This is us as we left Grenada. Loved my time on the island. The people we met were incredible. They are a very loving people and are considered my friends. I'm looking forward to my next visit.
21 June 2015
Our last evening, all our host families took us out to a local restaurant (La Sagresse, French for wisdom). We were almost the only ones there so it gave us some time to sit and visit with all the families. Shawn (one of our hosts) was quite a hit with the girls.
Several of our new friends took us to a local beach (gren emse beach). We did not have swim suits, but that didn't stop many from getting in the water. Greg even cut his dress pants to make some shorts. By the look of his shorts, he will need to be shown how to use a scissors. While the girls were swimming I was able to talk to Cyril, our driver, and shared a Carib (local lager) with him and others.
After mass we had a brunch, where once again they had things ready for us. We sat at a special table and were served food. Many of our new friends & others from parish sat and talked with us.
After brunch, we had some free time at our host house. It was very clear so I was able to take some good pictures of the area around where we stayed
Attended a very special mass at St Dominic's. They combined all 3 churches into one mass. When we got to church, we were told to sit in the front row. And since I was the only male in the group (Greg was assisting Fr Carl with mass) I was told I had to go first and lead the women in. The music and readings were very beautiful. And Greg gave a wonderful, spot on sermon. At sign of peace we went around entire church giving many sign of peace.
At the end of mass, they had several special blessings. One for us & called us each up by name and gave us more gifts (as if they already didn't do enough for us), then blessings for fathers, followed by any birthday or anniversaries in congregation.
20 June 2015
The tour included a drive across the entire island, hitting all 8 parishes of Grenada.
After a long drive around the island, we stopped along a lake and our tour guide showed Jessica how they dance in Grenada
We then stopped at a beach on the Atlantic Ocean side and were treated with local foods by the parishioners.
Next was a tour of a chocolate factory where we sampled different types of cocoa & chocolate.
This was a tour we were given by the owners of a nutmeg factory.
The tour guide was wonderful, he taught us much about the history & culture of Grenada and kept us entertained with jokes about Grenadians. Our first stop was to a waterfall.
This morning the parishioners invited us to go with them on a youth group tour of the island.
19 June 2015
Last night we met at St Dominic's for a BBQ. Many of the parishioners showed up for a meet & greet. The girls all did a wonderful job mixing with the girls from Grenada- that's why we were here in the first place, to get to know our brothers & sisters in Christ from Grenada. The parishioners were wonderful & we were treated to BBQ chicken & local foods. Many of our conversations taught us that we are all the same, we are all searching to find a way to get others more involved in their faith.
Much like St Dominic's, we were treated to a big welcome and song & dance by the kids. And once again, given snacks & drinks.
At St Dominic's we were treated like royalty. The principal & several teachers welcomed us and then the kids performed with some awesome song & dance. The kids loved to touch, we felt loved. They especially like Kennedy's hair. We were then treated with snacks & drinks. The school was recently rebuilt. Steps everywhere, I can see why the kids are in good shape, climbing so many steps & hilly roads.
Yesterday Greg & I were treated by Fr Carl Haynes with a trip to see Bishop Darius, bishop of Grenada and then went to see the Cathedral of Grenada. It was even more special when we realized the body of Christ was present in Adoration!
This is a picture of St Vincent's Church. The roof & most of inside had to be repaired after hurricane Ivan. Holy Redeemer donated much of the money & pews
Next was a stop at St Vincent's elementary school
This morning was a day for visits, first was to St Dominic's elementary school. The kids welcomed us by song & dance. More on this later
This is Shawn with the girls. He came down this morning to say good morning. He doesn't sleep much. Told us some stories from hurricane Ivan 10 years ago.
After settling in, we went upstairs to the main house & met the rest of the family. The mother, I think Cicely is a quiet loving lady. She had boiled fish, bread & passion fruit ready for us when we got there. I offered, but she would not allow us to help clean up. That was Shawn's job she joked, but in the end she did the work. Simone & Shawn were the kids names. Simone didn't stick around to talk, but Shaw did. A Miami Heat fan, but said he was sorry Cavaliers didn't win NBA finals. He is 18, on Grenada national swim team & taking classes at the local community college. Oh yea, & he teaches swim lessons. He was the most talkative of the family. After dinner we were all very tired & went back downstairs to get some sleep.
Should have typed this last night. Had very good flights and arrived in Grenada last night around 8:30. After getting through immigration was met by many of the parishioners of St Dominic's parish. What wonderful people to go out of their way to pick us up & make us feel comfortable. 1 truck was loaded with the school supplies & then we were put in 3 other vehicles for about a 20 minute drive. Eric was our driver and we learned much about the island as we drove. Hard to get used to them driving on the left. When we got to the rectory, they split us up. First Sarah & Kennedy were placed in a home, met by a sweet little lady, think her name was Bria. Then Robin, Julia & Madison stayed at the next. & finally, me, Jessica, Jackie & Amy. The drivers& father of the house is Jeffery, what a friendly living soul. He showed us where we would be staying - what appeared to be a downstairs apartment that maybe the kids stayed in or they rent out?
Views from our front porch, it's beautiful here. Bed was comfortable so on occasion I slept well. A lot of new sounds to get used to. Awakened at 4:15 and again at 7 by a dog whining for something to eat. And there was not much air moving so was a little hot, but all is well. Sitting out on the porch listening to the birds with a nice breeze, only thing missing is an island drink.
18 June 2015
Bedrooms we are staying in
This is the girls (not the Absolute Vodka stand in the background), off to get something to eat. In Miami with new options, chance to try something new- guess where they went? Wendy's! Man are they going to be in trouble in Grenada. 2.5 he layover in Miami and then it's off to Grenada!😀. And Greg said we had to take a selfie
Landing in Miami
Boarding for flight to Miami. Madison had someone in her seat, found out they were older parents & asked if they could sit together so Madison was kind enough to switch seats
Chicago airport - Jackie, Amy, Madyson & Jessica playing 'Egyptian Rat Screw'. Don't ask, I have no idea what that is, thought Jackie kept saying 'Egyptian rapture'.
Arrived in Chicago, now 3 hr wait for flight to Miami. Here is part of the crew in wait mode
Met at Holy Redeemer at 3:15, drove to Dayton airport. Traveling with Greg, Robin, Jessica, Jackie Schemmel, Madison Pape, Sarah Steineman, Julia Goettemoeller, Kennedy Hoying, Amy Balster. Flight left on time. Beautiful sunshine when we got above the clouds. Had a nice conversation with a gentleman sitting next to me, works for Kissler, may be able to work with them on sensors at PSI. His daughter is a dental hygienist & travels to Mexico on missions to help them with dental services. 2 ladies & I discussed the Whole Foods experience, be nice to have one closer to home. Nothing better than sipping on wine while grocery shopping (that is if u have to shop anyway)
Dayton airport - Jackie & Amy playing game of 'Last Letter'
The picture on my profile is the front cross at Holy Redeemer at night. Ready to go, now doing what I've become accustomed to, waiting on a female. God bless our trip!
17 June 2015
Packing for the trip. Excited to find what adventures are waiting for us tomorrow. Leave Holy Redeemer Church at 3:30 tomorrow morning, 12 hours of flights & layovers and we'll be there!