Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Amazon Jungle of Venezuela

The following poems and pictures were written and/or taken by missionary friends of mine from Venezuela. I hope you enjoy them and that they can convey the beauty and appeal that the jungle has for those of us who were blessed to live there!


"With mountains standing blue against the skyline.
Rivers sparkling jewels in the sun.
A jungle 40 shades of green surrounding me
This is the Amazonas that I love."

(Poem by Sharon Dawson.
Sharon was born and raised in the Amazon of Venezuela.

She is now a missionary herself.)

"With mountains standing blue against the skyline.
(photo of Mount Duida, by Sharon Dawson)

Rivers sparkling jewels in the sun.
(photo of the Orinoco River, by Sharon Dawson)

A jungle 40 shades of green surrounding me
(photo of indian boy, by Pastor Von's Web Journal )

This is the Amazonas that I love."
(photo of Salto Para, by Clint Vernoy)

Sharon's Tree

"It stood there tall majestically
Its branches strong and reaching high
And as I climbed it, I could see
Far out across the clear blue sky
And then I knew, yes I could see
There is no other like my tree."

Friday, June 26, 2009

How to Handle Wire Tapping of you phone.

I read the following from Fausta's Blog this morning and it reminded me of an old post I had written about the subject.

Here is Fautsa's post in its entirety.

At BBC Mundo, Venezuela: reforma permite “escuchas” (my translation: please link to this post and credit me if you use this)

The Venezuelan National Assembly has authorized the first stage for a legal reform expanding the authorities’ powers to capture and use private conversations in legal proceedings.

The changes to the Penal Organic Processing Code (Código Orgánico Procesal Penal) include a statute ordering telecommunication companies to create “24/7″ units to process and deliver the State Attorney any information the State Attorney requests, in real time if so requested.

The Public Ministry will be able to use these private conversations, “whether they are in an area, through the telephone, or any other means.”

The measure comes in the wake of Chavez’s announcement that Venezuela will have its own BlackBerry. As far as confidentiality in communications goes, the Blackberry affords the best of all the options available in the country, but not for long.

Before it becomes law, the measure must be approved by a second review in congress, after which Chavez would sign it and it would become law once it’s published in the official government gazette…all of which are controlled by Chavez.

In the meantime, Chavez’s war on independent media continues.

This is my post from May of 2008.

("This is a work of fiction - any resemblance to actual persons
living or dead is purely coincidental...maybe".)

After leaving the jungle, we were still under investigation by the authorities. Sometimes this involved having our phone tapped. We had been warned of this and sometimes, you could hear a machine click on and occasionally, even breathing and other background noises.

We had nothing to hide and did not discuss anything private over the phone, certainly not with our lawyer. Even so, it was very irritating.

So... we embraced the situation. If I ever had a toddler in the house I would let them speak, and babble and sing to their hearts content over the phone.

Or, read scripture passages for long stretches!

Give the official listening in the 'Plan of Salvation".

Speak in PIG LATIN!!! Oday ouyay eakspay igpay atinlay???

Our favorite, when calling one another, from the market or some such place, was to speak in Ye'kwana! This is best done in low, grave voices. Oh the evil codes they must have thought we had invented! They may have assumed we were discussing the evil empire and it's plans to dominate, but we were really just discussing what items we needed from the market. Hee, hee!!!

But the most important thing of all is to speak to the officer listening in. Say "Hello, how are you? Are you having a nice day?" If asking a question to the person with whom you are conversing, ask the official what he thinks, "SO, dear official of the day, should he bring home chicken or fish for dinner? We'll have plenty so you all can come by as well! "

And, be nice! You know, like before you hang up say ,"I am not expecting anymore phone calls this evening so why don't you just go ahead and rest now, or get a coffee".

And being a good Venezuelan family, we even ended with, "Bendición?" !

Thursday, June 25, 2009

CSI: Jungle

The Ye'kwana people are very superstitious, as are many tribal people. The stories are their way to explain the unknown. Some of the beliefs are expected and one can understand why the have the belief. Others are not so easily comprehended and one has to wait until it makes sense to you, or someone in the tribe can reveal it to you in a way that a western mind can grasp. Whichever comes first.

One thing that seems universal among the tribes, is that death is never from a natural cause. Whether the death is of a new born or elder, the death was inevitably caused by witchcraft. You can explain that the baby died from dehydration caused by vomiting and diarrhea and they will believe you. They also will set out to discover WHO caused the curse of sickness to be placed upon the child, or the elder, or the healthy young man who dies from malaria complications. Someone sent a curse.

And that is when things get interesting! There are so many ways to go about discovering the murderer. Many tests to run, much evidence to study. Many, many hours of discussions around the evening fires. Eventually, it will be discovered.

We once lost a man to yellow fever. He had been very healthy until his bout with the fever. He died one night, quite suddenly. The family was devastated and it was all complicated by the fact that he was from another village. A village where there was a very powerful witch doctor related to the man. This could not be good.

The witch doctor decided there was only one way to determine the killer. The dead man's finger was cut off of the corpse and placed in a kettle of water hung over the cooking fire. A representative of each clan was called to sit in a circle around the fire. As the water began to boil, the severed finger of the dead man began to spin and tumble. This was watched very closely and with baited breath!

Finally, the water boiled off and the finger came to rest on the bottom of the pot. NOW one could clearly see who was guilty for cursing the dead man by sending the yellow fever, for the finger was pointing to the guilty party! Not the actual person, but a member of the clan. NOW the witch doctor would know which village to seek for revenge, which family was the perpetrator. He would be very busy!

The representative of the clan was not guilty as she had married into our clan many years before and could not have been involved, but she was shamed!

The next day the shortwave radio crackled with the news of the results of the finger test. Many denials, many threats, but everyone felt so much better knowing that the yellow fever was sent as a curse and unless they had an enemy, they could relax about becoming sick.

The clan that had been blamed was angered greatly by this accusation, so they requested another test. This required a family member to travel to their village to be present. Interestingly enough, I heard that this test revealed the same guilty party! So another test was to be done. This process could go on for years much as our court system allows for appeals.

Eventually, the family of the dead one will lose interest in the pursuit, send a few hexes out to pay back the murderers, and move on. The anger of the accused will slowly die down, and they will move on. It is all part of the way they deal with their grief. They need to be able to transfer their emotions to another subject in order to get through their days. If it were a Sanema, it would be a very different story as this could be traced back for generations! The family might decide to wait another generation or two before seeking revenge. But rest assured, revenge would be sought!

I witnessed many interesting procedures used in the jungle to determine the guilty parties. I should probably offer my services to the police as an expert to advise the investigators! I have observed how to examine the placenta to determine the biological father of a new born, what is used in a 'love potion', how to curse someone just by using their foot print, and other handy information.

I was even trusted with the evidence and was once asked to freeze the finger of a dead man so that his family could walk over from their village for the boiling finger test...

So, did I, or didn't I ?????

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Things I See

This is my cat.
She is very beautiful and the most 'people friendly' cat I have ever owned.
My youngest daughter took this photo of her.
Verja's Photography

This is my cat after getting left out in a rain storm. She would not have anything to do with us for several days to show us how upset she was for being disgraced in this manner!

This is the new puppy, Shichuca.
Anna, the cat, is not pleased to have to share her domain with a dog.
(Think Garfield and Odie!)
Verja's Photography

Poor puppy!
No idea what's about to happen !

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Personal Update


We are getting used to one less member in the house. Clint has turned Jewel's room into an exercise area, which is very convenient for him. It is also the guest room if we ever get any visitors.

I have been having fun with Jewel's cell phone. She left it behind for Jayde to use but several young men are intent on texting Jewel and declaring their undying love. My husband enjoys answering the texts! Jayde is annoyed by it and I find it hilarious.

I am trying to get used to cooking for only three people. How does one do this?

Don't tell my son in law, but his DvD and sound system are pretty awesome to use while watching Star Wars! His stereo is pretty cool too! We like his Bow Flex too! Shhhh!!!!!!

The grand daughters had made chalk drawings on my drive way the day before they left. Yesterday and today we have had big rain storms which washed them away. This makes me sad, I miss seeing their cheerful drawings as I walk outside. I have gone around the house and packed up any toys or books or shoes or crayons they left as well. Stuck them in a closet!

Of course the biggest thing for us has been getting our carnets and Immigration status. We can now get ID cards and open bank accounts, get a PO box and rent movies!!!

I have to tell you, winter in June and July just messes me up. My internal clock can not compute this. It just feels all out of whack. The other thing I find disconcerting is looking at the southern sky and not recognizing any of the stars. It is very odd to look up and see an unfamiliar sky. It can make one feel lost.


Since being ordained 25 years ago, my husband has performed many weddings, funerals, and baptisms, but recently he has done these here in Paraguay for the first time in this country, which is special.

He baptized 6 last month as well as performed his first funeral here. The funeral was very difficult as it was the pre born baby of young mom in a coma. The baby was only about 6 months along. We were glad they allow for a proper burial of this tiny person. The mother is finally doing better and is out of the coma but has a long way to go before being able to return home to her other child, a two year old son.

We are continuing to have the small group Bible Study for couples in our home on Thursdays. We are studying marriage and it has been interesting to see the difference in the cultural understanding of the roles each plays in marriage.

I thought Venezuelan men were macho. The Paraguayan culture really puts an uncommon value on the males of the society. This comes from the fact that in the War of the Triple Alliance, all but 10% of the male population was killed. That allowed for a margin of 7 women to every 1 male. The families treated the boys very special. Mothers, daughters all served the son and brother like a little prince and this seems to continue today.

There is a saying in Paraguay that every man can have 7 women, and if a man does not have his 7, then some other man is enjoying 14!!! but...I have observed that the Paraguayan women are very independent. I am sure this comes from the same cultural back ground. They had to be strong as there were no men. They even went into battle with their children to save the patria. I don't think one man could handle 7 Paraguayan women! It should be noted that the Christian men are very different, which is probably not easy for them culturally.

My husband continues to give seminars at the Air Base. He recently did a series on Anger Management. A Major he has been talking to has made the decision to become a Christian. We are excited for this, as well as the other 6, or so, enlisted men who have accepted Christ recently and now wish to be baptized. We have to wait for warmer weather for that!

Some of these soldiers are as young as 16. Recently they have been given permission to attend the Saturday night youth meetings at church. Normally they are not allowed off base unsupervised, but have been granted special permission to do so for this activity. They are also being taught music classes by some of the young people and one of the deacons. They really enjoy this time off of the base.

And that's what has been happening here.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Devil's Brew

(My husband's coffee maker. We call it THE HOLY OF HOLIES!)

What do church history and coffee have in common, you ask?

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, which my husband makes and serves me each morning. Now that's romantic!

My favorite coffee is a Venezuelan blend. Cafe Madrid! We are out of it now, but are substituting with a Brazilian coffee we purchased here. My son in law recently left us some great Costa Rican coffee too.

Do you drink coffee? How much and how often? Any favorite blend?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day 2009

Thoughts for fathers.

Any fool can be a Father, but it takes a real man to be a Daddy!!
Fathers Day Quote by: Philip Whitmore Snr

"The most important thing a father can do
for his children is to love their mother."
Fathers Day Quote by: Unknown

"Father I will always be
that same boy who stood by the sea
and watched you tower over me
now I'm older I wanna be the same as you"
Fathers Day Quote by: Yellowcard

A father is someone that
holds your hand at the fair
makes sure you do what your mother says
holds back your hair when you are sick
brushes that hair when it is tangled because mother is too busy
lets you eat ice cream for breakfast
but only when mother is away
he walks you down the aisle
and tells you everythings gonna be ok
Fathers Day Quote by: Unknown

My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say,
"You're tearing up the grass." "We're not raising grass," Dad would reply. "We're raising
boys." Fathers Day Quote by: Harmon Killebrew

One father is more than a hundred Schoolmasters.
Fathers Day Quote by: George Herbert, Outlandish Proverbs, 1640

Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope.
Fathers Day Quote by: Bill Cosby

It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons.
Fathers Day Quote by: Johann Schiller

A father carries pictures where his money used to be.
Fathers Day Quote by: Unknown

The Father of the Bide
My husband our oldest daughter on her wedding day.

Blessed indeed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him father!
Fathers Day Quote by: Lydia M. Child, Philothea: A Romance, 1836

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.
Fathers Day Quote by: Mark Twain, "Old Times on the Mississippi" Atlantic Monthly, 1874

Old as she was, she still missed her daddy sometimes.
Fathers Day Quote by: Gloria Naylor

It kills you to see them grow up. But I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn't.
Fathers Day Quote by: Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams

It would seem that something which means poverty, disorder and violence every single day
should be avoided entirely, but the desire to beget children is a natural urge.
Fathers Day Quote by: Phyllis Diller

Spread the diaper in the position of the diamond with you at bat. Then fold second base down to home and set the baby on the pitcher's mound. Put first base and third together, bring up home plate and pin the three together. Of course, in case of rain, you gotta call the game and start all over again.
Fathers Day Quote by: Jimmy Piersal, on how to diaper a baby, 1968

He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.
Fathers Day Quote by: Clarence Budington Kelland

Don't make a baby if you can't be a father.
Fathers Day Quote by: National Urban League Slogan

Father of the Groom
My husband with our son on his wedding day.

He who is taught to live upon little owes more to his father's wisdom than he who has a great deal left him does to his father's care.
Fathers Day Quote by: William Penn

By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong.
Fathers Day Quote by: Charles Wadworth

Small boys become big men through the influence of big men who care about small boys.
Fathers Day Quote by: Unknown

It is a wise father that knows his own child.
Fathers Day Quote by: William Shakespeare

The father who does not teach his son his duties is equally guilty with the son who neglects them.
Fathers Day Quote by: Confucius

Fathers, like mothers, are not born. Men grow into fathers and fathering is a very important stage in their development.
Fathers Day Quote by: David Gottesman

I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection.
Fathers Day Quote by: Sigmund Freud

When a father gives to his son, both laugh; when a son gives to his father, both cry.
Fathers Day Quote by: Jewish Proverb

You fathers will understand. You have a little girl. She looks up to you. You're her oracle. You're her hero. And then the day comes when she gets her first permanent wave and goes to her first real party, and from that day on, you're in a constant state of panic.
Fathers Day Quote by: Stanley T. Banks in the movie 'Father of the Bride'

My husband with our two youngest daughters, daddy's girls!

There must always be a struggle between a father and son, while one aims at power and the other at independence.
Fathers Day Quote by: Samuel Johnson

A man never stands as tall as when he kneels to help a child.
Fathers Day Quote by: Knights of Pythagoras

"When a child is born, a father is born. A mother is born, too of course, but at least for her it's a gradual process. Body and soul, she has nine months to get used to what's happening. She becomes what's happening. But for even the best-prepared father, it happens all at once. On the other side of a plate-glass window, a nurse is holding up something roughly the size of a loaf of bread for him to see for the first time.
Fathers Day Quote by: Frederick Buechner, 'Whistling in the Dark'

I watched a small man with thick calluses on both hands work fifteen and sixteen hours a day. I saw him once literally bleed from the bottoms of his feet, a man who came here uneducated, alone, unable to speak the language, who taught me all I needed to know about faith and hard work by the simple eloquence of his example.
Fathers Day Quote by: Mario Cuomo

My father was a statesman, I'm a political woman.
My father was a saint. I'm not.
Fathers Day Quote by: Indira Gandhi

4 years: My Daddy can do anything!
7 years: My Dad knows a lot…a whole lot.
8 years: My father does not know quite everything.
12 years: Oh well, naturally Father does not know that either.
14 years: Oh, Father? He is hopelessly old-fashioned.
21 years: Oh, that man-he is out of date!
25 years: He knows a little bit about it, but not much.
30 years: I must find out what Dad thinks about it.
35 years: Before we decide, we will get Dad's idea first.
50 years: What would Dad have thought about that?
60 years: My Dad knew literally everything!
65 years: I wish I could talk it over with Dad once more.
Fathers Day Quote by: Unknown

It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father.
Fathers Day Quote by: Pope John XXIII

Noble fathers have noble children.
Fathers Day Quote by: Euripides

One night a father overheard his son pray: Dear God, Make me the kind of man my Daddy is. Later that night, the Father prayed, Dear God, Make me the kind of man my son wants me to be.
Fathers Day Quote by: Unknown

When I was a kid, my father told me every day, 'You're the most wonderful boy in the world, and you can do anything you want to.'
Fathers Day Quote by: Jan Hutchins

I talk and talk and talk, and I haven't taught people in 50 years what my father taught by example in one week.
Fathers Day Quote by: Mario Cuomo

"Train up a child in the way which he should go
and when he is old he will not depart from it"
Fathers Day Quote by: Proverbs 22:6

Friday, June 19, 2009

Jungle Golf

Golf on the Air Strip

The Founding Members of

"The Chajuraña Country Club"

My husband started this tradition of golfing on our airstrip. Soon, we had pilots dropping in to 'drive' a few of their own. We even had Chajuraña Country Club T-shirts made up for all the 'members'. The main event was the Semana Santa Open ( Easter Week).

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Immigration in Paraguay

We just returned from spending the morning down town at the Immigration office. I always get a sick feeling when I have to got to Immigration. I dread it because we had so many terrible experiences in Venezuela. In 20 years, I only had one identity card that was actually current.

Nothing could ever be done without paying a special 'fee'. In the early years the fees were reasonable but towards the end, it was not uncommon for them to be hundreds of dollars for each person. Smugly asked for by someone in red with a poster of HIS HIGHNESS HUGO on the wall behind him.

So far, here in Paraguay, we have paid ZERO bribes or 'fees'. And today...we received our Carnets showing our status as Permanent Immigrants. We do not even have to renew it! It's really permanent!

Paraguay has a bad reputation as being one of the most corrupt countries in South America, and I suppose it may be true. It seems the corruption is higher up in the corparate level and politcs, but for the avergae man on the street, Venezuela is MUCH worse.

Just wanted to let you know we are thrilled to have this process finished!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sweep away the Flaws

The broom pictured in my post yesterday does indeed serve it's intended purpose. It is mainly used as an outdoor broom to clean patios and yards. I have noticed that Paraguayans tend to keep a very neat yard even when they live in a humble home.

While mentioning this to my neighbor, she shared a Guarani 'wives tale' with me. It seems that the mothers and grand mothers are always telling the young girls to do a thorough sweeping of the yard, porch, and house.

This sweeping needs to be done in a methodical, meticulous manner because it will effect the future of the young lady. A girl needs to be extremely cautious while sweeping so as not to leave behind any litter or dust bunnies because each one left behind represents a flaw in her future husband.

So a lazy, careless girl will undoubtedly end up married to a man with many character flaws, where as a diligent girl will find herself betrothed to a nearly flawless man.

No wonder my neighbor's daughter gets up early and sweeps the yard almost every day. Even the sidewalk! Her husband will certainly be a saint! Personally, I am not so sure I would enjoy being married to a perfect man. I would probably leave a few dust bunnies just to make sure my future husband had a little 'rascal' left in him!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Things I See...

A Paraguayan handmade broom.

(Very 'green'!)

(Photo was taken by my oldest daughter.)

Swiffer anyone?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Corner Fruit Stand

My daughter took this photo of the fresh fruit
sold on nearly every corner.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Personal Update

Bear with me...

My children will be leaving on Sunday for the US. My oldest daughter, Jackie, (Keepin' Sane with Littles) and her family are going for a 10 month furlough, so I won't be seeing these faces for awhile! They will be based out of Nashua,New Hampshire and I am excited for my two grand daughters to be able to get to know their other grand parents. But I will miss them!

Jewel is headed off to Florida in hopes of finding work for the summer before she begins college next semester. Pray she can find a job!

My blogging will be sporadic for the next few days. I have not had time to visit your blogs. After the kids are off, I will have more time to make my regular rounds on the blogasphere. Right now, I am just trying to soak up as much time with them as possible!

In the mean time:

Historical figure dress up day.
We dressed up as individuals who were on our time line.
Can you guess who we all are supposed to be?

Mrs. C said...

OK, I was going to guess Sacajawea and Laura Ingalls. Your husband is David Livingstone. :]

Clint is David Livingstone, I am Sacajawea. Jewel is Laura Ingalls and Jayde is Carrie Ingalls. Josh chose to be Lou Gehrig. Jackie is Anna Leonowens.

Dani Joy said...
" Free as a Bird."

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The Things I See

In April I posted about a big storm we had which brought volcanic ash all the way from Chile and dumped it on us here in Asuncion. The storm had such heavy winds it knocked out my internet tower.

A friend of mine across town was able to capture the storm in this photo.

You must remember it was midday!

Another friend took this photo of their pool after the ash had been dumped in it.
The pool went from clear to black in a matter of minutes.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Creating Curiosity

You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.
~Clay P. Bedford

(My kids called these 'Science Experiences' rather than experiments.)

This has long been my goal for my children. Although I have always home schooled my children, this philosophy could be implemented in any home by any parent. Many teachers do try to do the same in the traditional classroom setting.

This explains my personal suspicion of all packaged curriculum or the thinking that what works for one child will work for all. Every child is so very unique and born with different tastes and interests. If the parent, or teacher, can tap into this natural curiosity and direct it into a system of study, you will find an eager, willing student.

When my children were very young we would read aloud every day and they usually chose the books from which we would read. Of course I made sure to purchase books worth reading and looking at. A professor in college directed me to the book, 'Honey for a Child's Heart' by Gladys Hunt, and I found it very helpful in finding appropriate literature for each age group.

Reading aloud will open up great discussion even with a very young child. You will begin to see what captures their imagination and what subjects interest them. Take this natural curiosity a step further by implementing crafts or projects in relation to the books.

When my children were a bit older, early elementary age, I painted a time line on the wall of one of our back rooms. We began to add every event or person we discovered in our readings. Anyone who captured their attention or an event we read of, would be plotted on the time line. Young children do not always have a realistic grasp of time or sequence. This visual aid helped establish this in their minds for future use.

Another aspect of the time line was that we plotted all biblical characters as well as secular ones. In this way the children grew up realizing the Bible was a historical book with true events and happenings.

When we moved from that house into our mud hut, I was unable to repaint the time line and I found I needed something more compact and portable when we traveled in the states. I began a large notebook / 3 ring binder in which the children plotted their discoveries onto a time line which marched across the top of each page. We could add half sheets which did not cover the time line for additional notes or pictures to illustrate the events further. We also placed pocket envelopes in to hold actual specimens or larger objects which could not be pasted into the book.

Originally I had intended for each child to have their own Time Line book but found it hard to keep up with them all. I also noticed that by sharing the same book, the children would often become interested in the notations of events which had been placed there by one of their siblings. Their curiosity would be piqued and they would begin to want to learn more about it. I thought this was helpful and a wonderful means by which to expose them to new subjects. It also gave the children the opportunity to teach one another about their personal interests.

By adding in Art and Science activities to our time line we would discover some amazing things together and the children were constantly investigating on their own. This would explain some of the things I have found my children doing. Discoveries which often left me amazed at what they were capable to do by themselves, such as nearly creating a workable rocket in the middle of the jungle.

Josh sharing with his sisters something he discovered in his science studies.

Study time.

Historical figure dress up day.
We dressed up as individuals who were on our time line.
Can you guess who we all are supposed to be?

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Happy Anniversary

My son and his wife are celebrating their first anniversary today.

Check out the wedding photos HERE!

Well, Naomy, too late now!
You are officially part of the crazy Vernoy family!

Any words of advice or encouragement you would like to share
with the happy couple?

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Cultural Blunders

Tonight is the couples Home Bible Study we have here at our house each week. I have a big job ahead of me tonight. I have to make up for a grave mistake I committed last week.

Last week I decided to serve some crackers and cheese, bread sticks and dips as well as cake and quesillo.

Apparently, this is a big NO-NO!

Paraguayans do not eat savory and sweet at the same time as it will make them sick and they may even die from it! The only thing more dangerous would be to eat watermelon at the wrong time. I can never quite pin them down on when it is safe to eat watermelon and when it is deadly, so I will not serve watermelon to a Paraguayan. EVER!

Tonight, I will not give them anything savory. No bread!

Let them eat cake!

Send Out Cards

A friend of mine recently made me aware of this great service she is able to provide. If you are an ex-pat like me, you will instantly see how useful this resource can be.


Send out cards is an online service to create professional, personalized post cards and greeting cards. There are over 15,000 designs to choose from. You can personalize it with your own handwriting and insert your own photos. You can even choose from a large variety of gifts to send along with your card.

The best thing is that you ‘CLICK IT AND FORGET IT.’ all of your cards will be printed, stuffed, addressed, stamped and mailed for you. All for as little at $1.00 per card. Never lick another stamp or envelope. Never miss another birthday, anniversary or other occasion with the online calendar and reminder system. No matter where you are. As long as you have internet access. Try it out for free! Send someone a card today and make them feel special. https://www.sendoutcards.com/tlccards4him

How many times have you wanted to send a card to a loved one for their birthday, or a special occasion ,but lived in a place where you could not find an English card or possibly even a way to mail one?

Even though I am now living in a major South American city I still have this problem and tend to resort to email and e-cards but wish for something more personal. I have some elderly friends and family that do not have email addresses and so I am unable to send them even that.

As a missionary, I need to send many thank you notes and have had the bad experience of my notes getting lost in the international mail, leaving the person I wished to thank totally unaware of my gratitude. This service would eliminate that possibility and at a very affordable price.

You must check it out!