Friday, February 29, 2008

Jungle travel

Sometimes, by plane...

( The children are excited to drink the Coke which the pilots brought for them from town!)

Sometimes by car...

( The road to Las Bonitas )

Or by barge...

( Crossing the Paragua River)

Sometimes, you break down in the middle of no where....

( Mining Road )

Sometimes by dugout canoe...

( Curiara on the Paragua river)

On the Chajura River...

(Jewel likes to sit on the edge of the canoe!)

Very crowded canoes...

(Jungle Mom in center,behind my brother and sister in law!)

River Rapids...

( Climbing down the rapid as the canoe 'shoots' the rapid)

Camping out, sometimes for weeks at a time...


Camp site...

(Two months without walls!)

Walking to church....

Walking on jungle path to visit another village...

(4 hour walk)

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Types of snakes we have encountered in the jungle;

Bush master, ( most common )

Boa constrictor.


Fer de lance,




Places we have found snakes:

Under the washer,

Under the bed,

In the palm roof,

Behind the toilet,

In the generator shack,

In the river port,

In trees,

On path,

In church,

Under chests!

Ways we have killed snakes;







Stepping on them!!!!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Growing Up Yanomamo

Mike Dawson, a friend from Venezuela, recently sent me a copy of his book, "Growing up Yanomamo". The book is his story of growing up in the jungle of Venezuela among the Yanomamo tribe where his parents ministered as missionaries. He was born in the village and is the fifth of ten children in the family. He was raised among them and he is now and adult but continues his ministry among the Yanomamo tribe.

This book is full of great stories and adventure, many from the view point of child and later as an adult. If you have young boys or teens in your family, I know they would love this book! His book shares the good times as well as the bad. He lost his first wife to malaria and he shares that experience. I never met his first wife, but I have seen her grave as she is buried in Coshaloateli in a small plot with a white picket fence. His present wife was once my neighbor.

I will share just a bit of one of his stories...

By then I was getting my own reputation as a storyteller. I remember telling them of man walking on the moon. We happened to be outside and there was a beautiful full moon. The tropical moon is huge and seems to hang above the jungle.

"Right now", I told a group of guys with me, "right now, some of my fathers people are up there walking around on the moon. They are up there. It took them three days of travel to get there. One guy is flying around the moon to be able to get them back home. The other two are up there,walking around, right now." I said.

Everyone looked up in awe! I listened as they all clicked their tongues in amazement at what a feat this was.

"Yes," I told them, "they are up there right now walking around on the face of the moon."

One old guy looked up, and then looked back at me. I could tell he was having a problem.

"What is it? Why are you looking at me like that?" I asked him.

"You have told some big stories before, " he said, "but this is the worst you have ever told! I can see, you can see, everyone can see that the moon is not big enough for two men to even stand on let alone walk around on!"

My explanation of distance fell on deaf ears. Finally I gave up.

'Growing up Yanomamo' is available for purchase HERE!

Have you ever held a sloth?

Josh, Kylee the sloth, a much younger Jungle Mom, and Jewel
Coshaloateli , a Yanomami village on the Padamo River,
Estado Amazonas, Venezuela

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sunday Funny

Chronological Bible Storytelling

Pre - Evangelism

How do you share God's plan for humanity with a culture who has no prior knowledge of Biblical truths? People who do not know the name of 'Jesus' can not call upon His name for forgiveness without an understanding of who He is or why they have a need of forgiveness.

Interestingly enough, most all cultures are aware of their spiritual need for some kind of an atonement for their wrong doings. This is often seen by developing a form of 'appeasement' worship of demons and spirits.

Man was created with an inborn need for purpose and understanding of how to achieve it. The missionary working among a tribal people must be very careful in how he presents the gospel message to these groups.

In the past, we see that many early 'Christians' made the mistake of simply requiring a people to
be baptized and change their behavior, even sometimes forcefully requiring this as is the case of the early Catholic mission work among South American Indians. What this produces is a change in culture but not a true relationship with God. These cultures often appear to adopt the outward appearance and behavior of Christianity while simultaneously continuing with their pagan practices.

The way to avoid this is to teach the Bible chronologically to the people. Just as God revealed Himself to humanity. We walk them backwards, into the future!

We begin with the creation account of Genesis, work our way through the Old Testament which teaches of the need for an atonement, on to the birth of Christ as the Messiah, to His death which provides our needed atonement sacrifice! On to the resurrection proving His Godhead.

A very interesting site where you can see the process of this chronological Bible story telling is HERE! This site provides free lesson plans for adults and also a curriculum for children including coloring pages and video links. It would be great for home schoolers and anyone teaching children. It is also available in several languages, including Spanish.

The modern day Christian worker must also realize that right here in our own country, we can not assume the average person has a clear understanding of the Bible and a Christian world view. With the immigration of so many foreigners to our land, we have the opportunity to present God to them here, but do not assume they have any background understanding of the gospel. This material would be well used in a small Bible study.

On the mission field we call this 'pre-evangelism'. We must introduce them to Christ. It is exhilarating to see a person or group of people as they see this wonderful story of God's love unfold to them for the first time! They then have a personal relationship with Christ and not just a head knowledge.

And that makes an eternal difference!

Disclaimer: I may not agree with everything presented at this site, but it has much to offer and is free.So use your own discretion and check it out for yourself!

Friday, February 22, 2008

The day the Moon crashed into the Sun

Last nights lunar eclipse reminded me of a solar eclipse we experienced while in the jungle.

One day, the sky became darker and darker. Actually a slight greenish tint appeared on everything. I had the children look up eclipses in the World Book Encyclopedia and we realized we were witnessing a solar eclipse.

We got out my husbands welding mask and some x rays to look through, and all went outside to watch the eclipse.

As the sky darkened and the shape of the moon became visible in front of the sun we found ourselves joined by most of the village. They were all very nervous about what was happening and seemed surprised that we were not! Not even our children.

In my very limited Ye'kwana, I tried to explain what was happening and why we did not need to fear it. The old chief, Bertico, arrived very flustered! We put the mask on him and he yelled out,

"Why is the moon crashing into the sun?!?!?!"

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Midnight Madness

Here I am. I am blogging at 12:30 A.M.!

I am unable to sleep and decided to look over my site meter. Recently, The Local Malcontent posted how that he has visitors to his site who are using the search words,"How to caulk a tub".

I have noticed a trend here at my blog, I get a lot of visitors from Google. The most common search phrase that sends people here to The Jungle Hut is:

"How to sit in a hammock"

Yes! Really. Then there is another frequent sought after bit of info:

"How to build an outhouse"

and yet another:

"How to make a blow gun"

It is intriguing to see who comes by and how many pages they end up viewing while searching out this interesting information. Maybe I should write a "How to.." book?

Of course, I get a lot of others that I fully understand. People searching info an Amazonian Indians, the rain forest, Cessna, Jungle Huts, and Hugo Chavez, etc. Although it seems there is a resort in India called The jungle Hut. A lot of people just Google,"Jungle Mom" but there is another ex-pat woman out there, who has a book by that name.

The one search phrase which has been used quite a bit and keeps me laughing is,"Jungle Babes"!!! They usually only stay around for one page and one second!!!

Here are some of the search phrases used today:

Montreal the jungle
jungle hut beads rolled with magazines
moving to Paraguay
cartoon jungle sounds
el poder de las amigas
how to cook turkey necks
Paraguayan fruit juice
4 feet spiders in Amazon jungle

And my personal favorite!

demon possessed squirrel

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Last week my daughters were in the living room and the TV was on a news channel. The reporter was covering the recent violence in Kenya. As I walked through the room, I overheard my daughter Jewel saying to her sister,
" You know you are an MK ( missionary kid) when seeing coverage of a riot makes you homesick!"

Daughter Jackie, in Paraguay, added in the comments:
Jackie said...

Oh yeah...a month ago the Embassy issued warnings for a possible riot in Asuncion.
I. Was. Excited!! I did my groceries, and planned on hunkering down at home for a cozy week. LOL. Only MK's associate riots with "coziness." But, nothing happened. Oh well.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Tuna, Tuna, Tuna !

Often times in the jungle the only fresh meat is whatever is hunted. In the mean time, one eats a lot of canned foods and beans. The following is a poem written by Linda Myers. She was a missionary wife who worked in the jungles of Venezuela.

I would have written this poem myself, but, she thought of it first!!!

Tuna and fluffy rice is nice, and tuna and macaroni.
Tuna creamed, tuna sandwiched -and tuna and rice again.
Complaining is a sin,
I know Dear Lord - but don't tell me it's tuna and rice again!

The people went hunting today
...maybe they got a lot
...maybe they'll pass my way-
but if not-
it'll be tuna and rice again.

Oh good, here they come with a nice piece of meat
I'm glad they've brought us some,
Yum! We'll have wild pig to eat.

"Please just lay it in the sink while I pay the man"
Yes, I know it stinks,
but I'll clean it up the best I can.

There the meat lay with hide, hoof and hair.
I'll trim and pick
and pick and trim.
Guess some of 'it' will have to stay.
No one will know 'it's' there anyway!

Brown it good, and bake it long.
It shouldn't turn out tough.
Oh, why did I complain?
I'm not having it so rough.

The meat is gone-
Platter licked clean-
That surely didn't last long!

Well, guess it's back to the same song
... Tuna and rice again!

How to cook a wild boar

Marinate in this mixture over night :

2 cups fresh orange juice
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp dry hot chili pepper
1\2 tsp garlic powder
Mix well
After marinating, splash with worcestershire and slow cook over a
wood fire or wood chips.

Buen Provecho!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Sitting in a dugout,
Gliding down a river,
Looking upwards to the blue sky,
White, wispy clouds breezing by,
Tall jungle trees,
Pointing high!

Close my eyes,
Feel the tropical sun upon my skin,
Humidity in the air, cool water against my hand,
Dangling fingers swim in the green, brown river,
A soft mist sprays upon my brow,
Cooling water!

The jungle permeates,
Earthy, damp and musty,
A thousand years old!
The smell of a storm coming this way,
Sweet, sour, a bit of decay,
Jungle smells!

Listen! Listen!
What do you hear?
The cry of a majestic macaw,
The wind moves the leaves of the palms,
The water gurgles as it ripples,
Quiet sounds!

The sights of home,
The feel of home,
Familiar smells,
The sounds that call me home,
I hear the beckoning and I long to return,
Winding river, take me home!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

How to Make Rain

I am not as qualified on this as my children are. My children were making rain long before I was even aware that it was possible to make rain. Silly me, I thought rain was only caused by the climate and certain events out of the control of mere humans. Later, I would find out that even young children can cause a storm!! Yes,and can also stop a storm!

My four children grew up on the banks of the Chajura River in the southern most part of the state of Bolivar in Venezuela. Right in the middle of the Amazon jungle. We say they grew up 'on the banks' of the river, but really, they 'grew up IN the river'.

We used the river for our water supply, it was our bath tub, our laundry, our kitchen sink! Each child would carry buckets of water up to the house several times a day. Even the youngest was given her own small bucket as soon as she was walking. It was a small plastic bucket which originally had chocolate milk powder in it. A Taco bucket. She was very proud of her own bucket!

All of my children swam like fish. Under water, against the current, climbing up slippery muddy banks. Slithering over wet mossy rocks. Climbing trees in search of vines to use to swing out over the river and jump from. This was all fine by me, but, in truth, I never learned to do much more than a glorified doggy paddle. My children felt so sorry for me! Luckily, their father was just as adept in the water as they were. This worked out well for me as I spent many an afternoon in peace as the children entertained themselves in the river.

After a few years living in the jungle, an old lady came up to the house very irate! We had a severe storm the night before and had seen the river rise overnight to the highest level anyone alive had ever witnessed. So high, in fact, that a few of the houses closest to the river had actually flooded. This 'nosamo', old grandmother, had awoken in the night to find the water up to the level of her hammock!!! And it was my children's fault!

She came to warn me of the dire events which my children were causing! My sweet innocent, fun loving children were changing the weather patterns. They were causing it to rain! I had mistakenly assumed the Rain Forest was so named due to the inevitable fact that it rained several months out of the year. But it seems, my children were causing it to rain more often and much harder than normal.

I needed to make them stop! I was taken aback, how could I stop my children from making rain????

The old grand mother, having given me the warning, turned and left me standing in awe of the power and talent of my children! My children could make rain! I did not know how they managed to do this, but, did they?

A few hours later, four wet, tired children made their way up from the river path, each with a bucket of water, which they emptied into the water barrel beside the house. I asked them,

"Do you know that you made it rain and flood last night?"

They looked sheepishly from one another, and I knew that they DID know how to make rain! And they had done it on purpose!

"So... you know that you are making rain?"

Four small heads nodded in agreement. How could I admit to them that they were so much more advanced than I. They not only knew they had made rain, they knew I did not know beans about it!

I warned them!

"Nosamo came by and said I have to make you all stop causing the rain! She was flooded out of her house last night!"

Four faces looked at me in complete belief.

"Well, what do you have to say for yourselves? You have to stop this rain making business, it bothers the people!"

Four innocent pairs of eyes, looking up at me... aw, shucks! Forget my pride!

" exactly do you make rain?"

Four mouths opened excitedly to share the details! It seems all you have to do to cause rain is to horseplay on the river too much at the wrong places! If you play around too much, the river goddess gets angry! She will talk to the other spirits and will cause a lot of rain!

My children knew this from talking with the other children. But, the favorite rock to climb upon, the best place to play King of the Mountain, was in the wrong place in the river. My children had decided to play anyway. They wanted the indians to know that they were not afraid of any old river goddess!

They had been warned, but had chosen to continue...thus causing rain. Then they had decided that making rain was fun! It was exhilarating to make rain and have everyone know YOU had caused it!

"Besides," they said, "We can always make the rain stop!"

Once again feeling the fool, I had to ask,

"How do you stop the rain?"

Four smug smirks!

"By cutting the rain with a machete, of course!"

My son grabbed up the ever handy machete and began to slice through the air in a sideways motion. It seems that is how one makes the rain to stop. I had observed the Ye'kwanas doing this so often and had never realized what they were doing! I just thought it was a habit or something to do when bored. Swing a machete to pass the time while riding in a canoe, or working in the garden. I never knew it was to stop the rain.

But my children knew!

To this day, if it is raining hard, I find myself tempted to 'cut the rain'.

This is what happens when you spend too much time in another culture.

A Ye'kwana man cutting the rain to make it stop
in order to continue the soccer match!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Have a laugh on Us

My oldest daughter wrote this very sad, but true, account of our family. I wish I could deny it all. I can not. I wish my children were a bit more respectful of our family secrets, but, they are not!
I wish... well, read for yourself!

Talent Shows- Jungle Style
Missionary familes have a lot of talent. If you've ever been at a missions conference before you know what I'm talking about. Mr. Missionary stands up and introduces his large family. They are imaculatly dressed and perfectly behaved. Mr. Missionary calls Mrs. Missionary and all the Little Missionaries up to the platform where they sing a song. Oh, but they dont just sing a song because every single one of their children (all eleven of them) can play a different instrument, and play it well. They sing with harmony, and then, after the song, because it wasn't cute enough, the Youngest Missionary (about six months old or so) recites Psalm 23.

Most missionary families are like that, great voices, and amazing music abilities. Then there was the Vernoy family. We all have decent voices....sometimes. Depends on what mood we're in I guess. As for playing instruments? Dream on. We were too busy reading books to learn an instrument, plus we lived in the Amazon and there's a shortage of piano teachers out there. Not to mention pianos. So, in many missions conferences we sat and watched yet another amazingly talented Super Missionary family sing lovely songs in multiple languages. Then it was our turn to do something.

But what? It's not that we didn't have talent! Oh, we have talent. We even held talent shows in the jungle...the Indians loved them! They were usually held on weekends, when our house was especially full. They would start crowding in, thumbing through our old National Geographic magazines, and then some brave soul would ask my sister, Jewel, if she could do a one handed cartwheel. Always eager to please, Jewel begin to tumble about the living room which would bring on a chorus of "ooh's" and "aahs." Not to be outdone, Jayde would impersonate Patsy Cline, Elvis Presley, or do the split on the cement floor. The split was always a great big hit. Indians are strong, and muscular, but not flexible AT ALL. Flexibilty is something everyone in my family is blessed with, and the Indians were always impressed. I would sit with my legs crossed "indian style" and then walk on my knees, or lay flat on the floor, face down, with my legs behind my head. This made quite an impression.

The talent show was only getting started! When my mom's turn came she would raise one eyebrow, or while standing with one foot pointed forward, twist the other foot completly back. I share that talent as well, but would let her preform it since I already had so many others. :-)
Joshua always added a colorful piece to the show with his accurate impersonation of the village witch doctor, which always brought lots of laughs. My Dad was the biggest hit when he would stand in a doorway, his back towards the barefoot audience, and hug himself with his arms. They thought that was hilarious! We would continue with our antics, my hog calls, Jewel shimming up the center pole of the house, Jayde throwing her legs over her arms and walking on her hands (it's really hard to explain,you have to see it)

Yes, our talent shows were very cool. The coolest thing going on in that village anyway. As "cool" as we thought we were, we just didn't think churches would appreciate our kind of talent during their conferences. I can picture it now. The pastor gets behind the pulpit, "Why, thank you Super Missionary Family for that lovely rendition of Amazing Grace in five languages,with twelve different instruments. Truly a blessing. And now, our next family, the Vernoys, will be doing their hog calls, and their youngest will finish off by swinging from the rafters while singing 'Crazy' in her Patsy Cline voice."

Hmm...doesn't seem very likely. What usually happened was my dad would stand up, introduce and say, "We just dont' sing...but we have some stories we could tell you!" Or, as one missionary friend put it, "I would sing a special for you, but it would probably be more special if I didn't!"

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Before Wii... we had Uroplatus

In the jungle, without electricity, one must be very creative in ways to entertain their children after dark. On the equator, darkness comes on quickly! Around 6:30 p.m. without fail, year round, in a matter of 10 - 15 minutes, you will go from daylight to darkness.
However, children are rarely ready for sleep yet!

One of the things we all enjoyed was an interactive game we invented. We played this game at night. All one needed was;
Blow gun and darts
Roof lizards !

The game plan was this,

Sit in the dark until your hear the 'singing' of the lizards in the palm roof over head.
Shine bright powered flashlight in the direction of the 'singing'.
The other person has blow gun and dart ready at mouth, to fire dart towards the lizard, hoping to strike it down.
Jump and scream in glee with each one shot!

Animal lovers, sorry, but these critters are a problem living in the palm roof, leaving droppings, and 'singing' lizards are just plain freaky anyway and should be eliminated from the face of the earth!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

It's my Birthday!

Your Birthdate: February 5

You have many talents, and you are great at sharing those talents with others.
Most people would be jealous of your clever intellect, but you're just too likeable to elicit jealousy.
Progressive and original, you're usually thinking up cutting edge ideas.
Quick witted and fast thinking, you have difficulty finding new challenges.

Your strength: Your superhuman brainpower

Your weakness: Your susceptibility to boredom

Your power color: Tangerine

Your power symbol: Ace

Your power month: May

In 1965 (the year you were born)

Lyndon B. Johnson is president of the US

Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara calls for a nationwide network of bomb shelters

Former leader of the Black Muslims, Malcolm X, is shot and killed in New York City

To protest voting rights discrimination, civil rights demonstrators begin a march for Selma to Montgomery with federal troop protection

The first commercial satellite, Early Bird, is launched into space by Nasa to transmit telephone and television signals

Voting Rights Act is signed into law

Riots by young blacks in the Watts area of Los Angeles begin, causing $200 million in damage

Hurricane Betsy claims 75 lives in southern Florida and Louisiana

United States President Lyndon Johnson proclaims his "Great Society" during his State of the Union address

Dr. Dre, Sarah Jessica Parker, Robert Downey Jr., Shania Twain, Moby, and Ben Stiller are born

Los Angeles Dodgers win the World Series

Green Bay Packers win the NFL championship

Montreal Canadiens win the Stanley Cup

The Sound of Music, starring Julie Andrews, is the top grossing film

Dune by Frank Herbert is published

The Beatles' Rubber Soul is released

"Satisfaction" by Rolling Stones is a top hit

The Beatles appear on The Ed Sullivan Show, performing songs from their new album Help!

Sony introduces the Betamax, a home video tape recorder

Nearly all of NBC's programs are now broadcast in color

I Dream of Jeannie premieres

All I want for my birthday
is for everyone to sign my guest book!

Languages and an Update

The reason the tribal languages are so precise and very descriptive is , as many of you guessed, because they do not have clocks! You have to be able to tell someone when to go, or do something without relying on "o'clock"!

Even in Bible times this was common. You will often read such things as, "before the cocks' crow", or other such descriptive phrases, in the Bible.

My husband has returned home from two trips. He traveled to N.C. for a training conference in order to open a chapter of Reformers Unanimous in Paraguay. This is a faith based addiction treatment program we hope to use in the church there.

He also traveled to Venezuela for a national Pastor's Retreat. He taught on marriage and child rearing. It was a quick and difficult trip for many reasons, but a profitable time of ministry.

We leave tomorrow for another missions conference. We will be HERE.

Monday, February 04, 2008


My daughter, Jackie, is studying the Guarani language. This will be her fourth language to learn...but the first one she has to STUDY and learn as an adult!


She shared the following phrases which relate to telling time. As you notice, the language is very specific and visually descriptive in telling time. The same is true in most all tribal languages. The Ye'kwana language is very similar in this aspect. The way to ask what time it is in the Ye'kwana language is to ask, "Where is the sun?".

Ko'embota - "The dawn that is about to happen."

Ko'eguy - "The first moment of dawn."

Ko'eju - "The dawn when the sky is gold"

Ko'ejupyta - "The dawn when the sky is gold with red. Or orange."

Ko'eti - "The white dawn."

Ko'esoro - "The dawn, which is the beginning to all the sounds of the day."

Ko'esaka - "The dawn, all clean and bright."

Ko'emba - "Right in the middle of dawn."

Kuarahyrese - "The moment in which the sun appears over the horizon."

Pyharevete - "The first hours of the morning."

Pyhareve - "The hours in the morning which follow the very first hours of the morning." (No, I'm not kidding.)

Pyhareve Asaje - "The middle of the morning"

Asaje - "The siesta, a little before, and a little after the last hours of dawn." (Again, I'm not kidding.)

Asajepyte - "The middle of the siesta. Noon."

Ka'aru - "The first hours of the evening."

Ka'arujere - "The hours of the evening following the first hours of the evening."

Ka'arupora - "The middle of the evening."

Ka'aruete - "The little evening." (??????)

Kuarahyreike - "When the sun starts going down. Dusk."

Pytupara - "Night when there is still some light."

Pytumby - "The night when it starts getting darker."

Pytumbaite - "The really dark part of night."

Pyhare - "Night."

Pyharepora - "Very night."

Pyharepyte - "The middle of the night."

Why do you think the tribal languages are so descriptive and precise in regards to telling time?