Monday, July 14, 2008

A Jungle Jolly

( This is a re-post.)

While living in the jungle, we found it very difficult to keep dry. Perspiration is a constant problem. You are living in a steam room. Without electricity, there are no fans or AC to keep you cool. My husband found it necessary to change his shirt several times a day to try and keep dry. Since I had to do all my laundry by hand in the river at the time, I was always looking for a new super-duper antiperspirant to try.

I ordered a "deodorant stone" from a health magazine. We had to wait a few months for it to finally get to us in the jungle. On the flight day, the Missionary Aviation plane arrived with our supplies and mail. Flight day was always exciting! Not just for us but for the entire village! It was a window to the outside world.

We had not made the new airstrip in the village yet, so we had to canoe up river to the airstrip to meet the plane. The Indians were always glad to help us carry our stuff down to the canoe and then back up to the house. We always shared goodies with them. And then they would sit and watch as we put our supplies away. This way, they knew what we had and what they could ask for!!!

On this flight day, a group of men were sitting and chatting as I went through the mail bag. I was so excited to see the order had arrived with the deodorant stone!

I pulled it out. It came in a small velvet pouch with a drawstring. I pulled out the stone. It is basically a compressed deodorant that you use as a soap. Very little goes a long way. It looks like an egg size crystal stone.

So I pulled the pouch out and began to pull the stone itself out. I noticed the men on the bench became very antsy. One man asked, loudly, "What is that?".

Ok, how do you explain deodorant to an Indian from the Amazon? I tried explaining it was a soap, but the men were already wearing terrified looks and had begun to leave ...QUICKLY!!!

I didn't know what I had done to run them off. I kept on unpacking, but had left the stone lying on the table. Shortly, one of the men returned, timidly. He asked me to hide the stone. I could see his fear was real so I took the stone to another room.

He was so relieved. He began to explain to me why everyone had run away. And then he wanted to know where I had gotten the stone.

The Ye'kwanas have a legend of a "death stone". The witch doctors travel to a certain mountain where there is a type of crystal which they believe has special powers. It is called the death stone. The witch doctors have to keep it under wraps, because of its power. The witch doctor will keep it in a small pouch.

You use the stone ONLY for killing your enemies. To use the stone, you pull it out of its covering and point it at those you wish to die.

Well, I had inadvertently tried to kill off half the male population that morning by showing them my deodorant stone!!

I ended up having to meet with the men and explain my stupidity and swear I had no intentions of harming anyone!!! Very humbling experience for me and frightening for them!!! Later on we could all have a good laugh about it! And I count these men as my friends!

So, a little known fact about me...I almost massacred an entire village!! Single handedly!!

Scary aren't I?


~Karen_ said...

Oh my, that is funny! Though I'm sure it was not funny at the time!

blank said...

Question: In the picture of the ladies and young ladies, one is very colorful - almost out of place with the others - I was wondering if there was a reason? Is there a story behind the brightly colored lady?

Rita Loca said...

delightfully imperfect,
The 'painted lady' is single and of marriageable age. The other women are married or children.

Amanda said...

That is too funny!

CrimeSceneFairy said...

Hehehe! that's really funny. I love missionary stories

Betty said...

Do you still not have electricity? How do you post on you blog then? I´m learning lots of new stuff here... :) Funny story!

Findalis said...

LOL You are sooooo bad. But I think the operative word is: almost.

WomanHonorThyself said...

haha the stone the stone!!!

Anonymous said...

Where can I get one of those stones? I could put it to good use! I've got a whole list of people I could use it on. But does it only work on men? If I'm going to clean things up at the office it has to kill off my female enemies too.

Starla said...

I loved the story. It was very interesting. Thanks for sharing!!!!

Betty said...

Just wanted to warn you, that as of tommorrow I tagged you in a meme. If you want to, play along. It´up to you

Thursday's Child said...

So, after all the trouble it caused, did it work? Had you found the perfect way to save on laundry? Inquiring minds want to know. ;)

ExploreColorado said...

:D Latin americans are so supersicious. Even the ones here in America take extra precautions against "mal de ojo"(the evil eye). It doesn't surprise me that they reacted so strongly. I'm glad you all got a laugh out of it later.

Anonymous said...

Like the Dylan song says, "Everybody must get stoned."

I love your stories about the jungle. Your empathy, adaptability, and humor- not least of all the ability to laugh at yourself- add much to your stories.

Most of us who are accustomed to the comforts of the USA, were we to contemplate living in a jungle hut for many years, would run as far as possible from the opportunity. After reading your stories we can say, "Yes, I can see the adventure, the enjoyment of living in the jungle."

Kristi said...

This is definitely my favorite funny story you tell. I get so tickled everytime I read it and I tell people this story all the time. I'm glad you reposted it. I needed a smile after these last few days.