Thursday, December 27, 2012

St. Vincent Christmas 2012

At the Branch Christmas party we sang and danced to "How'd ya like to spend Christmas on St. Vincent Island." Brent was a hit in his shirt, tie, socks, shoes and LOUD flowered shorts! The audience laughed so hard when he came out!
This is Wesanet Tewoolro from Ethiopia. She is our neighbor who teaches micro biology at the medical college. She was our special guest for Christmas!
Is he cute or what! I just love that he helps and carves the turkey!
 By the way turkey tastes so much better away from home! The missionaries just loved it!
Many buy pork for Christmas dinner. USDA approved???? I don't think so!
All 10 of us on the island with our Christmas smiles!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Life in St. Vincent

We are shopping for vegtables in the market. The lady is weighing tomatoes on an antique scale.
 We asked her how old the scale was and she said, "Oh It not vey old. Naaa"
You can see Brent in the background.
These men are repaving the street BY HAND! Two were shoveling asphalt out of the truck - two men were handling the wheel barrows - two were shoveling - one man smoothes it out with a roller - and one supervised. Everything is labor intensive!
Ther are NO clothes dryers! Every one (including us) hangs clothes on the line.
The buckets on the roof are to collect the rain water to wash with - otherwise
you have to carry your water from a pubic tap.
This man was washing his pot at the public tap - then he made cowhide soup
 with dashine (kind of like a potato), yams, and caloo(like spinach).
He cooked it outside on a fire. We did not stick around to try cowhide soup!
We are in the village called Cemetery Hill. This is the cemetery. Ther are no new plots to buy
so they resell the very old ones because the bodies and coffins have rotted away from all the rain and heat.
The hospital is the big building below the cemetery. It is the scariest place I have ever been in. 17 to 20 beds in a ward with hot sweating bodies lying on them. Sheets and pillows only if you bring them from home -  no bed gowns - no towels or toilet paper or toilet seats in the bathrooms - no fans or airconditioning - just breezes blowing through (if there is a breeze)!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Opossoms and Clipper Ship

It is now Opossom hunting and eating season!
 Dinner anyone? I think NOT!
They don't call them opossoms here - they call them Manicou!
This man was selling them for $25 EC (about $8.50). We could have negotiated for $15, but we were not anxious to eat one. We talked to several branch members who say they are "very good indeed".
 They cook them with "coconut dumplins"! Yummmm or Yukkkkkkk! It appears they are closely related to rats!

A beautiful Clipper ship sailed into the harbor! I couldn't drag Brent away! He wanted to take it home! It is from Star Clipper Cruises, you can look it up on line! It only costs between $5,000 to $10,000 per person for a week long cruise.

Assie Small, isn't she beautiful! She is a sister of the heart and I
would do anything for her! She was an orphan on the streets at 8 years old.
Joined the Church at 14 and went on a mission to Canada.
She has 5 children (4 to 14). Sews without patterns... just looks at you and your shape and creates. She is an amazingly wonderful person and forever friend. She is so intelligent and loving. She carries herself with amazing grace and dignity. I love her.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

To Biabou and Georgetown to Teach Investigators and Visit Members

Lunch at our favorite "Chicken and Bake" restaurant in Stubbs on the way north.
"Here We Go Round The Mullberry Bush"
Sister Samuel and Tintin. Tintin's husband, Herman, is a pastor of a church in Georgetown. They used to live in England. They have a small restaurant in which they sell "fish and chips" British style. They were very good! They also make a "local fruit juice" that is "heavenly"! The ladies are picking mullberries from a mullberry tree. They look a lot like rasberries and are delicious. They are one of the fruits in the "local fruit juice". They actually call it "local fruit juice". There are different kinds all over the island.
We shopped hard to find this Christmas tree and decorations. People don't do much for Christmas here. They do "Nine Mornings" which involves the nine days before Christmas. It begins at 5:00 a.m. downtown. They have a different celebration every morning. Our neighbor Erroll wants us to go with him. We probably will! The big thing for Christmas is to hang up new curtains and clean! Seriously!
Brent is at the top of the stairs about 200 feet up a "gap". He is helping Sister Edwards and Sister Trumphet. He almost stepped on a lizard coming down with them.
Demarie, baby Hannah and Henderson
Henderson works as a security guard at the medical school by our home. We see him often at 6 a.m. on our morning walks. He is very friendly. He asked us to go to Biabou, which about 30 minutes north on the "windward" side of the island, to meet his wife and baby. We went and they invited us back. When we went into their home today, he brought out a Book of Mormon that he said was given to them by Elder and Sister Henderson. He spoke highly of them. He said that he was involved with the LDS Church in Grenada. He had some questions that led into a very sweet gospel discussion. The spirit was so very strong. They accepted our challenges to pray and read scriptures together. We were invited back next Friday!

A Morning in the Market

 The fruits and vegetables are very good
...very fresh and they are tree and vine ripened.

Carts are used for deliveries all over the wharf and market areas.
This man is a "shoe cobbler"...or shoe repairman. Notice the "shoe last"
on his work bench. Up inside his hat is HAIR! It is in dreadlocks. He is a "Rasta"...
a religion that eats healthy and smokes marijuana!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

80+ Degrees...It doesn't seem like Christmas!

I am having a great conversation with Peter who is "hanging out" in this old truck which is dangling dangerously on the edge of a VERY STEEP hill. He said he enjoys the cool breezes and the view from his perch. He also has an Ipod and is listening to music. He said he does go to church. He invited me to have a seat next to him. I politely said, "No Thanks"! He invited us to drop by and visit him again. :)

Notice which side of the road we are driving on. Piece of Cake! We gas up at the Shell station on the left. The airport is the green building on the right. We flew out of here to Barbados three weeks ago and will be flying to Trinidad in January for Couples Conference.
Very large cruise port for 12 hours. 4000 people from Great Britian are cruising the streets of Kingstown. We visited with several of them. Some were familiar with the LDS church. One couple raved at the beauty of the temple in the Midlands of England.

You can check to see if you made it on the refridgerator door! We sure have a lot of cute grandchildren. I don't know what happened to their parents???
We are still buying fruit and veggies every day. We also walk A LOT! We are starting to feel like health nuts!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Journey to Visit Members on the Windward Side of the Island

Goat and Sheep Herd - They are led to grass and staked with ropes to graze all day. They are then brought in for the night for protection and to prevent theft. We see people leading them with ropes attached to collars many times every day. No, we haven't eaten any sheep or goat....yet. If you can eat iguana, goat and sheep shouldn't be too bad! :)
Sister Brown with her daughter Alisha. She is in our "Teaching, No Greater Call" Sunday School class. She and Elmore, her husband both have very strong testimonies and really love the Church. He was very involved in helping build all of the chicken coops for the Food Inititaive.
Her chickens are laying eggs and she is selling them. She has also bought some more chicks to continue the project. That is the way it is supposed to work! 
Grandma Kathy with the Browns.
On the way to Georgetown...couldn't resist stopping! Breath taking beauty everywhere! Yes, I am talking about Grandma Kathy! :)
Sister Samuels, another sweet branch member. Wonderful sister with strong testimony.  Lived in England about 35 years and moved back to St. Vincent, where she was born. Had a wonderful fish dinner with her.
Men making charcoal in "pit kilns". They put the wood in a pit with leaves over it, start a fire and then carefully cover it with dirt and let it "smolder" for about two weeks. They uncover it, cool it, and then break it into small pieces and sell it to their neighbors, who then cook with it.
The finished product.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

New, Great Experiences "around every corner"!

Waiting in the St. Vincent airport to fly to Barbados for Zone Conference. Great experience! Brother Anderson of the Seventy, the Area President and his wife spent the day us, 36 missionaries. Sister Bird and I also had breakfast with them and the mission president, President Mehr and his wife. Very good experience. They are humble, dedicated couples.
Francine's baptism in the ocean...what a neat experience. She is nine years old. Her mother had not been to church since Francine was blessed. She decided she really needed Heavenly Father and the Savior in her life again. The missionaries taught the family and they are attending church and are experiencing peace in their lives again.Yes, I am in the water as a witness to the ordinance. Great privilege! Sometimes getting wet is ok!
Members of the Calliaqua Branch with the missionaries at Francine's Baptism.
Isn't this "beautiful"! These sweet people are so easy to love and "wow"... do they give love in return!

Two More Weeks - Time is Flying By

P-Day at beach below our apartment. Sister Bird got her feet wet...but I didn't!
"The Magnificant Ten" Missionaries of St. Vincent
P-Day Picnic (Kentucky Fried Chicken is good...tastes like chicken!)
The McDowold family with one of their chickens from the Food Initiative. They are selling eggs now, which was one of the goals of the project. Reoneke insisted on holding my scriptures. Yes, the chicken survived and so did my scriptures.
The litte kids are really cute and sassy just like our grandchildren!
Yes, Reoneke still has my scriptures.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Gardens, Chickens, Rabbits and Sweet People

Sister Bird with Sister Gracie Woodley. She is almost 100% self sufficient growing most of her own food. She also raises goats, rabbits, and chickens. The goats here smell just like the goats at home. :) Yep, really stinky!

 Gracie is holding a peanut plant she just pulled out of the garden. It takes about three days for them to dry before they are ready to eat.
 Danisha Shallow was really proud of her rabbits.
 Goldie and Danny Shallow with cute kids. The chickens are from the Food Initiative that Brother and Sister Henderson from Idaho Falls worked so hard in implement. This project blessed the lives of 25 families in the two branches. They are selling eggs and broiler chickens. They make a little money and also buy more chicken feed and baby chicks to keep the project going. This was a massive project to get approved, funded, organized and completed. It took over a half a year from start to getting the coops built and the chickens in them. The people love and really miss Clive and Arlene Henderson. They left a great legacy of love and caring here in St. Vincent.
 Sister Wiley and Sister Bird. This little doll is a gift for her granddaughter. It didn't take Sister Bird long to tap into the sewing and arts and crafts culture here in St. Vincent. She is already shopping for a sewing machine. We even bought "buttons for yoyo's" today. I am living with thread and cloth and fuzz all over everything here just like I did at home!

Branch Independence Day Celebration. St. Vincent received it's independence from Great Britian in 1979. The party started at 8 am and ended at 4:30 pm. This was a veeerrryyy looonnnggg paaarrrtttyyy! :)

Dominos is very, very popular here. They don't just lay the dominos down gently, they SLAM them down with gusto and a loud BANG! It is fun to watch. There were several games going on at different tables all around the deck. The food was good...rice cooked with beans and chicken (it is called pilow) and fresh green salad and fresh fruit drink.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

 Elder Wilson - Finding "Lost Sheep"
 Real flower bouquet of lilies. They don't smell but they sure are beautiful!
Men building a fruit stand along the road. Yes this is a grass thatched construction at it's best. The fresh, sweet bananas cost 8 cents a piece. The fruit is all tree and vine ripened and tastes amazing.
We are eating a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables and we are walking a lot. I have lost 10 lbs without trying hard. I have calculated that if I lose 10 lbs a month for our entire mission...23 months...I will weigh -10 lbs when I get home!