June 2016


As the Cayman Islands are an overseas territory of the United Kingdom, we have a Governor who is appointed by the monarch on the advise of the British government. The Governor is the de facto head of state and is responsible for appointing the Premier, the leader of the party with the majority of seats in the Legislature.

This weekend was set aside in honour of the Queen’s 90th birthday, and the celebrations began with a traditional parade of Cayman’s uniformed services, a royal 21-gun salute and three cheers to the Queen. This was followed by a ceremony at which some prominent local figures were honored.
Governor Helen Kilpatrick, after carrying out her duty as representative of the queen by inspecting the assembled uniformed services opened her home,  The Governor’s House for a traditional Garden Tea for residence of the islands.

(Photo Credit Cayman Compass)






It was a typical, beautiful morning in Cayman and we enjoyed attending the party and taking in some of the sights and sounds of the British heritage of our adopted home.







The first year in a new country is all about settling in and getting to know the culture and traditions of your new place. We were warned that this particular festival and parade was largely about revealing costumes and feathers but decided to take it in anyway.

The festival’s original name, Batabano, is a salute to Cayman’s turtling heritage. The word batabano refers to the tracks left in the sand by sea turtles as they crawl onto the beach to nest. Finding these tracks was – and still is – a reason to celebrate!

Carnival is a premier cultural celebration in the Caribbean – a kaleidoscope of music, dance and pageantry with roots mirroring the region’s diverse history of African and religious influences. Colourful costumes reflect the vibrant landscapes, heritage and culture, with the music the very rhythm of island life. Carnival in the Cayman Islands has a distinct flavour as the islands are home to a melting pot of over 100 nationalities – one country celebrating many cultures!

During carnival, districts and corporate groups join together to compete and showcase creative costumes, choreography and floats. The energy of Cayman Carnival Batabano is electrifying, with thousands of locals and visitors flocking to the streets to enjoy the spirited parade, which is all about expression.

(an excerpt from www.caymancarnival.com)




Even though we have been in the Caribbean for nine months, my heart is still pretty connected to SE Asia. I really miss the people that I was able to get to know and love and work with, during our time there. I was able to return to Indonesia recently for a few weeks and I have to admit it felt like home. I had not realized how much I miss the beautiful greenery and lush gardens and the hustle and bustle of SE Asia as well.


I arrived two days before the conference began in order to deal with jet lag before I tried to sit in meetings all day. This worked out well as several of my Canadian friends had done the same. It was a great opportunity to get caught up with their lives and ministry and even to do some exploring of the local beaches and restaurants.

We stayed in a rather typical, gorgeous hotel with beautiful surroundings that was almost deserted. Also typically, the hotel had seen very little maintenance since it was built.. There was a constant shuffling of rooms as leaks broke out on a regular basis. But, the company was great and the fellowship sweet.


There were about thirty five of us who gather there, representing many different organizations but what brings us together is that all of us use the same core strategy in our work. It was exciting to hear the reports of all that is being accomplished in this region and to strategize over future potential projects.


The trip to Asia and back is long, tedious and incredibly tiring and unpredictable and right now I feel that I would be happy to never do it again. However, the other part of the story is that I love to be with the people I was with these couple of weeks. We share the same passion for community, love the work that we do and are committed to seeing people freed to be all that they can be. Each of them are amazing examples to me of what it means to give their lives in the service of others.