Friday, January 30, 2009

Get to know my kiddos...

Jayde, Jewel, Naomy, Joshua, and Jackie

Jewel shares 25 random things about herself

1.Most of my broken bones are the fault of my older brother. Josh ;P
2.I made that first one just to mess with my brother
3.I killed a snake once in church by just slamming the heel of my foot on its head and then went back to singing (the Indians were sure the snake goddess would come and get me for it too)
4.I can kill a snake but I have a phobia of waiters and cash registers :S
5.I can take a canoe down the rapids but I can not drive a car on the streets
6.I have been in 5 weddings and still have the dresses from each wedding
7.I am dyslexic
8. I didn't have asthma till I was 15
9. I love hearing old wives tells and legends and myths and any thing else like that
10.I hate lizards......especially live ones
11. I walked when I was 9 months old
12. I climbed my first tree when I was 11 months old
13. I am short and proud of it
14. I am running out of things to say
15.I can walk on my two big toes like a ballerina or like the girl on titanic and I never took ballet classes
16.I can sound like a howler monkey......and my dad made me do it once in a church......thanks dad
17.I dont know half of the people on my facebook
18. I love scaring people
19. I like reading japanimation manga ( Japanese comic books )
20. I do not feel safe in a house unless it has a big wall around it and has barbed wire or broken glass on top of the wall and also have a Great Dane
21.I hate the color pink, the last time I wore pink was because I had to use it as a uniform in a marriage conference
22. I have an Andean Community passport and can go to several countries in South America with out getting a visa
23.I am part Cherokee even tho nobody believes it
24. 24 is the number before 25 so I am all most done woohoo!
25. I can read and speak in three languages and can not spell any of them.

Joshua shares 25 random things about himself.

1. I have recently caught myself using my socks to whip off any dust or particulate that my be found on my feet, prior to putting on shoes.
2. I have two purple scars, and have had 45 stitches in my life, and only break little bones, the ones that are super expensive to fix and of long lasting affects. Like a growth plate in my wrist, both thumb joints destroyed with a table saw, one is half numb and does not bend on its own, the other wiggles like it is made out of rubber.
3. I cut my own hair, because the difference between a good haircut and a bad haircut is only two weeks.
4. I have never preached a topical sermon, because in my mind anything other than Exegetical Exposition is cheap and lazy. ( sorry if you are the three points and a poem guy) ( again obviously times may call for a topical sermon but I will feel cheap and lazy if I ever have to)
5. I hate cuticles
6. Perhaps the nastiest thing I have ever touched is soggy bread dough on the paddle of a bread maker( it makes me gag if I think about it)
7. I enjoy putting parenthesis in my sentences (only when it makes sense of course)
8. I am pretty good with a spork but I also swing a mean sock full of legos
10. I never much liked the previous number
11. I like to say BOOM!! Goes the dynamite !!! when ever I accomplish something
12. I think bed sheets should never be tucked in, you know what I am talking about, like at hotels where your feet have to be sideways to lay in the bed
13. I am a Medical and Business Benefit Consultant for a non-profit, And I also have a cape and fight crime
14. I own the coolest cat in the world, Named D-O-G pronounced diogy, as if you are spelling dog
15. I would rather sleep in a hammock, but don't want to squish my wife.
16. I am learning my fourth language
17. Parchita (Passion Fruit) juice is what heaven tastes like, or maybe its Coke made with cane sugar instead of corn syrup. Close, not sure which.
18. I have eaten earth worms, the worlds largest rodent, second largest rodent, one day plan on going to Korea and eating a dog, or China and eating a cat, maybe both.
19. I slapped Mickey Mouse right in the face once. And I would do it again and put it on youtube if I got the chance.
20. Once Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam stole me and my cousins food. And when they least expect it, we have a plan to get them back its an evil and sadistic plan you will see it in the news.
21. When I eat nutra-sweet my right eye lid twitches
22. I am a germaphobe when it comes to my tooth brush, I keep it in an airtight, sealed container.
23. My cars name is Hank, and if me and Hank could be King and Vice King for the day any stupid driver would have his (most likely hers) license removed. FOREVER HAHAHAHAHAHA *cough hack hack cough* HAHAHAaaaaa
24. I have glasses cuz I was in the eye exam and got tired of the questions. This one? or this one? Over and over again so I just rested my eyes and picked at random until he finished.
25. I have the BEST wife in the whole world!!!! Hands Down. It's sad really for all those young unmarried men who read this, they will forever know that mine is the best and theirs is at best second rate. (why she picked me is beyond me)
PS. 26.I also once cauterized a wound with my college iron cuz it wold not heal its better now (one of my purple scars)

Jayde shares 25 random things about herself

1. If I see millions of untidy polka dots, my nose starts to itch really bad and my eyes swell up.
2. I like to get pictures and experiment with them in GIMP.
3. I want to be a professional photographer when I grow up. Like, for weddings and land-scape and magazines and stuff...:)
4. My worst habit is biting my nails.
5. If I'm not wearing glasses, I will walk into walls and/or glass and screen doors.
6. I love blond jokes, despite the fact that they are making fun of blonds...And I'm blond...:D
7. I am working on a painting of the taj mahal right now...It's to be pinned up in my room. :D
8. I have a beanbag chair in my room!
9. I have lived in Florida/New Hampshire/...I lost track right there.
10. I think baby toys are hilarious and I can almost die of laughter at some of the ones I've seen...I think I have more fun than the baby I'm with does...:D
11. I like to create and invent new recipes. I've made a triple decker PBJ sandwich and a triple decker grilled cheese sandwich, too..
12. I can't read music. Every song I can sing I learned by ear...And probably in less than two hours.
13. I hate math with a deep and growing passion.
14. I am an avid bookworm. I love the written word. I prefer novels and mysteries, but I'll read just about anything.
15. I'm the best at Wii Boxing in my family.
16. I am pro at Halo and Club Penguin.
17. My pet peeve is people who type like this: 'hey!!!!!!!!!! how r u? im gd. dd u have fun during Xmas? wat did u gt?' and people who don't start their sentences with a capital letter. Ugh. That bugs me.
18. I hate it when pictures come out super blurry and will do all in my POWER to sharpen the focus or train the person who took the picture that what they've done is indeed, a very bad no-no.
19. I am not a huge fan of TV. I don't like commercials, or what most TV shows portray. To be honest, I get bored. I prefer DVDs and TV series on DVD. :)
20. I just got the bedtime warning.
21. I wake up at 4 AM every morning.
22. I am gonna be nice and not tag anybody. They can do it if they want to. :)
23. I have 6 blogs.
24. I don't like make-up.
25. I'm gonna sleep really good tonight, cause I'm exhausted.

See what I have to put up with?????

UPDATE! Jackie joins in...

Because I'm feeling left out:
1. Talking about veins makes me want to pass out.
2. I am named after my grandpa.
3. Getting a pedicure stresses me out.
4. I wish I could live on a mountain with just my family and no one else.
5. I think cats are snobs, and I don't like them.
6. I think giving birth in a hospital is like giving birth in a Borg cubicle.
7. I'm a Trekkie. Kind of.
8. I drink fresh cow's milk every day.
9. I dream about arepas.
10. 25 is a large number.
11. I would love to go Greece one day.
12. I have no desire to visit Asia. It just doesn't interst me.
13. I'm allergic to snow.
14. Classical music gets on my nerves. The squeaky violins? Ugh.
15. I don't like to be touched.
16. I have to finish quickly because my husband needs the computer.
17. I've lived in a lot of countries. Their airports anyway.
18. I think airplane food is good.
19. I don't like eating at buffets in the US. Like Golden Corral. It makes me nervous.
20. I think the guy who dreamed up Wal-Mart is BRILLIANT!
21. I love computer, graphic design, photoshop, photography...
22. My dream vacation involves hotel room/book/bed/coffee. That's it.
23. I would like to meet Rachael Ray one day.
24. My children make me laugh a lot.
25. Sometimes they make me want to hide under the bed.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Get to know Yekwanaman

My husband did this on his Face Book.

1. I was born in Laredo Texas, while living there, my Mom said I learned to speak Spanish from the Mexican nanny. My Dad was working in Texas watching for incoming missiles during the Cuban missile crisis, and then he went to Alaska for a year.

2. Due to my Dad's jobs we moved all over the United States, Phoenix Arizona, Raleigh NC, Columbia SC, Bound Brook NJ, Nashua NH, and Zanesville Ohio all before the age of 13. ( I found out as an adult that my Dad was offered jobs in Germany, France and England, which he turned down so that we could stay in one place while my brother and I went to High School. thus #4

3. I became a Christian when I was 6 years old (Colombia SC) and felt called to preach when I was 10 (Nashua NH) Christ has always been a part of my life. My struggle has been letting him truly control my everyday walk. To always live a spirit controlled life everyday is now my one true goal. I still get in the way alot of the time. I have always been a faithful church attender and the vast majority of decisions that directed my life have been at church, camp, or special services. I have never had all of the answers, but Christ always has had them for me, when I listened to Him.

4. I graduated from Zanesville High School in 1980, I enjoyed High School and most of my activities were centered around Band. Trip to the Orange Bowl parade in 1977 and playing halftime for the Cinci Bengals each year of High School were the Highlights along with playing in the Blue Knights Jazz Band. I also enjoyed Spanish class for 4 years.

5. I met the love of my life, at a church skating activity at Lind Arena in Zanesville Ohio. Her name is Rita, and she is a pastor's daughter with fiery red hair (I told my mom when I was 13 that I would marry a redhead, she giggled and said,"Don't tell me, Ask God! So I did) After all .... the bible says that houses and inheritance is from the fathers but a prudent wife is of the Lord.

6. Joined the Marine Corp in 1980 and left for Boot Camp before graduation day at High School because I needed to get back from Boot Camp to walk down the aisle with my brother as his best man by August 15th. So many of my decisions are based on choosing which path to walk.

7. Biggest Irony in My Life == In Boot camp I was ridiculed in front of the entire platoon for being a virgin. It lasted 15 minutes with two drill instructors mocking my choice to wait until marriage saying all kinds of things about me and the girl I would marry (the redhead was always on my mind when they talked about my future wife) the next day one of those Drill Instructors called me into his office and apologized to me and proceeded to ask ME for advice about his marriage and what he should do to fix it.

8. Very reckless... when I almost got into a fight with the live grenade instructor. He impugned the honor and purity of my future wife while I was holding a live grenade. I was so mad at him that I tossed the grenade about 5 feet over the wall and then went for his throat. He yelled and threw me to the ground (saved our lives). The officers, I was told, in the observation booth also dove for cover. When he let me up I tried to go after him, but the other instructors grabbed me. Once it was heard why I had gotten so mad, none of my drill instructors ever said a thing. After all, I was the marriage counselor!

9. Bible College in Springfield Mo for a year and then moved to Nashua NH to continue studying at Northeastern Baptist Bible Schools. Loved studying Greek. I was totally in love with Rita Riffe, traveling down to Florida any time I could. She said, yes! Christmas break of 1982!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10. Got married July 9th 1983 The Greatest Day of my Life!

11. Surrendered our life to missions during final year at Bible school and made plans and preparations to move to Venezuela.

12. First daughter born, Jackie (McCobb now) 10 March 1985, 23 hours of labor. I still remember what it was like to hold her the first time at Memorial Hospital in Nashua NH. I was there by her side.

13. We moved to Mexico to study language, I had an uncle there in the town were we lived. My wife hated me because I never studied and yet still got 95% on my tests. That was when I found out from my mom that I had spoken Spanish as a child. I just needed a refresher course.

14. Moved to Barquisimeto,Venezuela and began pastoring a church for another missionary

15. First son, Joshua, born on August 4th 1987. We had to search the whole city to find a Dr. who would let me into the delivery room. 18 hours of labor.

16. Started another church and helped found a Bible Institute to train national pastors with another missionary

17. Birth of my second Daughter, Jewel, we found a Dr. who spoke English, son of a Venezuelan Diplomat who had served as a army Dr. in Vietnam. In the delivery room again.

18. We took into our home two Maiquiritare Indian Children and raised them as our own. They now have their own lives in **** Venezuela active in *******.

19. Fourth child born, Jayde, I was supposed to be there, but I took the girls to lunch at 11:30 and got back in 45 minutes to find my wife holding our newest daughter. Clearwater, Florida OOPS!!!!

20. Changed our ministry from the city to the jungle. We moved into the village of Chajuraña on October 12 1995. Began learning the Yekwana language. Established a church and trained the pastor.

21. Found out I was expected to help out in medical needs of the village. over ten years I helped deliver around 50 babies, relocated a few bones, sutured a lot of machete and ax cuts, helped in one toe amputation, pulled enough teeth to make a necklace (but didn´t). I gave so many shots I didn´t bother to count

22. Almost died a few times in rough plane landings, river rapids, falling trees, and snake encounters.

23. Married off my oldest daughter and she now has two daughters named, Elena and Abigail

24. Oct 12 2005, Expelled from our jungle home by the President of Venezuela along with all other missionaries in the jungles of Venezuela. Hundreds of Indians have died needlessly since then due to lack of any kind of help from the government of Venezuela. So much for Socialism...but don´t get me started.

25. Performed the wedding ceremony of my son, Joshua, to a wonderful girl, named Naomi. Two months later we moved to our new home and life in Paraguay South America and now our granddaughters are only 10 minutes away!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not so random but I hope it isn't dull!!!! I never thought it was!!!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


For several months we all slept in hammocks as we had no floors or real furniture at all. It is very difficult to have furniture on dirt floors. Especially dirt floors in the jungle. There is so much humidity that anything left on the floor will quickly rot and mildew. Cement floors only helped to slow the process down slightly! I use to say that if I sat still too long, I would grow mold on myself!

As a home school science project, I had the children make a hand made barometer. The plan was to record the atmospheric pressure for several days. The problem was that once we made the barometer, the children quickly lost interest with the recording part. Due to the high humidity, the thing hit 100% immediately and never changed!

Hammocks were the only option left for sleeping. We all love hammocks so it wasn't a problem. For a short while we did set up small tents in the house and the children slept on foam mattresses inside the tents. I thought it would be safer, more protection from malaria. But it was too hot! And the foam started rotting! The indians knew what they were doing by using hammocks. Probably why they have lasted for centuries in the jungle...

One interesting thing about sleeping in hammocks in an indian style house, is that you rock each other to sleep! The poles used in construction are all attached to one another, so if you move in your hammock it causes the pole to move. Every time anyone moves, the entire house shakes.

After we poured the cement floor in our room, we decided to build a frame and fly out a water bed mattress. A regular double mattress was too wide to fit in the Cessna, so that meant a water bed .We had the frame built and set up as we waited for the mattress to be flown on. For one reason or another, it took nearly three months to get the mattress out to the jungle after we had the frame up.

We still did not have a water pump or water barrels at this time. That meant we had to fill the crazy queen size mattress up, bucket by bucket! Hundreds of trips down to the creek , then back up to the house with the water! It took a lot of buckets.

We never needed a heater on the water bed, which is a good thing, since we only had the generator on a couple of hours a day and did not even have a generator for several years. We used a thick mattress pad and that was all we needed since it was always so hot in the jungle.

The chief of the village thought our water bed was amazing! He would come up to the house and walk into our room just to push on the bed and watch the waves! Anytime someone visited from another village, we knew the chief would bring them up to the house to see our bed. We tried to get him to lie down on it once, but he said if he wanted to sleep on water, he would go take a nap in his canoe!

After we had our bed, the children started asking for beds. My husband had lumbered some wood in the jungle using an attachment to a chain saw called an Alaskan Saw Mill. He made each child a small bed and we bought the foam mattresses again.

They were all excited to sleep in their little beds up in the loft. They quickly tired of their new beds though. They said they were boring!

They said it was hard to go to sleep in a bed that did not move! My son even said it was "freaky" to sleep in a bed! He felt like a dead person!!! We always laid the dead out on a board for viewing before burial. He said lying on his back in bed gave him the creeps!

Needless to say, shortly there after, they were all back in their hammocks, happily swinging away as they rocked themselves to sleep.

When my son was checking out colleges to decide where he would attend, he inspected each dorm room to see if there was a possibility to hang a hammock. Unfortunately he did not find American construction of buildings to be very hammock friendly.Josh in Pemon hammock in California

Every few days, all pillows had to be taken out and put in the sun on the clothes line to "dry". This was the only way to keep them from mildewing. Even so, we changed pillows every few months.

We also slept under mosquito nets. We all had several bouts of malaria and dengue, except Jackie, who for some strange reason seems to be immune to malaria. And netting is also useful in keeping other undesirable things from crawling around on you in the night.

We combated malaria at all times. Sometimes we won, sometimes we lost. We fumigated regularly, kept sick people under mosquito nets, and treated those with malaria. Our village had the lowest rate of malaria in the entire river region. We also had the lowest infant mortality rate as malaria claims the lives of so many infants.

We did lose a few children and elderly to malaria. Usually when they came from hunting trips or travel and were already in an advanced stage by the time they reached us for help. It is very difficult to watch a baby's life slip away from a disease which is preventable.

We learned of the Neem Tree of India, which is a natural mosquito repelant. The leaves may also be used to prepare a tea which helps to kill the malaria parasite in the blood stream. When we began to see the resistant strain of malaria in our region, we were able to use this tea along with the drugs to help the patients get well. We imported several trees and were able to plant a few in the village. In our village, this is the only medication now available to them for malaria treatment as the government is not supplying them with medications nor helping with the fumigation.

I miss my water bed! I miss hearing my children sing themselves to sleep as they swing in their hammocks.

I do not miss the malaria or mildew!

Monday, January 26, 2009

What is it ?

This is a bug we commonly found in our house in the jungle. Several of us have tried to identify the bug and have failed to do so. Does anyone know what this is?

We called it the 'alien mutated spider bug', but I am sure there is a better name out there.

What would you call it?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Terere, Una costumbre paraguaya

I found this Paraguayan commercial on Muna's Blog. It is in Spanish but it shows a lot about Paraguay and especially the importance of drinking terere in the culture here.

My grand daughter sharing terere with a friend at a church soccer match.


This is a silver gaumpa our daughter had made for our 25th Wedding Anniversay. If you enlarge it, you will see our names engraved.

A video explaining how to prepare terere.

I took this photo on a Sunday morning at church.
You see the thermos, guampa and the silver bombilla.

Friday, January 23, 2009

News Flash!!!!

I found Shower Gel!


In Paraguay!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Caption This!

The winner is ABNPOPPA:

Fishing, Fishing in the brook,
MK caught him on a hook,
He pulled and struggled
and landed him well,
then he went to show AND TELL!!!

This is my MK 'nephew', Nick, he's checking out the catch of the day.
This was taken in Puerto Ayacucho, Venezuela.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My Dad is Home

My Dad is home and recovering from his surgery. Thank you for your prayers. For more details, read my sister's UPDATE.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Big Bang Theory

I did once believe in the 'Big Bang Theory'!

Here's proof!

Any other ex-Big Bang theorists out there?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Prayer Request

My father is undergoing surgery this morning and I request prayers on his behalf. He is having surgery on his rotator cuff, but because of his heart problems and recent surgeries, it is always worrisome.
Thank you.

I am not much in the frame of mind for cartoons this week. A young blogger I have been reading is very ill. Leah Friedman in Israel had a scheduled heart surgery on Wednesday. She suffered a stroke while in surgery and is in a coma. Pray for her and her family. Her father, an Israeli tank commander, was called back on emergency leave and has been updating her blog.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Personal Update

At the end of the year, we were able to see three new converts baptized. This was our first baptism in Paraguay, so it was special for us. We held the morning service outside at facility the church uses for picnics and such and also has a small pool to use as a baptistery. My husband preached and Missionary John Lennon baptized the new believers. The attendance was 120.

After the service, my son in law and a deacon began grilling A LOT of hamburgers for the lunch, which was followed by a soccer match, of course. Paraguayans have to have an 'asado' (grill) and they have to play soccer to celebrate anything! It was a fun time for all the people, young and old.

My husband has been doing a lot of marital counseling and teaching. I am starting to teach a Sunday School class on Sunday mornings. Jayde continues to sing with the choir and has done a few specials as well as sing the song she wrote herself for Christmas. Jewel works in the nursery a lot and is discipling another teenage girl.

My husband started language school and is studying Guarani. The only other student in his class is Japanese.

Youth camp starts tonight. Schools are out on their summer vacation and children's camp just finished. My two girls are excited as this is their first camp in Paraguay. Lots of packing today. So difficult to know just which outfits to take you know!!!

As for me, I have had a bad week with a my back and sciatica. No real medication so I have felt it all and have been hindered in my mobility. I am starting to feel better...I think. I also started a new diet and am happy with the results so far having lost 4 kilos in less than a month including the holidays.

Having had to spend quite a bit of time in bed with this pain, I started watching the series Star Gate on dvd. Oh dear! I love Sci-fi and I never saw these so... I am also doing a lot of reading but have not been able to use the computer too much. It is difficult for me to sit when I have sciatica. Some of you may have seen that I have not been around to visit your blogs lately, this is why. I'll catch up later.

In spite of not leaving the house much this week, I have, managed to learn a few interesting things about Paraguay.
Frogs have curative values!(Keepin' Sane with Littles)

It hailed in Paraguay this week!
(Hagermans on a MISSION!)

Chocolate chips were discovered to be in a store in Asunción!!!(but they are not to be used for cookies! The clerk says they are only for sweet bread!)

Guarani grammar is a lot like Ye'kwana but sounds like Sanema.

Oliver Stone came to town and met with President Lugo.

We need rain in the Chaco and the headlines say the Iguassu falls are lacking water.

Lots of boys are text messaging my daughters trying to get them to go to the banquet with them at camp! I am tired of text messages.

Ex-pat Paraguayan Blogger Bash!

I also was given this award by a new friend. I was able to meet Betty last month when a group of ex-pat bloggers got together at Brenda's house. We had so much fun. It was like we already knew one another from our blogs. She is a Canadian living in the Chaco.

Pray for a good time for the kids at camp,pray for my husband as he studies. I hope to be able to study after the school year. I have to Home School and do not think I can do them both at the same time. Pray for my health and the ministries here.

And pray for Israel!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Me, Myself, and I

My daughter, Jewel, wrote this yesterday. I thought I would share it here with all of you.

No, I do not have dual personalities but I do have mulitple cultures to be more exact ,I have American, Venezuelan and Indian (Ye'kwana) cultures.

People like me are called TCK (third culture kid) or ATCK (adult third culture kid) I am also called a chameleon because I can blend in to almost any culture. It's pretty simple once you know but to do it correctly it takes practice and understanding of cultures. So now that I have given you the 101 on what I am called. Now I will tell you what my cultures are.

Riding on a dug out in the jungle.

Indian me
As an Indian I know how to plant a garden .I know how to catch a boa constrictor and come out alive (if all goes to plan) but more importantly, I know that I do not leave my house by my self. I will only go with my father or brother or another woman.
When I am talking on a complicated or uncomfortable topic or just confronting some one, I will not look them in the eyes!! I also will not show my father any affection out side of the house ,such as holding his hand or giving him hugs. I will walk slightly behind him, I will be quite if men are talking.
When it is time to eat I will serve the men first, oldest to youngest, then I will serve the children and old women and then I will eat with the other women.
I know there are only two ways to punish a man for any thing he has wrongly done to me. If I am not married to him, I will get a couple of my friends to help me and I will get the largest bucket I can find and fill it with water and a cereal type of grain .Then I will offer it to him and he will have to drink it all!!!!! If I am married to him, I will wait till he is asleep in his hammock with his head over the smoldering cooking fire, and I will take the machete and cut the hammock strings so he lands head first in the fire ( which is so much more enjoyable if he is still drunk from the three day party down at the churwata)
If a man wishes to propose to me, he will hang his hammock in my house and if the next morning it is not thrown out side in a heap it means I have accepted . He will then move in with me and my family and then we will go to the village elders where they will study are family tree to see if we may marry. In one case, a couple was told they could not marry because the girl and the boy were both directly descended from two very powerful witchdoctors and if they should have children, it could be dangerous. So they were both married to different people.
And there is much more. I could go in to, but I don't want to sooo ,continuing on...

Cheering for Venezuela's futbol (soccer) team playing in Asunción.

My Venezuelan Self
As a Venezuelan woman I know my physical appearance is very important. If I call a friend up on the phone to ask a favor, I must first spend 15 minutes chit chatting, ask how their family is? Have they found their lost dog? and so on, and then I may get to the real reason for the call. If a baby has hiccups I will put a wet cotton ball on his chest to get rid of the hiccups....why? I don't know.
The relationship between a mother and her son is very strong because many times there is no father figure and hence some times this makes the wife and husband relationship hard.
I love colorful clothes and big earring's and high heels and I all ways drink coffee any time of day or night. I had my first cup of coffee in a bottle (mom and dad didn't know) I had my ears pierced by the doctors when I was three days old
At Christmas I will buy new clothes and will wear it to a big party where I will have all the Christmas foods and drinks. Then me and my family will go to the beach for a couple of days
A strike or protest is not a strike or protest if there is no tear gas or the National Guard come out all dressed up. You must flip buses, burn tires ,and scream and yell with the other hundreds of people there. At 12pm we go home and eat lunch, take a nap, take a shower and go back to the strike.
Shorts are only for the beach or pool or at your house. Always iron you cloths, make sure your feet are clean, and if you can't smell the soap and shampoo and perfume or cologne on some one, they are dirty.Flip Flops are for the shower only!
Baseball is bigger then futbol in Venezuela ( but futbol is still very big) the top teams are 1- Cardenales de Lara ,2- Leones de Caracas, 3 -Magellanes de CARABOBO!!, and right now the Cardenales are in the lead and they are the best,they are also my home town team!

Registering to vote for the US Presidential Elections.

I am American
As an American I am very proud and strong I do not back down from a fight ( sorry mom and dad) I support the war in Irak, I love the Marines but that might have to do with the fact that my dad is a third generation Marine. I like country music,and I love the American dollar! I love Wal-Mart. I love celebrating Thanksgiving. And my favorite candy is Reece Cups. Since I have lived there less than anywhere else, I have already run out of things to write about the American culture.

Since I didn't write very much about my American culture, I will write a little about the mk culture

Questions we hate the most:
Where are you from? What country do you love best? These are frequently asked questions from non-mk's. When mk's meet each other, we have several questions we ask each other, such as
Where were you born? How long did you live there? How many languages do you speak? How many countries have you lived in? Are you a first generation mk or several generations? How long have you been on the mission field? Where do you consider home to be?

We all so learn how to stand at a display table in the church lobby.We smile and answer the same questions over and over because we know the churches are our supporters. We also learn to cut off our emotions, especially when we say good bye because we have to!
Woto#ojo! Hasta luego! See you later!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Great American Invention

We all know that the British invented 'Tea Time' but do you realize that we Americans invented the 'Coffee Break'?

Coffee has been consumed in this country since the early 1700 hundreds as the British had acquired a taste for it and most tea houses also offered coffee. Coffee became the preferred drink of Americans after the famous Boston Tea Party. The Americans considered it unpatriotic to drink tea during that time and turned to coffee. The colonists realized they could import coffee from South and Central America, cutting out the necessity of importing through England. By the early 1900 hundreds, Americans were already consuming half of the worlds coffee production.

We all know the cowboys were keen on their coffee and took it out west where it became a symbol of the cowboy and his camp fire.

The military also was responsible for spreading the love of coffee. The GI's in WWII drank coffee in large canteen mugs and even expected packages of instant coffee to be in their C-rats. The term 'Cuppa Joe' came from the GI Joe and his love for coffee.

Upon their return to the USA, the soldiers were heavily addicted to their coffee and it was soon available at every lunch counter in this country.

The next evolutionary event for the coffee bean, was with the invention of the drip coffee maker. This made a better tasting coffee than the peculator and housewives preferred it for it's easy clean up. Shortly after, we were introduced to the Travel Mug. This allows us to carry our coffee with us. Before this, one had to stop and drink their coffee at a road side diner, but now, we could carry it along for the ride.

The American 'coffee break' which was implemented after WWII as a time of rest for workers became a standard for the American work environment. The GI Joe's needed their caffeine jolt and began to expect it as a matter of fact. General Eisenhower even had an 'Operation Coffee Cup' during his presidential campaign. He would meet with voters at their place of work during their coffee breaks. This helped spread the social impact of the American coffee break.

Just one more reason to be proud to be called an America!

This may well be the next big thing in the coffee market!

Counseling 101

Have you ever had to counsel someone and really, really, really, wanted to say this to them?

I know those of us in the ministry can NOT counsel like this,but, please tell me, I am not the only one who has been tempted to do it!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Personal Discoveries

I made a great, big, personal discovery last night. I have been contemplating why I was feeling so...not sure what is the correct word to use, but maybe 'displaced' describes it best. That is how I feel, displaced.

I am still getting used to being here. Actually, I am used to being here in Paraguay, what I am not used to, is NOT being in Venezuela which is not the same thing at all.

I love the people here, I love my house, I enjoy the culture, I love the ministries we are beginning and find it all exciting and challenging, but, the question in the back of my mind at many times is, "HOW DID I END UP IN PARAGUAY???"

It can be perplexing trying to figure out the way things are done here because it seems like I should know. For instance, every time I answer the phone, I get it wrong. I say 'alo' and the line remains quiet until I remember to say 'hola' with an accent on the last syllable which seems wrong to me.

I wear a chicken coop instead of a skirt. (pollera instead of falda)

Saying 'Adios' when passing someone on the street, seems to mean "Hello, I see you but do not have time for a chat".

And then the whole, 'chevere' and 'Na'guara' bit.

After our trip to Argentina, I still had some coins in my purse and with out realizing it, I tried to pay with them here. I keep thinking of money as 'Bolivares' rather than 'Guaranis'.

Can't tell you the Paraguayan name of half the fruits and vegetables or cuts of meat. I can tell you the Venezuelan word.

Stand at the door and clap! No knocking or banging the rejas like in Venezuela.

People mention a town or place and I do not know where it is. Or local politics and politicians, I haven't a clue who or what it is.

It is also very odd for me to be in a country with so many white people. There are many Europeans and people of European descent here. It just feels odd to not be different. I am used to being different and here I fit in much better, but find it uncomfortable. Which seems a strange reaction to me, lol!

Have you ever seen an old dog turning around and around in the same spot? Making his bed comfortable before he lies down? That's what I feel like!

The adventure of new discoveries is fun! Just not always comfortable, you know ? I'm working on it. Just like that old dog, a few more turns to smooth out the bumps and lumps, and I'll be all settled.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

I have been on a quest

I have been totally wrapped up in some reading. I am on a China kick. It all started when my son in law loaned me THIS book. Which meant I had to read THIS one, too.

I begged my husband to order THIS one. It was written by a third generation missionary kid who was born and raised in China, and that left me to needing to read THIS one as well, written by his daughter. All of that made me want to re-read THIS one with a new perspective.

So that's where I have spent my Christmas break, how about you? Been on any adventures via text lately?

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The River

Salto Para on the Rio Caura, Bolivar State, Venezuela
(Taken from the plane)

My husband wrote this,
To live by a river is to make it a part of your life. It flows like blood through your veins and is never forgotten. You feel it's cold and it's power. You miss it when it is gone. No other river will ever replace it. It is your blood.

Unless you have lived a life dependent upon a river, I suppose it is not easily comprehended. If you have lived along the banks of a river, and relied upon it for survival, it becomes part of who you are.

The river is the source of the water that you need to sustain life. Not only for you, but for the animals as well. The river represents LIFE.

The river is the place one goes for cleansing your person and your possessions. The river represents CLEANSING.

The river is the provider of much of your food. The fish of the river are the most accessible source of protein. The river represents SUSTENANCE.

The river also is your highway. It provides you with passage to other places and people. The river represents FREEDOM.

Life, cleansing, sustenance, freedom. The river.

I am no poet, but I do enjoy attempting to express myself through the writing of something vaguely resembling poetry. I wrote this last year.


Sitting in a dugout,
Gliding down a river,
Looking upwards to the blue sky,
White, wispy clouds breezing by,
Tall jungle trees,
Pointing high!

Close my eyes,
Feel the tropical sun upon my skin,
Humidity in the air, cool water against my hand,
Dangling fingers swim in the green, brown river,
A soft mist sprays upon my brow,
Cooling water!

The jungle permeates,
Earthy, damp and musty,
A thousand years old!
The smell of a storm coming this way,
Sweet, sour, a bit of decay,
Jungle smells!

Listen! Listen!
What do you hear?
The cry of a majestic macaw,
The wind moves the leaves of the palms,
The water gurgles as it ripples,
Quiet sounds!

The sights of home,
The feel of home,
Familiar smells,
The sounds that call me home,
I hear the beckoning and I long to return,
Winding river, take me home!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Missionary Conundrum

I have often found myself in a difficult dilemma. Sometimes, as a missionary, one can not help but become deeply involved in the lives of the people where one is serving. After so many years of trying to adapt, even adopting the culture, it is not easy to avoid opinions of the political nature. Especially when you see a government that is abusing the citizen. Even more so when you realize that many measures could endanger the Christian cause.

When it comes to communism, there has never been a place where Christianity was allowed to flourish under this system. I see no reason to believe it will be different in Venezuela. Add to that all the new alliances with Iran and radical Islam, how can the missionary not be concerned? How can you not warn, or at least try to prepare, the congregation for the persecution to come?All this has to be tempered by the reality that our primary mission is to evangelize the unsaved and serve the people as our Lord would.

The dilemma is knowing when and where to draw the line. I have not always been able to do this. I have grown to identify so much with the people of Venezuela, I can not turn a blind eye.

I was encouraged as I began to research and found that others before me have experienced the same problem.

One missionary I remembered reading about many years ago, Howard Baskerville , seemed to feel as I. He was a missionary who served in Iran.

Howard Baskerville said that he joined his students and took up arms for the nationalist movement, "as a matter of conscience." He ended up dying, while actually defending the Iranians. He is buried in Tabriz.
I am not condoning violence. I do applaud bravery and the defense of the weak.

Until recently, he was considered a hero by the Iranians. Much the same as we American revere Lafayette, who fought with us in the revolutionary war, Baskerville was honored as the American missionary who fought with his students.

He died in the siege of Tabriz leading a student contingent, in April of 1909. He was buried there in Iranian soil.

The following are excerpts from a letter, written by an American missionary wife, to inform his parents of their son's deeds.

My Dear Dr. & Mrs. Baskerville,

You have heard long before this letter reaches you that your dear boy has laid down his life. It is almost three weeks since he resigned his position at the mission school, though he has come to see us six times since. The last time was last night. Just before starting to battle. He told us it was a desperate attempt to open the road and get food into this starving city. We had prayer together. Mr. Wilson praying only for his protection and commending him to God's care. Mr. Baskerville himself prayed only for others, "this city to be relieved," "the dear ones of the Mission to be kept in safety, and for peace to be obtained." - not a word of himself.

In the night a soldier brought a note from him, "Dangerous rumor that the Europeans will be attacked to secure immediate intervention. don't be on the streets today." The first Sunday after he joined the army he came to church and sat in his usual seat, - the second in front - and had quite an ovation afterward, the men pressing round him to shake hands. That afternoon he came to see us. I begged him not to be reckless, saying "You know you are not your own." "No," he answered, "I am Persia's."

And then of their son's death.

We carried him to our room and laid him on our own bed, and Mrs. Vannemen and I washed the dear body with the blood staining through his shirts and covering his breast and back. We found the bullet hole in front and back, having passed clear through, so small, so fatal. It had entered from the back and come out just above his heart, cutting a large artery. and Dr. V. says causing instant death. His face was bruised a little on one side,where he had fallen.

We dressed him in his black suit, and when all the sad service was done, he looked beautiful and noble, his firm mouth set in a look of resolution and his whole face calm in repose. I printed a kiss on his forehead for his mother's sake. A white carnation is in his buttonhole, and wreaths of flowers are being made. Our children made a cross and crown of the beautiful almond blossoms now in bloom.

The Governor came at once, expressing great sorrow, saying, "He has written his name in our hearts and in our history." The Anjuman (national assembly) sent a letter, saying they wished a share in doing him honor, and asked that the funeral be put off till tomorrow...

The Hunt

Where meat comes from:

Jungle camp

The butchering

Smoking some of the meat to preserve it.

The fishing is good, too!

Thanks to my MK nephew 'Jacob '
( above, using his bow and arrow)
for sharing his photos with me.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

My Climb, My Fall,My Rescue

Flying over Mt. Duida, Amazonas, Venezuela

I must reach my God! I must see His face, hear His voice. He dwells upon the mount. The mount that looms above me. I am here below, in a deep, dark chasm, a pit. Yet, I know the way to Him lies above and I must go.

The path leading up is steep and dark. Treacherous, but I must risk it, for He has placed with in my soul a need to see Him, face to face. And so, I reach upwards, searching for a hand hold. First one hand, then the other, and with stumbling feet, I try to find a path to God.

I gain a bit, a foothold here, then stretching forth my hand, I slip! Slip backward and lose my ground! Striving, grasping, but I seem to not advance at all, and yet, with the weakening of my flesh, my soul does strive still!

My very heart cries out to climb to God, but I do not seem to progress. I know He resides above and that is where I must go. There is no other place of peace. I must go! Upward, upward! Go!

At that moment, I feel the strength of my arm falter, at that very moment, I lose my grip...and fall. Down, down...I fall to the lowest place. It is as if I had not attempted the climb at all. I am filled with despair knowing I had given it my all. I can not climb to my God. There is no hope for me. I am to die and forever be here in the depths of darkness.

And as I lay there, waiting for death, broken and afraid, I hear a sound upon the path. The sound of footsteps coming down the very way I had trod. The path that led to my fall. To where I now lay dismayed. Hearing the footsteps, I feel a glimmer of hope rekindled in my soul. Upon opening my eyes, I see my God, coming down for me! He reaches out His nail scared hand for me, He lifts me up, in His strong embrace, and all my fears dissolve.

Lovingly, He carries me to the mountain top. He places me upon my feet to stand in that blessed spot. And what a view I now behold as I stand atop the Mount of God!

I feel as if sunlight is in my soul, even as I hear the thunder of a storm below. I am calm on this height where I stand beside my God, for no storm or cloud can reach me. I am under clear, blue skies that reach for all eternity. I am strong in this place! No one can harm me. I am secure, at peace with all.

This is life! This is joy! My God has found me! He lifted me up to see His face! To hear His voice!
And now, His love I know!

I John 4:19

We love him, because he first loved us.

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

Isaiah 26:4 Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.

(These are thoughts I write down in my devotional journal. I rarely share them with anyone, but decided to do so here. The mountain pictured at the top is what was in my mind's eye.)

Saturday, January 03, 2009

For my sister...

My sister tagged me for this meme. (Midnight Musings)

Open your document or picture folders. Choose your 6th folder, then choose your 6th picture. Post the photo with a description about it.

Josh, Jungle Mom, and Jackie
This was taken on a long layover at the Miami International Airport as we returned to Venezuela after our first furlough.

This would have been the first trip my son, Josh, made to the US. He learned to speak English on that trip. His T shirt is from Colonia Tovar which is a German colony in Venezuela. He never knew there were so many 'gringos' in the world!

Jackie (Keepin' Sane with Littles) had been to the states before but only as an infant. She was impressed when she watched TV at her Aunt Pam's and saw The Flintstones. She came running out to tell me, "Pedro (Fred) learned English!"

She also had never seen a bath tub and was very afraid of the draining water. She thought she would go down as well. She had a bit of shock in the grocery store as we entered the cereal aisle, she broke out in tears and said,"Everything is imported. It will be too expensive to buy!" This was because the imported cereal in Venezuela was very expensive and I always told her we could not afford to buy it. She must have thought we would go hungry in the US because to her mind, everything was imported.

My husband calls this my Princess Di picture as he says I resemble her Princess Diana in this photo.