Monday, May 18, 2015

Giant Leatherback Turtles

For Richard's birthday I wanted to take him to see the giant leatherback turtles.  They come up to lay their eggs between April to August.  Everyone told us that was something we couldn't miss.  We talked to a member in our ward who is employed as a turtle protector and she told us which beach to go to the end of April.  We went to Turtle Beach Resort about 10:00 p.m. and happened to talk to the right person who told us a turtle had just come up on the beach.  We found the location and was directed by the turtle protectors to stay back until the turtle began to lay her eggs.  They said when she is laying her 150 billiard balls size white eggs she is in a trance and at that time we would be able to go right up next to the turtle.  I was blown away at the size of this turtle.  It's head was much larger than mine.  Richard said that it was at least 7 feet long.  The conservationists said this one was a smaller turtle. Wow!  After she had laid all the eggs, she began the process of burying them.  First she just used her back flippers and pushed the sand in the hole and then tamped it down.  Then she started using her front flippers and did what I call "sand angels" throwing the sand with her front flippers to the back and then again using her back flippers to tamp the sand down again.  She did this for about an hour, stopping every few minutes and breathing very heavily and loud and then changing her position.  She was definitely working hard and exhausting herself.  Her eyes were filled with goop and the turtle gurus told us that is the way she gets the sand out of her eyes.  After she had made a complete circle about 12 feet around, she started back to the sea.  She kept getting turned around and heading toward the lights of the hotel, so the turtle guys held their shirts by her eyes and then used their red lights to direct her back to the sea.  It was amazing to watch.  We could not get good pictures because flash pictures are not allowed.  You can google....Tobago Leatherback Turtles and see some cool videos that people have put on U-tube.  It was an awesome birthday present!!!!  The picture below is just of her head.
 This picture you can see the outline of her whole body.  Her head is to the right and she was just ready to enter to ocean.

Sister Cupid's boat is in the water!

A while back I posted something about Sister Cupid finally getting her retirement after waiting a year and a half.    The first thing she did was pay her tithing and then she bought a motor for her boat.  We found her happily preparing the fish for sale near her home in Mt. St. George.  Elder Goddard is holding up the first lobster.  

 Her boat is in the far distance.  
 Elder Cox 

 Sister Cupid's daughter is the one on the right.  Pretty messy work scraping the scales off the fish.  

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Random Pictures of St. Vincent

 So everyone is always asking, what do you do on your mission?  I decided to take pictures of all the places we went and that fizzled out after the first place.  I just never remember to take out my camera.    Below is one place we went to four times in the 12 days we were in St. Vincent.  When a missionary comes into St. Vincent, they are given a 30 day visitor visa.  A few days before that expires we go to the immigration department and apply for a 90 day visitor extension visa.  There are five forms for each missionary.  We wait for a long time each time and thought we would be efficient and do several at once.  When we went back to get the renewed passports we were told that we had come too early and because of that they only renewed the passports for 60 days.  We still had to pay the $25.00 for a shorter period of time.  We can only renew them 3 days before they expire.  We will not be efficient in the future.  Then the clincher.....all the missionaries are flying to St. Lucia for zone conference on May 22nd.  When they come back to St. Vincent they all go back to a 30 day permit even though we had over half of them renewed until August.  So we will be back here in June renewing all 14 missionaries visas.
  While we were downtown Kingstown we noticed these old buildings.  We decided to stop and see what they were.  This one is an old Catholic church, school and soup kitchen.  We soon found that many homeless people prey upon those coming to worship.  One man in particular touched me as he looked like the hunchback of Notre Dame and could not speak, only grunt.  He was thrilled when Elder Goddard gave him some money.  

 On the same block are several churches.  This one is right across the street and is an Anglican church and graveyard.  Across the street to the right is a Baptist church and school.  

 During our stay on St. Vincent, President and Sister Mehr came to set apart the new Branch Presidency Richard called when we were here two weeks ago.  With him were the A.P.'s. Elder Larsen and Elder Hatch.  They will be the AP's for the new Barbados Mission that will begin on July 1st with President and Sister Harrington.  These young men are so vital in teaching and helping the new mission president as he begins his service.  They are great young men!
 One morning I got up and this man was chopping the tree outside our kitchen window.  He was thrilled to pose with his cutless for this picture.

 We greet our landlady's parrot every morning.  She is always happy to see us and can say....pretty boy (they taught her that before they found out she was a she) and hello.  

 Anytime President and Sister Mehr visit an island is a grand occasion and all the missionaries want a picture with them.  Sister Jensen and Sister Tongi set the timers on the camera line-up.
 We were in St. Vincent from May 4 through the 15th.  Two days were spent inspecting apartments.  What we found is that they all needed cleaning supplies.  They get so little MSF money that I can't blame them if they say....should I buy bathroom cleaner or eat?  We filled up our trunk with comet, Mr. Clean, Lysol bathroom cleaners, garbage bags, garbage cans, light globes, dish towels, dish cloths, dish soap and the find of the day........drying racks.  We have been looking for these since we went to St. Vincent in October.  We found them at True Value and had the clerk take our picture for the momentous occasion.  When we have gone into the Elders apartments we have seen some unique ways to dry their clothes.  None of them have dryers.  They were thrilled to get these drying racks!!!
I have to write that 5 out of 7 apartments were beautifully cleaned.  They did a good job!  We'll work with the 2 that were pretty scary.