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Dec 21

Its been too long again. Much has happened. Much of it positive. We decided to take the house in Edinboro. The Ambassadors Club next door has been vexing at times. With Nine Mornings going on, sleep has been a rather difficult commodity to obtain lately. However, Deb & I decided it wasn’t enough of a problem to warrant our moving out permanently. We made arrangements with Dick and Ann Bienamen to stay with them should the noise become overwhelming. We haven’t needed the ‘retreat’ yet. But with Nine Mornings coming to a close, the partying could become heavy, so we’ll take it a day at a time.

Our Cottage.JPG

Psychologically, its ,been an up & down time for me. Since I have yet to begin work I have a lot of free time to do as I please. I’ve been trying to keep busy with shopping for kitchen necessities and bread making basics. I’ve been walking around town & also baking bread. I’ve also tried keeping busy reading and writing (though not in this journal as much as I should). My days tend to go quickly which is nice but though I may be physically busy, mentally I wander and it has caused me some pain. I tend to either dwell on the past and conjure memories of winter & Christmas’s past. Or I look forward to the next Christmas back in Salt Lake. Skiing, relaxing & consuming large quantities of Fritos, French onion dip and Tab. I do miss the American lifestyle I gave up. Sometimes I miss it more than I miss the people. I miss the security of being with a large number of Americans in secure houses in which bugs are not rampant. I miss the information on TV, newspaper, radios, magazines. Those things are available but at such a cost as to be out of reach to a PCV. Deb and I are considering buying a radio which may well cost $100 for a very basic unit. But we feel so cut off from the mainstream of local & world events that its important to us to get a radio. Likewise for a Newsweek subscription… These things (and I could dwell on them) have put me on an emotional and psychological roller coaster. 11-82 Our Cottage sea porch.JPGI go from feeling OK & secure to a simpering sobbing ‘wimp’ in seconds. Certain words, or thoughts send tears welling up in my eyes. I’m not certain of the cause but I can recognise that I am the only one controlling it and although its difficult, I must not dwell on negative thoughts or be preoccupied with memories. When I deal with the reality of being here is when I function the best. The trick is to remain in that mode.

11-82 Kingstown SVG.JPGExperientially, St. Vincent is a marvel. I honestly do enjoy the island & the folks that live here. Indeed, my American, white minority status places me in a position of harassment or ridicule by young men Vincentians who wish to test their masculinity & status. No doubt the situation is a photo-negative of the U.S. Southern states environment in the 60’s. I thought I was used to being discriminated against in Utah. But the ‘discrimination’ here is of a different sort and only practiced by the young. So far I haven’t been overly intimidated but I’ll need God’s strength at the first confrontation.

Another kind of experience happened last Saturday. Deb and I went skin diving and haven’t quite been the same since. The coral and sponge as well as the multitude of fish was over whelming. I’ve done fresh water snorkeling but it hasn’t anything to compare to snorkeling in the E.C. It was beautiful and beautiful is such a lame word to describe it. The incredible variety of fish as well as the other sea life is too numerous to even begin to describe. It was almost a spiritual experience. Needless to say, Debbie and I have been total converts to skin diving & immediately bought the necessary equipment. Another diversion to fill our free time...I’m beginning to doubt whether we’ll have any.

Christmas approaches rapidly and still I haven’t decided on any gift(s) for Debbie. The feeling of being in the Christmas ‘spirit’ comes and goes. I face much the same frustration I do in the states. An inner need to seek out the roots of Christ-mas; the birth of Christ. Actually in faithfulness to Christ I have been a miserable failure. I need to re-connect to my faith and the church. No doubt both will be closely connected. I look eagerly toward that for I do miss the Zion family I left behind.