Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Our Mission Looks Like a Vacation

Sunday 18 November 2012
This was a pretty busy week in terms of actually working with PEF.  We did a lot of phone calling and working with the Area people in DR and with people here trying to learn all the things we need to do.  We are also doing a little more driving around the area to get better acquainted.  We plan to get out around the whole island in the next few weeks. 
Bob got his tooth pulled but is having a little trouble with his mouth now.  So we will have to get that taken care of this week first thing before he can get his braces on his lower teeth-- So not a lot of interest to write about for this week.

The street in front of the hearing aid place.  The debris is from the storm and will be cleaned up but I wanted to show the street which is very typical except I got it with no cars.

This is the hearing place.  They do love color!--so do I.

This is the waiting area at Bob's dentist.  I am going to try to get a picture of her.  Every time we have been there she has walked casually through the office and sort of over her shoulder says, "Good morning Mrs. P."  Cracks me up.

This is one of the exam rooms.  Bob says she is a very good dentist.

Yesterday we went on an outing to an old pirate town, Port Royal, out on the end of the spit where the airport is located with all the couples in our district going:  Larsens, Evans, Murdocks, Mortensens, Smiths, and us.  It was a fun outing and a gorgeous day.  This, what I call a spit, is a long narrow peninsula to the south of Kingston.  It is long enough that it looks like it may have been connected at some point.  We learned about a couple of earthquakes that totally redesigned this city where Port Royal is located so I am sure it affected Kingston area as well.  

 Looking from the airport peninsula back at Kingston

Some kind of fort called Rocky Fort out on the peninsula.  Looks like more modern canon mountings, lots of re-bar in the concrete, etc.   Interesting place.

The fort at Port Royal is built to look like a ship from out at sea so it was sort of camouflaged as threatening ships came near.  It was originally built is the 1600s but has been rebuilt several times up until probably the early 1900s because it has been almost destroyed by earthquakes at least two times.  But it is quite beautiful now and interesting to see.  This was apparently a real pirate town.  Sir Henry Morgan was a pirate who the Queen of England knighted to keep the rest of the pirates in line but it didn’t last long because there wasn’t as much money in being legitimate.   

 Sis Mortensen, Elder Evans (in P day clothes, his wife is hidden behind him), Elder Pugmire, Elder and Sis Murdock, and Elder Mortensen

This tower is in a 45 degree corner which is supposed to look like the front of a ship from out in the ocean.

This building was built later but suffered from one of the earthquakes.  It is called the Giddy house because you feel giddy in it I think.

Sis Evans and Elder Larsen

 Sis Smith and Elder Pugmire show the angle of the floor.  It really did feel funny to walk into this building.

After a couple of hours wandering around this beautiful little fort we got back in the cars and drove to everyone’s favorite:  Wendy’s for lunch.  The men had a District Priesthood meeting to go to so we women, Sis. Larsen, Murdock, Mortensen, and I went back to Larsens to wait.  We visited and Sis Larsen cut Sis Mortensen’s hair (she cut mine on Thurs).  Finally Elder Larsen came home and said Bob was meeting with the Branch Presidents about our Jobs ideas. So I took Sis Murdock and we went back to the church to get our husbands.  When I picked Bob up and we had a minute to talk I found that the letter we had spent so much time on, explaining the PEF program changes, did not get presented to the Branch Presidents as we had planned.  I was very upset.  Actually, we were both pretty upset for quite a while, but then we decided to move forward and do what we can to rectify the issue.  As it ended up the letter was handed out but not discussed so I guess we will have to explain it as we meet with branch presidents on our visits around our half of the island.  And we will have to have the Wrights do the same on their end of the island.

This morning we visited Pres Britton of the Spanish Town 2nd Branch.  What an outstanding young man.  He is 29 with 4 children and looks about 15.  But he told us about a self-reliance program he ran for his branch that sounds really inspired and inspiring.  We were impressed.  We had a nice meeting with him and then went to Sacrament meeting where we were asked to bear our testimonies.  That seems to be the routine when we visit a new branch. 
After Sacrament meeting Bob went looking for Sister Moody, a woman who has been doing most of the employment work for the island for some time.  I hope to get to know her better and do some valuable work with her as we try to localize our employment efforts as opposed to implementing Bob’s “Seattle, USA” experience with job seeking in Jamaica.  I’m not putting down Bob’s plan or his work it really is great and has been well received, but I feel employment in Jamaica has different issues than in the US.   We were able then to get a few unscheduled minutes with Pres Lue, the President of the Spanish Town 1st Branch.  This was also a good meeting but short.  We should be able to return to both of these Branches and help with both PEF and employment in the future.

Sister Moody and The Bloomfields, he is the District Clerk and she is a counselor in the District Presidency.  (District is sort of like a Stake)

                                                                                                                                                                                                 This is Violet, I visited with her in the foyer of the Church.  She is 80 and was concerned about her locks when I showed her this picture (which she gave me permission to take.)

This is the foyer of the Spanish Town Chapel.  Everything is beautiful tile.  This is a lovely chapel.

             This is the podium in the chapel at Spanish Town.
     The Branch Presidency are sitting behind it.  It is quite high.

On the way home we tried to get a little better acquainted with the route between our place and Spanish Town since we will be returning there often.  It is about 17 miles away on pretty good roads.  The building is lovely inside and out and the people are as nice and friendly as we have found elsewhere.
Bob is not feeling very well this afternoon.  His mouth is really hurting.  The tooth next to the one that was pulled is hurting at the root and inside his lower lip it looks like a big blister which is really hurting him.  We have lots of work to do tomorrow but getting to the dentist will be first on the agenda.

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