<![CDATA[Jason Knox - Blog]]>Sat, 12 Mar 2016 20:54:58 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[September 14th, Cayman Surprises]]>Thu, 01 Oct 2015 08:20:30 GMThttp://www.jasonrknox.com/blog/september-14th-cayman-surprises

Tonight was a peculiar night.

     I had spent almost the entire day trying to get internet into my new apartment and for much of the day it seemed as though it couldn't happen, then it looked like it could, but at a considerably greater cost than expected. We found a friend of a friend who knew somebody who could call this person to get approval for a short term contact, etc and it was a wild scavenger hunt which took us back and forth across the island a few times. We got the name of a person at one store (a personal friend of an employee from a rival company) who was supposed to get a shipment in at a certain time which would be just the thing we needed. I entered the store and asked for this person by name only to discover that it was the same employee that we had talked to earlier that day. No, the situation hadn't changed, no he still couldn't get me what I wanted. So, I got further details from him and prices etc and went outside to call my Pastor / fellow missionary to get his input. I crunched more numbers. I prayed and determined that I had arrived at our best option. As I return into the store I hold the door open for a person walking out. I then go up to the counter to speak to this one employee for the third time today only to be informed that the customer who just left had purchased their final modem.
      [EDITOR's NOTE: Tuesday I would get the modem only to find it came with European style wall plugs, which is not used anywhere in Cayman. Wednesday I would return again and get the right plug only to discover that they had not properly activated it which would necessitate another return trip. Iy works now.]

      All of this is just an effort to get internet access so that I can hopefully begin using the social networks to publish videos and pose questions to the students of West Bay, who I have no idea whatsoever if they will actually be interested in working with me on these sites. A frustration for me has been having to work through so many details of settling in, finding an apartment, arranging a car to use, connecting with my bank so I can have the funds to make these purchases, etc and not getting to be doing the things I wanted to be doing. I realize now that doing things that you don't want to do in order to be able to do the things you do want to do is just called "being an adult" but I am still young enough that I perceive that to be a personal injustice.

I wanted to watch the Eagle play Monday Night Football.

In my [paper] research about the island I had found a bar that had an outdoor area with a giant inflatable screen “to watch the big game”. I have had yet to really eat out or go out and experience the Cayman night life and it seemed to me that this place would be an excellent place and Eagles were an excellent reason to go. Due to my internet crusade I was going to miss the first quarter or so, but that was ok. I put on my jersey and was excited for a little reward. Well, the place was hard to find. I hadn't really driven down to the resort area yet and the traffic circles and crosswalks full of people were a bit of a nightmare. Life without a gps has been an adjustment. I drove past one place that seemed interesting but their big was showing a sitcom. I drove around and around only to discover that the sitcom place was the “Sports Bar” that I had looked up. I considered going there anyway but was really unsure of where to park, so I just turned my car back north to go along the main road back to my apartment. I was about to turn off that road to reenter West Bay when I saw a sign for a bar that I had heard recommended earlier.

     I get in, sit down at the bar, and see the Eagles give up another TD and head into halftime down 20-3. Still, I start to talk to some of the other patrons there and begin to enjoy myself. As the second half begins and the Eagles start scoring it becomes clear that I am not the only Eagle fan in the house. In fact, there was a couple at a booth in which the husband was wearing a Falcons jersey and the wife an Eagles jersey. Whenever we scored she would sing the entire fight song. I would join her for the end: “E! A! G! L! E! S! EAGLES!” When the game ended in miserable defeat I left my place at the bar to congratulate the Falcons fan. He had lived in Atlanta for many years and his wife was actually born and raised in Philadelphia. They had been unable to secure a work permit for her, so despite living in Cayman for five years they were about to leave the island. With all of her free time she had worked (volunteered) as the director of couples ministry at a church in the downtown area. It seemed like an unlikely occurrence to run into a Philly native doing ministry in Cayman, but if I would find one it makes sense to have happened at an Eagles MNF game. They were thrilled to learn that I was a Youth Pastor and we ended up talking for quite a long time about being an American doing ministry with the Caymanian people and the needs of youth ministry. They had another couple with them who were life long Caymanians. They all affirmed that the Caymanians are very friendly people, but also a very private people. Being from America we don't tend to think of Americans as especially “open” about their personal lives but, apparently, we tend to be much more vocal about our lives than much of the rest of the world (my pastor had told me this, but it was reassuring to hear it from another person as well). Their advice was helpful – I should be my own authentic self, not trying to “become Caymanian” because that will read as inauthentic. I should take initiative in inviting others to things and being hospitable, without being offended when others do not. My students need to know that I care before they will care what I know. All stuff that I knew in my head, but needed to hear again from outside my head. As they were packing up to leave the country they wanted to give me some of their extra stuff that they didn't want to have to ship back to the states “Do you have UNO cards? The people here love UNO, I'll give you one of my extra sets.” etc. They told me about Christian Youth Events happening in downtown, gave me the contact info for people that I should contact to share wisdom about Cayman Youth Ministry, etc. They prayed for me. It was wonderful.

     I returned to the bar to chat with some of the people I had met there earlier. They shared their nachos with me. The one I got to know best was from the Philippines but had become a big NFL fan. His friend was from England, an hour south of London and thought that the best thing about living there was the 3 or so NFL games that were being played at Wembly Stadium, but that wasn't even enough to keep him from looking elsewhere to live. An add for the next James Bond movie came on – “Do they go absolutely wild marketing Bond movies in England?” “Nah, why bother? Literally everyone is going to see it anyway.” It was just a strange happening – sitting in a bar in Grand Cayman discussing American Football with a Brit and a Flippino. The locally brewed beer served on tap was 7.50CI ($9.37 US).

     I go out to my car only to find the battery dead. With all cars that are unfamiliar to you it is easy to forget where the light switch is and this car beeps whenever you get out to leave to remind you to take the stereo with you – so even if it beeped to tell me that the lights were on I wouldn't have heard/paid attention to it.
My new Caymanian/Philadelphian friends came out of the bar and jumped my car for me on their way out. What a weird and wonderful night.