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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

August 19-23, 2016 Wi arrived inna Jamaic, Mon!

23 August 2016

After a somewhat harrowing trip, we finally arrived in Kingston, Jamaica late Saturday evening.  We had an 8 hours delay out of Salt Lake City to Atlanta, so we subsequently missed our connection to Jamaica.  Delta was kind enough to provide overnight accommodations at a nice Marriott near the Atlanta airport. We fell into bed about 2 AM Saturday morning. Allen and Phyllis Stewart (Buddy's brother and wife) came to the airport to have lunch with us and to see us off.  It was so good to be with them. 

Allen gave us a copy of the book, Jesus the Christ that has accompanied 10 other missionaries from the Stewart family. Aunt Nelda (Buddy's aunt) gave this book to Allen when he left on a mission to Japan in 1975. Allen served in the Japan Nagoya Mission 1975-1977.  This special book has been passed on to the next missionary serving from our family. Allen to Ryan Crandall (Washington Spokane Mission 1994-1996), to Jeff Stewart (Russia Novosibirsk Mission 1995-1997), to Collin Stewart (Venezuela Valencia Mission 1998-2000), to Spencer Crandall (California Roseville Mission 2002-2004), to Cameron Stewart (Mexico Monterrey East Mission 2003-2005) to Emily Stewart (Chile Santiago East Mission 2005-2006) to Blake Stewart (Texas San Antonio Mission 2008) to Jessica Crandall (West Virginia Charleston Mission 2008-2009) to Aimee Beth Shortridge (Brazil Vitoria Mission 2011) to Richard and Deborah Stewart (Jamaica Kingston Mission 2016-2018). Quite a legacy.

20 August 2016 Atlanta Airport -  Allen, Buddy, and Debbie 

Once we arrived in Jamaica, it took us extra time to get out of customs because one of our pieces of luggage didn't show up. We had to report that, but we found out luckily it just had not been put on the plane in Atlanta and would be delivered to use the next day.  Once that was accomplished getting through Customs was no problem. We were relieved to see President and Sister Pearson (the mission president and his wife) still waiting for us. Wi arrived inna Jamaic! We had arrived in Jamaica. It was a typically very warm evening. The Pearsons offered to take us to dinner, and we were very hungry, so we gladly went to a very nice Chinese restaurant before going to the Mission Home. I need to add a picture of the Mission Home later.  

Sunday morning we travelled with the Pearsons to attend church at a branch in May Pen - about an hour west off Kingston.  We had our first view of the beautiful Jamaican countryside. The building was very nice but not air conditioned, but I think we were the only ones affected by the heat.  I kept looking around thinking, Isn't anyone else hot? They didn't seem to be; so maybe there's truly hope that we'll eventually acclimatize like everyone keeps telling us. We enjoyed meeting and worshipping with the wonderful saints in this branch. We learned and renewed our understandings from the Sacrament talks, Sunday School lesson, and Relief Society and Priesthood lessons. 

After a nice lunch with the Pearsons, we loaded up our mission truck, and drove to our new apartment.  YES! Buddy drove!  Since Jamaica was a British colony they retain the tradition of driving on the left side of the rode, and most vehicles have the steering wheels on the right side of the vehicle. He did a great job following Sister Pearson even with my "Watch out! Curb!" He just kept saying, "This just feels wrong." Sister Pearson cautioned he would constantly be turning on the windshield wipers thinking he was using the turn signal, and sure enough.
So here's our new place. It is a very nice fully furnished two bedroom, two bath apartment. Gratefully, it has great air conditioning units in each main room.  I'm sure we will be very comfortable here.

 Front view of our apartment complex.  
We're on the ground floor. Our mission truck. 

A little courtyard at the side of our complex. 

The complex gazebo. Reggae music anyone?

The complex pool. 
We'll be trying it out soon.

Unfortunately, I've been dealing with a horrible cough since we left Atlanta. It's such a nuisance. I feel pretty crumby during the day and have not been sleeping well at night.  I hope it runs its course soon. Buddy's been very compassionate and thoughtful.  

Monday, August 22nd - A big Happy Birthday, to our #1 grandson, Zach, who turned 17 today. Today we ventured out to the Mission Office. It was quite an experience as we made our way through the busy streets of Kingston. We got a little lost, but my superb navigating and side-seat driving and Buddy's fearless driving finally got us to the office safely. We met the office staff and several elders who were there using the computers to email home. It's transfers week so there are some elders and sisters leaving and some new ones arriving. Special times for all.

Sister Pearson kindly accompanied us to MegaMart (similar to a small Walmart) our first experience with grocery shopping. It was so great to have her along to advise us on all kinds of things. Okay, ready for sticker shock? Our first Jamaican grocery bill was $42,530.20. And you thought your grocery bill was high.  It's really not too bad when you convert from Jamaican to US dollars. 

We spent the afternoon and evening continuing to organize things in the apartment. Buddy began getting caught up on emails and becoming familiar with policies, procedures, and projects. We have a lot to learn, and we're thankful that's no one is pressuring us to know it all right away. 

Tuesday, August 23rd - Today we decided to stay in the apartment for office work including some phone calls. It was also extremely hot out today, and with me not feeling all that great it was a blessing to be able to stay in. 

1 comment:

  1. Glad to read that you made it safely to your mission field. We look forward to following your adventures in Jamaica!