Before I get started on my usual light hearted sarcasms I would like to take a moment and discuss something serious. This past month I had a good college friend seriously hospitalized. Justin Gabriel has been in a coma for close to a month and is fighting serious odds to ever wakeup. If you know JJ, you know it would be just like him to be the type to overcome these heavy odds just so he can have a crazy story to laugh about years from now. I am not a religious person but my thoughts are with you Justin and I hope and have faith in whatever higher being that maybe out there that will allow you to wakeup. And after you wakeup, and I come back from Guyana, I can’t wait for the many more nights we will jam out in a car with the music and our voices blaring too loud. Whether you know Justin are not, you should say a prayer for him, please check out his site to that explains his situation and how he is recovering. http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/justingabriel/guestbook/sign
I should have known September was going to be a crazy, crazy month when I sitting on my toilet and saw something that looked like snow coming in through my bathroom window. No, no, it was not snow but ashes from a huge brush fire that had broken out across the street. August was very hot and the dry season has been extra long but that didn’t stop one of my neighbors from burning their excess wedding trash in the thick, thick dry brush. The fire spread quickly and grew very tall and wasn’t too far from over taking some houses when the fire department showed up and put it out. With the fire out, I figured the craziness was done but what arose from the ashes was my very first Guyanese female admirer or in American culture what we would more commonly refer to as a phone stalker. This person, whom I barely knew, and didn’t give my phone number too, managed to call my cell phone over 50 times and send over 30 texts in the period of 2 days! I guess it is entertaining now that it is all said and done but at the time geeeeeeeeesssssssh!
Shortly after the fire and during the phone stalker fiasco, I was hanging out at a friends house out of site. During the visit, they’re site got something that my location had been very short of—rain! My friend’s place has a aluminum roof which, can be relaxing and therapeutic during a down pour. However, I learned a tin roof can also be electrically stimulating during a thunder storm. As we were watching a movie, we witnessed a bright flash of light simultaneously paired with a loud, gun shot like BANG! That’s right, their tin roof had just been struck by lightening!
With all that excitement underway I took off to Georgetown to sadly say goodbye to one of my closest friends in Guy21. Yes, Guy21 has lost another member. This makes it 6 total now that have left. Hopefully Krystal will be the last to leave, because as the days go on you get closer and closer with the PCV’s you are surrounded by as they become your crutches of sanity while living in a different culture.
While I was in Georgetown, saying my goodbyes to Krystal, I happened to check my blog to see if I had any new comments on my last blog post. I had a few, but the one that caught my eye the most was the one left by the Anchorage District Attorney requesting that I contact him.
2 years ago, I was working the door at the bar F Street Station when I witnessed an altercation in the alley. I have to give the condensed version, but I saw two males beating another male with a baseball bat, plastic broom stick and some other instrument, whose purpose is not to whack living things with. I quickly called the police while I was witnessing the attack. I stood frozen in my tracks with fear and indecision as people (the attackers and those chasing them away from the victim) started to stampede my way. I was able to tackle one of the attackers before he entered the bar. As interesting of a story as it might be, I would trade the ability to tell the story for the victim’s life in a heart beat. The victim would die a few days later from hemorrhaging and swelling of the brain. Shortly after this night I testified in front of a grand jury and helped make sure the attacker, I apprehended, would be indicted and tried in a court of law. The DA told me then that murder trials often take 2-3 years to go to trial and that I could be living as far away as Florida when this goes to trial and they will still have to fly me up to testify in this trial. Little did he know, I would be living in Guyana, South America.
As the DA and I discussed when I would fly up to testify, it was clear there might be a scheduling conflict. Since before I had joined the Peace Corps, my good friend from high school had asked me to be one of his groomsmen. Every time I passed another step, in the many that come with joining the Peace Corps, I always asked if I would be able to attend the wedding. Well now my trip home for Bret’s wedding was being cut short, but thankfully not missed. It was arranged for me to be flown up to Anchorage the Sunday after the wedding. What was going to be a quick, busy 8 day trip home , just got a lot busier!
In the mean time, I had about a two weeks to get ready to go home and Anchorage. During that time, several of my closest, “Crutches of Sanity,” had left for the States and wouldn’t be back till the day I left! About the only thing I had to keep me company in the mean time was the phone stalker! However, I stayed strong and pushed on until the day I got to return to hot showers, washing machines, fast food, TV and fast internet!
The wedding was a blast! The church, bride and bridesmaids all looked beautiful. Even us ugly groomsmen and the groom found a way to, “Church It Up,” and look respectable for a about 12 hours. I enjoyed all the festivities immensely! The church was impressively lavish and had tall ceilings, which were beautifully decorated and kept me entertained during the wedding rehearsal when I couldn’t figure out if I was supposed to be paying attention or not. After the vows were exchanged and the I do’s done and the kisses kissed we (the wedding party) took off in our limo to Comerica park (where the Detroit Tigers play) and got to go inside the stadium for pictures! After that we arrived at the reception which had great, great food, good fun and free drinks! When you make a grand $200 a month as a Peace Corps volunteer, you can’t really ask for a better night! Way to go Bret and Mandy!
Oh yea, although it isn’t really conventional, when Mandy threw the bouquet to all the single ladies, she severely overthrow them! The bouquet went flying over their heads and crashing on to the wedding party table. As it rolled and knocked over glasses and what not, I was the closest and grabbed it to keep it from knocking over anymore glasses. I walked up to Mandy, thinking she would re-throw the it, but the Boss DJ/Wedding host would have none of it. It’s a couple weeks later and I still don’t really know whether to be excited or really, really scared about the whole catching the bouquet thing.
The next morning, which was a very early morning after a very long night, I was off to the airport and to testify in the murder trial. Being back in Anchorage was great minus the circumstances, because I didn’t think I would make it back until I was done serving my 2 years. I made sure I ate at all of my favorite restaurants and visited as many friends as I possibly could without having a car or cell phone. People kept asking me if I was nervous for the trial and I never really was. While I was waiting outside the courtroom, I still wasn’t nervous, I was busy listening to music and playing solitaire on my IPOD. However, when I was called into the court room and sat waiting, while the jury came back from recess I made eye contact with the defendant. I hadn’t seen him for two years, two years to the day to be exact. And although I only sat a minute before I was called to the stand, I felt my nerves jump a little. Once on the stand I was fine. My only wish is that I could have remembered more details from the incident two years ago. It was almost like taking a test because once I left the stand, more details started to come to me and I really wanted a redo! Well hopefully this was a interesting enough blog.
Now that September is done I want to confess, I am really hoping for a very uneventful October! I have had enough fun and excitement for a year, let alone 1 month! Finishing this months update I want to thank all those who took the time to read. Keep leaving comments on my blog, I love to read them. And congrats to the people who have recently found out they will be coming to Guyana in February 2010. I hope my blog in some ways helps prepare you for your next two years! Can’t wait to meet you!