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Thursday, June 27, 2013
12:04 AM | Posted by Amani | | Edit Post
Backtracking to my mission trip at the end of 2012, I remember the anticipation building up to the moment we were to leave. I had managed to get Christmas Day off (the night of my flight), and an early shift on Christmas Eve so I can spend the evening with my family like I traditionally do. While I lost that 150% holiday pay, I was glad that I had time to properly rest and finish preparing my suitcases and stuff.
The consecration/fast that we did in preparation for the trip was tedious-- 1 meal a day for the entire month of December (though as a missionary, our actual food fast stopped a week before leaving, so we wouldn't be drained). There was round-the-clock prayer, where every member or supporter had a specific hour in the day that they were supposed to pray. I know I did not do this perfectly-- there were plenty of times that I forgot to pray or didn't pray as long as I was supposed to, or didn't study like I was supposed to. Nevertheless, when the day came to leave, I had so much excitement in my bones. When I left my house I could barely walk to the bus and to the train without feeling an intense desire to just praise my way to the airport. The anticipation was building faster and the anointing that was on my church's group seemed so potent that it was hard to really get sidetracked from the assignment at hand.
More videos + photos under the cut~
x-posted to my other blog Daughter of the King
When I arrived to the airport, I may have been among the first couple of people. But not long after did everyone else get to the check-in.
Everyone gathering. Total there was about maybe 15ish of us. The pastor's daughters (one of them right there in the center above) only came to see us off, and later on our bishop and his wife (pastor's in-laws) came to bless us and see us off as well.
Getting past the checkpoint was pretty okay-- it was very late at night so there weren't -too- many people around. There were only two or three gates in that terminal that was actually open at that time.
On our way to our gate~
An hour before boarding time we decided to go out and get some McDonald's from inside the airport. Despite us having asked all these security staff about the whereabouts and stuff like that, when we tried to go back we found that we couldn't with the food... even though it was clear that we bought it INSIDE the airport. I understand security measures but that was a bit ridiculous, since McDonald's was like the only restaurant open. We had to call some of the others to come out in order to get their tea and things.
Two of the sisters and then one of our young ministers Hez acting silly with his food outside the checkpoint.
When it was time to board the plane we looked up our seating arrangements to see who was sitting where-- come to find out I was sitting next to Pastor and First Lady M = w= and I got the window seat. Awwwww yiiiiiiiiissss
The ride itself was actually pretty short. There were no stops, and it was only a 5ish hour ride straight to Cheddi Jagan airport. The ride was pretty smooth! I was awake for maybe half of the time, watching free movies with Pastor, talking to him and Lady M about different subjects.
At some point I went to sleep, and when I woke up, it was right as the sun was beginning to rise over the Atlantic Ocean. It was absolutely breathtaking. My camera didn't do it any justice, in my photos or in the video above.
Needless to say, I was squeeing the whole time.
We flew over Trinidad & Tobago, and soon after we started seeing the lush forests of Guyana. They were so thick, the texture from above reminded me of broccoli. LOL
As we began to land...
For whatever reason we were not allowed to take photos or anything of the landing area, but I managed to get a few clips and stuff.
A pretty little waterfall fountain to greet us.
Inside the customs area. It was ridiculously hot, especially having just came from 30F winter New York weather. In reality it was maybe only 75-80 degrees at that time, but since we were so much closer to the equator the heat almost seemed unbearable. But it didn't take too long to go through, get our stuff, find our people, and bounce out of there.
Driver's wheel on the right-hand side. This was the first time actually seeing this xD
One of the mothers who came with us telling us stories.
In case you haven't noticed by now, I pretty much cling to them all the time xD
Some sights as we were driving from the airport, through Georgetown and into Enmore area..
As we passed by the different neighborhoods, you could kind of see who has the most influence in the country. Despite it being majority black people, a lot of the wealthier folks were Indian or some sort of Middle Eastern descent-- all the nicer gated buildings had shrines to Shiva, or mosques nearby, meanwhile pretty much all the other buildings were looking rundown.
One of the local pastors, Pastor Maynard, telling us about the country.
Some of the many stands along the roads.
A little boy washing his clothes near a stream.
Our first stop was here, to Pastor Maynard's mother's place. I liked passing by brightly colored buildings like this~
We went to bless the house, and then again we were on our way.
Pastor looking out the window...
Finally we reached our destination: Guyana Praise Mission, ran by Pastor Lyte. This is where we stayed for half of our trip.
As we finally sat down to rest before unpacking... I decided to look around and take photos & video.
This ended up being the mens' quarters.Which really sucked for them because this part of the house had no netting or anything to protect them from bugs, haha
The front yard, our vans in the distance.
Then of course it was lunch time~
I forget some of the names of the breads and stuff, but what I DO remember is the pepperpot and the curry and saltfish and stuff. It took some while to get used to, I was never a hugehuge fan of West Indian food to be used to their spices. They also put a LOT of sodium in their food, something we didn't pay attention to till much later.
Oh God and then of course...
When I tell you I was NEVERRRR a fan of coconut before this trip... I hated coconut flavored stuff. But then I actually had coconut milk and jelly straight off the tree and it was heavenly. We kind of OD'd on it though-- we probably took up most of the coconuts in a single night or two. They also had a banana tree and some other trees.
My pastor and his son, who I've been friends with since high school. Enjoying their coconuts.
After settling for a bit, the group went out to minister to a group of children not too far away. I ended up staying and resting because I was absolutely exhausted from the travel...
When they got back we had a little social event, where some of Pastor Lyte's affiliates came and welcomed us, and we had a pretty good time with good food (and more coconuts).
But soon enough we retired to our rooms, made up our sleeping arrangements. The two girls above are two of the three nieces of one of the sisters that started this whole mission-- I ended up sharing a bed with the one on the right. Right now I can't remember their names well... but I remember they all had "M-" names xD
More to come in my next post...