Monday, April 30, 2007

I Have Been Tagged!

Three Meme

1. Things that scare you:

-small airplanes!



2. People that make me laugh:

-my husband

-my son

-Tim Conway

-3. Things I hate the most:


-loud mouth women! YUCK!

-sissy guys!

4. Things I don't understand:




5. Things I'm doing right now:


-drinking coffee

eating pineapple with banana

6. Things I want to do before I die:

-visit Chajudaña

-visit Israel

-finish my scrapbooks!

7. Things I can do:

-live without running water

-put in GI feeding tubes

-stitch wounds

8. Ways to describe my personality:



-sassy as can be!

9. Things I cannot do:

-kill a mouse

-run a marathon

-vote for a democrat

10. Things I think you should listen to:

-the still small voice of God

-my husband

-my children

11. Things you should not listen to:

- Whining!

-CNN (The same as above! Whining!)

-Chavista propaganda

12. Things I'd like to learn:

-to be more organized

-to sew

-to be a better friend

13. Favorite foods:

-Torta Tres Leches

-Pot roast

14. Beverages I drink regularly:

-diet coke


15. Shows I watched as a kid:

-The Brady bunch

-Gilligan's Island

-The big Valley

16. Three persons to tag:

_ groovyoldlady

Saturday, April 28, 2007

My Preacher Boy

If you have the time to listen, this is a 20 minute sermon my son preached at his church in Tampa a few weeks ago. He is developing his preaching skills as he studies Pastoral Ministries at Florida Baptist College. He is a sophomore.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Importance of Life

I have recently been reading Peter's blog. He works in the NICU and lives in Scotland. He writes amazing poetry, something I enjoy reading but have never been able to write. He has allowed me to share this poem with you all, but make sure and check out his blog for even more!



Only when I dream
Can I see your pain
Of the darkness from within
The hurt of your tears
Drip slowly from your face
As eye contact prevails.

Only when I dream
Do I feel the cold needle
Gently protrude your skin
And the blood flows
From within.

Only when I dream
Are there shadows of
black and white
in this your tiny room
alone, oh so alone.

Only when I dream
Do I see your smile
The touch of your hand
As I watch over you
And pray yet again
For a new life
Created so beautifully
From such a dream.

By Peter © (2007)

*** Dedicated to “Life so Beautiful – NICU” ***

My Parents Are Aliens!

I am packing for our upcoming move and I have been going through all of the old school records and mementos of my four children. Yesterday, I ran across this short story that Jackie wrote for a creative writing assignment when she was in 7th grade! If you have raised children outside of the US, and especially in Latin America, you will get a chuckle or two out of this! The title is a "play" on the term "alien" used for foreign residents. ( as in illegal alien)

My Parents Are Aliens!

I had often wondered why my parents were so different. Not "different" exactly. I mean, I am different. I have always been different. I don't look like any of the members at my church, or even my friends. I am white, they are dark. I have blond hair, they don't. I have blue eyes, their's are brown.They all knew they are Venezuelan, I wasn't sure what I was!

Was I an American like my parents? Or Venezuelan like everyone else was around me? I can speak both languages, look American, but feel Venezuelan. Or do I feel American? Who knows? I finally settled with being an MK. (missionary kid)

Even though I am different, I am not like my parents. They are REALLY different! For example...holidays! Everyone knows that Independence Day is JULY 5th!! Everyone in Venezuela celebrates Independence Day on July 5th. Not my parents! They wear red, white, and blue, striped hats on July 4th!!!!

"What are you doing?", I would ask.
"It is Independence Day !!" they would shout gleefully!

I gently would remind them Independence day was the day AFTER the fourth. They laughed , and said,
"You are so Venezuelan!" and then they would have a BBQ?!?!?! During rainy season! A BBQ?

Then, as if having my parents running around in Red, White, and Blue, the day BEFORE Independence Day wasn't enough...They would have fireworks! Fireworks are for Christmas Eve and New Years Eve!! Not Independence Day! I just don't understand.

Then there is Thanksgiving. I have lost count of how many times I have tried to explain that to my Venezuelan friends! They had never heard of it. Plus, we ate Pumpkin Pie. The thought of eating pumpkin as something sweet makes me shudder. Pumpkin is a vegetable! For soup! It is NOT a desert!

And then there is Christmas! I have no idea where they get these traditions from. They always say to leave cookies and milk out, which the ants always eat! Then they want to go to bed early on Christmas Eve and get up to open gifts at 5:00 am! They really do! They open gifts at 5:00 am! Don't they know we are supposed to stay up all night on Christmas Eve and open the gifts at mid-night?!?! Why anyone would want to open gifts at 5:00 am is beyond me!

Instead of eating hallacas for supper on Christmas Eve, they have turkey for lunch the next day! Only they call it dinner, Christmas Dinner. If they have to go out and buy the turkey live, it is always turkey!

They talk about, "White Christmases". I have yet to figure out what that means and"caroling".
I made a great mistake one year! I asked what "caroling" was. They insisted they would show me. Then we went around my neighborhood and sang songs! By the time we got back, I was dripping with sweat and wanted an ice cold coke! I sat and listened to the Christmas Eve fireworks going off all around us in the hot December air. My parents sat and talked about how nice it would be to sit by a fire and drink Hot Cocoa!!! HUH??? Why would you sit by a hot fire and drink Hot Cocoa during one of the hottest months of the year?!?! I decided not to ask.

Yes, my parents certainly are one of a kind. And they still are. But now I know why! While looking at their passports one day, I found out that they are ...


It is shocking...but true!
At least now I have an explanation for the turkey, the striped hats, and caroling!

I wonder...what does my passport say inside it?


I am an ALIEN, too!!!

Now We are Talking!

Drink coffee to lose weight!

According to a study done by Vanderbilt University, a cup of coffee 30 minutes before a meal may cause you to have less of an appetite and eat less.

Also ,due to an enzyme, Xanthine, given off by HOT coffee, you may burn up to 5% more fat.

(It is also a natural beauty enhancer!)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A Missionary Moment

As I have mentioned before, my husband is doing a lot of traveling around the country presenting marriage conferences. He has been doing a lot of 2 day conferences on the weekends. The conferences have been very well attended and last weekend he was in nearby Quibor. The conference is called, "Amor Y Respeto" and based on the material of the book. "Love and Respect" If you can get the book, do so! He went to the Christian book store in our city today to pick up more of the books to take to his next conference and the sales girl said,
"OH , you are the guy who is promoting this book! We cant keep it on the shelves. Baptist keep coming in here to buy it because some gringo named CLINTON is teaching about it."

Next weekend we will be in Acarigua.

I am posting some pictures of last weekend's conference at one of our newer churches. Iglesia Bautista "La Roca". It is a few years old now and in the process of building. The pastor is a young man I have known since he was a child. He was one of my first Sunday School students.

He was a TERROR! He actually kicked me in the shins once during class! He used to make fun of my gringo accent. Now he is doing an excellent job in church planting and has a small Bible Institute at the church where my husband has been teaching on Saturdays. He is Pastor Luis Enrique Carriles... but to me he will always be KIKE (key-kay) the KICKER!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Jungle Mom gets Serious!!!!

It is time, I can no longer put it off!!!

So no more of this...

And a lot more of this...

And thank goodness for this...

Any helpful diet tips would be appreciated! (Well, maybe not appreciated but...useful!!)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Anger Management, Yanomami Style!

The Yanomami, as I have mentioned before, are a very violent people. They are often referred to as "The Fierce People". They have interesting ways of dealing with problems among their tribe.We lived beside a village of Sanema which is a sub group of the Yanomami tribe.

They are known for raiding each others villages to steal women. Well, actually girls. For this reason, the governments of the past tried to limit their access to rifles. Although this limited the amount of rifles somewhat, they always managed to find a few. They also can kill quite well without rifles as they are experts with their longbows, and blow guns. Recently there is more access to rifles.

They have different manners in which they deal with conflicts, depending on the amount of offense they have take from an action. If they are angry and words alone are not enough, they will have "chestpounds". The angry people will stand in the cleared center of the round house, or these days, on the soccer field, and began to throw themselves at one another in such a way as to THUMP chests. After several rounds of this, they may feel better, and that will be that!

If that is not enough, they may have a machete hacking session. The two, or more, angry people begin to beat one another with the sides of the machete. Inevitably, they will then begin to "hack" at one another's backs. We have had to stitch up backs that had been cut in this manner. Even women and children will sometimes do this.

The old ladies will yell and cheer on their clan and make such terrible noises! This is your first warning that a fight is coming! I never knew how the old ladies always found out first!

If the machete hack job doesn't quite take care of the issues, there will be a pole fight. This consists of two people at about 20 paces from one another, politely taking turns as they lift heavy poles and hit one another over the head with them!

WHACK! What an awful sound that makes! Believe it or not, they usually survive several rounds of this brutal treatment.

And of course, if things are still bad, there is always witchcraft and spells. Or even outright murder.

There is also a way to settle a dispute over who owns the girls. If there is a discussion and no one can agree as to whom the girl should belong to, they will have a girl pull. Each man will invite his family to be on his side. Then they each grab onto an arm or a leg of the girl in question and pull! Like tug of war, but the girl is the rope. The family members grab on to help the men pull with more force. This , obviously, causes pain to the girl, dislocations of shoulder, knees and hips. I have even heard of girls being pulled to their deaths.

Next time you wonder about the "pristine" indian cultures that some say should not be taught to change...just imagine you are a Yanomami girl!

What Would Jesus Do?

Friday, April 20, 2007

More Wedding Photos

Los Padrinos

Steven y Patricia Arce

the Wedding Singer

The Happy Couple
And the Cake

This would be my beautiful Jewel
going after the bouquet!
And she got it!

A Must See!

First Church Wedding in Chajudaña

This is my husband marrying a young couple in the village.

Traditionally, the Ye'kwana marry very young. Once a girl has her first menses and undergoes the horrific rite involved in that, ( I will post that on another day) she is available for marriage. The young man interested in having her as a wife, will begin to hunt and bring meat or fish to her father's home.

If his gifts are repeatedly accepted, he will have the courage to take it to the next level. One day he will come into the girl's home and tie up his hammock. When he returns, if the hammock is still hanging, he will move in to the girl's home. If he finds his hammock strings were cut by a machete and his hammock on the ground, he will know he is not an acceptable suitor.

This decision will be the father's ultimately, not the girl's!

After this co-habitation in the father's home, the village elders will sit and discuss the pairing of the two. There is much to consider! Are either from a line of strong witch doctors? If both are, the mating will be forbidden as it would produce a VERY strong witch doctor and that much power is too scary to contemplate!

Family lines must be reviewed. First cousins may marry but only if they are cross-cousins.
Cross-cousins are; The female cousins of the groom who are daughters of his mother's brothers,or daughters of his father's sisters! And the exact opposite for the bride.

This wedding was of Jeremias and his 13 year old bride who wanted to marry before God and the church. We had a reception of rice and sardines. Everyone brought gifts, such as, toilet paper, matches, candles, cans of tuna, fruit. Whatever anyone could spare.

A little different than our weddings, but a blessing to see them choose to honor God and making a vow before the church. The kiss was usually awkward or eliminated altogether, as indians do not kiss! For real! They do not consider it loving in any way and actually think it is GROSS!

So...all you married folks who are reading this... go gross out your spouse!!!:)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A Wedding...

Richard and Maria Teresa

I promised pictures of the wedding last week. The groom, Richard, is an Assistant Pastor at our church in charge of the youth group, ages 15-18. He is Jewel's teacher and they have about 80 teens in their class.

I knew him as a small child when we first arrived in Venezuela 20 years ago. It thrills my heart to see him active and serving in the church.

So here are the BEFORE pictures.
The girls are going to kill me if they see these!

And the AFTER pictures!


Jewel with escort, Oswaldo.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Getting To Know Me!

For all the new readers!

Everything you ever wanted to know
about Jungle Mom...
or not!

Why the name "Jungle Mom"?

Meet my husband , Yekwanaman!

Get to know my children!

A short summary of my blog!

Now you know me...Leave a comment so I can get to know you!

Un Relato Para Mis Amigas Latinas

Yo estoy en la lucha para poder rebajarme unos kilitos, quien no? Bueno, ví un aviso el otro día de una oferta. Un paquete de 10 masages reductivos. Suena bien. Me gusta masages y me gusta rebajarme! Debe ser doble de grato, no? No hay nada que perder!

Entré, y una muchachita, chiquitica, me mandó subir la mesa y acostarme. Hasta ahora ,todo marcha bien. Esa malvada mujer empezó de dar me DURO!!!! De la cabeza hasta los pies. Me dió, me estiró, me golpió de arriba para abajo! Yo estaba aguantando ese dolor, porque me dió pena que alguien tan pequeña podría causar tanto dolor!

Por 45 minutos me abusó! Me dejó maltratada. Con moretones en la bariga de todo colores. Morado, azul,verde, amarillo! Na'guara!

Pero lo peor de todo fue despues. Me bajé de la mesa, nerviosa, y la chica me miró con una sonrisa de inocente! Y dijo," Bs. 28,000"! Despues de todo el maltrato, yo tenía que pagarle por el abuso! Y aún peor de eso, es que cuando ella recibió la plata de mi mano, me dijo,
"Nos vemos mañana."
Y,yo dije...
que SI !!!

(Y ahora, ji ji ji,a ver cuantas gringas me regañan por escribir en castellano!)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Lost Comments!

I am not sure why, but several comments would not publish. If you had left a comment this morning, could you please re-do it for me?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

A NOT so itsy bitsy spider!

One thing you see a lot of in the jungle are spiders. At first, they catch you off guard and give you a fright. But after awhile, you start to expect them and don't get too excited when you do see one.

There are several poisonous spiders and they are not all big. Some are quite small. Of course, many are Very large. The tarantula is by far the largest. But even tarantulas vary in size. The average tarantula has only about a 6 inches leg span. However, things in the jungle are rarely average!

We had several encounters with spiders. The scariest spider is not as large as the tarantula, but is very fast. This is the Monkey Spider. It has only about a 4 inches leg span but can jump several feet in one single HOP! It is also poisonous. Once my son was chased by one of these monkey spiders!

But the tarantula is huge! My husband knocked one out of our palm roof which was so heavy, I heard the THUNK as it hit the floor even though I was in another room!

Tarantulas however are stupid and slow, and it is a good thing they are!If you ever run across a tarantula, remember this...don't poke at it, it will rear up into a striking pose and reveal it's fangs! Don't hit it, it's exoskeleton is too hard! Don't dare touch it, its hair will cause severe itching! So what to do?

My husband learned this the hard way, but all you have to do to get rid of a tarantula is...BLOW on it! Really, bend down and puff at it! It will run away! Every time...well, most of the time anyway. My husband was camping out on a river trip once and a tarantula was nearby. He bent over to get a closer look, and a cruel jungle MK (missionary kid) blew on it! The thing nearly climbed Clint's leg! You got to watch out for those MK's! They are by far the most dangerous creature in the jungle!

My kids would often catch tarantulas to play with during school. Like I said, Mk's are ...different. The game went like this. Place the tarantula in the middle of the table where all 4 kids are studying. As the tarantulas crawls toward them, the child will PUFF on it and redirect it towards their sibling, who will in turn, PUFF it towards another. This can go on for hours! I know, my kids are strange,but...HEY! They had no X Box!(or even nintendo!)

But one day, we saw the MOTHER OF ALL TARANTULAS!!!

My son had the daily chore of taking out our garbage. We had dug a big garbage pit about 50 meters or so away from the house and each day the trash was dumped there and burned.Josh left with the trash one morning and quickly came running back to the house. He ran into his room, grabbed his pellet gun and ran back out the door. I yelled after him, " What are you doing?" He answered over his shoulder, "I am going to shoot THAT spider!"

Now, we all heard this and decided to run after him. We wanted to see this spider he planned to shoot!He had complained for days that there was a big, BEEFY,spider living in the garbage pit. He was right!

We arrived at the pit right as he took aim. This tarantula was HUGE! It was the size of a dinner plate! This was no spider to swat at with a magazine! No, Josh was right. The only way to get rid of this baby, was to shoot it.

Which he did.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Dad Has Left the Hospital

For a detailed report on my father, please read my sister's account on her blog.

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Real Mum

"A mother's love goes on and on,
even when her child
is grown and gone.
God planted a Mother's love so deep
that the roots of it
go deep and far into our hearts.
There is no place to resign,
quit, or escape."

I have been tagged by Tina for The Real Mum meme. Today, however, being a real mom for me involves opening my home up to 9 of Jewel's friends as they all prepare for a wedding tonight. This involves having their hair, nails and makeup done! They are all to be bride's maids along with Jewel and Jayde will be singing as well. That being said, I do not have time to do this topic justice and I hope to re-visit the subject later. There is poem by Marshal. H. Hart that I feel does a pretty good job at describing the REAL MUM.

What Do Mothers Do All Day?

Every minute, to and fro,

That's the way my hours go;

Bring me this, and take me that,

Feed the dog, take out the cat.

Standing up, I eat my toast,

Drink my coffee, thaw the roast;

Empty the garbage, make the bed,

Rush to church, then wash my head.

Sweep the kitchen, wax the floor,

Scrub the woodwork, clean the doors;

Scour the bathtub, then myself,

Vacuum carpets, straighten shelves.

Eat my sandwich on the run,

Now my afternoon's begun;

To the baseball game I go,

When will there be time to sew?

Meet the teacher, stop the fight,

See the dentist, fly the kite;

Help with homework, do the wash,

Iron the clothes, put on the squash.

Shop for groceries, cash a check,

Fight the crowds, now I'm a wreck!

Dinner time it soon will be,

What's for dinner?"

Wait and see.

Dirty dishes crowd the sink,

Next there's popcorn, then a drink;

Will they never go to bed ...

Will I ever get ahead?

"Bring me water,"... "Get the light,"

Turn off the TV, lock the bike;

"Where's my pillow?" ... "Hear my prayers,"

"Did you lock the door downstairs?"

At last in bed, my spouse and I,

Too tired to move, too weak to cry;

But as I doze, I hear him say,

"What do mothers do all day?"

My Husband Will Pay a Ransome!

It all starts out innocently enough! Just a quick check in to moderate a few comments! The next thing you know, you see a new commenter. You want to be polite and visit their blog, so you read a post..or two! Then, you leave your comment, BUT...ha ha ha, that last commenter sure sounds funny, I'll just link surf right on over there to see if his blog is as funny as he sounds!! What a great post...oh, look a troll! I'll tell that troll a thing or two!! Wonder what his blog looks like?... realize ...

I am One of a Kind !
LogoThere is
person with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

I have had several nick names in my life.
In Elementary School I was known as Rita Book! (Read a book) I always had my nose in a book.
In Jr. High school I was known as, The Baptist Nun.
In High School, I was The Preacher's Kid.
When I arrived in Venezuela I was usually called, La gringa.
In Ye'kwana they called me , Jaduudu (banana)

Why? Well, when a banana ripens it develops brown spots. I have freckles just like a ripe banana! I know, very flattering!!

What about you all, any nicknames you want to share?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

You should all be Linguists!

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

Porque de tal manera amo al mundo, que ha dado su Hijo unigenito, para que todo aquel que en el cree, no se pierda, mas tenga vida eterna. Juan3:16

Wanaadi tameedä soto cumjumma'to jooje, chääjäcäinchädäiñe Tönnedö yäätonno 'jemjönö tu'ene'jödöödä. Iiñedö ecaanö’nei annamjö'da na'de, yeichö töwaatamemjönö töweiye na.
Juan 3:16

Care to Translate ?

Wanaadi tameedä soto cumjumma'to jooje, chääjäcäinchädäiñe Tönnedö yäätonno 'jemjönö tu'ene'jödöödä. Iiñedö ecaanö’nei annamjö'da na'de, yeichö töwaatamemjönö töweiye na.

This is what the Ye'kwana language looks like when written.
Any one want to venture a guess as to what this could mean?
I will give you three clues.

1) It is a verse from the Bible.

2) It is from the New Testament.


Give it a try! Leave your best guess as a comment!

Sunsets Across Venezuela


From The Delta Amacuro,
To the Gran Sabana.
Through the sun baked llanos,
And on to Chajuraña!

Ethnocide? (by Yekwanaman)

Chajudaña was the village of choice for hosting most of the inter-village reunions because it was the healthiest, best organized and most able to provide food for the other villages. The other indian villages chose Chajuraña repeatedly for these cultural events.

I recently received an anonymous comment that said I was guilty of ethnocide. Here is the comment ....

"The word ethnocide barely begins to describe the atrocities your ministry is inflicting on indigenous cultures along the Rio Caura."

Read more here..

Be sure and leave him a comment to encourage him!