Monday, August 9, 2010

Rhode Island Business Trip Day 1: Wakill Bethel

There have been a lot of changes lately at work, a lot in transition. I was asked to take a trip out to Rhode Island at one of our sister AAA clubs.  This was for training on a new reporting tool we are adopting and to develop a consensus of how to use this tool.  The closest I have ever been to New England was when I was in New York when I had the privilege of working at Brooklyn Bethel.  So I was allowed to fly in a day early and was able to see some of the country.  It also allowed me to go and see Wakill Bethel. 
I first have to say, since Georgia, I probably make one business trip a year.  I do not like it much, especially leaving Beth and the kids at home when I am so far away.  Beth does not much like either.  So I can say I was a bit hesitant with this trip.  That said, it will probably a few years if ever I make it out that way again, so I did want to be able to some of this country.
Being 3 hours away, it is a pretty easy trip to make.  It allowed me to see Rhode Island and Connecticut as well as reacquaint myself with Upstate New York.  I have come to the conclusion, due to the amount of humidity that the North East gets, that the entire East Coast is one big jungle, green and lush.

There is so much history in the area too.  I drove through New Haven, CT. and saw Yale.  I saw historical markers in Newburgh, NY for Westpoint, Washington's and Knox's headquarters.  This is just on the way.  On the way back I saw further signs of the Revolutionary War, the Gillette Mansion.

My main reason for this day was to go to Wakill Bethel.  I had been at Brooklyn Bethel 20 years ago.  It is really hard for me to actually say that it has been that long.  Since most of the publishing has been moved from Brooklyn to Wakill, I was excited to see the changes.  Also, I have only been to Wakill once, when I went with my best friend Jamie Everitt's family.

So much has changed, and then again stayed the same.  I will say Wakill Bethel is now huge!!!  There are acres of resident buildings. The grounds are such a beautiful garden and I couldn't help but think what paradise will be like.

 The factory was awesome.  I was particularly interested in the bindery.  I had worked on the burst binder. 20 years ago.   In Brooklyn, this machine was one of many machines used in producing the literature.  Now, there is one machine that handles the entire process from burst binder to cover.  And since the process is pretty much more automated, there is very little chance for error, thus less waste.

So with all of the new equipment, it was nice to see some of the old machines there too.  I saw the shrink wrap machine I worked on.  I also saw the old burst binder working in another area.  The deluxe bible department operated pretty much as it did with the exception of the old sanding room.

The Printery was awesome also.  Everything is so organized.  I am amazed on how much gets done with less machinery.

It was nice also to see the dining area.  It brought back many of my  memories of family worship, the morning text, and LIVER and STRAWBERRY FROSTING CAKE!!!!  Talking with the brother, I found out that they had just ended dish duty 6 months ago. 

This is a sample breakfast menu.  The food was always very good.

I took the tour with three brothers from Hershey, PA.  They too had taken a three hour drive to get there.  One was an elder who had attended Gilead in the early years.  It was definitely upbuilding and encouraging.

On the way back to Rhode Island, I drove by Patterson Bethel.  By that time it was 6 PM. 

It has always been amazing to me and I continue with awe how organized the work is and how Jehovah makes sure that the good news is provided at the proper time.

 I drove through Hartford, CT. Then drove along the Long Island Sound, through many of the seaside communities.  I could help but think about movies like Jaws.  The main purpose of this was to end up in Mystic, CT.  To be honest, maybe it was because I was tired, maybe because I had built it up in my head, but Mystic was a bit of a disappointment.  I took a picture of the Mystic Pizza restaurant.  But it really was not that impressive.

I got back on the road and back to my motel.  It was 10 minutes away from the Club.  I had come across this hotel on Trip Advisor and boy the reviews were dead on.  This was a lovely place.  It was away from Providence, but was in a great location.
There was a grocery store nearby and I got my breakfast and snack foods.   

This was day one. 

Two trivia notes:

1.  There are more Dunkin Donuts than Starbucks and probably any other fast food restaurant.  Literally there is a Dunkin in every strip mall and corner in the state.

2.  Rhode Island is not the official name of the state.  Its true name is The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.  How about that mouth full.

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