Just so you know, senior couples do have fun on their missions. Last Monday morning we ran away with the Cooks and the Esplins for a retreat to the rain forest. We were transported from our home in Georgetown on a one hour bus trip to the shore of the Demerara river. From there we entered the Kukurana river, and went the rest of the way by boat to a resort called "Arrowpoint".
We took a short stop at an Indian villiage where all the Amerindian children who live on the river go to school. There were several homes, a school and, of course, a shop to buy Indian baskets, fans, and jewelry. We were strongly encouraged before we left to bring some money with us to shop there, since that is how the women earn money for the needs of the families.
Arrowpoint was just a quiet clean resort with only accommodations for up to 32 people, 8 cabins with 4 beds in each cabin. We had 8 people there waiting on us by taking us on walks, bike rides and boat trips. There were canoes and kayaks available for our use twenty four hours a day. The river is called black water because the water is darkened by the leaves that are always in it. It is actually very clean water compared to the other rivers in Guyana.
The first day there, our guide told us not to venture into the forest alone because we could get lost and there are jaguars in the forest. We were pretty obedient the first night, but on the second day we took a bike ride to discover a plane crash. The guide told us that the pilot who was killed in the crash was the first pilot to discover the Jim Jones community after he poisoned them all.
On our bike ride, Elder Cook took off in head of us and went a different way. The guide took off looking for him, and while he was gone, I took off and did a little exploring on my own. Unfortunately, I wasn't back when the guide came back so he came looking for me, too. He was pretty disgusted with us by the end of that day. ln the evening, I told him that if he thought we were disobedient, he ought to meet our children. He didn't think that was very funny!
The best part of the trip was getting in the kayaks and paddling around in the smooth quiet water in the jungle. It was so peaceful and quiet. We loved it. I couldn't help thinking what a blast our 24 grandchildren would have running around in that resort and playing in the black waters of the river.
Did I mention, that all of our meals were cooked by the staff and we didn't even have to wash a dish. It sounds like heaven, but after two and half days we were tired of doing nothing and were ready to go home.
The trip home was a little scary. Our boat had a problem and sputtered out of power after 20 minutes, so the crew at Arrowpoint brought us the covered boat for the rest of the trip. We were really thankful to be in a covered boat when we reentered the Demerara river. The river was really rough with waves high enough to have overturned the first boat we were on, and we would have lost our luggage and been soaked. It was good to get back on shore. Even our guide was scared about the roughness of the water.
The rest of the week, we played catch up at the office, paying rent checks, cell phone bills, and moving one set of elders into a different apartment, closer to the area where they serve. In was nothing short of a miracle that we were able to move the elders and clean the apartment in 4 hours.
I've included a few pictures to prove that we really did play a little. Love to all of you
Elder and Sister Beutler