Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Back on Andros!

Well we arrived back on Andros and the excitement didn't take long to begin.

First, we land in Nassau and clearing customs took a bit too long so we missed the only flight to Andros. We knew this was a possibility so we had arranged to stay at St. Joseph's parish 'in case' we needed to. Once inside St. Joseph we borrowed Fr. Martin's car and went to the Chancery to drop off donations we recieved while at home (Thank you all once again!)

At the Chancery we found that the priest who had offered to cover my parish here for 2 weeks was called back to Nassau by the Archbishop after the first week. This created an issue for some of our children. Since we had been without a priest for 4 months, several of our children had left the island for summer vacation when we were finally able to have First Penance and First Communion. With Fr. Glen spending two weeks here to cover for our absence we had set it up that on the 2nd week he would hear thier first confession and they would recieve first communion. So -- when he was called back to Nassau our little cherubs show up dressed in white to find a Deacon had been flown in to cover the weekend liturgy. Disappointing to say the least. So they continue to wait and the NEXT time we have a priest we'll have a special celebration.

Now let me tell you why the priest was called back. It turns out that while we were away the Chancery was robbed! The business office has a buzzer to get inside and one of the women was getting buzzed in when a man came up behind her and pushed her through the door, causing her to fall. He then put the muzzle of his rifle against her forehead and asked for her bag. It was terrifying for her and the secretary that buzzed her in but thankfully nobody was hurt. Coincidentally, the priest who was covering for us lives in the Cathedral, next door to the Chancery, and he has a closed circuit TV camera panning the driveway. Police needed him to come back to Nassau to open up the camera so they could see if the tape had captured the robber. -never a dull moment-

So the next day we get the Saturday morning flight to Andros to discover that our parishioners had moved the van from the airport to the church so it wasn't sitting there all week unprotected. Fred picked us up and drove us home and we started the chore of unpacking and settling in. We needed a few things at the store which is when we found the battery was dead. I tried to jump it with a neighbor but it wouldn't jump. Using Bahamian ingenuity we rolled it down the driveway and popped the clutch, which with a standard transmission is a tricky way to get it started - and it worked.

I drove to Love Hill and saw that the tables and chairs for the new parish center had come in, I drove to a few other parishioners and said 'Hi, we are back' -- all the while hoping this driving was charging the battery up again. Finally I stopped for lunch with Ginni, but after lunch, still a dead battery. Now I push the van down the driveway, jump in, pop the clutch, it starts again and off I go with Ginni to find a battery. "Yes Deac - I can get a battery big enough for that van, how about Thursday?" Island life - if you don't have it, you can get it, just wait for the boat to bring it. A nice idea but not when we need to go to 3 different churches to hold weekend liturgy (only one has a hill we can push the van down to get it started). I made several stops, all with the same result, until I went to the Baptist minister who has a garage. He says, "Your battery is the same as the one in my jeep - I could order one like the other guys or take the battery out of my jeep for you to use". Bottom line is we got a battery and the weekend liturgy went off without a hitch.

The other piece of news we learned after getting back on Andros was the attempted murder in Cargill Creek (next door to our church!) Next to our church there are a few dillapidated buildings tucked away in the bush. A family of squatters had moved in about a year ago, a mother, her boyfriend, and 5 kids. The buildings are owned by a parishioner who heard this family was homeless and he told them that if they were despirate they could use one of them. Well they were despirate and moved into the one with a roof, creating walls by hanging blankets. Well the oldest boy and the 'step-father' hadn't been getting along and, from what can figure out, during the night the boy decided to get rid of the 'step-father' using a butcher knife.

The man was able to get away but it was a very bloody scene, he is in intensive care in Nassau and the boy is in prison awaiting trial. The mother is in Nassau next to his bedside and the other kids are staying with friends all throughout the settlement. Terribly sad situation for everyone.

That was our 1st day back.

I makes me wonder that when we leave for 2 weeks, the Chancery gets robbed, there's an attempted murder, the van dies, and our kids miss out on First Communion yet again. Maybe we should just stay put.

Monday was spent getting ready for RCIA. Our first class was scheduled for that night and 3 of the possible 8 candidates showed up. Some of the others may still show up - time will tell.

I think that's enough of an update for now - pray that tropical storm south of Cuba stays far away from us - right now the projected track would have it go right over us. I sure hope Cuba takes the wind out of its sails.

Till next time

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