First, though, when we return to Trinidad, it is crazy busy to get done all we need to before we leave again. We had been hard at work at our computers and looked out our window to see this! Only in Trinidad could I look out my window and see an unfamiliar "worker" man just taking a nap on the top of our patio fence! He eventually woke up and moved on.
Here's another unique Trinidad sight - one needs 640 Trinidad pennies to make one US dollar - so you can see why they become part of the street!
A major holiday in Trinidad- Davali! This is our landlord that lives next to "Blue Heaven." He was lighting the lights in front of our apartment.................
And in front of his house...............
They were all along the streets and all the houses! There were fireworks all over the country. Ramdial explained the meaning to us as we went out to walk and see all the Hindu houses lit up, the families dressed in their finest clothes, handing out gifts to passersby. He said that it is literally the darkest night of the year in Trinidad and the lights/fireworks signify that light can overcome any darkness and even the darkest night. We got three baggies of fruit, cake and candies as we walked the neighborhood watching the fireworks all over the city. It was lovely!
A Dad and his two sons were lighting these fireworks in their yard.
We are thrilled that at our yearly YSA planning meeting (the second one since we've been on our mission- amazing!) we had reps from almost every unit in the Stake. They came up with a new mission statement for 2014 and decided on the purpose for every activity for each month of the year! Planning with a purpose was a foreign concept last year! This year they knew exactly where to begin. They have come so far since we got here a year ago.
I was so excited to tell them that I brought ketchup (to drown everything in) and hot sauce! I'm on to what they love now.
Driving home in the pouring rain, we HAD to take this classic picture!
We had a farewell dinner in Trinidad for the Thompsons (they are off to replace the Wrights in St. Martin) on Monday. We were freezing - can you tell? That same week on Friday we met them again in St. Martin for our celebration visit.
The main street through town - a beautiful tourist shopping area.
Tourists! - something we NEVER see in Trinidad!
We went with the Wrights and Thompsons to see a famous fort with a breathtaking view of the city. They introduced us to this spike-bearing cotton-lace tree. Soooo unusual!
It was huge and on the road up to the fort.
At the top of the hill, at the fort, overlooking the harbor. You can see why it was a great idea to protect the country from high on top of this hill, with cannons pointed out to the sea, all around.
The view from high on the hill of the bustling city center and outdoor market.
The other side
Pondering the verities of life or "I just can't wait to be king!"
In case of an invasion
The view of the fort from the bottom of the hill! We wandered through the outdoor market and then went to one of the 10 most popular beaches in the entire world!
This is for my grandchildren - the most interesting thing at the open market was the red snapper! Did you know... when they die, they open their mouths and yell, "UH-OH!"
Admittedly, the water was gorgeous; the sand like velvet, but the astounding thing about this beach was that planes flew in right over the beach - so close you felt the sand sting your face from the really big jets!
Here's one coming in - this has to be where all the airline Caribbean pictures come from! Look at the guy on the beach - he wasn't even a plant - he was legit!
This picture is from the restaurant right on the beach. There is a short-wave radio played for all to hear the pilots communicating with the control tower as they come in. Elder Wright is a pilot and he was translating their pilot lingo for us!
The food was decent too - what an experience!
After the plane beach, we went to where the cruise ships come in and the pirate ship used in Pirates of the Carribbean floats, and is now privately owned; gorgeous flowers on the roadside where we stopped for water.
ahhhhhhhh the temperature was delicious!
This map on the tourist street,(by the cruise ships) was a perfect rendering to understand how St. Martin (French) is also St. Maartan (Dutch). Both sides speak English, also. We only have one branch on the Dutch side.
Elder Monson actually found Johnny Depp and asked if he would pose with him for posterity! What a nice guy- puttin on the ole pirate costume and all! We have no idea where that other guy came from!
This is the ship Johnny sailed in on!
His footsteps in the sand.............
The day ended on that glorious beach.
The next day we attended the branch and it was the Primary presentation. Soooo awesome and it made us miss all our grandchildren and wish we could see them doing their parts in primaries all over the US. Our celebration fireside was held the third hour of church and was very well received. They have so much strength in St. Martin because of all the medical students and families. Take note, children who want to go to medical school! St. Martin is a great place to be for a few years!
The Primary president helping the kids with their parts.
All the beautiful children in their "special program" finest!
A young medical student and family sang a song we'd never heard about building an eternal family. Sooo inspiring!
A very impressive Sunday School class of awesome kids who all want to participate in Celebration and had a fabulous teacher. After the block we had the Celebration meeting with the entire branch and then met with a very engaged and impressive committee who will make sure it happens. It was a very productive meeting; they will have a great show!
The planes have been jam-packed as we travel to all the "beautiful" tourist destination islands! This was how many people continued on with us as we returned to Trinidad!! We returned home to have three intense days of preparing for a YSA activity that was to be held on the very day we returned from St. Vincent.
We met a wonderful groundskeeper on the property where the tunnel is located. Look at the giant tool he calls his "tree-climber." He cut down a coconut to share with us.
Sister Small doesn't have enough space in her home to make the nativity sets, so Sister Bird lets her work in their apartment. Here is the assembly line for the new nativity sets. Sister Bird has found an online business that sells nativity sets from around the world. The man who runs it, does so to help indigenous people all over the world, make a living, and does not charge them to advertise on his website. There are good people in this world doing really wonderful things for people everywhere who struggle to survive. It is very inspiring!
We met with members and friends in St. Vincent for the Celebration fireside and then afterward met with the committee who will be charged with making Celebration happen in their location. Sister Small will be a big part of the success of Celebration. One of the categories is sewing, so she can also showcase the beautiful work of her hands.
The next morning we caught a flight back to Trinidad in time for the YSA activity the evening we got home. The theme was "strengthen testimonies," and the committee decided on a game show format! It was a combination of a bunch of games all pulled together into one to be played in a large group: Jeopardy, Minute To Win It, Pictionary, Family Feud, and The Price Is Right.If you are interested in the details of this activity, go to wimysayouthresources.blogspot.com (our mission ysa/youth blog)
This picture illustrates one half of the room where we set up the game-board layout.
I cannot put our Grenada visit on this post too. You have all probably given up long ago. We had a great time with this activity and when we reviewed it at our next planning meeting, the assessment was that we actually met our purpose and they really DID learn more about the scriptures from playing these games than before they came..............................................