Thursday, July 29, 2010

Planing to Head Back to Mercy Hospital and Guyana

A flower from Anne's Garden... and Kristin's favourite flower
"Time goes... that's it." I think that this is the wisdom of a New York City cabbie. Hard to believe that it is almost time to head back to Guyana. It does seem soon, though I last left in March 2009. Maybe I am just getting older? As with most of life [at least, most of my life] it is a time of ambivalence:
I am saddened to leave a good life, a good wife, a beautiful and peaceful place, and a golf game that will always be better the "next" day; AND, I am excited to be returning to my second home for over 7 years.

I want/need to do something with my living in addition to the pleasures of retirement and the fulfillment of grandchildren [Oh yes, the "kids" too.]. Funny how I have long given up ideas of the kingdom - or a kin-dom [gender neutral paradise] - where the criteria for entrance are known in advance.

Yet, I seem restless to give of myself and my talents. I am just not content to be... Never did buy into that "it is not what you do, just be" stuff; of course, you are what "you do"... at least, I am.   Everyone knows that you are only as good as your last game.

An early morning fire in May 2010 destroyed a big part of Mercy Hospital.
There will be many changes this year at Mercy. I am sure many of you know that the hospital suffered from a big fire. While the patient areas and school were spared; however, doctor's offices, surgery suites, medical records and Dr. Devi's flat were destroyed... Now this is very sad, but what is really tragic is that Dr. Devi got moved to "my" executive volunteer flat!

The CEO, Helen, graciously gave Tony and me a very nice flat - together. This is when I discovered how much of an old fart I am...I really like being alone [Only when I am in Guyana, Dear.] and I will be working with Tony every day in the same courses. As I told Tony, it is not him... It is me; I need quiet.  

I guess that I was grumping out loud because a friend and colleague - and a real missionary - Richard Young came through with a win-win situation. He suggested that I might stay in the empty parsonage at Calvary Lutheran Church in exchange for a security presence [?] there. Canadian Pastoral Team of Jack and Val Fredericks finished a term pastorate there in the Spring... And Calgary's resident caretaker just died... I didn't ask how. As Dick mentioned in his email, there were many benefits including, You get to be Lutheran and be called "pastor". Whata deal!

I thought I'd get some of the other benefits, so I wrote Jack and Val... and they wrote back in part: "The kitchen has a stove (gas), an electric fridge and a wash machine. The stove will scare the crap out of you when the oven heats up and expands with a bang...  The front entrance has a framed glass door that I could only lock from the outside."  [I can see Val climbing through a second story window after she locked the door from the outside!]  However, these inconveniences seemed quite manageable as they continued, "The bakery, Yhips, which is next door to you sells beer also."

I'll have more expenses than if I had shared at Mercy [Hint: and I'll try not to drink them all.], but I do need to preserve what little I have of my sanity and Tony's as well.     
Tony and John working to understand cultural nuances.

Tony and I have decided to really have an adventure this year.  We are going to combine our courses -Psychology. Sociology, Ethics, Mental Health and Neurology into one Problem-Based Learning Programme.   We have spent most of 2010 writing our cases and trying to integrate the major areas in our curriculum into our paper problems.    I am sure we both thought it was a good idea at the time; as it gets closer...    I am sure you will hear more about our attempts throughout our time there.