Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Denbigh Fair and More Employment Firesides

Sunday 11 August 2013
I forgot to write about a very funny thing that happened the day I was keeping Leah Brown from disturbing her parents during the Mandeville District Conference.  Bob had gone back into the meeting and I was with the two little kids in a side room.  Leah had lost interest in the iPad and Jared was now playing with it.  Leah and I were sort of playing chase.  She stopped and said something to me which I did not understand and required her to repeat 3 times then I asked Jared what she was saying and had to ask him to repeat.  Finally, enunciating very clearly and firmly as if to an imbecile he said “She has to urinate!”  Oh, okay.  I can understand that.  So I took her to the bathroom.  She was wearing a rather bulky diaper (which was showing much wear) so even though I did not have a spare I had to remove it.  She was very capable of getting on the toilet (though she is only 2) so I closed the door and let her have privacy.  After a long time I opened the door and asked if she was through, she said I have to defecate.  I held back my chuckle and closed the door.  A little later she said she was not through defecating.  While she was taking care of this business I slipped in and called Sister Brown out to ask about a new diaper.  She said she was going to have to run to the store because she had forgotten to put an extra in her bag.  So she left the meeting and ran to the store.  She really was not gone all that long but in the meantime Leah is still sitting on the toilet.  

Finally I asked her if she was through and needed me to help her wipe.  She leaned over the toilet which of course grossed me out because she had both hands on the seat.  But that was not enough while I was busy with one end she stuck her head in the toilet!  I was horrified thinking she may have dipped one of her braids in the water.  When we finished with that job I of course wanted her to wash her hands—and take a shower(which was not available)—I sat her on the counter and got her hands all soaped up and got her to wash.  She had been running around barefoot so she was actually leaving a muddy mess on the counter but I thought it was more important for her to get washed so I didn’t worry about that.  

Sister Brown got back and I got the counter cleaned up and Leah was ready when her mom came back to get another diaper on.  Of course when all that was done I had to wash my hands again!

We had a really good Employment Fireside at Portmore Branch.  It was really fun to see some of the people we love from there.  The Andersons, (Ramonah (Tracy) is the one who showed Derek around the hospital when he was here, and Rondall her husband is in the District Presidency—both are PEF participants).  The Dennis’—whose pictures I have included in my blog before because they are so darling.  Bob has really helped Sibthorpe get his PEF loan organized.  And others we have met on other visits and occasions.  Bob helped one young man with his finance plan because he seems to be having trouble getting things in the proper priorities.  Anyway, we felt really good about how our fireside went and were pleased to have the Murdocks there as well as a couple others visiting from the DR.

Monday was supposed to be a Senior Missionary Outing but it turned out to be the Mortensens and the Pugmires.  We went to the Denbigh Fair (pronounced Denbee) .  Larsens had told us about it when they were here and so we were glad to get to go.  We did not know where it was held except it was in May Pen so we told the Mortensens we would meet them there—they didn’t know where it was either.  Anyway, we got into town and stopped and asked a woman on the street and she told us to just go straight along.  (That is a very common direction here.)  But it worked and we drove right to it.  We parked in a big field and walked towards the gate.  I loved the ticket booth.  They had pulled a small air conditioned bus in and placed portable barriers perpendicular to the bus so that they formed aisles for people to go up to a window in the bus and buy their ticked form someone sitting in the bus.  I thought it was an ingenious idea.  

We got there a little ahead of the Mortensens so we went into a couple of display areas (they were actually small buildings—like fairgrounds at home).  The first one caught my attention because of the hydro planting in the 3inch PVC pipes.  Then I was fascinated by the coffee bean cycle.  The beans are picked when they are red.  They take off an outer shell and then the green bean is aged for a while then processed to remove another thin skin type of thing before the beans are roasted and ground, etc.  The first outer shell is used to make compost.  They mix in some nice red worms and the worms process it to make a very fine soil enhancer.  I have seen the red worms do their work on something else before but I can’t remember what—I think Karen will remember.  Anyway I found this display very interesting.

Bob thinks he is going to take up Vertical Gardening when he gets home.

 This is the Hydro garden where the plants are basically sitting in water.

Then we went to one I liked even more.  It was Disaster Preparedness for animals.  This farming organization is trying to help people see the importance of protecting their animals from hurricanes and floods.  They had two miniature buildings built to show how to protect goats and another for pigs.  I have sort of vaguely worried about animals in storms but not really knowing anything I did not really think it out.  This woman explained that bigger animals like horses and cows can sort of protect themselves and they can swim but pigs cannot swim and so if they are caught in a lot of water they will be drowned--Same with goats apparently.  So they want the farmers to take better care of their animals.  She definitely gave us the impression that much of their education and instruction is falling on deaf ears.  But this was a new concept for me so I found it very interesting.

 Elder Mortensen and Bob in their cowboy hats.

When we finally caught up with the Mortensens we went into several other areas and had a nice time.  They are very comfortable to be with.  He loves to eat so we told him about a jerk place we found and then we stopped for a cold drink.  Then he and Bob bought cowboy hats which actually were a good idea as the sun was very hot that day.  Elder Mortensen finally even talked his wife into a hat which she had been refusing all along.  I resisted but suffered for it.  We ran into the Medleys (the district President) and Sister Barrett (wife of the Linstead Branch President) which was kind of fun in a big crowd.  We ate chicken for lunch at the place we had located earlier and then looked around a little more and decided we had seen enough and said goodbye and went home.  Nice day.

The fruit and vegetables make beautiful displays.  I was particularly interested in the sprouted coconuts here.  The colorful little things around the bottom of the coconuts are Scotch Bonnet peppers--very hot.  When you cook with them you put them in while cooking and then take them out before eating the dish.  

Some of the veggies are common to what we have at home but many are not.  We have not tried them all by any means.

We are recognizing our time is running out.  We have heard several rumors about replacements but nothing before we leave and nothing really definitive at all.  So we have been trying to clean up as much as we can with our PEF participants—we really have made a lot of progress with many of these people and are loath to see it fall apart when we are gone.  Bob especially has been the brains behind the clean- up work.  He has worked so hard with the finance department in DR and with our Director in DR.  He suggested that for our fast this month that we pray especially for the finance department.  I thought he was being irreverent but he was serious so that is what we did and first thing this week we got a call from the director of finance and had a long conversation that really helped clear things up.  Heavenly Father really does watch out for the little things in our lives and wants us to be successful. 

The other thing we are doing is trying to write some instructions of the things we do on a routine basis.  I do most of the computer generated reports etc. so I have been trying write instructions about how to get them even though I know some of them require authorization.  If they need these reports they will be able to get the authorization as well.

Today we did our fireside in the Linstead Branch and spent some time with one or our participants trying to help her get some issues solved.  It doesn’t really look hopeful but we are trying.  The fireside went well and the people seemed very receptive.  Pres Barrett spoke afterward for a minute and reinforced our message which really does coincide with what Pres Brown is trying to get the Saints fired up about right now.  Our fireside is about employment but it really spills over into daily living as Latter-day Saints so the message is very pertinent to his goals for Jamaica.

We got a nice compliment today.  Pres Blake from the Savanna La Mar Branch called and asked us if we would come and speak at their girl’s camp in a couple of weeks.  I know this is because Sister Robinson is the YW President but it is still nice to be thought of.  (This is the branch with all the PEF participants we love so much—we went there and had a party with them a few months ago.)  
More visitors from DR this week—keeping us on our toes.


  1. First of all, thanks for the details of your experience with the 2-year old! You always do good posts and you will have a great journal when you get home. Loves

  2. That toilet story is gross(and I read it during lunch!)...I have a major bathroom aversion and the thought of that in a PUBLIC restroom (gag!!!) I would have taken her outside and hosed her off regardless of the fact that it was at are really innocent! I guess "they have to be carefully taught to hate"...germs