Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tasbapauni ... Again!

Since the beginning of the Miskito classes and meetings there has been very little time to write for this blog. We are making trips up the lagoon with the Mensajero (Congregation's boat) on a weekly basis now, and we are also starting to go further and further for longer trips.

This last weekend we went to Tasbapauni. My last visit to Tasbapauni was roughly two years ago, in fact I wrote about it on this blog. It was different this time though, first of all the weather was excellent. I distinctly remember mountainous waves pummeling the boat for the entire three hour trip two years ago. This time the sun was shining and the water was calm.

This time we stayed the night in the town of Tasbapauni rather than making the long trip across the lagoon to stay at a sister's farm. While we worked the territory (which was very responsive, but complained that we don't come often enough) we kept on the lookout for a suitable camp site. Several places were offered, such as a school and the home of a local family. We finally decided however on a small shelter across the street from a store on the wharf. This way everyone was together, those camping and those sleeping on the boat. I was among the three brothers who slept on the boat.

Preparing the morning coffee
Some of the sisters were assigned to plan the meals for the trip, and would go back from the territory a little bit early to cook the group's meal, which they did over what the locals call a "furnace". Its a metal dish with coals inside and a place to build a fire underneath.

The real challenge was keeping the drunks from stealing our food, so after one brother cleverly guided them away from the shelter, the sisters put a bench in front of the door and had someone sit on it until everything was packed. Though I was not there at the time, one inebriated man very nearly lost his fingers when he reached for the freshly cut vegetables as the sisters were preparingfor the meal.

Sleeping on the boat was fun as well. The stars were amazing, and we looked up at them in awe while the clouds rolled in and then rained all over us. It was an interesting experience but I could probably say its one of the worst night's sleep I've ever had. We were also woken up occasionally by boats passing by early in the morning (rather suspicious if you ask me). The navy paid us a visit too, we were all half asleep when their boat came up next to ours (about 4:00 AM) and they shone lights in our faces and in the boat. They asked us some questions in a mixture of creole, spanish, and miskito that I hardly understood, and our captain (also half asleep) mumbled a reply in spanish, something along the lines of "we come in peace" and "we're Jehovah's witnesses". The moment they heard "Jehovah's Witnesses" they lost all interest in our boat and took off again on their merry way.

Despite the challenges everything went very well. People in the community were thankful for our visit, and some arrangements were made to continue bible studies by phone. Camping out and sharing meals together with a larger group of adventurous witnesses was an amazing, unforgettable experience, just like it was the last time. I'm looking forward to more trips in the future.

Part of our group at the beach on the ocean-side of Tasbapauni

East side of Tasbapauni. The west faces the lagoon while the East faces the Caribbean sea

March 23rd 2019

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