Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Now, we were accustomed to hearing strange sounds in the village, witch doctors, old Sanema ladies fighting, children running and screaming, but this sound was unique! We all went out to investigate. The sound was coming from our chicken pen.
We tried several times to raise our own poultry. We did. But...between the ocelots and the vampire bats...we were not very successful at it. It seemed we were raising chickens to feed all the wild kingdom of the jungle but ourselves! Still, we tried!
Upon arriving at the chicken pen, we saw our rooster strutting his stuff! He was crowing like it was dawn, only, really off tune!!! And Loud. All the poor hens had their chicks off in a corner under their wings! Daddy Rooster was acting strangely!
We stood and watched for a half hour as this guy, danced around in circles, screaming his head off in what seemed to be a riotous crowing, until... he suddenly jerked himself straight, and toppled over! Stone cold!
We thought he had died of a heart attack! But, no, a few hours later, he was up on his feet, but a bit wobbly. Every time the other chickens clucked, he would bellow in rage! As much as a rooster can bellow!
It seems another missionary working with us at the time had decided to give our chickens a rotten pineapple. Fermented, none the less!
Have you ever seen a drunken roster?
The next day, we heard the rooster once again crowing loudly in the middle of the afternoon. We saw the other missionary walking by the pen with more scraps for the chickens. This time there were no fermented pineapples, but the rooster seemed quite eager to receive one!
After pecking through the scraps, he indignantly, clucked about angrily. I swear I saw him looking out of the corner of his eye with an, "I'll get you!" look at the other missionary!
From that time on, that missionary could not enter the chicken pen without being attacked! Unless he had a pineapple!
I am embarrassed to say that someone in my family would purposely save pineapples and allow them to ferment, just to see the rooster get drunk! Grant it, it was great entertainment for the whole village to watch the drunk rooster! But I always felt a bit sinful, aiding the guy in his binges!!!
We see cows... but nothing of milk.
From Julia, a Venezuelan Blogger
Milk is real hard – if not impossible – to find in my country these days. And if you can find any it is always some odd brand of nasty powder creamy milk. The thing is that before the shortage, in my family we only drank skimmed milk so my stomach has been having a hard time on getting used to others kind of milk after drinking skimmed milk daily for 23 years… so more often than not I avoid the morning coffee and the night “toddy” (a Venezuelan mix of chocolate powder, the greatest drink ever) that used to be an inevitable part of my routine, as inevitable as washing my teeth.
So when my mom showed me the littler of skimmed milk, I measure carefully how much of it would I drop in my cup, then heat it in the microwave and mix it with two or three tea spoons or Toddy and then drink it slowly; for the first time in weeks, like it was a glass of the best wine. Real toddy made with real milk. I thought I was a very lucky Venezuelan at the moment. Just a few days after that the president declared that the skimmed milk should be forbidden because it is a stupid rich privilege and we have to get used to the normal milk.
Isn’t it amazing how quickly your life can change? I must be inside a Revolution, if one day I see as a one time in a lifetime pleasure what it used to be routine, what I used to take for granted.
Yesterday, my boss left the office for a few minutes to go to the supermarket. Soon she call us to let us know that in the supermarket where she was at there were some cans of powder milk available – “They only let you take 4 cans per person so if you want milk you must come” – He gave permission to everyone at the office to go and buy milk and no one doubted for a second about going and buy as many cans as they could. Again it was an unfamiliar brand but like I said earlier, no one here can afford the luxury to care about brands anymore. Its just been a few months, but the shortages can be so dramatic that you immediately get used to live with the words “Milk is milk” and “Coffee is coffee” in the back of your head, impossible to have the pleasure to care about brands and types.
When was the last time you entered a supermarket and just choose? Just entered there, picked some cans, debate between “Café
My co- workers are from very different social classes, you could say. The secretary and the lady who cleans live in a very poor area of
Speaking about shortages is more than speaking about how difficult or impossible it is to find what we need to eat; for many – some more than others – it is also about how difficult it is to find what they need to live. I have two aunts to put as an example who make sweets, cakes and stuff like that for sell. That’s their business, that at least help them to pay the bills. Imagine what is like to keep such a business in a country were there is a several sugar shortage since early February of 2007.
In the meantime, the TV shows my president throwing some powder milk over a table while he’s speaking about the wonders of the “Venezuelan milk”, oh and specially, the “Venezuelan milk available”. The image simply brook my senses. You could say is only one can of milk, that it won’t make a difference, and that it won’t solve the shortages. But for me was more than that, the milk just displayed over his table like it was trash when it is actually now a treasure hard to find, just showed me the way Chavez rules… as he throws the milk away, he throws other things with the same act of disrespect to the ones who – unfortunately – once put him on power.
About the pics: Well the last one is kind of obvious... the first one was taken during a demonstration last wednesday, notice the t-shirt of the woman of the right that has somehow a milk littler with the word NO on it
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
My youngest daughter, Jayde, could be found wearing her Ye'kwana paint and beads often.
She is still a jungle kid at heart!
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Friday, January 25, 2008
A very long time ago, who knows how long? "The people" ( Ye'kwanas) did not keep track of days and things back then! We did not know a Sunday from a Monday, a January from a February, days were just days! All we knew, was the changing of the moon, and the times of rain and dryness.
But... a very long time ago, when we were very small boys, we would play every day! All day, for we had no schools yet. We only ate and played or helped our Fathers. On this day, we were playing together, running, jumping, chasing and hiding from each other.
We knew better than to wander off into the jungle alone. From the time we could walk, our grandmothers would tells us that if we went into the jungle alone, we would get lost! We would be eaten by jaguars, or gored by wild pigs, bitten by snakes, or worse yet, we would be attacked by Canaima, and die for sure!
On this day, we forgot how far we had wandered. Little boys do this! If you turn your eye away for even one moment, they will "poof!" disappear! Our sons are like this today, you now! So we ran and we hid and we chased each other, until we realized, we were far from home!
We did not know what might happen to us! Were the old grand mothers right? Would Canaima come and get us? We began to run as fast as little ones can! These were the days before store bought clothes. We only wore our red loin clothes, the flaps were slapping along behind us as we ran, when ,suddenly...
On the path right before us... we saw a dark body, crouching along side the path. We stopped in our tracks! It was not Canaima, but it was... a jaguar! And a big one!
What should two little boys do? We had nothing like a weapon, not even a small knife like we normally would carry if walking with our fathers in the jungle! The jaguar slowly came closer. It was beautiful! We stared into its eyes. Our skin became like the skin of a jungle chicken! All bumpy with fear!
We stood our ground and the jaguar slowly came and even sniffed us! It was making funny, rumbling sounds in its throat! All of sudden, little Simeon, pulled out a small plastic comb from the waist of his loin cloth. The missionaries had given us these and we used them as toys more than to comb our hair. We would chase one another and flick each other with the combs as hard as we could. It would really sting and leave a red mark on the skin! You know, that's how little boys play! Our sons, today are the same way!
Simeon quickly, flicked the comb right on the jaguar's nose!
The jaguar jumped back, and screamed just like a woman, but even louder! And, you know, woman can scream very loudly when frightened, but this was even louder than that! It was so loud, that we screamed as well. Both of us began to run down the path as quickly as possible for two little ones! Still screaming, for we were but little boys and not very brave yet!
As we got closer to the village, we slowed down. We had a big problem ,you see, for how could we tell the men we had seen a jaguar? And how could we recount the bravery of Simeon? For we were not to have ventured so far off alone! The old women would spank us for sure! What should two little boys do?
We decided to tell no one. For many years we kept this secret. Only when we were men ourselves did we tell others of our adventure, for now the old women could not spank us!
But... you should have seen that jaguar and heard it scream!!!
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Meet Simeon and Victor. These two men are Ye'kwana Christians. Victor is now the Pastor of the Good Hope Baptist Church and Simeon is a deacon at the same church. I would like to share with you some of their zeal in sharing their faith with their tribesmen.
Victor and Simeon had decided to take the gospel to a small village far up in the mountains. This village was so resistant to outsiders , they had purposely chosen to live in a difficult to reach area of the jungle. Victor and Simeon have family members living in this village and both felt responsible with taking their family the knowledge of Christ which has so changed their own lives.
Both of these men were reached by missionaries with the gospel as children. They had eagerly awaited some 25 years for a missionary to return to their village as they were now adults and had the desire to learn more. Both men were able to read in their language, thanks to missionaries! They were able to read the New testament in their own language, thanks to missionaries.
We were able to aid these two on their missions trip by giving them a lift in the Cessna to the closest airstrip to the village they intended to hike to. This allowed them to spend a few days preaching and teaching in the village with the airstrip as well, before heading to the more remote village.
From the village by the airstrip, the two men canoed for two days. At that point, they proceeded by foot, uphill, towards the village of their family members for another two days. For a non-indian, it would take at least three days!
Victor and Simeon found their family to be receptive and they were able to begin with some "pre-evangelism". This is the term we use to prepare an illiterate people with no understanding of the Bible for the gospel message. One must first begin by teaching through the Old Testament, to show our need for an atonement and redemption, leading up to the birth of Christ and His ministry here on earth. We call this the Chronological Bible Teaching . Basically, the goal is to help the "people walk backwards, in to the future".
After a month of daily teaching, the two Ye'kwana missionaries returned to the airstrip where there was a ham radio to allow for communication with us. We had planned to send the plane for them. Unfortunately, the Venezuelan government was not allowing us to fly at the time, by denying permits to purchase gasoline for the plane. This left Victor and Simeon stranded in the village for two more weeks. They used this time wisely by continuing with their teaching at the village.
After two weeks, they became concerned for their families left back in Chajudaña, who would be out of meat, and in need of hunters. The two decided to hike back home via an old hunting trail rarely used. By speaking with old timers, they received directions and were told it would take about three weeks to reach our village. The two set out into the jungle with no means of communication, no canoe, and only a machete and one shot gun with a few shells.
We eagerly awaited word of them. Finally they arrived. They had made a small rough raft on which they placed their hammocks, provisions, and weapons in order to keep them dry. They could not ride on the raft themselves or else it would sink. They were swimming along behind it and were very water logged! Both were very weak and had open sores on them from the rough trail and lack of nourishment, along with malaria!
They told us of the great joy they had in preaching to these villages that had never before heard the good news of the gospel. Believe it or not, they were anxious to return and preach more!
They had suffered hunger, sickness, and great discomfort, but they knew their suffering for a time here on earth would be worth it if they could reach some of their tribesmen for Christ. They also knew that Christ had suffered much more while bringing the message and way of Salvation to us all.
These two men may not look like missionaries to you, but they are the true un-sung heroes of the faith. No one will ever hear of them or their ministry. They will continue to be two indians from a small village in a small country. But they are the kind of men God uses to carry forth His word. They are akin to the men of the New Testament who went forth and spread the gospel so that, eventually , one day it reached ME!
Monday, January 21, 2008
It's really quite embarrassing! I mean, I doubt many other people do it! It seems a bit ...morbid. I can't seem to help myself. I wonder if there is some kind of a program to help people like me. I wonder if there are any other people like me!
My name is Jungle Mom,
I'm not sure how it started! I never meant to do it.
But, I do... I read the blogs of dead people!
No... really, I have... it is very interesting!
A British soldier who died in WW1, the first American missionary to the Native American Indians, David Brainard.
So... how do I get over this kind of thing???
WW1: Experiences of an English Soldier
Also, I was tagged for three awards which I have not had the chance to acknowledge. And these ones are from living people, I think. I have never actually met any of them, I guess they could be some kind of cyber ghosts or something...
The first was given to me by Barbara at Stray Thoughts!
And more recently Marina at Daughter of the King awarded my with:
I also was picked by the Baptist Muse for the Watchman Award.
You can head over and pick up one of his buttons and gain points for a give away!
Now I would like to share some of my daily reads with you all!
These ones are also alive!
I have met a few of them in the flesh, so, yes, they are alive!
A friend in Paraguay:
An adult MK from Venezuela:
El Burro de Barinas
A blogger in Kuwait:
A 100% Choctaw, 100% American:
The Local Malcontent
A blogger in the 10/40 window:
LIFE IN THE 10/40 WINDOW
A Home Away From Home
From a friend in Canada:
A good ol' American boy:
The Simple Scholar
An American living in Jerusalem:
Good News From A Far Country
So why not take a tour around the world via these bogs!
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Friday, January 18, 2008
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 large onion
- 1 green pepper
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 bunch of cilantro
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 3 srtips of bacon
- 2 0r 3 pork chops
The night before cooking, place beans in a bowl and cover with water and the baking soda. Cover at least an inch as the beans will swell. Cover and let set all night.
The next morning, wash well and rinse thoroughly! Cover again with water. Continue to add water so that they remain covered as they cook. DO NOT SALT! Place the pork chops, cut into cubes in with the beans.
Once the beans are soft, add salt.
In a frying pan, add the olive oil and brown the bacon, chopped onion, green pepper, and chopped garlic. Cook until well browned, almost burnt. Add to the beans along with the cumin.
Place on a low fire and let cook until thickened. About 10 minutes before serving, add the cilantro.
If too soupy, place a few cups of the beans in your blender and then return the blended beans to the bean pot. Cook a few more minutes.Porfa! Nada de azucar!!!
Thursday, January 17, 2008
In her aptly titled book, "Coffee," Claudia Rosen explains that 16th-century priests wanted Pope Clement VIII to ban "the devil's drink." They insisted that Satan had forbidden his followers--Muslims--from drinking wine because it was used in Holy Communion. Instead, the devil provided this "hellish black brew".
The elixir made from coffee beans does in fact have a long history in Islamic regions.
--African tribes mixed the crushed beans with animal fat and molded them into balls to eat as a stimulant before battle.
--Arabs made the first hot coffee beverage, in 1000 A.D.
--Dervishes--mystic devotees of Islam's Sufi sect--consumed coffee at all-night ceremonies as fuel for achieving religious ecstasy.
--Arabs also invented the ibrik, or coffee broiler.
--As coffee lost it's strictly religious significance, the first coffee houses appeared in Mecca.
Clemente VIII,wisely, decided to give it a taste test!
"Why, this Satan's drink is so delicious," he declared, "that it would be a pity to let the infidels have exclusive use of it. We shall cheat Satan by baptizing it."
And so, I am now able to enjoy my coffee!
My favorite coffee is a Venezuelan blend. Cafe Madrid! We are out of it now, but are substituting with a Brazilian coffee we purchased while in Paraguay. In a few weeks my husband will be in Venezuela and, hopefully, will be able to purchase a few more kilos of that "hellish black brew"! Unfortunately, due to the wonders of Chavismo Communism, he will not be able to purchase milk or sugar for his coffee while there.
H/T Pastoral Ponderings
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
The Ye'kwana culture is replete with myths and lores of the spirit world. Some are based on historical events and what their ancestors observed.
There are spirit beings as lowly as wee folk who play annoying pranks hiding things from you or troubling the hunting dogs all the way up to "Canaima" who is the embodiment of our "Boogey Man". There is the often seen "wiyu". This is a spirit which comes after someone has died and tries to trick another person into accompanying the dead one. They even have a mermaid! And don't forget the terrible" macuchis"! My children even sang a song about the macuchis to tease each other.
The macuchis gonna get you if you start to pout!
The macuchis gonna get you if you don't watch out!
Whatever the case me be, I have seen and experienced things that I often do not share as I fear people will think I have lost my mind. I have seen people who were visited by Canaima appear to be in a trance and die a few days later with mysterious bruises and bleeding. I have been touched by a demon possessed person, only to wake up hours later with the print of their hand burned into my flesh. I have awakened at times with a smothering feeling of heaviness only to find my husband awake and experiencing the same. Talk about a cold chill, to wake up at night and feel as if an elephant is sitting on your chest and the night is so black you can not see your own hand, but you know there is a presence there. At times like these, the only relief comes from calling out to God !
After building our house and finally getting a small generator to replace our Coleman lanterns, we learned of an interesting event that had taken place. We learned of it in a most unusual way.
One night, we were both awoken simultaneously by a strange rustling sound which seemed to surround our house. We arose from our hammocks to investigate and found our house to be totally encircled by indians. More importantly, chirstian indians!
My husband went out side and asked what was going on. Shyly, they explained that they were watching out for us as they had observed "spirits" dancing upon our palm roof. Then they proceeded to tell us of a story that had unfolded several years before our arrival.
The old witch doctor of the village, Manweda, had snorted the hallucinogenic drug which the witch doctors use to enhance their visions, and after several hours of being in a trance, he awakened to tell the village a prophecy.
In his vision, he said he had seen a strange, strong light glowing out of a building upon the small hill which arose at the edge of the village. No one lived there and it was not even cleared yet, but he said he heard a loud noise which came from the house as well as the light.
As is often the case, the villagers discussed what this could mean and had not a clue. Until we showed up and asked if we might build our house upon that very hill. However, we only used Coleman lanterns and had no generator or loud noises coming form our house for several months.
Until that night!
The whole village, unbeknownst to us, had met to discuss if this was the fulfillment of Manweda's vision. As they ventured out to see, the unbelievers were frightened by what they saw around our house.
Spirits dancing on the roof!
The Christians feared for us and bravely decided to confront the spirits on our behalf, knowing we were not knowledgeable or aware of the great danger we were in, due to the nature of the evil demons and the fact that we were so reckless as to have built our house with HUGE windows in every room. Surely, Canaima would come for us one night!
But this night, the christians surrounded our house and joined in prayer to God for our protection. They were amazed that we could all sleep through the night with the demons dancing above our heads. We finally awoke from hearing their muffled prayers on our behalf.
As we spoke to them, we were told of the prophecy the witch doctor had made of our arrival with the lights and loud noise coming from a non-existent house on this exact spot.
Could God use a witch doctor to foretell of our coming? I don't know, but he has used stranger things...such as Balaam's donkey!
Whatever the reason, the people of Chajudaña had welcomed us unanimously and the new christians were greatly encouraged that we were not bothered by the spirits. Soon they were opening up their houses with larger windows to allow for better light and air flow, no longer so afraid of the spirits!
No longer were they bound in the darkness and superstition that had enslaved them and caused them to live in unhealthy smoke filled, dark houses cowering in fear!
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Then began our trip home. The roads in Paraguay are known for being, um, AWFUL. "Bumpy" is an understatement, but it's the word I will use for now. I had never noticed how bumpy the roads really are till I had a stomach full of liquid. With every bump, our stomachs sloshed. With every slosh, we groaned.
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
We were only able to speak for a few moments after the service, but I really enjoyed it immensely.
Then I ran into another "blogger" and I see she has already left me a comment!
Life is good!!!
A great big thanks to those of you who came out of the woodwork and identified yourselves!!!
See??? It wasn't so bad, was it?
Monday, January 07, 2008
I do not know what my schedule will be like or if I will even have access to the internet this week. Blogging may not happen at all, or I may manage to check in a few times. I really hate to be away from my blog for too long! I lose readers every time.
I hate that!!
For awhile I was averaging 220 readers a day, now I only have about 130 of which, roughly speaking, only about 20 ever leave a comment. The rest are lurkers. I see a few of you regularly on my site meter...I wonder why you never comment? I love comments!
Who are you?
How did you run across my blog?
|Argentina||Rosario, Santa Fe|
|United Kingdom||Tamworth, Staffordshire|
|Thailand||Bangkok, Krung Thep|
Thursday, January 03, 2008
She had to have a root canal today. The dentist wasn't even sure he wanted to touch her, but it had to be done. After, several attempts, he finally got her numbed enough to work. That is another fairly common trait, not being able to properly numb us.
What does this indian grand daughter look like?
Not much like her grandmother, Nikotai Cherokee, as she was called.