Saturday, July 10, 2010

Fran Overcomes Writer's Block

Curious about the pretentious title?  That's because I just had this whole post almost done and lost it because it did not yet have a title.

As must be evident I have had a serious case of writer's block.  I have heard that the best remedy for that condition is to just start writing something, anything - good, bad or nonsense.  I couldn't even do nonsense.  I'm now convinced that the remedy is to actually do something worth writing about.  Here was our solution:

Several weeks ago we had arranged to meet the BP (branch president) of the MoBay (Montego Bay) Branch but because of Jack's hearing handicap and Pres. Lee's very Jamaican speech there was a formidable communication gap and we literally left him standing at the altar - actually church.  Jack apologized profusely but we felt we wanted to make every effort to meet him and make amends.  Because we had PEF Firesides scheduled in somewhat nearby Negril and Savannah-La-Mar (Sav) on Thurs. and Fri. nites we decided to make one grand round of the whole thing.  One whole really darn good experience. 

Pres. Lee is a very tall, handsome, natty Jamaican with his counselor Pres. Grant, a much quieter man in every way.  Pres. Grant was the BP when Pres. Lee joined the church twenty years ago and has been his mentor ever since.  They have served as pres/counselor to each other (it goes back and forth as to who is pres.) for most of those twenty years.  Either branch or district.  Pres. Lee told us he used to be the #1  rum drinker in MoBay but now is the #1 Christian.  They chose to go to a Chinese restaurant which neither one had been to before but after our meal Pres. Lee exhuberantly exclaimed that we had done very well there and that that was where he was going to bring his wife and the Grants for his wedding anniversary.  He just so enthusiastically loves the gospel, Bro. Grant, life, the church, dominoes, good food and almost everything in his path.  That was a wonderful experience - thank you Pres.s Lee and Grant.

Thurs. nite we gave a PEFF in Negril.  Negril is probably the best kept, most tourist savvy town on the island.  They boast a 7 mile white sands beach and that is very nice, very colorful.  We stayed at CocoLaPalm which had been recommended by former Sr. missionaries.  The grounds were quite nice and it was right on the beach but lest you get any false ideas remember we ARE in Jamaica and on a MISSIONARY budget. 

Friday afternoon I was in the pool when a young man came out to the pool, looked it over for a couple of minutes, saw that the deepest part was about five feet and I heard him say to himself "that's not bad."  He left and was back in a few minutes with a young woman and they got into the pool.  She seemed rather tentative but he was soon splashing around in a , loosly defined, swim.  He then asked me if I knew how to swim, I told him yes.  He asked me if what he had been doing was swimming.  I said yes and then asked him if he would like me to show him some "other" strokes.  He was very eager to learn.  I demonstrated several strokes but when I did a back stroke he told me he wouldn't be able to do that because he didn't know how to float.  I tried every way I could think of to teach him how to float but it just wouldn't come.  As soon as I would pull my hands out from beneath him he would go down like a rock - he simply couldn't relax.

We met up with them on the beach again Saturday morning and talked for a long time.  He and his wife were celebrating their first wedding anniversary.  They both teach high school, (they look like they are IN high school) and live in Mandeville.  We hope to be able to bring you more news of them from time to time.  He is going to try to find a book on Caribbean History for me    - that is the subject he teaches.  She teaches math in a different school.  Very likeable, sharp, easy to talk to young adults.  We fell in love with them.

Our PEFF in Sav Friday nite was just delightful.  The Sav Branch has an activity every Friday nite and we were it.  There were branch leaders, a young man waiting for his mission call., little children running everywhere, young couples, some actual potential PEF candidates, etc.  After our presentation several of the men retired to a corner of the parking lot under a light to play dominoes.  The women stayed in the chapel and talked and the kids ran around intoxicated with the freedom of being out probably later than usual.

Saturday morning we walked on the beach, talked with our new friends and then checked out and drove out to a restaurant/hotel on the west end called the Rock House.  Very good/spicy jerk chicken sandwich anda spectacular view of the ocean.

Somewhere between Sav and home (now I"m really getting technical) is a fruit stand where we had stopped once before for watermelon.  (We were actually having a lively discussion as to whether that was the same stand - I, Fran, won that one.)  As soon as we got out of the car the young man who runs the stand came running, exclaiming that this WAS the truth - he had been thinking about us and the spirit had told him that we were coming.  He was practically jumping up and down and repeating "that's the truth".  We, of course, were exhilarated with such a welcome.  We chatted and took a picture or two.  Our first picture with he and Jack is back on our 11 June post and this is an update.  We promised him we will stop whenever we are out that way.

I just want to add a couple of things - first if you knew what we had been through to get this entry posted you wouldn't wonder that I had writer's block but to end on a positive note here are a few images from this weekend.  The first is a scene from the bridge over the Negril River just as you are entering the town.  The white things are not flowers (which is what I originally thought, but some exotic white birds.)  The second is a funny man on who was just dancing his way down the beach and the third, a very nice woman who was selling fresh fruit from the tray on her head.  We didn't buy anything, but she wished us to have a very fine day and we did.  Thank you for reading.  Fran

1 comment:

  1. WOW! Thanks for the update... I love it! These all sound like great experiences. I've been thinking - as hard as it is to adjust - I'm sure you will be sad when it's time to come home. I'm so touched by the fruit-stand man! And how great would it be to stay in contact with the young couple? The water in the beach picture looks SO inviting! Ahhh..... island life!