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April – already? I won’t dwell on the fast/slow movement of time in this place but the agonizingly slow movement of time always seems fast in retrospect. Soon, it will be October and I’ll say WHAT? So soon? But the 6 months in between seem interminable...on to other things.

Kind of a mixed Easter weekend. In some respects worse than Christmas. It began benignly enough but Easter Sunday was a struggle. Good Friday was a good day for R&R. Deb and I both took it easy. Did the laundry & some gardening and odds & ends about the yard. It was a quiet, easy going day. We went to church that afternoon and spent a peaceful evening afterwards. Those kind of days I could use more often!

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Saturday was a busy one. We ran into the market for some last minute items and returned in time for Reynolds (the handyman) to begin working on placing bars over the front windows and replacing some termite riddled boards in the front room and back hall. Shortly thereafter, the Beinamens showed up for our excursion to Autley (or Ottley) Hall where we planned to spend half a day swimming & relaxing. Leaving Reynolds in charge, we made the long walk over to Autley and spent an enjoyable afternoon snorkling, swimming and relaxing. We then returned home (in the heat of the day) to find Reynolds still working away. Amid the construction, we took showers and ate a hasty meal before attending the Easter Vigil service. The service was wonderful & did much for our morale. The liturgy was standard but the music was upbeat and folksy and just plain fun. I really liked it.

Sunday was a different story. We didn’t arrive at church as early as we wanted so we had to hoist the banner that Deb had made for Easter in front of a ‘packed house’. Easter_banner.JPGTo make things even more unruffling, Desreen, a young 13 year old we have casually befriended, had to make her recognition of us know to use so with a loud “SSSSSSSST” she called for our attention. To digress a moment, no doubt I have already mentioned that the local youngsters like to call to us by our first names. Presumably because they can call us by first names which is taboo in general society. Anyway, they call for no apparent reason other than for recognition. Not a ‘good morning’ or ‘Hello’ just yell your name incessantly until you acknowledge them. Then, a dumb staring smile and that’s all. I’ve been saying “Yes?” or “Well?” to them insinuating that I am making inquiries as to why they called but it has hardly put them off. Anyway, Desreen is no exception, church not withstanding and has unabashedly called out to us wherever we are. It’s both embarrassing and vexing. Anyway, to press on...after a shakey start, we got settled in only to notice that after last night’s “mass baptism” (infant) again there was a whole other group of tots to be baptized. One infant had obvious physical disabilities which bummed out both Deb and I for several reasons. First, is the shear number of children in this country that bring on visions of a Malthusian holocaust. I find it incredible that any rational, intelligent and loving person could bring such numbers of children into such a bleak & currently unforgiving situation. No one seems to know why females of this country are so incessant in their production of children. I find it personally very distressing and almost distasteful.

Second, it becomes fairly obvious that these women are both young and unwed. They rather blithely offer up their bastard children to God ( as is their duty) but with full intent of continuing to produce children in large numbers by several men and without benefit of marriage. Such self indulgence and outright disrespect for God's laws seems blasphemous. And for Deb & I to immediately judge these young mothers as blights against God, brings a concurrent feeling of guilt for having so judged them. As Christians, we are both appalled by such behavior as well as horrified at our lack of love and charity. Perhaps it is our love for them that brings on such pity and horror at their behavior and blatant disrespect for God. I don't know. Though I don't want to sound like one of those Jerry Falwell right-wing extremists, I can't help but be disturbed by the cycle which is perpetuated, and sins which are perpetuated, by these young mothers.

So Deb and I sat through our Easter Sunday service. Knowing the hypocrisy yet feeling bad for judging. We were feeling almost miserable and very far from joyous after church. Christ is risen. He died for our sins yet we still don't listen and almost mock him in the remembrance of his passion. What a struggle it was. As soon as we were outside the convent grounds, Deb & I saw a small toddler with a terrible herniated umbilicus, which sent Debbie into tears. At home we both shared a good cry about being in St V. Another round of why questions and yearning to go home now, followed. We both know that our suffering (pain) is only the acknowledgment of His Presence, a reminder of His dominion over us. We despair so often that I suddenly know that I too, I'm no better than those unwed mothers. But it's so hard. Gad's, I wonder, will we ever muddle through this mess? The rest of the Easter Sunday was better. I talked briefly with Mom and Dad and had a lengthy conversation with Hol and Todd. Our dinner, though not as spectacular as our Christmas extravaganza, was tasty. Sunday evening we visited the Duncans and swung by the Bienemans so that Deb could call her folks (no luck, they, the Bienamens weren't in. On the return home, we stopped at the West End Fantasia to listen to some “pan” music (there's Desrene again). We got home just in time to listen to the Ambassadors Club roar to life after months of quiescence. Wonderful.

Monday (yesterday) we went to Bequia and had our usual lazy, touristy day. The only bad thing was that we managed to get burned to a crisp (I think my nose will fall off). We returned home to find that ant's had invaded our foodstuffs (typical) and Deb came down with the diarrhea that I had been fighting all day. You see, things get back to normal quickly. Our longest holiday was over.

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