Our friends Grandmother, she wanted our picture taken together!
Barry and the Chief of Police
Before the demonstration
I am so excited right now, I don't even know where to begin!! I was going to post about our first language class but that seems so mundane compared to this evening's events. So I will post about that maybe tomorrow, but I have to share with you what happened to us tonight.
About 3pm we headed to town to fulfill our class homework of talking to and using our phrases with at least 15 people. We easily accomplished this and felt good as we headed home. Upon arriving we realized that we did not have much for supper since our communication with our helper is still a bit rough. So we decided to walk up to a local store, as we are walking we see our neighbors gathered in the street. Now, all weekend something has been going on every night on our street, parades, banners, road being closed etc., we never went because we were unsure if it was a wedding or a "cousins" holiday. Tonight we asked what was going on and we were invited (at least we that's what we think they said :)) they said to come at 7:30.
Forgetting that things here NEVER start on time (except school) we left our home at 7:15 and walked to where a large tent had been set up in the middle of the road along with a huge section of the road covered with interlocking gym mats. There is a band playing and singers singing, food is being cooked and one long table set up with different kinds of fruit. We are led to these chairs unsure of what we should do. The lady that invited us speaks a little English so we are getting to know her, her family is the one preparing mounds of food. This goes on for about 3 hours. Then about 20 black belts from our streets Dojo come out and they begin to warm up.....they are phenomenal, the boys were in awe!!
All of the sudden they stand stick straight and face the beginning of our road as highly decorated police approach!! Everyone is clapping and shaking hands, people start telling us to come forward, we are trying to stay out of the way of the high officials when they come toward us and warmly greet us....all of them, to each one of us!! We greet them and then try again to get out of the way but again they ask us back.....they (the officials) want to have their picture taken with us!!! I am not kidding, I bet there were a hundred cameras going off as my family stood there with the Chief of Police and his men, we didn't know where to look there were flashes everywhere, it was surreal. Campbell says, "Wow, it's like we're movie stars!" Again we try to back out when we are lead by the Chief (who speak pretty good English) to a seat at the table (there are only about 30 chairs, and it is about to rain like a waterfall)!! He ordered for us some yummy food, peeled snake fruit and plantains for the kids and talked away.
I think every person there came by to greet us and they treated us like royalty, it was so much fun and a GREAT experience for the kids. It downpours and our feet are in about three inches of water with mud quickly forming underneath but we didn't care, except Haddon! After a few speeches, in which the Chief acknowledged us, they had a closing "cousin" pryr and the chief gave us his information and asked Barry to please call him. Can you even believe it? My CEO can do anything....I have no idea what may come of this but we want to be ready for anything!!! We really do feel the "work" that you are doing, please continue to remember us!