Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Filosofía del tereré...

El tereré no es una bebida…
Bueno, sí. Es un líquido y entra por la boca.
Pero no es una bebida.
En el Paraguay nadie toma tereré porque tenga sed.
...Es más bien una costumbre, como rascarse.

El tereré es exactamente lo contrario que la televisión.
Te hace conversar si estás con alguien, y te hace pensar cuando estás solo.
Cuando llega alguien a tu casa la primera frase es hola y la segunda ¿Tereré?

Esto pasa en todas las casas. En la de los ricos y en la de los pobres.
Pasa entre mujeres serias o chismosas, y pasa entre hombres serios o inmaduros.
Pasa entre los viejos de un geriátrico o entre los adolescentes mientras estudian.
Es lo único que comparten los padres y los hijos sin discutir ni echarse nada en cara.
Colorados y liberales ceban tereré sin preguntar.
En verano y en invierno.
Es lo único en lo que nos parecemos las víctimas y los verdugos.
Los buenos y los hijos de…
Cuando tenés un hijo, le empezás a dar tereré cuando lo pide, y se sienten grandes.
Sentís un orgullo enorme cuando ese enanito de tu sangre empieza a tomarlo.
Que se te sale el corazón del cuerpo.
Después ellos, con los años, elegirán si tomarlo solo, con yuyos o con un chorrito de limón.

Cuando conocés a alguien por primera vez, siempre decís, si querés venite a casa vamos a tomar tereré.
La gente pregunta, cuando no hay confianza: ¿con limón, muy frío o no tanto?
El otro responde: Como tomes vos.
Los teclados de las computadoras tienen las letras llenas de yerba.
La yerba es lo único que hay siempre, en todas las casas.
Siempre. Con inflación, con hambre, con democracia o no, con cualquiera de nuestras pestes y maldiciones eternas.
Y si un día no hay yerba, un vecino tiene y te la da, de onda le pedís y está todo bien.
La yerba no se le niega a nadie.

Éste es el único país del mundo en donde la decisión de dejar de ser un chico y empezar a ser un hombre ocurre un día en particular. Nada de pantalones largos, circuncisión, universidad o vivir lejos de los padres.

Acá empezamos a ser grandes el día que tenemos la necesidad de tomar por primera vez un tereré, solos.

No es casualidad. No es porque sí.
El día que un chico toma su primer tereré sin que haya nadie en casa, en ese minuto, es porque ha descubierto que tiene alma.
O estas muerto de amor, o algo: pero no es un día cualquiera.
Ninguno de nosotros nos acordamos del día en que tomamos por primera vez un
tereré solos.
Pero debe haber sido un día importante para cada uno.
Por adentro hay revoluciones…
El sencillo tereré es nada más y nada menos que una demostración de valores.
Es la solidaridad de bancar esa yerba lavada porque la charla es buena, la charla, no el tereré.
Es el respeto por los tiempos para hablar y escuchar, vos hablas mientras el otro toma y viceversa.
Es la sinceridad para decir, cambiá la yerba, o arreglálo un poco.
Es el compañerismo hecho momento.
Es el cariño para preguntar, estúpidamente, ¿está rico, no?
Es la modestia de quien ceba el mejor tereré.
Es la generosidad de dar hasta el final.
Es la hospitalidad de la invitación.
Es la justicia de uno por uno.
Es la obligación de decir gracias, al menos una vez al día.
Es la actitud ética, franca y leal de encontrarse sin mayores pretensiones más que compartir.

Ahora vos sabes, un tereré no es sólo un tereré.
Andá preparando el agua, que voy para allá.

Autor: un paraguayo.

Monday, September 27, 2010


(The following was written by my youngest daughter Jayde.

Let me just warn you that she is quite the character!)

Shichas. They are horrible little creatures, and I haven't the faintest idea why God invented them but He must have had a reason.

These little shichas were little tiny flea-like bugs that lived in dirt and would climb into your foot and make a nest of baby shichas IN YOUR FOOT. The only way to get rid of one, was to poke it out with a needle. This, as you can probably imagine, hurt. And the fact that I ran around bare-foot, made me come home with little nature presents in my feet nearly every day.

Mom was the shicha remover. She was the mom, thus, she had needles and therefore, was the one who dealt with the problem. She would await us in the room, like she wasn't happy to have the privilege of holding our jungle feet and picking disgusting shichas out of our foot. What an honor! I can't imagine why she wouldn't be thrilled...

It would start with HER. Spotting us limping as casually as we could manage, (which wasn't very discreet.) The shichas ITCHED LIKE YOU WOULDN'T BELIEVE while they were in your foot. They squirmed around and built nests all inside your foot. So, trying to walk in a casual manner was NOT as easy as it may sound.

We weren't overjoyed to have someone pick at our feet. It hurt and tickled at the same time, if you can imagine that. Dad was the funniest whenever he had a shicha in his foot. It was family-time. We'd all gather around as Mom prepared the foot. She would place it on her lap, needle in hand, and one of us kids holding the Somergan lotion. Somergan would kill the little devil, hiding in our foot. Mostly what mom would do was poke a big hole and DOUSE the fellow with Somergan.

Dad would sit there. Holding on to something. Usually he clutched the chair so hard that we all feared it might fall apart.

"Ready?" Mom would ask.


"OOkaay.." And with that, she could pierce the needle into my Dad's foot and--

"YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! OUCH OUCH OUCH!" He would yelp, and he would move, and Mom had to point out that if he moved again, it would hurt him even more.

Dad sat still for maybe two more minutes as Mom poked and prodded around in his foot. If he had a nest in his foot this process could take hours. We would beg Mom to leave it alive.

We kids were evil to them. Once we took them out, we'd steal Mom's needle, the Somergan, the matches and begin the torture. We hated shichas. They made us look like idiots for scratching our feet during Sunday service. It was FINE if the Indians did it, but if we did it, Mom would take us out of church and home and then pick it out and we'd go back to church feeling relieved.

One night, we had an experiment. We wanted to see just how tough Demon, (that's what we named it) was. We filled a cup with water. He swam around. He was smaller than a flea. Then he JUMPED out of the cup and we dashed for him. We didn't want to kill it, because we weren't done playing with it yet. Josh finally caught him, digging into our cat's tail. The cat took care of it, and then my brother Josh pried it away from Maxine. He held it in a napkin.

Next we burned it. Over the gas stove, we speared it with the needle and roasted him like a marshmallow. Only...we didn't eat it.

We tried soaking it in a bowl of Somergan, and we tried to flush it down the toilet. The toilet worked, and we had to go to bed.

The next day, someone, I won't say who, used the restroom and ...well...we'll leave it at that.

We enjoyed shichas. Part of life. And we dealt with them appropriately and enthusiastically!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Why Christ died upon the Cross

What is the true meaning behind the death of Christ upon the Cross?

First we must understand the truth of the human condition before we can understand the need for the death of Christ. Why would God sacrifice his innocent Son for the sins of the human race?

We can all look at the world around us today, at the past history of mankind, and see that something is terribly wrong. Also, on an individual basis we see sin in our daily life. Sins of compromising, sins of neglect, sins of betrayal, and on and on. We find ourselves excusing these in ourselves, but rarely in others! In this way we do not acknowledge our part in the evils of the world. Our sins are minimized and considered 'human' and we do not see our own complicity in the world's evil.

Christ's death on the Cross forces us to confront the ugly reality of our individual sins. If my sins are so small and insignificant, why did the very Son of God have need to die upon the cross to provide forgiveness for ME??? This is the real 'Inconvenient Truth' of this world.

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23

By comprehending the Cross, we are faced with the knowledge that we are judged by a higher standard than ourselves or even of others. The Scripture tells us we are measured by our Creator. God, being just, can not excuse our sin. Sin requires a payment and that payment was paid on the Cross by the Son of God. He is our atonement. The death of Christ on the Cross shows us the severity and seriousness of our personal sin.

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

If we refuse to see our sins for what they are, that God requires this atonement of us, we are saying that we can personally make things right in our own way. We need to remember the need of redemption. Today many people have forgotten that redemption is about sin and guilt. It is not about feeling good about ourselves.

The death of Christ on the Cross shows us that we are not in any way able to provide our own redemption. Christ as the Lamb of God was the only one capable of paying this sin debt as he was the only one sinless. He had to take our place. THE INNOCENT DIED FOR THE GUILTY. He alone could redeem humankind from our sin debt.

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name (Jesus) under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Act 4:12) And he (Jesus) is the propitiation (payment) for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (1John 2:2)

Thus, the Cross is God's reminder to us of our sin condition. We are offended by it in today's culture, but it was just as offensive when it happened! 2000 years ago, they knew that crucifixion was a terrible way to die, made even more so by the death of an innocent man.

The truth... our sin was judged, we could not make it right ourselves, God provided the substitute for our atonement, His only begotten Son! Because he loved us.

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

And that is the inconvenient truth of the matter! But for the love of God, we would all be condemned. Because of his great love for us, we all have a way of escape from the eternal consequences of our sins.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Eph 2:8)

And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (Act 16:31)

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (Romans 10:9)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Facebook Friday


  I am able to get into trouble in so many ways without even trying! I should get points for all the times I don't say or do things that would knowingly get me into trouble!


I wonder what it means when we hear 8 gun shots very near ( two lots down the road) and just get up and close the door, never missing a word in our conversation... 


 We have a clause in our rent contract here saying we are not allowed to store explosives in our house...


Clint is getting on a 1 am bus for Asuncion. He has a board meeting tomorrow
and then will head right back here to Ciudad del Este on another bus. Keep praying we get our car back soon.


Jayde just finished her FINAL Chemistry test. I will never, ever have to look at Chemistry again!


Trying to recall what it was like to have a car...


‎"If Thomas Jefferson thought taxation without representation was bad, he should see how it is with representation." ~ Rush

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Two Spirits

One bright day in the jungle I found myself in conversation with one of the elders of the village. We were looking for a bit of shade to stand in as we waited for an emergency medical flight and he glanced to the ground where we both had cast our shadows.

He looked to me and pointed at the shadows saying,"There is one of your spirits." I was intrigued why he phrased it in this way and asked him how many spirits did I have. He chuckled a bit at my ignorance but then proceeded to teach me .

"Dita, we all have two spirits. The one you see today in the sunlight is your 'body spirit'. On a bright moonlit night, you may also cast a shadow, but that is your 'soul spirit'."

I had to ask, Coco, (grand father) what was the difference between the two spirits. He patiently explained to me that the 'body spirit' is like our brain or our intelligence. It exists for survival and is what decides our daily lives. The 'soul spirit' is what we use to understand that which we can not see. When a person dies, his 'body spirit' ceases to exist, but the 'soul spirit' of a good person will continue forever.

"The problem is", he said, "trying to be good enough to keep the 'soul spirit' alive!"

He is right. That is problematic!

I was then able to share with Coco that God had indeed created us with an everlasting 'soul spirit'. Not only was this true, but God also understood that we humans were not capable of being good enough on our own. That is why God, Wanaadi, sent his Son, Jesuuquidito to earth to redeem our 'soul spirits' that they might live forever with Him in paradise.

Book Review - Growing Up Yanomamö | SharperIron

Book Review - Growing Up Yanomamö | SharperIron

Monday, September 20, 2010

Iglesia Bautista SIN FRONTERAS

 A few candid shots from our home last night. After the Bible study we had a time of food and fellowship. It is fun to see God forming a group of believers into a local church.

 A Brazilian friend prepared a typical Brazilian sweet called  'brigadeiro'.

Its a bit like a smooth fudge shared in small spoonfuls at a time.
A bit of HAPPINESS in a bowl!
How have I spent an entire life unaware of such a simple delight!

I was afraid these three were not going to let it out of the kitchen at all.

But they did share with the rest of us eventually.

Abbie and I were very happy to receive ours!

Brian and the guys gabbing.

Sasha playing the guitar

Now its Jayde's turn to play

The girls still hoarding the chocolate!

Eu amo brigadeiro

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Faith is the mother of virtues. Faith is the fire which consumes sacrifice. Faith is the water which nurtures the root of piety. If you have not faith, all your graces must die. And in proportion as your faith increases, so will all your virtues be strengthened, not all in the same proportion, but all in some degree.

- ...Charles H. Spurgeon

Friday, September 17, 2010

Facebook Friday


Busy weekend with no car. Started Friday with afternoon and evening classes at the CCPA. Saturday morning classes and Clint's teaching an afternoon Mission class at a nearby Bible Institute. Jayde's all night camp out with trip to Itiapu zoo. Clint's preaching this AM and our home Bible study tonight followed by food and fellowship.



Just as I was serving up the pabellon for our guests BOOM! goes the transformer. Had to get out all the candles.




I can't believe it has come to this!  ( The fact that I am doing the Cabbage Soup Diet after swearing, 2 yrs ago, I would never ever eat cabbage again!)



A Paraguayan friend told me he has a cousin living somewhere in Venezuela. He can't remember the name of the town because," Venezuelan names are so odd!" This from a man who lives in a country with places named ~ Guairá, Caaguazú, Caazapá, Itapúa, Paraguari, Ñeembucú, Amambay, Canindeyú, Presidente Hayes... among others.


Clint spent the morning preparing the Jovenes Embajadores for their trip to the US.



JAYDE~: "Mom, don't we need to do history class?" 

ME~ "But JAAAYDE! I don't want to do any more school!"



I am now the grand mother of a FIVE year old! Happy Birthday Elena! Let's go eat some cake and open presents now.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Things I See...

My three grand daughters...

Baby Lexi

Happy Abbie

Big Girl Elena

These are a few of my favorite things!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thw Witch Doctor's Chant


At Maweda Shodi on the Maweda River, near Chajurana.

This was written a few years ago by my oldest daughter ,Jackie.

(Keepin' Sane with Littles )

We were preparing to leave for furlough. We had furlough fever, more commonly known as Furloughitis. The symptoms of furloughitis involve cravings (for everything you can't get in Venezuela, but will be eating shorty in a matter of two months) such as Double Stuffed Oreos (my dad's favorite) Strawberry Pop Tarts (mom) Bagels and Cream cheese (me). Along with the usual Snickers, Olive Garden bread sticks, and Big Mac. Furloughitis also involves the hurried frenzy of taking all those last minute pictures for the slide presentation. You have no idea how many missionary pictures are "posed."

"Hey, Tito, can you pretend like you're making a canoe, please??"


"So I can take a picture"

"I don't need to make a canoe."

"I know....just pretend."

"You've seen me make a canoe before."

"Right....but I didn't take a picture....I told myself I would take one later."

"But I only need one canoe. How many canoes did you think I was going to make?"


My parents had the brilliant idea of recording a witch doctor's chant for the background music. My parents had a lot of brilliant ideas, usually at the expense of their children's lives. As my dad would put it, "We're young. We can have more kids if we loose one!"

Now, the witch doctor is a little old man, who wears a loin cloth constantly and occasionally puts on a shirt for special occasions. Such as coming to our house. He wasn't "creepy" in any way, or hostile, unless he was 'working' then he could give you goose bumps. He moved across the river to get away from all the people. He said Chajudana was too crowded, a bustling metropolis of 500 people. He slept in a hammock next to his dad's skull....yeah, that was creepy. I think over all though, he was more scared of us than we were of him. He thought we were way creepier I'm sure.

One day the perfect opportunity to get the background chant arose. The witch doctor was only a few houses away chanting over a sick woman. So my dad decides to send my brother (about ten years old at the time I guess) with small hand held recorder over. He told him to stand by the door, push record and stick the recorder inside the door. Just a few minutes is all I need, he said. Josh was TERRIFIED. The witch doctor was chanting, screaming, shouting, growling like a bear (all can be perfectly imitated by my brother now.) Josh told my dad he was scared, and it was creepy...and why didn't he do it. The answer was, "I'm too busy right now." But we all know he was just as creeped out! :D

My dad told Josh, "Don't worry son. You're under the Blood. Nothing is going to affect you. Now go."

My sisters and I walked with Josh to the house....well, we stopped about ten feet away and made him go by himself the rest of the way. He was muttering under his breath the whole time, "I'm under the Blood. I'm under the Blood." We watched as he stood against the outside of the house, and poked his hand with the recorder in the doorway. He recorded for a few actuality it was about ten seconds, and bolted towards us. As he was running towards us, the pastor's son, who knew we were all creeped out by the chanting, had climbed a tree that grew in the path, and just as Josh ran under it, jumped down and screamed like a panther. My brother is a white boy, but I had never seen him so pale as that day!

Josh returned the recorder triumphantly, my dad said it wasn't a lot of chanting on the tape, but it would have to do. Relieved to be all done with that horrendous task, we all went back to our school work.

If you ever see my parents slides from that furlough, listen closely to the chanting in the background. I'm almost sure you can hear "I'm under the Blood" being whispered!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The hunger for the transcendent remains unabated.

"In spite of the varied and willful attempts made by antitheistic thinkers to undermine the spiritual and to thrust it into the arena of the irrational, or at best deem it a private matter, the hunger for the transcendent remains unabated. After nearly two decades of crisscrossing the globe and lecturing at numerous campuses around the world, it is evident to me that the yearning for the spiritual just will not die. In fact, at virtually every engagement I have found the auditorium filled to capacity and the appreciative response quite overwhelming, even in antagonistic settings. There is no clearer demonstration of this unrelenting hunger than the experiences of Russia and China as each has in its own way tried to exterminate the idea of God, only to realize that He rises up to outlive His pallbearers." -- Ravi Zacharias

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Where were you on that day?

I remember that day. We were in the jungle and had just completed a very intense medical clinic among the indians, both Ye'kwana and Sanema. We were hosting, in our jungle hut, two missionary families as well as 8 medical missionaries who had come from the US on a short missions trip. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists and dentists. Just regular Christian folk trying to do some good for the poor and underprivileged of this world, as taught by our Lord.

The clinic ended on September 10th, and the 11th was travel day for the Americans to return, via 3 mission planes, to the town of Puerto Ayacucho where they would catch a flight to Caracas and then on to the US.

We awoke and had breakfast as planned and began the job of weighing everyone and their luggage to decide how best to disburse the weight among the three Cessna planes as we could only take off from our short airstrip with a limited payload.

The first MAF plane arrived early, as planned and the pilot came up to the house where we talked over the planned flights for the day. He and my husband then began to prep the plane for a cargo only flight. As he taxied to the end of our airstrip to prepare for take off, he placed his radio call into the mission base at Puerto Ayacucho for flight following. He slowly taxied back and began to walk up the hill towards our house.

He entered the house where we were all laughing and joking about our week. He was white and shaky and said, "The US is under attack! Two planes have hit the Twin Towers and one has hit the Pentagon!"

We all stared at him in disbelief! How could this be? He said he needed to sit and get himself together before he tried to take off.

We all began talking. We had no TV, no radio, except the short wave radio, no way to find out any information. We called Puerto Ayacucho by radio to see if they had more news for us and were told of the plane crash in Pennsylvania. They also told us that all air traffic was closed down into and out of the states. Our American friends became very uncomfortable when as they realized they could not get home!

I remember wondering how I could continue to feed so many people indefinitely. There are no grocery stores in the jungle and we had a LOT of stomachs to feed. I put water on to boil for some pasta not knowing how many people I would need to feed or for how long.

The visitors became very upset at not being able to communicate with their family and friends and we decided to continue with the plan to fly them all to Puerto Ayacucho where they would at least be able to phone home and view cable news.

As we waited for all the flights, one of the visiting doctors, a Lebanese-American, listening to all of our consternation at this vile attack on our country, said, "Welcome to the real world!" Her comment was not well received by all at the table, but she had a point. She told us how as a child growing up in Lebanon, her family said good bye every morning not knowing if they would ever see one another again. She was raised as a Christian in Lebanon and terror was a part of her daily life. She said we Americans, needed to ,"Grow up!" She was right and on that day many of us did.

We ended up having 5 planes land and take off from our strip that September day in the Amazon jungle. I remember Clint looking at me as the last one took off and saying, "Do you realize we just had more flights here than in the entire US today?"

We would not see video of the towers falling for 2 more weeks.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The Things I See ...

When I spy on my daughter's Facebook page...

Arts and Crafts?

OH NO! This can't be good...

I pay tuition for this ???

And she tries to act all innocent!

Monday, September 06, 2010

How to mess up your kids...

I often worried over the fact that my children were growing up in a different culture than my own. Twenty five years later I do not know why this even bothered me, but at the time it seemed they might be forever scarred and labeled as misfits of the planet. Which they may well be, but that can be a good thing in this day and age!

Growing up in the jungle among a tribal people with a completely non Western world view was bound to have some impact upon their psyche, right?

You could say that!

This would often be displayed by the innocent things they would say or do never suspecting it was not normal in their own 'culture'.

Like the time my 12 year old son informed me that if his wife ever behaved like 'so and so' he would spank her! After all, that was the way Ye'kwana men dealt with their wives. We had a very long discussion about that and I am sure he has never spanked his wife.

Then there was the time we were in Caracas and needed to travel across the city by using the subway. Jewel was 6 years old at the time and as we walked down the stairs leading into the underground subway system, she freaked out! I was a little freaked out myself because the subways are very dangerous in Caracas, but this child was terrorized.

Finally, we got it out of her. Did we not realize we were dragging her into the underworld? The terrible place where evil reigned and people entered but never returned! Every Ye'kwana indian above the age of 2 knew of this awful place and we were dragging her into it. That took another several hours long discussion to set straight. I think she knows it is not true now...I think...

My oldest daughter watched all her friends get married young. Very young, like 12 - 14 years old. Is it a wonder she was married at 18? Is it not logical that she would choose to have her babies be born at home with only her husband in attendance? She uses the Ye'kwana hammock method to deliver. She had one baby in a hospital in Costa Rica, but to hear her tell of it, she was tortured and will never purposely submit herself to that again.

My youngest daughter thought the village was the world. The entire universe. She thought everyone ate worms and monkeys. She knew her familial relationship to everyone in the tribe. She even thought the rainbow was her cousin for awhile...

Saturday, September 04, 2010

The Things I See...

Our Dining Room

Looking towards the kitchen

Looking into the living room
(my plate collection from some of the countries I have visited)

The cabinet 
(I want to paint it orange)

 My son's Rocking Horse from Venezuela 
and the little red rocking chair my grand father made for me when I was a child.

The Wedding  Wall

One day I will learn to take beautiful photos like my daughter!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Proof of Life

This proof of life message is being allowed by the benevolent goodness of the government run phone company monopoly  which controls all internet access in the country I live in. We are alive and well. When the "independent" companies ... "fees"... are all paid we should be able to communicate again.