I wish I could write an update that said: Normal. Life is normal. We eat, go to work, exercise, read and sleep...and everyday is the same.
But alas, it is not so. Welcome to the last 2 1/2 months...
October often found us at the local airport doing the annual inspection and repairs for the Cessna 182 that GAMAS operates here in Guyana. For many suns and a few moons, DJ (and sometimes I) were inspecting, recording, researching, ordering parts, receiving, repairing, exchanging, assembling, writing, and finally gluing. And if you're not sure what all that means, maybe someday you'll become an airplane mechanic's wife too and have to figure it all out. At last, though sleepy-eyed and less than bushy-tailed, we finished just minutes before heading to the international airport to catch our flight to the States.
Other October activities included working on the van... yes the same van that is pictured in the previous post with a note saying that it was almost done. The engine has been completely torn apart three times, and halfway torn apart another 7 or 8 times. Poor thing hasn't been to the doctor in about 5 years and it was re-tired the last time it went. Doctor plans to prescribe re-tirement again as baldness comes with age. So the van's still being worked on. Welcome to the mission field. Why so long, you ask? Well, what do you expect from a bird doctor trying to diagnose a hippopotamus with a heart problem?
Scattered between van fix-its and airplane fix-its were Guyanese visa fix-its. We had to resolve previous visa confusion, overhaul the letterhead to be used, mend the letter content, patch up relationships, and come up with a solution that makes us and the government happy.
November brought a little bit of change. We received a tough email near the beginning of the month that DJ's grandmother had just passed away. The next few days were filled with preparations to go home for the memorial service. A kind relative wanted all the family to be able to be there and graciously helped with tickets. We busily finished the necessary projects here in Guyana and headed North. We are truly grateful for the chance to be with family and loved ones during this time.
Though we seemed to bring plenty of work with us, we often scampered into the snow-dusted woods for quiet walks and scrambled up nearby mountains to capture breathtaking views. The New England forests and the crisp, cool air brought us a much needed rejuvenation after several months in the humid, trash-filled city of Georgetown. Applesauce, family meals, and visits with church members cherry-topped our visit and were as delightful to the heart as a batch of homemade preserves.
After nine days in New England, we traversed across Canada bound for Yooperland with the intent of visiting Miss Knott, her dear pickle-ball playing, flash-drive flushing students, and her dear Mr. Gibbs. An all too brief visit and then back in the car. Eight hours to Andrews, a car shuffle, and another 10 to Collegedale.
The next 12 days brought more travel and bustle. I did the routine chores, ran errands, visited friends, and made several trips to town gathering precious goods to take South for us and the other missionaries, like almonds, yeast flakes, kids Christmas presents, and nursing scrubs. DJ worked with Jeff Sutton doing "Jeff and DJ airplane things" (which include, but are not limited to: Routine checks on the Aerostar, maintenance on the white 172, organizational meetings, yacking on the telephone, researching future options for GMI's fleet, and coming home late for lunch - but not too often ;). Those two cronies also decided that the three of us should take a trip out to Oklahoma to look at an airplane (for Guyana). Thirty-five hours and 1,700 miles later we arrived back in Collegedale.
Before we knew it was 3 a.m. and we were sweating again, riding in a taxi driving lighting speeds down the left side of the road. A 'Welcome home' sign was taped on the front door of the missionaries' apartment.
The last two weeks have found us busy once again with the duties of mission life and work. The airplane needed a little maintenance, the hippopotamous heart continues to be a dilemma for the bird doctor, one of our volunteers needed lice treatment and a haircut, clothes get dirty and our tummies continue to ask for food. So we have plenty to do in one way or another. Two new members were added to the missionaries' apartment while we were gone: a kitten named Tiger and a CD/DVD Replicator. Under the direction of James Ash (pastor/pilot) and with copy permission, hundreds of thin, circular shaped objects have slid through this replicator and been distributed to local Adventist pastors and Bible workers throughout Guyana.
It's too hot and rainy here to think much about Christmas, so please enjoy the holiday cheer for us :) Don't forget to tell the weatherman we'd like some snow!