Friday, August 29, 2008

Yerba Mate

Yerba mate is the traditional drink of Paraguay. The first mention of mate was in 1592 by a Spaniard. The Spaniards learned of the yerba mate from the Guarani indians who cultivated and drank it.

In 1864, the Dictator Lopez gave 3000 kilos to King William of Prussia, who later became the Emperor of Germany. The king had admired the Paraguayan military and experimented with yerba mate on his own troops to see if it would make them more efficient. From a royal decree of 1864, doctor's began to study the yerba mate and discovered it to be more effective than coffee or black tea and without the negative side-effects. It contains vitamins, B, B12,E, A, and C.

To drink mate, one needs a cup, called a guampa, a silver straw with a spoon like filter, called a bombilla, and a thermos of water. This will be carried around with you and sharing is socially expected.

In the cold winter months, the mate is made by filling the guampa 2/3 full of yerba and adding hot water. I have yet been able to drink this without burning my mouth on the silver bombilla straw!

In the hot summer months, it is called terere and is made the same but with cold water. They sell cylindrical ice cubes which perfectly into the small thermoses people use.

Another way to prepare it is mate cocido. This is done by boiling the tea and then draining it off and drinking the brew.

The problem all tastes like grass and looks like sticks!

I took this photo Sunday morning at church. You see the thermos, guampa and the silver bombilla. The green grassy looking stuff...yea, thats the mate!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

On Being Different

Jayde in the jungle.

My youngest daughter posted this a few days ago. It may give you a glimpse into the mind of a TCK. (Third Culture Kid)

Jayde, as she writes this from Paraguay.

Hi. I'm an MK, a home-schooler, and a Christian. I have friends who are MKs. I have experienced many cultures, and at times felt weird or left out. It has taken a while for me to realize that being different or weird isn't so bad. In fact, at times, it means you are more in control. It means you are special and have gotten to do things that many adults only dream about, much less kids.
It means that you know how to do things that most people learn in college, by the age of eight. Or even six.
I love every culture I have ever been a part of. I believe that everyone should try out a new culture at least once in their life, and I know they'd love to. Well, I have gotten to do it three times.
Venezuela, the States, and then Paraguay.
For you, the States is normal, and Venezuela and Paraguay are different. For me, it's the other way around.
I have swam in the Amazon, and learned three languages, cried myself to sleep at night because there was a strike going on outside, learned to walk in the Indians' mud hut, and eaten worms. Dead and alive. Yes. I. Have.
It's odd to think that someone who looks American fits in better with Latins than Americans, but it's confusing. It's the inside that makes us different by someone who has probably never left their state. Much less town. It's the thought that we have been somewhere dangerous, or beautiful or both. The fact that we can correct adults who have studied a language for eight years and we learned it in two years, and the people understand us better than that other scholar-person. The fact that we can say Hola without it sounding like Oh-Law.
And because we have done this, people fear us, and practice their Spanish on us, or Russian or whatever language they want to hear. If we know it, then you can guess that we have said the same thing we say to you about eight thousand times. At eight hundred different churches.
When we aren't very enthusiastic when you say how much we've grown, it's because we have heard it a million times and are upset that we still hear 'you were this big when I saw you last'. And, we wish we had grown at least a LITTLE bit since the last person told us that.
It's because our favorite thing to do is baffle people who speak the same language as us in public just to see their faces when they see someone who looks like they can't understand the person's accent.
For example, US. At Mexican restaurants. And at Wal-Mart and everywhere else we happen to see someone who speaks our language.
So now I am gonna let you in my 'canoe' and we'll float down the river of my life. Wear a life jacket. This is gonna be bumpy, and wet, and EVERYTHING in between.

Jayde learns to walk on our dirt floor.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My Day

Today we continued working on all the details of immigrating here to Paraguay.

Our first stop was to go back to Dr.S for the required medical work. We then headed to Interpol to get the clearance from them. We had been given a list of papers required for this , but, as is always the case, a few important details had been left out.

We were sent a few blocks away for more passport photos and then photocopies.

Oh, wait! The photo copies have to be authenticated by a notary. There happens to be one a few blocks away.

Another walk, come back, fill out these forms, sign this. We are done for the day...come back tomorrow.

We stopped at a used furniture store and picked out a wooden wardrobe for Jewel who has no closet in her room. We found a very nice one and they delivered it later in the afternoon.

Then we stopped at Burger King and the whoppers tasted much better than they do in the states. I wonder why that seems to be?

Then off to change more money!

Back home again, to get ready for my appointment with the Physical Therapist. She was great and I will see her 3 x this week to get things started.

Tomorrow we have to go get our blood work done for immigration. We have to be tested for Aides and VDRL (Syphilis)as well as get an electrocardiogram. Then off to the US Embassy for a paper to show we have no alias. I wonder, does Jungle Mom count as an alias????

Then tomorrow night I will be having a few people over for coffee and desert. I am excited to see them as they are fellow bloggers.

I'm tired!

Now, if you want to read about our day from a Jr. High girl's viewpoint, check out my daughter's blog!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Spring Is Coming !

These are orchids in my back yard. I love orchids and had quite a collection in the jungle. Indians would find them out in the jungle when they hunted and bring them back for me.

I had to leave them behind, of course. So imagine my joy at finding orchids here in the back yard! Here is a close up of miniature blooms.

We are ending winter here and it will soon officially be spring!

My two daughters have August birthdays and are used to celebrating them in the summer with summer type activities. But now, they have birthdays in the winter!

My husband and I have February birthdays which will be in the middle of the summer! Right after Christmas, which is also in the summer!

The weather here is temperate in the winter, but I have been told that the summer's are VERY hot. With temperatures reaching well over 100* many days.

Which is why I am especially thankful for this lovely thing in my back yard!

It is a small pool! I told you how we were blessed with an amazing house. The owner was willing to rent to us at a very fair price since we were Americans.

See the antenna tower? That is how we get our internet! A young man came out to service it and climbed to the top with out any protective gear!

It is 50 feet tall!!!

The owner also included the internet service and cable in the rent. The internet here is very expensive and can cost up to $200.00 a month!

This is the back patio which will be great for entertaining and using for Bible studies and such events.

He even left a grill for us!

And I am sure the pool will end up being used as a baptistry on occasion!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Doing the Laundry

A peek into my daily life here in Paraguay...a lot like anyone else's! Lots of laundry!

Right off of my beautiful kitchen is my laundry room. See my BIG washing machine! I can wash about four pairs of jeans at a time. It beats a laundry mat which is what I have had to do for the last year. It takes about an hour and a half to do a wash cycle. So I am always washing something!

Next to the washer is my utility sink which I can not live without! It's great for all kinds of messy jobs.

This is my "dryer'. It is on a pulley system and under a roof so it works on rainy days.
The roof is open on the other end so it gets lots of light and air.

I pull the ropes which raises the racks so that they are out of the way! !

OH! And in case Al Gore is checking...
I've already done my part to lower my carbon footprint!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday Funny

After a hardy rainstorm filled all the potholes in the streets and alleys, a young mother watched her two little boys playing in the puddle through her kitchen window.

The older of the two, a five year old lad, grabbed his sibling by the back of his head and shoved his face into the water hole.

As the boy recovered and stood laughing and dripping, the mother runs to the yard in a panic.

'Why on earth did you do that to your little brother?!' she asks as she shook the older boy in anger.

'We were just playing 'church' mommy, ' he said.

'And I was just baptizing the name of the Father, the Son and in...the hole-he-goes.'

Friday, August 22, 2008

Madame Lynch

Oh! Dear me!

Madame Lynch was the Irish mistress and defacto First Lady for the Paraguayan Dictator, Mariscal Lopez.

She is quite a controversial figure in Paraguayan history having born several sons to the Dictator while flaunting her 'status' as mistress. She was also quite valiant and fought in The War of theTriple Alliance . It is said that she buried her son and his father with her own hands in the jungle.

She was forced to leave Paraguay and took confiscated money and jewels with her to Paris where she was buried.

In the '70's, the Dictator Stroessners decreed her to be a national heroine and there is a statute of her bravely heading off to battle at a major intersection near my home.

She was reputed to be a great beauty who flaunted her RED HAIR! To this day, any Paraguayan with red hair is considered to be a descendant of Madame Lynch.

I have red hair.
People here ask me about her, so I had to look it up!

I guess they think we are related!

Oh! Dear me!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Welcome to my house!

Many of you have asked for pictures from Paraguay.

This is the largest, nicest kitchen I have ever had! Nice wood cabinets and even granite counter tops. The stove is small, which is typical for South America. The entire house has hard wood floors due to the fact that the owner owns land and harvests his own wood.

This is the dinning room side of the kitchen with the double doors which lead out to the back yard.

I thought it would be fun to compare this house to
The Jungle Hut in the early years!


Philippians 4:12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

Right now, I am most certainly ABOUNDING..and enjoying it!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Count Down

Ten things I am thankful for :

My new home
Family close by
A car! We have a car!
Friendly Paraguayans
My own washer-no more laundry mats!
Dr. S
My king size bed
My lovely orchids in the back yard
Good water pressure

Nine foods I am enjoying:

really good ice cream!
natural peanut butter
fresh strawberries
Coke Zero
Good bakery bread
great yogurt
Good coffee
Galletas de oro ( a bit too many at that!)
Smucker's grape jam!

Eight acts of kindness from others:

Rides by SIL
birthday gifts for Jewel and many text messages
free nursing text books in Spanish for Jewel
Hugs and kisses from the grand daughters
help with all the new vocabulary
Invite to a soccer game
Emails, support, and encouragement
friend to take me along to church activity

Seven foods I miss:

queso blanco
5 guys hamburgers
Microwave popcorn
Good corn tortilla chips

Six people I have met here:

Barney, the Dinosaur! Yes, I really DID!
Leti, a new convert
Hector, a military helicopter pilot
Cessi from Peru ( who speaks in the 'Tu' form!)
Pastor, landlord's brother who invited us for a cookout!

Five things I miss:

My son and daughter in law!
Food network
fast internet
the sound of the river
the jungle

Four things I wonder:

Will I be able to attend my son's college graduation and ordination next year?
Will Paraguay ever feel like home?
Will our shipment make it here?
Who will be the next president of the USA?

Three things we need to purchase:

electric heaters!
transformers ( 110 to 220)

Two things I have learned ( or been reminded of) here so far:

Slow down, be patient!
I am rich!

One thing I most look forward to:
Visiting the Chaco!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Doctor

Last week we had to take Jewel to the doctor because of her asthma. Today was my turn.
We met a wonderful family doctor. He is the son of missionaries and works near the Baptist Hospital here in Asunción.. His father worked here with the lepers and the son has stayed on. His brother now works with Aids patients here in Paraguay.

Anyway, Dr. S, is an interesting guy. I enjoyed his time and attention as I have missed that in the US this last year. He took all the time needed and was very relaxed. I am trying to get some relief for my ever present back problems. He put me in contact with a Physical Therapist from Canada. I am excited to begin this route as I have never been in a place where therapy was a possibility, due to our remoteness, or in the US lack of insurance coverage, and travel.

The visit was about $22.00.

Apparently, Dr. S and his family actually DROVE from Paraguay to Canada in his youth!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Jungle Mom and Hugo Chavez ...Together again!

Asunción is a city of great history.

At one time, for nearly 200 years, it was the most important city of the continent but was replaced by Buenas Aires in 1776, the same year we in the USA declared our independence. Yesterday was the celebration of the 471 st anniversary of the founding of this city. It was also the day for inaugurating the newly elected president of the country.

The new president Fernando Lugo, an ex-catholic priest, has ran as a populist and is the first turn over from the long ruling party which has dominated Paraguayan government for 60 years. This is a celebrated moment by the Paraguayan people. Lugo promises to remain simple and approachable in his life style and manner. Let's hope he can! Certainly, our prayers go forth for wisdom as he assumes control of the government and will be bombarded with the many aspects of ruling a nation steeped in corruption.

In light of the inauguration and the anniversary, the city of Asunción was crowded and festive.
Many heads of states were in town for the ceremonies, including Hugo Chavez. He stayed at the Sheraton, of course. The security was heightened everywhere. Imagine my consternation! One week here, and guess who comes to town ?!

In an interview Lugo said:

"La gente dice 'no te fíes tanto de Chávez, cuidado con Chávez, cuidado con Evo'. Yo no le tengo miedo a Chávez, no le tengo miedo a Evo, no le tengo miedo a nadie", dijo Lugo en su primera rueda de prensa tras su juramento.

"Paraguay hará su propio proceso. Muchos temen y tienen dudas: bueno, vamos a ser todos venezolanitos o ecuatorianitos o bolivianitos. No, vamos a ser paraguayos en verdad y vamos a tener relaciones respetuosas con todos", aseguró el ex obispo.


" People are telling me,'Don't pay attention to Chavez, careful with Chavez, be cautious of Evo'. I do not fear Chavez, I am not afraid of Evo, I am not afraid of anyone", said Lugo in his first press conference after his swearing in ceremony.

Paraguay will go through it's own process. Many fear and have doubts; (Thinking) we are all going to become little Venezuelans, or Ecuadoreans, or Bolivians. No, we are going to be Paraguayans in truth and we will have respectful relations with all.", assured the ex-bishop.

We chose to stay at home as everything was closed and very crowded in town. Since we still have not purchased a car, that was an easy choice, but we did watch much of the events on TV. Chavez was his normal jovial self. The one he presents to those around the world. Not the one we of Venezuela are accustomed to seeing and listening to, on Venezuelan TV while he holds the country hostage for his many hours of ranting on 'cadena'. 'Cadena' is the term used , it means 'chains' and that is how one feels as the government takes over all airways, radio and TV for up to 12 hours at a time.

During the military procession, the Paraguayan air force flew over our house. I only saw a few fixed wing aircraft and helicopters. The helicopters flew so low, and right over the house, I had to go outside to see! I had a few moments of trepidation, remembering some of our less than friendly encounters with military 'dropping' in on us via helicopter in the jungles of Venezuela!

But I AM NOT IN THE JUNGLE! It was just part of the show. Whew!

We spent the day with the two grand daughters while their parents took care of some ministry and visits. We ate out on our new patio which was very nice. It was a delight to have them here!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Because You Asked ...

Subvet said..."Oh! And the electricity went out so we knew we were back in South America!"Did you get that "glad to be home" feeling?

YES! It was like...awww... I am at home.!

Pat said...Do your cells work?? How far away are the daughter and kids and of course, SIL??
(was the medicine description written in Portugese ?)
The cells work, sorta. No texting yet, and one has several numbers that wont work. We will fix that tomorrow. The grans are 6 kilometers away, NO, the medicine was in Spanish.

Abouna said...Got sick, hmmmm! If you were in Mexico I would say it was Montezuma's Revenge, but since you are not, then that can't be it.

It must have been Montezuma's Guarani cousin!

Z said...What are you doing in your FREE TIME! ???
Ojala que 'se' mejore pronto. I know it's the wrong grammar, but you get the picture. Would it be "que TE mejore"..or??

You can refer to me in the 'tu' form! Here they use VOS and I am still trying to figure that out!

Thursday's Child said...Are you sure you're in South America? That last one sounded like you were in Lebanon! We spend about half our day on generator. Is power that sporadic there too so you need to be hooked up to one?
According to my SIL, here in Asunción, the lights don't go out too much and when they do it is usually for only and hour or two. I assume it would be different in the chaco and small towns.

ABNPOPPA said...For someone who is feeling ill I think you got quite a lot done! Fingerprint locks?

The owner of the house is from Spain. He purchased the locks in Israel. They were installed by a Chinese man, for some Americans living in Paraguay! GLOBALIZATION!!!!!

Anonymous said...So... happy that you are there and have a home awaiting you. Have a wonderful time with those "most beautiful grandchldrenon earth" guess who?

Hello Helen! We share the most beautiful grand children!

Liz said...Very happy for your son's new job and amazed at the digital keys! (y si se va la luz funcionan?

I had the same thought, but they have back up batteries and there is a key as well.

Feel free to ask more questions !

Feel free to ask!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What we've been doing ...

Jayde and I were afflicted with a bad bug and have been ill for about 24 hours. We are finally feeling a bit more human. Jewel made us a homemade chicken soup and we were both able to keep it down.

Here is what we have accomplished so far towards getting settled.

Changed money
Bought groceries
Bought Cell phones
Tried to get the internet upgraded to a faster service
Fixed the digital lock to read our fingerprints (no keys!)
Bought and installed a water filter
Arranged for garbage pick
Made appointment to see a car for purchase
Opened an account for changing money
Figured out how to run the washer :)
Got sick!
Bought medicine at the pharmacy

Oh! And the electricity went out so we knew we were back in South America!

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Supermarket

I went to one of the larger markets today to set up our pantry with all the basics. Although the selection would seem limited compared to the US, I found myself comparing it to the situation in Venezuela last summer.

The lacteos, dairy products, all are wonderful! Milk comes in a bag and oatmeal is in a cereal like box! The meat looked good but the names of all the cuts are different. My favorite beef in Venezuela was 'lomito' but here that is a sandwich. I ended up buying ground beef and chicken which was easily recognizable. :)

The bread is purchased at the market rather than the 'panaderias' which are on every corner of Venezuela. The bread all looked very different and they have a bun which they call a 'galleta', which is a cookie in Venezuela. I will have to try several things to figure out what is what. You have the bread weighed and that determines the price.

The vegetables all looked nice and I saw the largest sweet potato pf my life! It was the size of a small watermelon!

All in all, I found the supermarket to be quite nice and enjoyed the experience. It was clean and organized. I did realize that I will have to learn to read some Portuguese in order to read many of the labels of products imported from Brazil. Many of the better products seem to be Brazilian. I found myself staring and getting confused as I tried to read what should have been easily understandable Spanish only to remind myself it was Portuguese and that is why I was struggling so. Whew!

The one thing that left me scratching my head was the fact that they had young female workers zooming around the place on Rollerblades! They were in uniform and obviously worked there, but they could not answer any questions. Just eye candy, I suppose...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A New Chapter

The world is a book, and those who do not travel,
read only a page.

- St. Augustine

I am excited to begin reading a new chapter in my Life Book! I hope you all continue to read as I learn more about Paraguay and the people here. So far my experience has been limited and yet I have seen a few new things.

Really terrible roads,

The slowest possible internet,

A wonderful corn dish called Chipa Guazu! (Have to get the recipe!)

Everyone greets me with a kiss on both cheeks!

I have already been introduced to two of my neighbors.

Almost all vehicles run on diesel and are loud

Changing money is so much easier than in Venezuela with all it's government controls.

People send a lot of text messages, rather than calling.

Horse drawn wagons are commonly found on the street.

It can be warm and chilly on the same day!

Soft drinks are called 'gaseosas'! (This makes me want to giggle as I envision a gassy lady:)

Stay tuned as I read more of this new chapter...

Saturday, August 09, 2008

We are Home!

We arrived this morning at 2:00 AM. So very glad to be here. The trip was long and delayed in Sao Paolo, not too impressed with that airport! And In had time to make an impression!

But, although we had 10 bags and 5 carry - ons, we were only charged $400, which is a lot but it could have been so much worse!

I am busy figuring out where exactly I am. how strange to look our my windows and only have a vague understanding of my where knowledge of local streets or anything. I have a lot to learn.

What I do know, is that I have been blessed to live in an amazing house! I almost feel guilty for having such a nice place! But God supplied it and it all transacted so smoothly. It is a confirmation of His will for us to be here.

Tomorrows is my daughters 18 th birthday. I am so glad we made it in time to be with her on this important day in her life. We will be celebrating at Jackie's house with a Torta Tres Leches cake and visiting with an American embassy family who are also Christians working here in Paraguay.

It was so nice to wake up this morning and find Brazilian coffee and an espresso pot provided by my son in law! but better yet was the hand drawn poster on the fridge decorated with stickers by the two grand daughters! They are as cute as ever!!! And close by! WOW!

Sorry this is so random but I am still quite tired. I'll post more when I am a bit more coherent. Thank you all for your prayers and kind thoughts in these last days of travel.

I leave you with a refrain that was running through my head during our trip,
from J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring;

The Road goes ever on and on,
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with weary feet,

Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither than? I can not say.

Just change Road for airport concourses, gates and shuttles, for a good description of the last two days!!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Packing woes...

I have the packing woes. I am tired to death of packing, ready to be there, already! BE there! Be anywhere but in this state of disarray. My head is full of details, car rentals, shuttles, passports, boarding passes.

Suitcases. Extra bags, overweight? What does it cost? Have they changed the rate?

Currency. Which will I need? What is the rate?

Will the flight be late? How long are we in Sao Paolo, anyway?

Say goodbye, try not to cry. Smile big hold each one near. My heart is full of emotion for those left behind, not knowing when , or if, we will see them again. And yet, the same traitorous heart skips a beat in sweet anticipation for those loved ones we will soon be with on the other side of this trip. How can one heart be so divided?

Sleep? I doubt it will be, not for a few days yet. Oh, I'll lay my head upon a pillow tonight, or upon a shoulder in an airport or aboard the long flight, but my head will be racing of thoughts of what is to come and what has been left undone.

Prayer for peace. A sweet restful peace, knowing all is in my Father's heavenly hands, but right about now, I am wishing I were a Yanomami Indian, ready to set out on a new jungle path with my nomadic tribe. Time to leave? Pull down my string hammock, stuff it in my handwoven back pack. Grab my one cooking pot and stuff a live turtle or two in for a meal along the way. Grab my paddle and a can to use as a hand made lantern...and I am off! Pick up my machete and head out for a day of walking to new adventures.

Yes, that sounds good right now as I weigh my suitcases, label, divided, discard. However, when I arrive, I will no longer wish to be the Yanomami! I will want my treasures by me! And so, back to my packing...

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A Flight to Remember!

(Another re-post.)

Writing that little bit about the plane, reminded me of... well, let me start at the beginning!

One Saturday morning, about 12 years ago, the kids were outside running around the village playing with their indian friends, when we heard a loud scream. My son Josh was about 6 years old and he came in holding his little sister Jewel by the arm. Jewel was about 4 and she had tears but looked more angry than hurt. Josh gave us his version of what had happened, and Jewel gave us her spin.

What we do know is that, Jewel fell out of a tree and Josh also fell and landed on her arm. She said it hurt, but was not crying much. There was no visible swelling so we gave her some Tylenol and sent them back out to play. She kept her arm hugged close all day but never once complained of pain.

The next morning, when she got up, her arm was red and swollen half way between her wrist and elbow. So it was not a sprain. We immediately got on the radio and contacted the pilot for an emergency flight out to get it checked as it seemed likely that it was a fracture. Jewel was much more vocal about the pain on the second day.

The pilot attempted to get to the village but due to heavy rain, he could not get in for a landing and had to return back to Puerto Ayacucho with out landing in Chajudaña. He would try again the next day.

Jewel was having serious pain and we began to give her Tylenol with codeine. She slept off and on for the next couple of days. On Monday, the pilot headed out to get us again and the day was clear and not a cloud in sight. We had decide I would go out with Jewel and Clint would stay with the other children in the village.

When the plane was about an hour into the two hour flight, we received a radio call from a Sanema village. They had a patient who was critical. She had been mauled by a jaguar and her husband had fought the jaguar off, but her arm was in shreds! She needed medical attention and FAST! So the plane was diverted to get her and headed straight to Caracas as it appeared she would need an amputation.

Jewel is now on her third day of pain and not a happy camper. But she did not complain too much and thank goodness we had the analgesics!

On Tuesday, the plane heads back out to get us for the third day in a row. After flying around bad weather, the plane made it into the village. This is when the airstrip was up river and we had to canoe to the strip to meet the plane.

As Jewel and I buckled up, the two pilots explained they would be stopping at another village on the way, to pick up an out board motor that needed to go to town for repairs. So off we went!

We landed at the base of a beautiful mountain and the two pilots left for the hike to the village a few kliks away from the strip. Jewel was asleep at this time and I waited with her in the plane.
It started to heat up as the tropical sun beat down upon the small plane, I decided to get out and stand under the shade of the wing where it would be cooler than inside the plane. Jewel was still sleeping off the medication.

We were near an indian village where the Joti tribe lived. The Joti are very primitive and hardly wear any clothes and this group rarely saw anyone from outside of the jungle. They had seen a few gringo pilots, all male and that was about it!

They came out of the jungle towards me, a group of about 12 indians all painted red with onoto and not a stitch of clothing on. I tried to smile and look pleased to see them, which I was! They began talking to one another and pointing and saying who knows what, about me. I still smiled. Then they decided they would get a closer look and that they needed to TOUCH the white lady. They had never seen a white female. I was NOT smiling now.

One guy was lifting my skirt and another my top and I was not happy! Jewel decided to wake up and looked out the window and SCREAMED! This scared them as they had not seen or expected anyone to be in the plane and they scattered off a few feet! I took the opportunity to climb into the plane with Jewel!

Thank goodness, they had never had the need to open the door of a Cessna aircraft! They did try! They tried and shoved and left red smudges of onoto on the white plane. The two pilots were back by then and I never did tell them how frightened I had been! Although I do not think they would have harmed us, just that they were too curious for my comfort!

As we took off, I started to relax, but my heart was still pounding! As the plane climbed, Steve, a pilot, turned around and said something to me. You cant hear a word anyone says while in a Cessna! But I figured he was just asking how Jewel was doing so I just smiled and gave the thumbs up sign. He nodded his head and turned back to the flying.

A few minutes later, there was the most terrible sound I have ever heard! It was awful! My heart jumped to my throat! I screamed! For, the motor turned off and there was SILENCE!!!!!
A Cessna has only one motor and it was OFF! And we were IN the air! No more loud roar of the motor, just ...
WHOOSH!!! Whoosh! whoosh! whoosh! whoosh!

I screamed, both pilots jerked around to look at me like I was crazy! And, then they flipped the switch and the motor turned over and started up and we were flying!

I felt a little silly and they grinned! You know, that way guys grin at silly females!

When we landed, they asked me what had frightened me. Like a motor turning off in the air should not be a scary thing. Steve said, "I told you I was letting one of the gas tanks drain and the motor would die for a moment!" Oh, so thats what he was saying when I gave him the thumbs up signal!

We finally got Jewel into the hospital for x-rays, but they wanted to do surgery on her arm the next day, as the bone had already began to knit. I was not comfortable with this being done in Puerto Ayacucho, as the hospital would not suffice for a veterinary clinic in the states. I did not want them to put Jewel to sleep.

I found an elderly orthopedic surgeon who told me he could re-break her arm and do it so quickly, she would feel only a moments pain. I decided to wait till the next day and pray about it. I saw no need to rush anything, since they would need to re-break the arm no matter what.

After a long, sleepless night of prayer, I took Jewel in and she was doused up pretty good with meds. She was singing and goofy! The Dr. grabbed her upper arm and her hand and YANKED! I heard a CRACK! Jewel screamed...once...then looked at her arm and smiled at the guy! We then got the cast put on and headed back home the next day.

The total cost of the broken arm was about $ 25.00, which did not even make a dent in our deductible. The flight was about $400.00 and not covered by insurance!

I think that little adventure cost me about 10 years of my life!

Monday, August 04, 2008



did I mention I am moving to Paraguay in four days????

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Can You See Me Now ???

I know a few of you were unable to access my blog yesterday. There seems to have been a couple of factors involved. Anyone using Internet Explorer was unable to gain access while those using Mozilla could do so. The problem seems to have something to do with my sitemeter, which I have removed.

At the same time, many blogs have been turned in to Blogger as "spam" and inappropriate. All of these blogs had anti- Obama content and are now under review for 'hateful content'???

I am tempted to go around the blogasphere and report any 'lefty' blogs as inappropriate, but that would be childish, but oh! SO! FUN!!!

I do miss my sitemeter though!

UPDATE! Sitemeter is said to have fixed the problem. I have reloaded it here and trust all is well.