Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Saturday, February 27, 2010

We went about our usual Saturday morning preparations for our trip to the “South”. We went to the grocery store and did our shopping for the week. I went to Price Smart and did the last minute shopping for all of the Elders in the “South” that we will deliver on our way to Azua. We packed our bags, etc. But this morning seemed a little surreal; knowing it will probably be our last time (at least for the foreseeable future) that we will be doing this. We’ve gone to the Neyba or Duvergé every weekend for the past 7 months; it seemed very strange that this is the last time.

We did have work in the office today too. Hna. Johnson had to be in the office to prepare documents for Elder Cummings before he left with the Capital AP’s. He has to be in the Santo Domingo Airport by 12:30 this afternoon. Elder Cummings is leaving a lot of his personal items in storage in the office. He plans to only be home for a short time and then return to finish the last 6 months of his mission. Pres. Almonte has the same expectation. He has told Hna. Johnson to leave his service status in the mission computer as “Active” and also told her to leave all of his files in “Active” as well as keeping his mission support credit card “Open and Active”.

I also had work in the office to do before we could leave for the “South”. One habitual problem that I deal with is all of the Elders calling me about their support money in their mission credit cards. Since their funds arrived yesterday, all of the missionaries are going to their neighborhood “Cajero” (bank teller machine) to withdraw money. For the past week or more most of them have run out of money and are desperate for next month’s “Apoyo” (support money). There always seems to be dozens of phone calls to solve problems over deductions and reimbursements. It happens every month.

When Hna. Johnson and I finally got away from the office and on the road to the “South” we turned to each other, like we do every week, and said: “Shrek and Donkey, off on Another Whirlwind Adventure” but this time it was probably for the last time.

This week we didn’t have stops in Madre Vieja nor San Cristobal. The office Elders delivered their mail and supplies last Thursday. It was a good thing we didn’t go there. Both communities are planning huge festivals for “Carnival” today. It’s a national holiday in the Dominican Republic; it’s their nation’s independence day. There are going to be parties and drinking everywhere. We are hoping to plan our itinerary so as to miss most of the downtown/party areas.

Although this might be our last time to make regular stops in Azua I hope it isn’t our last time to eat dinner at “La Equiñita” in Azua. I really love the hamburgers there. Even if we aren’t asked to deliver mail to Azua again I think I will find an excuse to come here just so we can stop and eat at “La Esquiñita” from time to time. One such time will be in July when our son, Jared and his wife Tere will come to visit us for 10 days. “La Equiñita” will definitely be on our itinerary.

Another “Last time” event in Azua was the use of the internet there. Hna. Johnson and I have enjoyed having the internet in Azua these last 6 months. Tonight we “Webcam’d” Nathan and Valerie and the grandkids. We also “Webcam’d” Pam’s parents, Jim and Betty Burk. I can’t tell you how much it means to us to see and hear our family far, far away. We were on the webcam for over an hour and a half. It was great.

But one problem we have is the lack of internet in our own apartment in Santo Domingo. The only access to the internet in the capital we have is in the mission office. But we leave work at 6:00pm and that is 3:00pm in Arizona. If we want to webcam our family in the capital we have to go back to the office at 9:00pm. We’ve done it in the past but it makes for a very late night. Now that we won’t have access to the internet in Azua any longer, I think I will have to break down and subscribe to high speed internet service at our apartment now.

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