Friday, December 19, 2008

Things are jumping

Well it is amazing how much happens in a week. First, our son Mike is on his way here. If all is well he has landed in Nassau and now has a four hour layover for the flight to Andros. He can either sit at the airport - or run down to the casino on Cable Beach for conche chowder and a view of the beaches. Any bets on what he does?

This week saw the lighting of the Christmas Tree in downtown Fresh Creek. To say this was an event is not to give it the credit it deserves. We only heard about it because one parishioner asked if we were going to attend the Christmas Caroles at Queens Park so we went down to check it out. Well, let me tell you ---

Queens Park is the round-about (think rotary) in Fresh Creek. In the center is a gazebo and a concrete statue of a land crab (a land crab is a crab about the size of a great fruit that lives underground, they are a big thing here and in June Fresh Creek hosts a Crab Festival that is H U G E). Anyway, we arrive to find the gazebo covered in lights, the crab is covered in lights, the palm trees are covered in lights, and the gazebo is filled with men in white dress uniforms. This is the Bahamian Defense Force Marching Band. So the schedule of events was an opening invocation/blessing, then the band plays a carol and we sing, then a speaker from town government speaks, then we sing again, then another speaker, and we sing (you get the idea - there were 6 speakers) and a closing benediction. Now the interesting thing for us was how free each of the government officials spoke about Jesus. Literal quotes were things like "We are here tonight to thank the good Lord for sending Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour" or "Jesus came on Christmas that we might have life - He is the light of the world and we thank Him as we celebrate His birthday". It was amazing how free these elected officials were to testify to their faith. We are truely living in a Christian country.

After the final blessing we thought it was time to leave but it only was getting started. I said it was a Marching Band and I wasn't kidding. These 40 men and women, playing all the time, marched off the gazebo, through the crowd to the street and then proceeded to march (a better word would be dance) up and down the street. They weaved through each other, they swayed in rythm back and forth, they jumped and boogied, they did it all - without missing a beat. At one point the man with the big bass drum strapped to his chest leaned back and literally limboed with the drum now on his chest pointing straight up in the air while they played the Little Drummer Boy and he did a solo in that position. Amazing.

We visited another of our sick parishioners the next day. What was striking to me was this woman, in her 80s, was in what looked like a 2 or 3 bedroom house, with 9 other people - all but one little boy were women. It was a nice visit but I wondered where were the fathers of all these women - daughters, grand daughters, great grand daughters, and no men. Things that make you go hmmmmm.

Finally, we just heard we will have a visiting priest this weekend, staying through Christmas. He will be visiting from (hold onto your hats) from Boston College! Turns out the prior bishop was a Jesuit and the Jesuits still visit and help out from time to time, but to have him come from my Alma Mater is interesting.

Enough for now. Keep us in your prayers.

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