Thursday, May 31, 2007
Right now, things can change from place to place very quickly and one is never sure where the next hot spot may be. I covet your prayers for all of us, but especially those traveling.
There are more marches and demonstrations planned for tomorrow as well.
Update: Naomy is now safely in flight to the USA. This is a relief for us. There is now a travelers advisory out by the US State Department warning Americans NOT to travel to Venezuela.
As unrest over freedom's end grows in Venezuela, out comes Jimmy Carter's Center, expressing "concern." That's rich. Carter played a leading role in trashing the press there, making dictatorship possible.
But, we are still fine. Staying in our own little zone. I do ask prayer as my husband must travel tonight and tomorrow.
What is most bizarre to me...I check the USA news, and all I see is stuff about Lohan, Sheehan, Paris Hilton... is that really news worthy? Is that all people really care about? How about the 182 students arrested here for protesting? What about the minors who were yanked from their parents and detained here in Venezuela? What about the shooters roaming the streets?
I hear the theme music of the Twilight Zone.......
Monday, May 28, 2007
We will be leaving town this morning and spending two days way. Seven BIMI missionary families will be together for a time of renewal and fellowship. I am not sure if I will have access to internet until our return.
It has been 3 weeks since my surgery and although I am healing well, I am still not 100% so please pray for me on the road trip.
My son and his "friend" Naomy are having a great time on their visit. We have enjoyed getting to know her better. Friday night, my blond, blue eyed, Venezuelan son had Mariachis come to the house and serenade her. I will post pictures in a few days. They were on the balcony as the Mariachis serenaded from the back yard. Naomy was very surprised! It was very romantic!!! I think Josh must have some latent Latin blood in him!!
Another funny thing, Naomy is a Latin girl , her family is from El Salvador, but she was born and raised in California. We have been taking her around to see all the sights and everywhere we go the people think SHE is OUR guide and try and get her to translate for us gringos!!
Since I may not be posting for a few days, I want to share some links to some of my older posts that new readers may enjoy.
If you enjoy the funny Jungle Jollies, try these:
The Ol' Out House!
I'm Gonna go and Eat Worms!
Jackie's Jungle jollies!
Another of Jackie's Jungle Jollies!
A Not-So- Itsy-Bitsy Spider!
A Rude Awakening!
And for other jungle stories:
So..This is Heaven?
How does Your Garden Grow?
Silence at 10,000 feet!
My Son! My Son! My only Son!
Blood, Sweat and Tears!
What in the World is Going on Here?
All is calm around us. At midnight there was a lot of pot banging and sirens along with fire works to protest the, "non renewal" of RCTV's license. I will not refer to it as a closure, as I could be sued for saying that. In the words of my son, the government is saying, " I am not making the media be quiet and if anyone says I am, I will make them SHUT UP!" Yesterday there were threats to close down Globovision and CNN en espanol for 72 hours for covering a news conference of reporters. (SIP)
Thanks for your prayers. Not sure what today will hold for the country...just have to wait and see.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
The Metropolitan Police and demonstrators have had clashes as people congregate to protest the take over of RCTV. The protesters were peaceful and the police brought out the Ballena
( Water truck) and used tear gas. The protesters were forced to leave but have returned and began singing the Venezuelan National Anthem . I have seen the face off, nose to nose, of several protesters speaking to the police. At least 11 police are wounded.
You can watch video footage here!
8:45 Update: The police have once again used tear gas on a peaceful protest.
10:20 UPDATE: It appears that there are shooters in Prados del Este. Shooting at the metropolitan police. I am not condoning violence, but, I understand how they feel! When there is no longer any pacific way to protest or be heard.
12:oo UPDATE: It is done! the RCTV emblem is gone! Now we see the new television social emblem! TVes.
UPDATE: All media is warned not to refer to this as a closure of RCTV, but rather that their concession (liscense) has not been re-newed.
2:30 am: UPDATE: Another clash with the Metropolitan Police. You can see video footage of a peaceful protest with pot banging here.
More fotos at gatewaypundit.blogspot.com
Thursday, May 24, 2007
So...You like the sound of socialized medicine? But...Do you like the looks of socialized medicine??
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
1) I have only tasted alcohol once in my life. That was by accident due to my own ignorance. I had to attend a Marine Corp Ball with my husband shortly after we were married.. I had a terrible cough and while he was away, a very nice Marine gave me a cup of punch to help me with my cough! Boy did it!!!
2) I am a speed reader! 1500 words per minute at 85% comprehension when last tested. Typing, now that, I am not so fast at!!!
3) I love archeology and in another life would have pursued that. I have seen the Aztec pyramids but would love to go to Egypt, as well as Peru to see the other pyramids .
4) I hope to sky dive before I die! But I do not ever want to scuba dive! That would scare me!
5) I love the taste of gator! Especially gator deep fried nuggets!
6) I can not whistle to save my life!
7) I graduated from High school at 16 and started college at the same age.
8) I was married at 18, pregnant at 19, and a mother at 20. ( Good thing I graduated early, huh?)
I am supposed to pick others to do this list, but so many of you have already done it...if you have not, and would like to, just let me know by leaving me a comment.
Here are the other random things I posted earlier.
I must share some wonderful news!!! After several fruitless attempts, we were finally successful and have been able to acquire that most elusive substance!!
What, you ask??
The possibilities are now endless! I can bake cookies,using brown sugar of course, if the recipe does not call for oil! I can have perico with my arepas in the morning! I can cook for my visiting son! Can you imagine? I can even make mayonnaise since we cant find that either!
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
When we were newly arrived in the village, I came down with malaria. I had been sick several days, (weeks?) with high fever and pain, followed by some hallucinations. It was hard to know what was really happening around me from the hallucinations. Often times, in the village, the real life happenings were more bazaar than the dreams!!
Imagine having every bone in your body aching like the worse flue you can imagine...X 10!! And no bed, no bathroom, no where to do the laundry but the river, still cooking over a fire, etc.
One day, I was feverish and in my hammock in the mud hut we had been loaned to use until we finished building our own mud hut. The doors did not lock, so there was no way to keep people out of the house. I was wiped out and fell into a deep sleep.
I began to wake up as I became aware of something rubbing my arm. As I strained to fight the fatigue and open my eyes, I realized my legs were also being touched. I could hear some low voices nearby speaking a language I did not understand.
As I raised my heavy eyelids, I saw four faces bent down over my hammock, looking me over. They were Sanama Indian woman from the next village. Each had their face painted and were adorned with the sticks they use to beautify themselves. They also had a roll of tobacco placed between their bottom lips and lower teeth. This gives the teeth a green, slimy look and produces a green dribble which they spit out on the floor every few seconds.
As my eyes took in the sight, I screamed!
The four, poor women, jumped! Screamed! Dropped their tobacco and walking sticks...and ran out the door! Screaming all the way through the village as they headed to their canoe!
I must have been just as scary to them as they had been to me. To add insult to injury, all the men in the village came running in to check on why I and the women had screamed, expecting to find a jaguar or something equally dangerous!
NO, just me sitting in my hammock trying to figure out if it was real...or another hallucination!
Venezuela's Chavez funding Glover film
Politician pours $18 mil into 'Toussaint'
Chavez is funding a movie !
"With so much poverty in our country, I can't deny that it infuriates and hurts me deeply," said "Secuestro Express" writer-helmer Jonathan Jakubowicz of Chavez's film foray.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Heard the songs of howler monkeys in the jungle?
Seen the double rainbow stretched over the canopy?
Watched the majestic macaw soar overhead?
Fallen asleep to the sound of the river flowing past your window?
Swam beneath the spray of a waterfall that has no name?
Heard the complete silence of a night, when you were all alone?
Seen the full moon so bright, you can cast a shadow at midnight?
Listened to the thunder roll across the jungle, and heard the voice of God?
Followed the tracks of a jaguar down to the creek, hoping to catch a peek?
Stand under the jungle canopy, looking up...and see no sky?
Felt the sun beat upon you as you lazily float down stream in a dugout canoe?
Loved a child with dark, black, shiny eyes?
Swam in a current that nearly takes you away?
Eaten a sun ripened pineapple, straight from the garden?
Drank the cool, clear water of a jungle mountain stream?
Held the hand of a tribesman, and truly felt him to be your brother?
Smelled the smoke of a camp fire, hours before you arrive?
Been held in the embrace of an Indian grandmother, who "rocks" away your pain?
Eaten a fish that was speared only moments ago?
Had your face lovingly painted in onoto, and felt beautiful?
Had to leave it all, not knowing when , or if you would see them again?
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Friday, May 18, 2007
You Know You've Had Too Much Coffee When . . .
* You can type sixty words a minute with your feet.
* Instant coffee takes too long.
* You chew on other people's fingernails.
* You answer the door, before people knock.
* You sleep with your eyes open.
* You go to sleep, just so you can wake up and smell the coffee.
* You don't even wait for the water to boil anymore.
* You're the employee of the month at Starbucks - and you don't even work there.
* You help your dog chase its tail.
* You lick your coffeepot clean.
* You go to AA meetings just for the free coffee.
* You're so wired you pick up FM radio.
* You have a picture of your coffee mug, on your coffee mug.
My favorite coffee is Venezuelan coffee! I love Cafe Madrid! One of the many things I will miss about living here is not being able to drink Cafe Madrid! I have tried all the other brands, both here and in the USA, but this is my favorite. Wish you could try some!
My son is on his way to Venezuela today. He is bringing home a "friend". Hmmm??? Should be an interesting visit. We are all a little sad, knowing this is his last trip to visit us here in Venezuela where he was born and raised. It will, I am sure, be an emotional time for us all.
The container came on Wednesday. The house is empty looking,with nothing to decorate the walls and only the necessary furniture to get by with. In the kitchen, I keep looking for my favorite spoons and pans, but they are gone already. It is like we are camping here in the house for the next month.
It is real now. We are leaving this land we have made our home for 20 years. I try not to think about it. I try to think of the future, but it is hard to do.
For now, we will enjoy this time with Josh. Get to know his friend. And keep on!!!
So, as I said, we have mixed emotions.
A month ago I asked for prayer concerning some things I could not share a lot of details about.
1) The friends in danger are ok. Seems they have been able to get out of the hot spot.
2)The permit we were trying to get so that Clint could go into the village to do maintenance on the tractor and generator, and hopefully get out some more of our belongings that we had to leave, did not come through. The General would never receive the letter.
3) Josh being a Venezuelan citizen, needs his Venezuelan passport. We have been trying to get it renewed as his expires in a month. It shows up as "delivered" , but not to us. So either, they did not renew it, or it was delivered to someone else and who knows what they are doing with it.
4) The other request involves some legal issues we have in the courts here. Still waiting on that as well.
So, we still need prayers!!
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
I've got bumps and dents and scratches in my finish
My headlights are out of focus
My traction is not as graceful as it once was.
I slip and slide and skid and bump into things
My whitewalls are stained with varicose veins.
It takes me hours to reach my maximum speed.
My fuel rate burns inefficiently.
But here's the worst of it --
Almost every time I sneeze, cough or sputter ...
Thanks Just a Thought!
Monday, May 14, 2007
A Clinic is a private hospital. It is not free, but you can get great care. The little clinic I was in for my surgery, is a family owned hospital. The older brother is the only surgeon and various family member s are doctors, nurses, secretaries, etc. This is the type of hospital Chavez is now enforcing price controls on which will lead to bankruptcy or nationalization of all private medicine.
I must say, I love the personal attention and care given in the clinics here. For instance, there are only three beds in this clinic all private rooms. At night, I had my own doctor. Just me! No other patient at all. Not a nurse..a surgical resident. He spent over an hour and a half in my room and rubbed my hair off my forehead and patted my arm. He came back the next day with his son to check on me, on his own time!
The second night, another resident was with us and the one other patient. She came and changed my sheets after some bleeding , yes, the doctor! She helped me change and get comfortable. Being a woman she adjusted all the garments "just so" and kept asking if it was ok.
The surgical nurses kept coming in to check on me the next day as they had several out patient type surgeries and a little free time in between. They brought me jello from the kitchen.
My anesthesiologist also came and checked on my each day. As did the assisting surgeon.
The housekeeper also doubled as the cook. She would come in before each meal and ask me what I wanted to eat. She would cook what ever I asked for. Even oatmeal for lunch! She always made an extra hot ham and cheese sandwich or arepa for Clint so he could eat as well. She would bring him coffee a couple of times a day.
When I left, everyone was hugging and it was like I was leaving a family I had been visiting!
The Venezuelan people are a great people on the whole. I love their hospitality! I will miss that.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
I was also tagged by Stray Thoughts.
1.I met my husband at a roller rink. I fell and he tripped over me and kicked me in the fore head which left a big bump!
2.I can help deliver babies with no problem at all, but if Clint has to do a dental extraction...I leave the house!!! Makes me nearly pass out just writing about it!
3. In my elementary scrapbook, I have news paper clippings of my choices for the Presidential elections. I wanted Reagan to win the GOP nomination, but Gerald Ford won it! Even at that age I was interested in politics...my friends thought that was weird!
4. I am petrified of mice! Snakes, spiders, lizards, bats and other such critters, I can get rid of myself, but a tiny mouse scares me to death!
5.One of my earliest childhood memories is of sneaking out my sister's doll into the back yard. and hiding in my Dad's boat. I hid down under a tarp and used a marker and drew all over the rubber doll! I don't know if Pam remembers it or not, but I have carried the guilt for years!!! What made me do such a thing????( Maybe I should have become a tattoo artist?)
6.I use bleach to clean my house. If it doesn't smell like bleach, it doesn't feel clean!
7.I have always dreamed of living in the mountains in a log cabin! It would be PERFECT!
Friday, May 11, 2007
Thank You all!Thank you for your prayers and best wishes. Thank you for the kind and loving comments left for me as well. And thanks to my sis and hubby for updates!
I am now able to sit up for short times and am off most of the meds , so I am not so loopy! I trust myself not to reveal any family secrets! I don't have much to blog about since this week was mainly confined to a hospital room, my room with bouts of pain followed by droggy sleep from the pain medication. Everything is going well. I just went in to have the drainage tubes removed which made me feel so much better!
Sunday, I don't remember much of , apparently I had a political discussion with one doctor about Chavez, which I remember nothing about!!! Monday I had some mild side effects from the morphine which I did not enjoy! By Tuesday, I had the morphine out of my system and felt so much more in control. More pain on Tuesday, but I was better able to handle it and went home Tuesday evening. The ride home on the rough roads of Barquisimeto where every street seems to be in repairs, was painful.( Aqui decimos "Barquisihueco")
By Wednesday, I was doing so much better! PTL! Thursday was better yet and I actually slept a solid four hours! Unfortunately one of the drainage tubes decided to come out which required a trip to the surgeon. He removed them as I have had very little bleeding. So.... another week of complete rest followed by another few weeks of semi recovery and then..good as new, or better, I hope!
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
I must admit that that first night after surgery was rough. JM kept waking me up and wouldn't let me sleep. So I woke up with a headache and a little sore from the fold up cot. But I am feeling a lot better now!!!!! prayer works!! I told Rita that we should change the marriage vows to "in sickness, surgery, recovery and in health!" Because I don't remember anything about bedpan patrol in my wedding vows!!!!! She is my girl and I am glad she is getting better. I also thank God that I was the one able to take care of her.
Monday, May 07, 2007
This is Jungle Mom's sister, Pam, from "Midnight Musings". I spoke with Rita on the phone about an hour ago and she sounded well - considering! She gave me her password to Blogger so that I could leave this update for all her faithful readers and blog friends.
Due to the fact that she was under anesthesia for 8 hours yesterday, the Dr. feels Rita should stay one more night in the hospital. Of course, Rita said to thank you all for your prayers. She is in some pain, but the surgery was a success. She may give you more details later when she is able. For now, I will tell you bits and pieces. She is in a small, private clinic in the city where she lives. Her dear hubby Clint is with her and spent the night there on a roll-away bed. In fact, when I spoke with him, I thought he sounded just as groggy as Rita did! He jokingly told me she wouldn't let him get any rest last night! LOL When I asked Rita if she had anything she would like for me to tell you all on her blog, she said in a dry, groggy voice, "Yeah, tell them DON'T try this at home!" As you can tell, she still has her wit about her!
Friday, May 04, 2007
I wanted to let you all know that I will not be blogging for a few days. I will be having surgery on Sunday morning and request you prayers. I will spare you all the boring details, and the guys the embarrassment, and just say that I have some "female issues" that need to be taken care of.
I should be home on Monday and have no idea when I will be back to blogging. As soon as possible, I am sure!
“What Is A Little Girl!”
She's a bundle of sweetness,
brightness & fun
The beauty of springtime,
the warmth of the sun
She's Innocence covered with mud,
sand, & soot
She's Motherhood dragging
a doll by the foot...
She's a composite picture of
giggles & tears
Of tantrums, excitement,
amusement & fears
A bundle of mischief
and often a tease
A creature of moods
not easy to please...
Who'll capture your heart
with her pixie-like grin
Or chatter and beg till your
patience wears thin
But obedient, naughty,
mischievous or coy
Dad's Pride & Joy
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Writing that little bit about the plane, reminded me of... well, let me start at the beginning!
One Saturday morning, about 12 years ago, the kids were outside running around the village playing with their indian friends, when we heard a loud scream. My son Josh was about 6 years old and he came in holding his little sister Jewel by the arm. Jewel was about 4 and she had tears but looked more angry than hurt. Josh gave us his version of what had happened, and Jewel gave us her spin.
What we do know is that, Jewel fell out of a tree and Josh also fell and landed on her arm. She said it hurt, but was not crying much. There was no visible swelling so we gave her some Tylenol and sent them back out to play. She kept her arm hugged close all day but never once complained of pain.
The next morning, when she got up, her arm was red and swollen half way between her wrist and elbow. So it was not a sprain. We immediately got on the radio and contacted the pilot for an emergency flight out to get it checked as it seemed likely that it was a fracture. Jewel was much more vocal about the pain on the second day.
The pilot attempted to get to the village but due to heavy rain, he could not get in for a landing and had to return back to Puerto Ayacucho with out landing in Chajudaña. He would try again the next day.
Jewel was having serious pain and we began to give her Tylenol with codeine. She slept off and on for the next couple of days. On Monday, the pilot headed out to get us again and the day was clear and not a cloud in sight. We had decide I would go out with Jewel and Clint would stay with the other children in the village.
When the plane was about an hour into the two hour flight, we received a radio call from a Sanema village. They had a patient who was critical. She had been mauled by a jaguar and her husband had fought the jaguar off, but her arm was in shreds! She needed medical attention and FAST! So the plane was diverted to get her and headed straight to Caracas as it appeared she would need an amputation.
Jewel is now on her third day of pain and not a happy camper. But she did not complain too much and thank goodness we had the analgesics!
On Tuesday, the plane heads back out to get us for the third day in a row. After flying around bad weather, the plane made it into the village. This is when the airstrip was up river and we had to canoe to the strip to meet the plane.
As Jewel and I buckled up, the two pilots explained they would be stopping at another village on the way, to pick up an out board motor that needed to go to town for repairs. So off we went!
We landed at the base of a beautiful mountain and the two pilots left for the hike to the village a few kliks away from the strip. Jewel was asleep at this time and I waited with her in the plane.
It started to heat up as the tropical sun beat down upon the small plane, I decided to get out and stand under the shade of the wing where it would be cooler than inside the plane. Jewel was still sleeping off the medication.
We were near an indian village where the Joti tribe lived. The Joti are very primitive and hardly wear any clothes and this group rarely saw anyone from outside of the jungle. They had seen a few gringo pilots, all male and that was about it!
They came out of the jungle towards me, a group of about 12 indians all painted red with onoto and not a stitch of clothing on. I tried to smile and look pleased to see them, which I was! They began talking to one another and pointing and saying who knows what, about me. I still smiled. Then they decided they would get a closer look and that they needed to TOUCH the white lady. They had never seen a white female. I was NOT smiling now.
One guy was lifting my skirt and another my top and I was not happy! Jewel decided to wake up and looked out the window and SCREAMED! This scared them as they had not seen or expected anyone to be in the plane and they scattered off a few feet! I took the opportunity to climb into the plane with Jewel!
Thank goodness, they had never had the need to open the door of a Cessna aircraft! They did try! They tried and shoved and left red smudges of onoto on the white plane. The two pilots were back by then and I never did tell them how frightened I had been! Although I do not think they would have harmed us, just that they were too curious for my comfort!
As we took off, I started to relax, but my heart was still pounding! As the plane climbed, Steve, a pilot, turned around and said something to me. You cant hear a word anyone says while in a Cessna! But I figured he was just asking how Jewel was doing so I just smiled and gave the thumbs up sign. He nodded his head and turned back to the flying.
A few minutes later, there was the most terrible sound I have ever heard! It was awful! My heart jumped to my throat! I screamed! For, the motor turned off and there was SILENCE!!!!!
A Cessna has only one motor and it was OFF! And we were IN the air! No more loud roar of the motor, just ...
WHOOSH!!! Whoosh! whoosh! whoosh! whoosh!
I screamed, both pilots jerked around to look at me like I was crazy! And, then they flipped the switch and the motor turned over and started up and we were flying!
I felt a little silly and they grinned! You know, that way guys grin at silly females!
When we landed, they asked me what had frightened me. Like a motor turning off in the air should not be a scary thing. Steve said, "I told you I was letting one of the gas tanks drain and the motor would die for a moment!" Oh, so thats what he was saying when I gave him the thumbs up signal!
We finally got Jewel into the hospital for x-rays, but they wanted to do surgery on her arm the next day, as the bone had already began to knit. I was not comfortable with this being done in Puerto Ayacucho, as the hospital would not suffice for a veterinary clinic in the states. I did not want them to put Jewel to sleep.
I found an elderly orthopedic surgeon who told me he could re-break her arm and do it so quickly, she would feel only a moments pain. I decided to wait till the next day and pray about it. I saw no need to rush anything, since they would need to re-break the arm no matter what.
After a long, sleepless night of prayer, I took Jewel in and she was doused up pretty good with meds. She was singing and goofy! The Dr. grabbed her upper arm and her hand and YANKED! I heard a CRACK! Jewel screamed...once...then looked at her arm and smiled at the guy! We then got the cast put on and headed back home the next day.
The total cost of the broken arm was about $ 25.00, which did not even make a dent in our deductible. The flight was about $400.00 and not covered by insurance!
I think that little adventure cost me about 10 years of my life!
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
It took us trips to 5 stores to be able to find chicken. The owner warned us that he did not know when he would get more. What is hard for the middle class, is that the poorer people have chicken and beans. They go to the government stores, stand in line and buy chicken at the subsidized rate. The rich people have chicken because they can send their maids to the stores. But those in the middle class don't have the time to stand in line for hours waiting to buy chicken because they have to actually go to work. So, I have not had black beans for many months now. And eat more fish and pork than I care for!
We have been having a lot of student protests again near my house. I live in an area where there are several universities. The other day we could not get out of the neighborhood because the students had burned one vehicle already and ended up burning a bus as well. If you are on foot, they let you pass, but if you are able to afford a vehicle, you are the "oligarchs".
Things calmed down for the Chavez appearance . There were armed soldiers about every 50-100 meters or so for a few days. Today is also quiet as it is a holiday.
I hate word verification! I detest it! If you have it, I probably don't leave many comments. No matter how many times I type in those crazy letters...I get it wrong! Then I have to squint through it all again. punch,punch,punch! And some times it is a long list of nonsensical letters.
Other times, my ADD kicks in and I get distracted and never even finish typing. You see, I have a strange habit...I try to make up words from the letters! Some of them are hilarious!
wbpgs? We be pigs!
rugly? Are you ugly!
ilkicrm? I like ice cream!
The one above .. bumflop! LOL! I can just see myself taking a hard fall and landing on my backside!
I start having so much fun, I just keep pushing the button over and over again to see what comes up. That will explain why some of you receive duplicate or triplicate comments from me!
The other thing I hate is ...opening a blog with music! Now, some of you, I know already, have music so I am prepared. But occasionally, I start to link surf. I open a blog and !!!!!! Loud music scares me to death! I have nearly thrown the laptop a time or two! This was a real problem for me until my twelve year old showed me the mute button! She probably saved my life, for if I did throw the computer, my husband would not be HAPPY!
So, does anyone else have this pet peeve about word verification?