24 June - 26 June 2010
Our Room - Casa 400 Room 402
Our Room was in one of the houses that was actually just outside of the original Branch property. But the back side of the houses share a fence with the Branch so they bought them for extra rooms for guests. We still entered and left from the main gate into Bethel. Each house had 3 rooms number 1-3. The number 1 room had its own bathroom the rooms 2 and 3 shared a common bathroom and all 3 rooms shared the kitchen. On the 24th and 25th no one was in room 3 so we didn't have anyone sharing the bathroom with us. That was great for us because we had enough trouble getting ready in time for morning worship and breakfast with just the two of us needing the bathroom.
In the rooms on the bed were towels for us to use during our stay. Our personal towels were made into little animals. There were also three towels with labels set on them that said "I am for" drying the sink, the shower, to keep the floor dry. It was very impressive all the instructions you receive for how to care for your room, the bathroom and the kitchen. You clean everything immediately after you are done with it, and in the entire time I never saw one bug inside the buildings there.
The kitchen was simple but very cute and had everything that you needed. It was also nice because the branch has its own water treatment plant so there was no need to be cautious about the water there. Unlike the rest of the country where a lot of the water is treated but you still have to be careful.
There were two brothers sharing room 1 (the largest room in the house) who both work in the translation departments. One brother works with the Panamanian Sign Language translation team and the other works with the Ngobe translation team. On our last night in the house we had a new roommate. A Special Pioneer sister who was very fluent in English (most of the people at the branch had limited or no English) because she had been assigned to the English field in the past. There had been such a need in Spanish thou, so she was reassigned to Spanish. So she was so glad to see so many Need Greaters coming to Panama to help take care of the English field.
The Sister on the right is the Special Pioneer. The Brother in the middle is her spiritual son, he works at the branch in the kitchen as a server. He has just been accepted to Ministerial Training School and is learning English. The Brother on the left is one of our roommates, the one translating Ngobe. He didn't speak English. We all had a lot of fun sharing stories and experiences, with the sister doing a lot of translating back and forth for us all.
The Branch Buildings
On our tour we were able to look in at the different departments, go to the different buildings and really get a feel for what it was like there. Unfortunately, it was so enthralling that we didn't get very many pictures of the offices or departments but we have several of the buildings and exterior of the Branch.
Here are a couple of pictures of the Residence Building. If you click on them to see the bigger pictures, in one you will be able to see a brother up on the ledge cleaning the windows. The other picture shows the basketball court with some of the mountains in the background.
And these are just a couple of pictures showing some of the landscaping and other parts of the branch. In our next post we will show you the open air assembly hall at the branch and share some more information. Then we will start the posts about the interior of the country.