Fly In – Fly Out

MabarumaWednesday, February 13, we departed Monkey Mountain, but not before I managed to sunburn my face. While milling around the police station adjacent to the airfield, I snapped some pictures in the vicinity. I forgot to don my ball cap and didn’t think anything of it at the time. Not until later did I come to realize that I had been burning my skin in the sunlight without adequate protection; it seemed like a nice enough day with a bristling breeze straightening the tattered flag there. The sun did not seem hot. Too, I may have moped about at the airstrip in Mahdia without my hat – I can’t remember. Later that day and since, I am well aware that I failed to sport that cap when I should have. Half of the reason for wearing the hat is to keep the rain off my glasses, and so if I’m inside or it’s not raining I take it off and forget to put it back on for the other reason – sun.

Amelia's Ward Church of ChristAmelia's Ward Church of ChristAfter our eventful landing in Linden at an abandoned airport, Wednesday evening, Nigel, Michael and I were back at Linden for the night seminar at the Amelia’s Ward Church of Christ. I spoke about Why Do the Churches of Christ Not Vote on Doctrine?

Thursday morning, we hastened back to Ogle from Linden to catch another flight to Port Kaituma. Strangely, though we were not leaving Guyana, to go to this part of the country we had to process through Immigration (and again upon our return on another day). A couple of hours later we landed at a small airport at Port Kaituma. Each place into which we fly in Guyana, we have to register with the local police, and check with them again upon departing.

Port KaitumaPort Kaituma is renowned for its horrible, muddy roads. The whole city is mired in mud beyond imagination. We hooked up with the preacher with whom I toured in seminars last year. After having a bite of breakfast at his home, where we were to stay the night later, we headed for the river. Upon boarding a boat, we traveled a little way on the river to the Turu Mission Church of Christ. That was the first time that I had ever seen a parking lot of boats, and we arrived in one of them.

96 dpi 4x6 Turu Church of Christ 1All morning and again all afternoon following lunch at the building, we continued to conduct our seminars. We had three presentations in the morning, two in the afternoon and a panel discussion to conclude the sessions. One young woman with whom Christians had been studying had come also to be baptized, and we obliged her in the river near the boats.

Turu Church of ChristThat evening, we three lodged with the preacher and his family; brother Kishore Eduardo preaches for the Turu congregation. His children graciously vacated their beds to permit us to use them. Among the traditional foods we have experienced (and they vary widely within Guyana from place to place), the “bake” sister Eduardo made was heavenly; it tasted like donuts on which one would usually find a sugar coating or honey glaze. This puffy, fried bread had no sweet veneer, though.

96 dpi 4x6 baptismFriday, February 15, we set out early in the morning on a boat and traveled approximately 90 miles to our next venue at Mabaruma. We wore ponchos and covered our bags with tarps. For about three hours we sat single file on the boat with our luggage clutched between our legs as we held down the tarps with our fingers and otherwise tried to ignore the brisk wind and frequent rain.

Michael HooperAlong the way, we observed vast distances of thick jungle and rarely a soul sharing the waterway with us. Nearing certain points we could see some simple dwellings or an occasional dugout canoe with its occupants paddling as we whisked by them in our motorboat. School children dressed in uniforms making their way to school by dugout was a curious site to me – especially the cases where young children were left to themselves without older siblings or adults to supervise them; for them it was as ordinary as it would be for us in the States to allow our children to walk down neighborhood sidewalks to a local school.

Mabaruma River PortOn either end of our river ride, we encountered river ports. At Mabaruma, we took a dead end canal between the underbrush on either side to the government boat dock. We could see the guesthouse in which we would be staying the night from the boat landing. Soon after depositing our suitcases in our respective rooms, we headed for the place of meeting for the day’s seminar. The program followed the same scenario as formerly with morning and afternoon sessions concluded with a panel discussion. Following a car tour of the area, we returned to the guesthouse for supper, whereupon I ate my selections from the menu – French fries and an egg omelet. I would have chosen other items to combine for a meal, but that was the best I could do.

Mabaruma Mabaruma Government DockLike other places abroad where Bonnie and I have lodged, the pictures and advertising far exceed the present reality. Nevertheless, the accommodations were satisfactory for a foreign setting. I had a cold water shower, a flush commode, double bed, pedestal fan and a small TV (four fuzzy stations). Above the bed was the mosquito net. The second floor setting was very old, run down and fairly small. Clean is a relative term apparently, and the cleanliness was relative.

Mabaruma Church of ChristThe fan and lights were of little consequence because sometime in the night the electric was cut, and by the barely rising over the horizon of the sun we had to dress ourselves and pack for the day’s trip.

MabarumaAn added, fruitful aspect of being in Mabaruma was counseling a young man for an hour or so regarding several religious questions for which he wanted some biblical clarification. He is a schoolteacher and the son of a Gospel preacher. He needed to better understand contemporary claims by professed miracle workers, whether it is sinful to play instrumental music in worship and a few other things. He is interested in spiritual matters and is a clear thinker. This young man could be a great asset to the cause of Christ in Guyana if he prepares himself for greater service.

MabarumaSo, Saturday morning, we made our way to the airport for the journey from Mabaruma to Ogle. Through some confusion, we were late checking in, though we arrived well before our plane did. The ensuing flight was uneventful, though later than advertised, which threatened to derail arrangements to recover my lost baggage that had finally arrived in Georgetown.

Mabaruma AirportWe made it to the Georgetown International Airport to pick up my bag, but we almost never found anyone who knew what I was talking about. However, we had been informed days ago that it had arrived. Nothing happens at the speed of light when in a rush, but after yet one more opportunity to practice patience, I took possession of the nearly 50 pound suitcase of books and tracts plus my rechargers for my minicomputer and other devices.

Mabaruma AirportQuestions about payment for the freight for the shipping container prevented us from acquiring boxes of books from it that I shipped to Nigel in April of last year. Therefore, we retired from this segment of our mission seminars to the Milo home at Linden.

We were tired. We are tired. We have been blessed with relatively little difficulty in traveling to and from our venues and conducting the seminars on the same days of our travel. We will rest later, and if necessary, we know we will be able to rest when we’re dead! Until then, there is much work to be done.

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