor Ronald McCarrel is speaking.  He is a great friend of the Church. He confided that he would join the Church if he weren't the pastor of his church.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Business School

January 2014

We also did a handing over with The Business School the end of January.  As a combined humanitarian/education project, we arranged over many months for the Church to provide The Business School with a generator in exchange for scholarships.  We worked with Mr. Bovell, the owner and Principal of the school.  We were able to offer scholarships for students to complete CXC's (Caribbean examinations) or for business classes.  Church leaders and returned missionaries were first on our list to help then single moms and active members.  They needed to be worthy, needy and ambitious.  We were able to offer 25 scholarships.  The students were excited.  They had to promise to attend classes, do their best, and they had to have their branch president's endorsement.
The generator had not been installed, but Mr. Bovell was cleaning up and painting a place to put it.  President Pooran was our priesthood leader there.  Keon Taylor who was made a counselor in the district presidency was a scholarship recipient.  Keon and two young women, Kimbley Reed and Sheriza Aly were asked to speak at the handing over.  
Keon Taylor receives his scholarship from a teacher.

Kimbley Reed and Sister Beecher

Sheriza Aly, Keon Taylor, and Kimbley Reed - three of the 25 scholarship recipients.

Sister Rowena Bowen and Sheriza Aly

Elder Beecher and Mr. Bovell
We had a meeting for the scholarship recipients before we left.  On the left is President Pooran, Brother Barrow, Sister Merlene Johnson, Sheriza Aly, Sister Newsum, Francilene Steven, Abigail Smith behind her, Marcia Mckenzie, Sheri Lewis, Milton Steven (who had a scholarship to Carnegie), Aran Steven, and President Sobers.  President Pooran was in the District Presidency, Brother Wayne Barrow is the Self-Reliance Specialist, Sister Johnson was over Education on the Self-Reliance committee, and President Sobers was also in the District Presidency.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Handing Overs with President Taylor

February 2014
We love President Taylor.  Keon returned home from serving his mission in Guyana while we were serving there.  He was in the LaGrange Branch where we were assigned to go to Church.  He was one of our dedicated piano students and we were privileged to spend lots of time with him.  He had a girl friend when he came home and that didn't work out well, but he knew he should get married.  Someone suggested Naomi Frazer would be a good wife and he started dating her.  We also knew Naomi.  She is a sweet gal and a returned missionary.  We got to be a listening ear for Keon as they courted and had their ups and downs.  Keon was called to be a counselor in the District Presidency with President Goodluck. President Chin is the first counselor.  We love them all and enjoyed our association with them.
The hygiene kits in the Emergency Container in LaGrange had expired items in them, so we had to find homes for them so they could be replaced.
Two organizations had requested help from the Church, so we made arrangements to take them some hygiene kits and other things and President Taylor came to make the presentations.
The Lifeline Organization helped single mothers

President Keon Taylor presenting the items we had collected.

The Lifeline ladies with Elder Beecher, President Taylor, Sister Beecher, and Sister Rowena Bowen

Doing the handing over with the members of the Church of the Transfiguration

President Taylor with the leader of the Church of the Transfiguration

Animal Stories

February, 2014
One morning Elder Beecher and I were walking to the Botanical Gardens and on Sheriff Street, which is the busy main road, a short  brown dog was out in the road with a pineapple juice can stuck on it's head.  Cars were honking and the poor dog could not see where she was going.  I called the dog over to the side of the road and held onto the can and coaxed her to pull her head out.  She was so happy.  It made me happy too.  
That same day, there was a gecko in the bottom of the garbage can. He could have climbed out, but there was a lid on the can.  I took the lid off and left it off.  The next time I looked he was gone.
One morning Elder Beecher put a slice of bread in the toaster.  After a minute when it started to get hot.  A gecko flew out of the toaster.  He had a crisp  shortened brown tail.  We saw the gecko with the brown tail often after that.  We liked having the geckoes around.  We didn't like the cockroaches.  One night after we had just gone to sleep the phone rang.  I jumped out of bed and ran into the other room in the dark to answer it.  I stepped on two cockroaches and killed them!  I was more concerned about cleaning my foot than taking care of the cockroaches.  The next morning only one dead cockroach was there??

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Lion's Club Celebration

January 25, 2014

We had another opportunity to represent the Church at the Lion's Club Celebration.  Ray Seebarran invited nine of us from the Church to the fancy Lion's Club party at the Georgetown Club and they had us stand and thanked us profusely and graciously.  Members of Lion's Clubs from all over Guyana were there, and a lady from the Canadian Embassy who was an assistant to the Canadian Ambassador.  The Church, arranged for by Elder and Sister Cook, had given Ray Seebarran's Lion's Club a big 40 foot container with clothes, shoes, quilts, blankets, hygiene kits, school kits, and more.  Ray shared the items with the other Lions Clubs and they were distributed to many needy people.  At the party they had a slide show playing showing pictures of the distribution of the items.  

We mixed and mingled with the Lions Club members

Rowena Bowen, Public Affairs Director for the Church, Sister and Elder Surujbhan, and Christopher Jordan

We saw this Indian fellow dancing at other events in Georgetown.

This was our entertainment.

The assistant to the Ambassador from Canada and Ray Seebarran

Ray with the dark hair was our protector.  He was a great friend to us and to the Church.

Another item in the container was flannel for baby blankets.  Sister Beutler was in charge of getting 500 baby blankets made.  All the Georgetown Relief Societies helped hem the flannel.  We also arranged for Mrs. Long's sewing class at Carnegie to help.  Nicole La Rouche from the cemetery records office, and her sewing club also helped sew blankets.  We need to insert a story here about Nicole. One day when Mike Murray was here in Guyana with Elder Gay, he wanted to look for his ancestor's grave.  His great grandfather's brother came to Guyana from Scotland, was a doctor, and died in Guyana.  The lady at the cemetery screamed at Brother Murray, Elder Beecher, and President Pooran, and told them they could not go look for the grave.  (The cemetery was totally overgrown and probably full of snakes, etc.)  We went back to the cemetery and the lady, Nicole La Rouche was sewing a beautiful blue tufted pillow top.  We raved about how beautiful it was.  Some time later we were on our way home on our morning walk and a car stopped across the street and a lady jumped out and came across the road joyfully waving her arms and smiling like a long lost friend.  It was Nicole La Rouche.  We made arrangements to go to her sewing club to drop off material.  The elders even visited the sewing club a few times.  It just goes to show how a few nice words can make a friend.
Elder Beecher, Mike Murray, Elder Gay, and Elder Cornish

The room at the cemetery where they kept the records.  We wished we could get record preservation missionaries to come to Guyana.

The records were stored with all the cleaning supplies
We picked up baby blankets from Nicole LaRoche in her cemetery office.

left to right: Sister Ramotar, Sister Daniels, Sister Endardeo, Sister D'Oliviera, and ?, working on the baby blankets.

Vreed-en-Hoop and LaGrange sisters hem the baby blankets. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

St. Cuthbert's Mission with the Carters

January 4, 2014

St. Cuthbert's is an Amerindian Village somewhere between the Lindon Highway and Mahaicony on the East Coast of Guyana.  They have a big celebration there on an Amerindian holiday.  We missed that celebration with dancing, crafts, and food, but it was still an interesting place to visit.  We had talked about the fun time we had going there with Elder and Sister Bird, so Elder and Sister Carter invited us to make the trip with them.  There is barely a road to get there.  It is more like a wide trail.  On the fourth of January, during the rainy season, there were patches of the road covered with deep water.  Once we got going we decided to keep going because there was as much water behind us as ahead of us.
This was a momentous trip because we saw a black jaguar.  It quickly crossed the trail ahead of us and disappeared into the tall grass.
We had a fun time with Elder and Sister Carter and stocked up on hand woven grass baskets and crafts.
The water came 4 or 5 inches up on the bottom of the doors.  We prayed for dry weather for trip back out from the village!
Sister Beecher, three Amerindian Craft ladies, Sister Carter and Elder Carter
Beautiful orchids
The actual road is under water. We drove along side of the road for a short distance.

Elder and Sister Carter