​​The morning of our departure

It was a bit chaotic in the small waiting room at the presbytery as it filled up with suitcases and we unpacked and repacked bags but, as usual, we managed to fit everything in. We had a good send off with Frs Richard and Tony, Srs Elizabeth and MaryRose,Trish Andrews, Tony Moran, Peter McLindon, Jeanette and Jean and also Margaret. We got halfway down the motorway when Honor realised the project money was still in the safe.

Published :  10/01/2010

She felt quite ill but we managed to contact Jean and she drove to the airport with the money.  She certainly saved the day.  The flight to Amsterdam was OK but a bit bumpy towards the end.  

The overnight accommodation was only 10 minutes by shuttle bus from the airport.  The rooms were basic but more than adequate for our needs.  On Saturday morning we got to the airport in plenty of time, which was just as well as it was chaos and we were sent backwards and forwards till we finally got to our gate!!  The 9 hour flight to Paramaribo, Suriname was good and we were easily noticed as we were all wearing WCMAD T-shirts and were asked about our project by fellow passengers. Following on from that we managed to beg some KLM blankets for our next project in Romania. 

The visa process on our arrival in Suriname went smoothly enough (though Honor still had a niggling feeling that we may have had to pay!), but immigration was a nightmare.  We waited outside the airport for an hour before Fr. Toon O.M.I. (the priest we were working with this year) and Sr. Egno, contacted us – Fr. Toon had been given the wrong time by the airline.  We finally got going after loading up two cars driven by Fr. Toon and Sr. Egno.  Fr Anton and Chris were to stay with Fr Toon at his presbytery and the rest of the group with Sr Egno in her convent.

When we arrived at the convent and unloaded the cars we discovered Fr Anton’s case was missing.  Sunni, Sr. Egno’s brother, contacted the airport and they decided to drive back there but in the panic Fr Anton could not find his passports and finally he did and off they went. They eventually returned about 1.00 am. Though the original plan was for Fr. Anton and Chris to stay with Fr. Toon, he ended up staying with us in the convent. There was a party atmosphere in the streets and we thought it was just another Saturday night.  It turned out to be an annual festival and it went on until 5 am even though it was pouring with rain.  There was no respite from the noise as we didn’t know how to close the shutters in our rooms. Needless to say, we were all a little groggy the next day.

Fr. Toon arrived with a big smile on his face on Sunday morning as Chris had repaired his printer and laptop. We all went to mass together at the Cathedral and Frs Anton and Toon concelebrated with the bishop and also Fr. Esteban.  Afterwards we went to the bishop’s garden for a lovely reception ceremony in recognition of the work done by all the Pastoral Leaders from the diocese.  Honor met Claudia, who in turn, introduced her to Letitia (the lady who organised our visa applications in the bishop’s office).  It was nice to put faces to the names at last.  We returned to the convent where Sunni had prepared our lunch.  In the evening we were invited to attend the cathedral for a  free concert where there were groups playing and singing South American music – some of them in traditional costume.
 

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Liverpool Roman Catholic Archdiocesan Trustees Inc. Reg Charity No 232709