Thursday, May 07, 2009

Really Random

I just returned from our trip and have a lot of work to catch up on here at the house. I need to bake and get organized before tonight's small group Bible Study we have here each Thursday.
So this will be a 'drive by posting' !

We had a great time on our trip and I will post pictures soon. The Iguassu Falls are amazing and I find words inadequate to describe them. We were not able to cross into Brazil as they are being 'picky' about visas all of a sudden. My husband crossed back and forth several times a few months ago and never had to show any ID, but it seems they are worried about Swine Flu.

We took the barge over to Argentina to see the falls. The difference is that in Argentina you are literally ON the falls. This makes for an awesome experience but does not provide the same views for photographs as seeing them from below on the Brazilian side.

I was surprised at how comforting I found the sound of the river , like a roar, to be to my soul. I miss living with that sound in the background. We saw plenty of wildlife and became defacto guides for a few Gringos, even though we had never been there before, we could point out the animal life and some plants. We even saw 24 ants! Everyone else was walking right over them and never saw them until we pointed them out. The same with the Walking Sticks.

We had to take a barge across the river at the Tri Border Area which is famous for...well, lots of not so savory things. I personally watched two bribes go down! Jewel was 'reading' the river while we waited for the barge to cross over for us. Two rivers converge here so navigation can be tricky. She read it perfectly and the barge followed the exact rout she would have taken. Just a handy skill picked up from the jungle. Wonder if it will ever be useful?

I always find it funny when crossing into Argentina and seeing their police uniforms which makes a 20 year old cop look like some kind of General with all the braid and gold, and then you cross back over to Paraguay and see the Police in their sensible blue cotton uniforms. Just an interesting observation of the two cultures.

We visited a big grocery store and bought 8 bags of Doritos, 4 bags of plain Ruffles, and 3 bags of Sour cream and onion Ruffles. Yep, that was what we bought...nothing very touristy!

We went down town in Ciudad del Este. I took a few covert photos but had to keep the camera hidden so they are not great quality, but let me say, Ciudad del Este is CRAAA-ZEEE! Very exciting and pulsing with activity. You hear lots of languages and see signs in many different languages. Many armed guards outside of businesses with bullet proof vests and it makes you wonder,"WHY?"

It was there that I realized I had not seen so much weaponry since leaving Venezuela.

On our return trip we stopped at a small dairy store, Lactolandia, and had the best soft serve ice cream! I only know of two places that sell soft serve in the country. It was run by Germans and the blue eyed, blond young men behind the counters were very interested in my daughters. I think that where they live, anyone who looks like them is most likely their cousin! Poor guys could barely fill their orders. Always fun to watch teens! Besides the ice cream, they had CLEAN restrooms!

Those are the high lights of my trip. Clint met with a local pastor to discuss our upcoming move and areas of ministry including Reformers Unanimous, which is a faith based addiction recovery program. Ciudad del Este is full of drugs, gambling, and prostitution, so this type of ministry could be quite useful.

So, how was your week while I was gone?


Betty said...

I love, love that ice cream too! And a clean bathroom anywhere in Paraguay is worth mentioning! :)

Debbie said...

It sounds like a wonderful time. Can't wait to see all of the photos.

Joy said...

What did I do this week??? Well it wasn't as adventurous as yours. Although I did buy potato chips too; saw some fire ants in the yard, crossed a river, but not on a barge.
That about where the similarities end.
Glad your trip was good and your back safe. Can't wait to see pictures.


Susan said...

It sounds like you had a fascinating trip! I don't think I'd like all the guns and armored guards and stuff, but to see the countries would be amazing.

We had our Bible conference this week. The speaker and his wife just left a few minutes ago, heading farther into the interior of BC for meetings up there. Wes and I have a full day of errands at the US border, then dinner for our date this week. Then we're gonna come home and crash! LOL It's been a busy week!

Kathy said...

This week has been spent shopping and swimming with my mom, who went home today. I'm happy you enjoyed your trip, as I knew you would! When you live over there, you'll get to the Brazil side. But just so you'll know--I got my visa in Asuncion and they only gave me 90 days. I showed them the printout from the internet that says visas are good for five years, but they just shrugged. Oh well. If you do have to get yours in Asuncion, go a lot during those 90 days! :) Have a nice rest of the week!

Brooke said...

Clean public restrooms? That's always a great find! LOL!

Brenda said...

Sounds like a lot of fun. Bob may have to ask you about that raft trip if they don't lighten up at the border, he will be back in August with a team.

I love Lactolanda! Its always a highlight. I usually buy a big block of butter when I am there, it comes frozen and I divide it up into manageble pieces.

Lady Glamis said...

Awesome! Thank you for the drive by and keeping us posted.

This week was not so great for me, but next week is always a new day.

The Local Malcontent said...

Why did your photographs and your camera need to be kept covert?
Because of the crime you mentioned?
nevertheless, so glad you all had a great time, and the falls sound impressive.

'Soggy' defines my week perfectly.
'Flooded' also works.

Anonymous said...

That sounds great. I don't do much traveling anymore but I miss seeing new things and meeting new people.

Jungle Mom said...

LMC, There is a lot of thievery and some people have had the cameras yanked out of their hands and such. Also, we were in a part of town where we were definitely the minority and thus,obvious.

GutsyWriter said...

The Iguassu Falls, are on my list to see. My Father, who lives in Paris, went on and on about them. What kind of barge did you take to Argentina? A large one with cars on it, or a small tourist one? We even saw 24 ants! --What you counted them?
8 bags of Doritos, 4 bags of plain Ruffles, and 3 bags of Sour cream and onion Ruffles.This reminds me of when we crossed to Mexico from Belize. That's what my kids longed for. Can' wait to see your photos. Great post.

Jungle Mom said...

Gutsy writer, the 24 is a large ant that wont kill you, but for 24 hours, you will wish you were dead. Thus the name, 24.
The barge was large enough for about 8 vehicles.

Pam said...

Can't wait for those covert photos! I want Jewel to be with me if I'm ever lost in the jungle or on a river and my transportation breaks down!

I remember thinking and feeling it was so weird when we first moved to Mexico to have automatic weapons on police outside of each bank and all over town. We are so spoiled in these United States!

Pam said...

Rita, one more time, could you please be sure your prayer letters are being sent to FaithZ? I don't think any have arrived yet.

Pam said...

Oops thought of one more thing I wanted to let you know!
Mike West's church in Ocala just hosted a Reformer's Unanimous conference. I was glad to hear that!