Saturday, May 31, 2008

Jungle Mom Goes "RED" !!!

I used to like to wear red.

Several years ago, I began to shy away from wearing red. Although my eye is drawn to the color, I refused to purchase any clothing in red.

Until two weeks ago. I finally bought myself two red tops!

It happened that I had been gifted with monies expressly for the purpose of buying myself some clothing. I found a top I liked, but it was red. I told my friend, "Too bad it's red." She asked my why that mattered and I began to explain that I no longer wore red because I did not want to be identified in any way with Chavez or Chavistas!

She said to me, " are not in Venezuela any more."

Yea! I'm not!

And I LIKE red!

So I bought the two tops!

( Cuidado Lina Ron!)

Just in time it seems! Because now, I will be forced to 'cooperate' with the covert agencies of the regime or I could end up in prison for 2 - 4 years!

( H/T Farmer John)

Following the entry into force of the National Intelligence and Counterintelligence System Law enacted on Wednesday by President Hugo Chávez, any Venezuelan or foreign individual, corporation or non-governmental organization is bound to "cooperate" with covert agencies as needed.

Anyone refusing to meet the request for help will be "causing damage to security, defense and comprehensive development of the nation." Therefore, under the Organic Law on Security of the Nation, ordinary people are subject to 2-4 years of prison and public servants could be held from four to six years.

The recently enacted legal instrument, composed of 29 articles and two transitory provisions, considers that "national or foreign individuals and corporations, as well as bodies and entities of the national, state and municipal public administration; social networks; grassroots and community organizations, are entities set to back intelligence and counterintelligence activities, where their cooperation to obtain information or for technical support, is requested by the bodies of special competence jurisdiction.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Personal Update

You Are Very Happy

Your life is totally together, and you enjoy every day.

And you don't need a quiz to tell you that!

You know how to find pleasure in the little things...

And even when life isn't so great, you have a good sense of perspective.

My son is about to get married to a lovely girl, my daughter and youngest grand daughter arrive on Sunday from Paraguay, What's not to be happy about????

Tonight is my future daughter in laws (not - so ) Surprise Bridal Shower which my sister is hosting at her home as it is larger ( and very clean it would seem!). We are so thankful for her opening her doors for us. I forgot to write on the invitations that is was to be a secret, so Naomy found out ! OOPS!!!

The next week will be very busy for me as my family arrives and we travel to California for the wedding. I expect blogging will be light. Probably just personal stuff of interest to those who know us. And photos! I'm sure there will be photos!

The Happy Couple!

(Sorry for the poor quality of the phone photo!)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Make Your Own Portable Water Filtration System

Jungle Technology

It's Portable, Affordable, and Durable!

Ceramic Water Filter
Pressure tank/sprayer
Make sure and have all proper fittings and connectors before heading out into the wild!

Fill (new!) pressure tank with water.
Attach the pressure tank to the ceramic filter.
Pump up the pressure tank.
Open valve to ceramic water filter.
Waa laa! Purified water streams out into bucket . (About a gallon a minute!)

Take down and move to next camp sight.

NOTE: Can also be used to provide pressure for a shower by removing from the filter and attaching to a shower head!!!!! And can even provide a heated shower to surprise the wife!!!!

Boiling water over a fire, or stove, will mean that you will end up drinking a lot of hot water.

This gravity fed, counter top style can be hand made much cheaper than purchased, BUT...if there are more than two people in the family, plan on spending your day, licking dry parched lips as you wait for each drop to slowly filter through!

I know!


I am not expecting a child!

My daughter and grand daughter are coming!
They will be here for my son's upcoming wedding
and we are very excited!
Just 3 more days!

I never imagined SO many of you would fall for this!!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Anxiously Awaited Arrival is Upon Us!

I have not shared this news with any of you via this blog. Only those who know me personally are even aware of this happily anticipated event! It is a day we have been awaiting since last November, but as the time draws near, I have decided to share our great joy with you all!

What exactly are we awaiting?
Here are a few clues from around my home!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Blogging Fusion

Jungle Mom is in the Air!

We are flying home today,
so while I'm gone...

Click on the button below and review me!!!

Be the first to write a review!

Review The Jungle Hut at Blogging Fusion Blog Directory

UPDATE: Thankyou all for your kind reviews!!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Typical Day in The Chaco of Paraguay

I found these posted on a blog of a Paraguayan ,Muna’s Blog.

These three short clips show the typical day in the life of a Paraguayan family living the the Chaco region, the countryside, of Paraguay. You do not need to understand Spanish to enjoy them and even if you do speak Spanish, there is much Guarani spoken as well.

Watching this will reveal to you the very different life style of the people living in other parts of the world. Perhaps it will make you appreciate all the blessing we take for granted here in the USA. Perhaps it will help you to realize that as bad as we perceive our economy and financial situation, we are still so very, very rich!!!

Perhaps at the end, as you see the family sitting and singing, you will see what we are losing in our home life here in the states, the pure joy of being with one another, without distractions, and enjoying fellowship and even working together!

The first clip shows the home. The second shows school. The third shows the family working on their sugar cane harvest. Please watch to the end and enjoy the singing with guitar by the two elderly men of the family.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Rain Forest

The silent rain upon the forest trees,
The sound that plays upon my heart's strings,
Gives me rest and tranquility,
Puts my soul at peace!

Silent rain, without storm, nor wind,
Gentle rains, shining with a soft light,
Benevolent rains, peaceful and true,
The tears of all the sadness upon which you fall!

My soul is filled with serene melancholy,
A resigned spirit, of things that are unalterable,
Ahead in the horizon , I see a bright light,
But my heart stops me from running towards it!

Psalms 61:1 Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.
2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
3 For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

My Jungle Home

This is a re post for all new readers. I know many of you know our story, but I often get asked by new readers about our departure form the jungle.

This Had Been Our Home,

This is an article that we had written for our missions magazine last year. I thought it might explain our situation a little better for some of you who do not know us.

by Clint Vernoy

From the window of the Cessna 206 aircraft we took one last, long heart–wrenching look at the jungle village that had been our home. Circumstances beyond our control had forced us to leave a decade of work in the jungles of Venezuela. How do you simply fly away from ten years of working to learn a language…to establish a home, and to build relationships with some of the most precious people on earth? We had shared our lives with theirs, mingling our joys and sadness. We had become family with these Indian tribesmen through the blood of Jesus Christ! Through tear–stained eyes, we said good–bye to our Ye’kwana family, and the village they called Chajuraña.

Now our journey had unexpectedly brought us back to where it had all begun.
Our wounds were still fresh as we visited the church in Barquisimeto during a Wednesday evening service. Political tensions between the US and Venezuela had escalated in the expulsion of all missionaries from the jungle villages. We were expelled from our jungle ministry, and the future of our airplane was in question. That evening, as my wife and I read through I Thessalonians 2 with the believers in Barquisimeto, God’s Word spoke to our hearts in a very pointed and personal way.
From the window of the airplane, a disturbing thought had plagued my mind–was it all in vain? A businessman might say, “yes.” At first glance, it seemed that the costs were greater than the benefits. But God would have the final word. Right there in verse one, Paul reminded me of what I already knew… “For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain.”
No, it was not in vain! It was not in vain because we left something in that jungle village that could not be expelled with us. We were as verse 4 says, “allowed of God to be put in trust with the Gospel.” What a precious gift was entrusted to us to deliver to the people of Chajuraña! God used us to carry the Gospel to them! We were not the first. Cederico and Florinda Eddings of the Orinoco River Mission had spent years there in the 70’s struggling to minister under extremely primitive conditions. New Tribes missionaries, in other parts of the jungle, had worked to translate the New Testament into the Ye’kwana language. The hearts of some were ready to receive the Gospel while others were hard and needed patience and love to prepare their hearts for the Good News. When the Eddings left, they saw some fruit, but not as much as they had desired. Regardless, they too realized that their time was not in vain.

We were reminded of how precious our new friends had become to us when we read in verse 8, “ye were dear unto us.” We found it necessary to not only impart the Gospel but to share our very souls. Often times in a tribal situation, because of language and cultural barriers, words alone are not enough. One must become the very Bible that they read. The only way for them to comprehend the love of Christ is by seeing it lived out in a person’s daily life. That is not to imply that it came easily.
To the contrary, we found the words of verse 9 to ring especially true, “for laboring night and day.” We found living among them to be more demanding than we had ever imagined. Not only were we forced to build a house from materials totally alien to us, we also had to experience first hand the rigors of malaria and other tropical diseases. At the same time we were raising our four young children without the convenience of electricity, running water, or for that matter–floors! We have seen first-hand the tremendous toll that jungle illnesses can have on missionaries. Our co–workers were forced to leave tribal ministry after experiencing many bouts of sickness. I was of necessity the preacher, teacher, doctor, dentist, pharmacist, midwife, airstrip builder, village mechanic and carpenter. On a regular basis we were awakened at night to attend to the sick or to deliver babies.

So, why did we do it? Again, Paul’s words in verse 12 echo our hearts cry…“That ye would walk worthy of God.” Our motivation for being in this ministry was so that we could preach the Gospel to the Indians and see their lives changed by the power of the cross and the work of the Holy Spirit. As Paul also said in I Thessalonians 1:9, we saw many who “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.” Even as I write this I can see their faces, Ye’kwana men and women who left their heathen ways and now “walk worthy of God.”
Ramon – He heard the Gospel for nearly 40 years before he believed and became an example of faithfulness.
Luis Milano – He was the worst drunk and womanizer in the village with four wives and nearly 30 children. He came to know Christ after the death of his Christian son.
Petra – She was the wife of the witch doctor. She was the first believer in the village and prayed for years that someone would come and teach her more of the Word of God.
Magdelena – Through her own death, she became a witness to over 500 Indians from other villages.
Space does not permit me to tell each and every story, but you can someday hear their stories in Heaven.

We do thank God for the privilege of being His witnesses among these people. It is a fearful thing to be the one called upon to deliver God’s message to men when they do not have God’s Word written in their own language. That’s why the words of verse 13 were especially applicable to us: “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” We have seen the power of the Word of God and the work that it brings forth in the lives of the people when they receive it, whether it be from our mouths or from the written page. For this reason, while we are still allowed to remain in the country of Venezuela, we feel strongly that we should dedicate ourselves to the unfinished work of translating the Old Testament into the Ye’kwana language so that they may read it for themselves.

Verse 14 also resonated in our hearts: “for ye have also suffered like things of your own countrymen.” When President Chavez decreed that evangelical missionaries must leave the tribal areas, Indian believers began to suffer at the hands of their own countrymen. The missionary pastors that were forced to leave are often the only medical help available to jungle tribes. Missionary pilots are also no longer allowed to fly the sick to the hospitals. Two natives from our area have already died needlessly because of this decision. There is no longer medicine available in the dispensary, as this also came through mission donations.
At this time, missionaries are not allowed to minister in the tribal areas. We understand Paul’s experience in verse 16: “Forbidding us to speak.” In most cases the Christian Indians are also cut off from each other due to lack of communication and transportation. Additionally, many mission bases are being converted into military posts. There are psychological operations in place for the purpose of re–indoctrinating the Indians who have been under missionary influence. They are being told to return to their old ways and religion. In our last church service in Chajuraña, Victor, the pastor, said, “They can take the missionaries out of our village, but they cannot take the Holy Spirit from our hearts.’

We like Paul are “…being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart.” (Vs. 17) Although we are not able to be with our congregation in Chajuraña, they remain in our hearts. Even our youngest daughter has cried in church services wishing she could be in our Indian church. God has put a love in our hearts that goes beyond the physical separation. Not a day goes by that we are not thinking of them, praying for them. “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?” (Vs. 19) Whatever hardships we have experienced in the past, whatever difficulties we may experience in the future, we will never regret the years in Chajuraña at the Good Hope Baptist Church! The joy of seeing people come to Christ cannot be taken from us. Even if we had our doubts today, imagine the rejoicing we will share at the Second Coming of Christ. We look forward to walking on heavenly streets in the company of our Ye’kwana believers.
Over the years many people have questioned why we would isolate ourselves deep in the jungle to reach tribal people or how we could be happy raising our children in primitive conditions. Verse 20 says it all: “For ye are our glory and joy.” Any glory and joy that we have in eternity will far outweigh our past and present trials. The Ye’kwana people will never read these words but some of them will be in heaven with us – thanks to the prayer and financial support of people they will never meet in this life. For ye…Victor, Antonio, Maria, Magdalena, Joel, and my many other Ye’kwana brothers and sisters’ ye are our glory and joy!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Strange Things

I have been back here in the states for 10 months but I still find a few things to be strange or awkward for me here. Nothing big, just little things that make you realize you are different or not 'normal'. You, know, just a little odd.

For instance, I still stare at people and feel embarrassed for them as they walk around in public places like stores or malls conversing in loud voices with no one at all.! I see it nearly everyday, and yet, it still throws me for a loop. Then I realize they are talking on their 'Blue tooth' and I am the weird one for not knowing this!

Checking the mail box everyday. I have not had a mailbox for over twenty years, have not seen a mailman or had any reason to think I would need anything so urgently that I need to check every day.

In the jungle, our mail was delivered once a month by the missionary pilots in a large cloth bag. They hand delivered it. I had the next month to read and answer it all as I would then return the bag with my out going mail and he would deliver any new mail.

Well, here in the USA I am supposed to check my mail every day. I get a call from the management office where we live, at least once a week, as they remind me to check the mail box in the office. My box is full and running over, they say. And it is!!! With ...junk!

Putting my purse down! I DO NOT EVER put my purse down in public, even in church! And I never put my purse on the floor. Purses do not go on the floor...I do not know why but you never do that in Venezuela!

Phones! They are so stressful! We used to have two 'skeds' a day on the ham radio...scheduled times for checking in with town to let them know we were ok and to hear if they had any news for us from the outside world. Once in the morning, once in the evening.

Now, I will be talking on the house phone, and my cel will ring! Then I toss it to someone, and their cel will ring! I have seen all four of us sitting in the same room speaking on four different phones at the same time!!!! That is not normal! people in the same room should be speaking to each other and one phone is one too many.

Just little things that often make me feel as if I am a stranger, not sure where I fit in to it all ...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Who let the dog out ???

We had a pet dog for many years in Venezuela. This little mutt of a dog has lived in and seen many parts of Venezuela where most Venezuelans have not even seen. This little dog, named Short Stop, lived in Cuidad Bolivar with gringos, then moved to a Yanomami village, Parima, then a Piaroroa/Gringo/Yanomami/Ye'kwana village, Tama Tama, and then with us in Chajuraña, for ten years. We took her to the large city of Barquisimeto and when we left Venezuela she went to live with Brazilian friends in the town of Acarigua. A smart little dog! Well traveled!

But, while in the jungle, Short Stop would follow us everywhere. She was one of the most faithful church attenders! She would walk with us and sit outside the door to wait for the service to end in order to accompany us back home.

The Ye'kwana churches always open up the service so that anyone who would like to share anything at all, may have the opportunity to come forward and do so. Some people may share a verse of scripture, others a testimony or prayer request. This is culturally part of every meeting as each member of the tribe may speak his thoughts at the round house and so in the church, each member also has a chance to speak if desired.

Usually, anywhere between 5 - 20 people might share something before the pastor would bring the message. Makes for a long service, but they enjoy it!

Except one Sunday morning. It seemed no one had prepared anything to share on this morning. The pastor asked yet again if anyone at all would like to share but no one responded.

Short Stop must have decided that having lived with so many missionaries for so many years, she was as well prepared to lead the worship service as anyone else. So ...she walked right in the front door, slowly up the center aisle, directly up onto the platform. 100 eyes followed her as she turned to face the audience and, head high, let out two resounding barks, turned, walked slowly back down the aisle and out the door to await the end of the service!!!

I have never seen anything like it!

All the Ye'kwanas looked around with wide eyes and smiles and my husband decided it might be a good morning to share about Balaam's talking donkey!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Few Quotes to Ponder

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is hard business. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

—Rudyard Kipling

In our society we often see this idea promoted at certain levels, suggesting that each one should 'be your own man' and yet it is denied the individual at other times in promotion of 'tolerance'. On the one hand, programing the youth to be accepting of all things, even the intolerable, and on the other hand, forcing all to conform in thought and manner to that which is deemed politically correct.

Being a Christian, I add the following quote:
"The most important idea I ever thought,was the day I realized, that I am personally and individually accountable to God for how I lived."

-Daniel Webster

As Christians, we not only must, at times, abstain from that which society is promoting, not just of our own volition, but because we answer to a Higher One. This will in no way take from our individuality or weaken our convictions. It will make us more resolved to stand against those who would ridicule us when we refuse to be party to their ways. It is what will force us to maintain our principles when times are difficult.

The Bible warns us that the heart is wicked and deceitful above all things and so we can not rely only upon the arm of flesh but must have the knowledge and faith that a personal God will hold us accountable for each and every action we commit while walking on this earth. Only in this manner will the Christian be able to live a morally upright life, separated from sin, without being judgmental or lacking compassion upon others.

This is what will provide true strength of character. Character others will observe and be drawn to, seeing it as genuine. Kipling's "responsibility of owning yourself" paired with the knowledge of being "personally and individually accountable to God."

Monday, May 12, 2008

Simple Things

Pineapple in my window.

A simple shot. A simple photo taken, on a day like any other day. An insignificant moment in time. Just a pineapple from an indian garden in the jungle, traded for rice. Something sweet to share with my kids. Nothing special. Or so I thought.

A simple fruit. The, oh-so-sweet, pineapples that can not be compared to any other grown anywhere else. A taste I may never savor again. A pineapple, sun warmed, tasting of liquid gold, needing no other topping to embellish it's natural flavor.

Yes, a simple life. A life where a pineapple in your window makes you happy and content.


( A little meme, as I have no time to write.)

If I were a poptart... I'd be Toasted!

If I were a song... I'd be "I'm leaving on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again!"

If I were a movie... I'd be "The African Queen"

If I were a tree...I'd be...a palm tree.

If I were a salad...I'd be a Fruit Salad.

If I were a chocolate bar...I'd be irresistible!!

If I were a color...I'd be RED!

If I were a season...I'd be Summer.

If I were a beverage...I'd be Coffee.

If I were a journalist...I'd be an investigative journalist!!!

If I were a hockey team...I'd be Tampa Bay Lightning! ( So as not to live in a cold climate!)

If I were shampoo...I'd 'Wash that gray right outta your hair!"

If I were lotion...I'd be cocoa butter!

If I were a font...I'd be courier because its short and...uh, ...round!

If I were a hymn...I'd be "I Surrender All" .

If I were a cartoon character...I'd be "Dora the Explorer"!

If I were a sweater...I'd be angora!

If I were a food...I'd be an arepa!

If I were a berry...I'd be a Strawberry, duh!

If I were a perfume...I'd be "Pleasures, by Estee Lauder".

If I were a car...I'd run off of coffee and Diet Coke!

If I were a children’s book...I'd be "The Jungle Book".

If I were a dessert...I'd be these brownies!

If I were a sport...I'd be soccer.

If I were an egg...I'd be a scrambled egg!

If I were a place...I'd be a little village in the Amazon on the Chajura river.

If I were a sandwich...I'd be a pepito ( A Venezuelan steak sub)!

If I were ice cream...I'd be Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough...Loaded!

If I were a muppet...I'd be " Animal"

If I were a dress...I'd be a size 4! {{ Sigh...}}

If I were natural disaster...I'd be Hurricane Rita!!!

If I were an accent...I'd be like 'Speedy Gonzales'!!!

If I were a potato chip...I'd be 'Salt and Vinegar' ( they have a ZING!)!!!

If I were a fictional detective... I'd be Miss Marple!

If I were a Starbucks drink...I'd be ashamed to cost so much for a lousy cup of coffee!

If I were a book...I'd be a 'The Savage, My Kinsman'.

If I were a building...I'd be a cottage.

If I were a lake...I'd be Lake Maracaibo and have all the oil I ever needed!

If I were a store...I'd be Barnes and Noble.

If I were footwear...I'd be a sneaker.

If I were a flower...I'd be a White Orquid.

If I were a holiday... I'd be Thanksgiving.

If I were a painting... I'd be a Rockwell.

If I were a TV show...I'd be "10 years younger" !

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Jungle Cuisine!

A bowl full of Palm Grubs! Um, um good!

Best eaten fried! Very oily, much like bacon!

If you prefer the low fat version, you could eat the earth worms!

Eaten live and raw,
but taste best when smoked over a fire!

You're all invited for dinner!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

I Love Lucy

I was recently asked what TV character I most identified with in my real life. I answered, Lucille Ball, in 'I Love Lucy'! Without a doubt. It seems things happen to me that may not happen to other people, and I don't always bring them on myself! Sometimes it just happens for no reason at all!

Like the post about the fire drill at my hotel last week end. I had nothing to do with it! I just happened to be there! My husband drove up and was sure I had to be the cause of all the ruckus, and then my dear hubby left a comment about another time the fire trucks showed up at our house.

Hey Babe,
Its Yekwanaman, why don't you tell them about the other time the firetrucks came to our house???? How long had we been married? How long was I away from the house? 30 minutes? Max. I really did marry a hot headed redhead.

And now many of you are wondering about that event. So ok, but remember...I'm like Lucy!!

Now, I wont write about what he did when the propane fridge was on fire in the jungle!
Or the time I saw a mushroom cloud when he ignited something!
Or the experience of seeing him thrown by an electrical shock while 'fixing' the water pump!
Or the time he welded the screw driver to the wall!
Or the time he tried to put a drill bit through his thumb!
Or the paper cut to his eyeball!
Or when he forgot to fix the brakes on the tractor...

But back to my little unimportant fire truck story...

We had only been married a few weeks and were living in an apartment. My husband left for his regular morning run and I began getting ready to go to work.

I turned on the TV set we had in our room and had the volume on so that I could hear the news while in the bathroom applying my make up and all that necessary stuff we girls have to do every morning.

I begin to smell something burning, so I followed the scent...into my bedroom.

The TV was still on, the volume was perfect, the signal was the best EVER...but...a three foot flame was rising from the top of the TV!!!!

As I watched, another, and then another flame shot out of the plastic casing of the TV!!!! And now the smoke was getting thicker and blacker! But the picture was still perfect!!! SO...

I called the fire department, I yelled, "There's a big fire at my apartment!" and dropped the phone and ran out side. Two minutes later, the biggest hook and ladder truck drove up with sirens blaring.

And there I was. With my little 9 inch TV on fire. Three brave fire men carried it out the door, two held it while the other extinguished the roaring inferno that had been my TV. They were a bit put off about sending the big truck for my little fire!

As they drove off in their very large red truck, my husband came running up... and said,
" What did you do???"

He may as well have said what Ricky always said to Lucy!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Climate Changes

I just returned from a quick trip to a family wedding where my husband was officiating the ceremony. It was beautiful and all went well.

Unfortunately, my back is not cooperating with all the travel, which is problematic since I have a long flight scheduled for this week end. So I am spending the day in pain, in bad, and in a foul mood.

Let's be real!

How depressing is it to have a bad back and strap on one of those thermal heating patches...only to have to rip it off every fifteen minutes because your 'hormonal fluctuations', known as menopause, cause you to experience 'personal summers', known as hot flashes!!! So I keep bumping the thermostat down a bit...

And my family is walking around wearing gloves and parkas with stocking hats! I get global warming, they get the new ice age!

Monday, May 05, 2008

A Bit of History

Most people don't know that back in 1912, Hellmann's mayonnaise was manufactured in England . In fact, the Titanic was carrying 12,000 jars of the condiment scheduled for delivery in Vera Cruz, Mexico , which was to
be the next port of call for the great ship after its stop in New York .

This would have been the largest single shipment of mayonnaise ever delivered to Mexico . But as we know, the great ship did not make it to New York. The ship hit an iceberg and sank, and the cargo was forever lost.

The people of Mexico , who were crazy about mayonnaise, and were eagerly
awaiting its delivery, were disconsolate at the loss. Their anguish was so great, that they declared a National Day of Mourning, which they still observe to this day.

The National Day of Mourning occurs each year on May 5th and is known, of course, as ---Sinko de Mayo.

Shamefully stolen from my sister!

Here are a few facts about the origin of this celebration which I took from THIS SITE.

The 5th of May is not Mexican Independence Day, but it should be! And Cinco de Mayo is not an American holiday, but it should be. Mexico declared its independence from mother Spain on midnight, the 15th of September, 1810. And it took 11 years before the first Spanish soldiers were told and forced to leave Mexico.

So, why Cinco de Mayo? And why should Americans savor this day as well? Because 4,000 Mexican soldiers smashed the French and traitor Mexican army of 8,000 at Puebla, Mexico, 100 miles east of Mexico City on the morning of May 5, 1862.

The French had landed in Mexico (along with Spanish and English troops) five months earlier on the pretext of collecting Mexican debts from the newly elected government of democratic President (and Indian) Benito Juarez. The English and Spanish quickly made deals and left. The French, however, had different ideas.

Under Emperor Napoleon III, who detested the United States, the French came to stay. They brought a Hapsburg prince with them to rule the new Mexican empire. His name was Maximilian; his wife, Carolota. Napoleon's French Army had not been defeated in 50 years, and it invaded Mexico with the finest modern equipment and with a newly reconstituted Foreign Legion. The French were not afraid of anyone, especially since the United States was embroiled in its own Civil War.

The French Army left the port of Vera Cruz to attack Mexico City to the west, as the French assumed that the Mexicans would give up should their capital fall to the enemy -- as European countries traditionally did.

Under the command of Texas-born General Zaragosa, (and the cavalry under the command of Colonel Porfirio Diaz, later to be Mexico's president and dictator), the Mexicans awaited. Brightly dressed French Dragoons led the enemy columns. The Mexican Army was less stylish.
General Zaragosa ordered Colonel Diaz to take his cavalry, the best in the world, out to the French flanks. In response, the French did a most stupid thing; they sent their cavalry off to chase Diaz and his men, who proceeded to butcher them. The remaining French infantrymen charged the Mexican defenders through sloppy mud from a thunderstorm and through hundreds of head of stampeding cattle stirred up by Indians armed only with machetes.

When the battle was over, many French were killed or wounded and their cavalry was being chased by Diaz' superb horsemen miles away. The Mexicans had won a great victory that kept Napoleon III from supplying the confederate rebels for another year, allowing the United States to build the greatest army the world had ever seen. This grand army smashed the Confederates at Gettysburg just 14 months after the battle of Puebla, essentially ending the Civil War.

Union forces were then rushed to the Texas/Mexican border under General Phil Sheridan, who made sure that the Mexicans got all the weapons and ammunition they needed to expel the French. American soldiers were discharged with their uniforms and rifles if they promised to join the Mexican Army to fight the French. The American Legion of Honor marched in the Victory Parade in Mexico, City.

It might be a historical stretch to credit the survival of the United States to those brave 4,000 Mexicans who faced an army twice as large in 1862. But who knows?

In gratitude, thousands of Mexicans crossed the border after Pearl Harbor to join the U.S. Armed Forces. As recently as the Persian Gulf War, Mexicans flooded American consulates with phone calls, trying to join up and fight another war for America.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Last night at my hotel ...

Because my life is not exciting enough!

Have you ever wondered what a fire alarm in a hotel sounds like?

Have you always made sure you knew the nearest fire escape?

Have you ever wondered if you would stop to throw on some clothes?

The alarm is loud! The strobe lights will cause you to have a seizure! And I sent my child out as I 'threw on something'!

We spent an hour outside on the sidewalk with a group of guests all in odd assortments of clothing, Pj's, and, uh...sheets. We were all old friends by the time the 5 trucks, ambulance and police cars left.

My husband had left to do some late night shopping at Wal-Mart. As he drove up to us, he asked me in a loud voice, "What did you do?!"

I mean, really now! Why would he think I had anything to do with it?!?!

I did not start a fire at the hotel!

It seems that a duct over heated because a maintenance man turned off a fan!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Elvis is Alive!

Elvis is Alive !

For I have seen him! Walking around in the jungle! I swear,it's true!

It happened one day as I was washing dishes.

Yekwanaman proclaimed loudly. "Elvis is in the house!"

I turned around as he opened the door to allow a Sanema indian gentleman to enter the Jungle Hut, and yes, it WAS Elvis! For this man had incredibly full side burns, which indian men do not have! And, he had greased his hair up into a remarkably Elvis-esque pompadour! But , to top it all off, he wore a baby blue, polyester leisure suit jacket over his loin cloth!

Lest you think we found this funny, nothing could be further from the truth! For this particular gentleman had such a presence that, quite frankly, he pulled the look off!!! The last thing one would be inclined to do would be to laugh or belittle him!

He was Awesome ! I wish I had asked to take his photo and for an autograph, for we never saw him again!