Friday, October 16, 2009

Growing up in the jungle...

It means your family is very close!

And Christmas time is HOT!

It means you grew up knowing how to make casave bread...

and hanging out with your indian friends is fun!

You do not realize they are living in poverty...

Perhaps because people would consider that you are living in poverty as well!
But you think you are rich!

It means your dad convinces you to play golf on the airstrip!

It means you were potty trained in an outhouse!

So you know how to appreciate an indoor toilet!

It means you use the river as your playground!

And swim at a very young age.

Your best friends are indian children!

It means, at a very young age, you are the best translator for any outsider
...even government officials and medical groups.

This is normal for you! The indians trust you. And , who else speaks, English-Spanish-Ye'kwana with a little bit of Sanema!

It means you had to help build your own house, even though a child!
By weaving the palm roof...

or helping to lay the hand made adobe bricks...

you help mix the mud used for mortar and learn hard work is FUN!

So you understand all the hard work that went into making your mud hut!

It may mean helping take care of the sick...

It means you have exotic pets...

Meet "Frutilupis" !

This toucan was a regular visitor at our house every afternoon. My husband would pop corn in the late afternoon and sit outside and share it with 'Fruitlupis', which is the Venezuelan name for Froot Loops cereal. This toucan would sit on his shoulder and share the pop corn right out of my husbands hand.

Meet "Bambi" !

Jayde would bottle feed this fawn named "Bambi". Her mother was killed by the hunters and they brought the fawn back to the village to be cared for. She was cared for until old enough to survive on her own in the jungle. Once old enough she was released.

It means you learn to make your own fun!
This improvised see-saw the children made lasted for weeks!

It means putting on plays for your parents!

Even musicals!

It means you are more familiar with flying in small planes than in riding in cars. Taking a taxi ride is 'exotic' and unusual to you, but flying for two hours over the jungle, landing on short grass airstrips is can sleep through that!

It means you might convince your mom into allowing you to wear a Mohawk!
That way you feel like a real indian!

It means you were home schooled.

It means Aunt Beth came to teach you algebra,
even though no one else in the village cares about your suffering!

It may mean you learn to walk on a dirt floor.

But most of all, you know it is for a good cause!
Building churches! Changing Lives!


Webutante said...

Wonderful picture essay of what it's like to live your life, Rita. Thanks.

Pam said...

And it means your Aunt Pam missed you very much!! But thought of you all every day!

(Surprise, I'm back! Sort of!)

Charles said...

A very good posting. You and your family have had so many amazing experiences. I love the photos and the tales. But the best of all was the last two words. "Changing Lives"

Nina in Portugal said...

I LOVE your posts like this one!!

Great photos!! Priceless!!

Eric Laczi said...

Very nice pictures! Thanks for sharing them with us.

Harry said...

There is a certain amount of envy when I look at your photos because I didn't didn't have the chance to grow up or live that way. On the other hand, I am so spoiled from growing up in middle class suburbia, I'm not sure I would be able to adjust.

Betty said...

What a wonderful post. To know that it was all worth it, is a blessing, I´m sure!
May God bless your future in Paraguay just as much!

Mrs. C said...

LOVE it. The pic of the baby swinging over the table is my absolute fave.

Brenda said...

Thats a great photo essay, and ahh, I love Aunt Pams comment, touching.

Kathy said...

What a wonderful post of an amazing way to grow up! I love all the pics and especially love the look on your husband's face while he's in the river!!!

firepig said...

Poor but rich,i know what you mean-
certainly a rich life!

I am sure you will treasure those memories always....

Dolores said...

I loved looking at your wonderful pictures, and trying to imagine your exciting and....oh so different life from ours.

God bless you and your family for building churches and changing lives.

Thanks for sharing...

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Hooray for western toilets! That's the best part of all!

MK said...

Interesting times those. Thanks for sharing.