Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Brain Storming

I am having a terrible time trying to come up with a title for my book. The few titles I had considered are already taken.

I had considered 'Chronicles of the Jungle Mom' but another expat woman seems ot have beat me to it! There is even another blog titled 'Jungle Mom'. I found a 'Memoir of a Jungle Dad-Mom' as well as 'It's a jungle Up There'. Can you believe there is even an advice book written by the 'Queen of the Jungle'? And don't forget the original 'Jungle Book'. So, what is a Jungle Mom to do???

Any suggestions for a title?

Monday, March 30, 2009

My son, my son, my only son!

As the Easter season approaches, I am reminded of this event which took place in the jungle of Venezuela one Easter weekend. I know most of you have already seen it, but many new readers have not.
(This is a re-post of an article posted earlier.)

In Memory of Baby David Lopez

It was Easter week. I will never forget it. We had only been in the village for about a year. I had made friends with one indian lady, Linda, as she was one of two women in the village that spoke a little Spanish. Her husband , Antonio, was the school teacher in the village. He had been born and raised in the village of AcanaƱa and had been trained by missionaries there. He had also been sent to town to receive a high school education. He was, perhaps, one of the most educated indians of the tribe at the time.

They had flown out to town a couple of months earlier so that Linda could be near a hospital to give birth to her fourth child. She had only just returned to the village a few days before with her three week old son. Her first son, as her other children were girls. Her only son, as they had performed a tubal ligation on her at the hospital. She came to the house and proudly showed him to us. Antonio would be flying back in on a separate flight the following week.

On Saturday, she came to us in the morning, on her way to her garden. She said the baby had been fussing a lot the night before. My husband checked him out, but all seemed fine. Clear lungs, no mucus, no fever, good heart rate! He was a cutie who was beginning to smile!

She continued on with the baby to her garden to get food for the family. That evening she arrived back at the house. It had rained that day, she and the children were soaking wet. The baby was feverish. When Clint listened to his lungs, I knew we were in trouble just by the look on his face. His temperature was at 104.

We began to do all we could for the baby with the limited tools available to us. He had developed double pneumonia in about 12 hours. Unfortunately, we had no oxygen in the village. We had penicillin, but not the fast acting, injectable which is the preferred treatment.

As the evening wore on, the baby began to struggle to breathe. We had called out by radio to have the plane ready to fly out for the patient first thing in the morning, if he was able to make it through the night. The missionaries in town had found the father, Antonio, and he was prepared to receive his son. The missionaries had arranged for an ambulance to be at the airport. IF the baby survived the night.

Around mid-night, we almost lost him! Clint began CPR, and was able to get him to breathe again. But...about an hour later, he stopped breathing and we repeated the process again. He had a weak pulse but once again began to breathe on his own.

This happened more times than I can remember. My husband wore himself out trying to breathe for the small baby. We had to take turns breathing the breath of life into the child. We did this for hours.

Any doctor will tell you, you should not do this! CPR is meant to be used for a short time only until medical help can be reached or the paramedics arrive. BUT...there was no medial help and we were the paramedics!

Around 4 am, Clint was breathing for the child and I felt the babies pulse, slowly falter, lighter and lighter, until...nothing. Clint's eyes were on my face as he also felt the life slip away.

Linda also realized the exact moment her son died. She did not understand what Clint and I were saying to one another, but she knew!

She stood and began to cry out, "My son! My son, my only son!" I went to her , to try and comfort her. She sobbed all night in my arms. "My little son!"

Clint had laid the baby down and asked for someone to help him. But the indians are terrified of dead bodies and at that time would not touch a corpse.

The Ye'kwana often would take a dying person out into the jungle so that they would die there alone and away from the village. If someone dies in a house, no one would live in the house afterwards. They would hire the Sanema tribe to bury the body for them so that they would not know where it was. This is due to their fear of the spirits.

Antonio and Linda were Christians though. Once we realized no one would help with the baby, Clint went out and built a tiny casket all by himself. He only had a battery powered flashlight and hand tools. I wrapped the baby in a soft cloth and comforted Linda and my own small children who had watched and heard it all.

The other indians all sat around and wailed the death chant ...all night. They were very concerned that we had the body in the house with us. But where should we put him? It was a dark, rainy night in the jungle.

The next morning we informed the pilots by radio that we had lost the patient but to please fly the father out to the village anyway. The men in the village had begun to dig the grave. We were only waiting for the father to arrive for the burial.

When Antonio came in on the flight, they left immediately for the grave sight. Antonio and Linda had become Christians through the ministry of the missionaries in their village. They wanted a christian burial for their son.

Remember, now, it is Easter Sunday morning. As he placed the small casket into the cold, dark, muddy hole he began to preach!

He told them all that he was very sad to lose his only son. His heart hurt! But...he would see his child again!" Yes," he said. "I know that the Son of God, Jesuquiriitu, has taken my son to be with Him in heaven! His body is here in the ground but his true person is with God! And I know that when I die, I also will go to the place of God and I will see my son again!"

He told the old, old story of a Savior who came in the form of a babe and laid down His life upon a cross. The Son of Wanaadi (God) had died to take away the sins of the world so that all who believe might be saved! But Jesuquiriitu did not stay dead! No, He rose again!!!! He defeated death on the third day and rose again. Jesuquidiitu, was seen alive by many witnesses after that and had promised to go to the place of His Father, Wanaadi, to prepare a home for all who believe! A place where the houses are not made of mud, nor cement blocks but had streets of gold! And Antonio, and Linda, had put their faith in that. They would see their small son again and be with him!

I remember that night and how we had done all in our power to stop Death. We could not stop Death.. We are only human. BUT ...I remember that Easter morning in the rainy jungle! I saw the power of the resurrected Christ work in the hearts and lives of a forsaken people in a forsaken land.

John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

Upon a life I did not live,
upon a death I did not die;
anothers life, anothers death,
I stake my whole eternity.
-Horatius Bonar

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Welcome to my home!

I wanted to share our home in Paraguay with you all. We were blessed with a lovely house to rent here and have slowly been making it our home over the last few months.

This is the living room as you come in the front door.

The other angle.
You can see Clint's office area tucked away into the corner.

Oh, and the cat!

Looking back towards the room from the other end.

Heading down the hall. Excuse the messy book shelves.
I gave up on trying to keep them organized!

This is a hand made Ye'kwana bench which sits by our door. It is carved from one solid piece of trunk to have the form of a cat/jaguar. and is known as the chief's seat. An elder in the village made it for us many years ago. It is one of the few things we managed to bring out of the jungle with us.

Whenever I think of the many happy years we spent living in our simple jungle hut and compare that to the comfortable home with which we have been blessed to live in here, I am always reminded of Paul's words in 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.


Kitchen, Dining, Living room of the jungle hut. Good times!

Sunday Funny

ReverendFun.com's daily Christian cartoons brought to you by Gospelcom.net

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Paraguay contra Uruguay

Arriba Albirroja!

SudAfrica 2010 - World Cup Soccer 2010

Just a note for all of our friends in various countries of South America.
Solo una notica para nuestros amigos por los paises de Sud America

Placements of all South American teams for South Africa
Number one is:
Posiciones de los Paises en competicion para SudAfrica 2010
Numero UNO y Maximo posicion es;

1. PARAGUAY con 23 puntos
2. Brazil 17 puntos
3. Argentina 16 puntos
4. Chile 16 puntos
5. Uruguay 13 puntos
6. Ecuador 12 puntos
7. Colombia 11 puntos
8. Venezuela 10 puntos
9. Bolivia 9 puntos
10. Peru 7 puntos

Thursday, March 26, 2009

True Poverty

Sanema children waiting outside of our clinic in the jungle.

I know our economy is in trouble. Frankly, I expect it will get worse and with the policies of spending that the current administration is putting into practice, even our children and grand children will suffer from it. But, I am concerned that many of us have no concept of true poverty and suffering.

I hear people claim sacrificing their trips to the theater, now they only rent movies to watch at home. Others have parked the second or third car, or are choosing to drive a smaller car and park the SUV in their double car garage, which is full of things they no longer even remember having purchased. Or taking a smaller cable plan, shopping for clothing at Wal mart or Target instead of at the Mall.

I do not mean to imply that things are not messed up by our American standards and even my own family members have had a hard time lately, but even the poor in our country are wealthy by most standards.

Next time you feel depressed about your economic situation, just remember these Sanmea indian children in the photo. They are starving. They live in the dirt. They wear a cast off rag, if that. If they are female, they will be married off at 8, 10, or 12 years of age. That is if they survive to that point.

Once married, they will bear children until no longer able or they will die of disease and exhaustion. If another man contests the right of her ownership, she may be part of a 'girl pull'. She will be expendable as each man and his clan will pull the girl, as in a tug of war, to claim her. Often she will literally be torn asunder.

I know this may not be popular, but, maybe this generation of Americans needs to experience a bit of financial difficulty to rebuild our national fiber of courage and hard work, each man providing for his family without the help of the government or spending money on credit which they do not have.The best way to appreciate something is to earn it through your own sweat.

Newly weds live in mansions. We used to have to work a few decades to get the home we dreamed of. New families have houses full of new furniture which no one uses as they are too busy working to pay for it, or entertaining them selves elsewhere.

From the view of someone who has lived in a third world country most of my life, I find it amazing to see the supposed 'poor' who manage to eat enough to be obese. How is that?

We need to confront the crisis head on and not think we can let the next generation deal with it. Americans are not supposed to be like that. Our forefathers were made of stronger stuff. Where did we lose our fortitude as a nation? Where is the individual drive to work hard and produce something better for our kids? Why are we not teaching that to our children? We need to let the kid learn what work is and the importance of self sufficiency.

Yes, sometimes our neighbors need a helping hand and we should be there to offer that helping hand in times of real need. We as individuals need to be charitable, not the government! The government is bankrupt and lacks the morality needed to even know how to honestly distribute truly needed aid, but when people or institutions speculate and fail causing their own bankruptcy, why do we need to bail them out of the problem they created for themselves? How will they learn? If continually rescued they will only do so again, and again.

I know most of the people who read my blog are not slackers and are hard workers. I am not directing this at those of us who are doing our part. I'm just confused and a bit bewildered at times, wondering where my country went! What happened to our values? Did we really become so shallow as a people to not proudly roll up our sleeves and tackle this problem?

Just sayin'...

How old do you think these children are?

(They are 4 and 5 years old)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Beauty Shop

Yesterday morning I woke up with a pounding head ache after a night of little sleep. I have nights like this fairly often due to my chronic back pain, it's just part of my life. I can't do much about it, but the head ache, I knew exactly what to do for that!

A trip to my beauty shop! That's right, a trip to my hairdresser can fix most of my head ache problems that even medication can't touch!

I showed up at the shop and as I settled in at the sink, the regular shampoo girl asked if I wanted the scalp massage. Oh did I!!!! The scalp massage is a twenty minute massage of the scalp, forehead and neck. It can really get rid of a tension head ache and the 'works' only costs 10$! I try and treat myself to a trip once a month or so.

I mentioned to her that I had come hoping she could help me get rid of my terrible head ache. She asked me where exactly was the pain and how intense was it. She did a little pre massage check to see where I felt most relief and how much pressure was comfortable.

And then she washed my hair, and applied the cream treatment she uses for the massage. I felt so much better when she finished, I looked at my watch and saw that instead of the usual twenty minutes, she had spent 45 minutes on my massage! She said she could tell how much relief I was feeling and just couldn't stop until her hands were too tired to continue.

Then she served me coffee.

I love Paraguayan beauty shops!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Books, Books, Books!

1. Do you remember how you developed a love for reading?I taught myself to read at 4 years of age. I have always loved reading but I do remember my first favorite book was a Golden Book of Saggy,Baggy the Elephant. My father would often read aloud to me. He enjoyed Luis L amour westerns and Pirate Tales. I can still hear him saying, 'Yo Ho Ho , and a bottle of rum!'

2. What are some books you read as a child? There was a series of the childhood of Famous Americans in my school library, and I loved those and read as many as I could get! This led to a love for history and even Historical Fiction.In mt teen years I developed a love for Science Fiction.

3. What is your favorite genre? History and biographies.

4. Do you have a favorite novel? That's a really difficult question to answer, but I will say The Sea Island Lady.

5. Where do you usually read? Everywhere!
In my bed at night, at the table, in the car, while waiting in lines (You do a lot of that here) I always have a book in my purse.

6. When do you usually read?
I always read at night, but, anytime is a good time to read!

7. Do you usually have more than one book you are reading at a time? Yes! 2 or 3 by my bed, one in the kitchen, one by the computer, one in the living room and even one in the bathroom. My husband and I are always fighting over who gets to read which book next!

8. Do you read nonfiction in a different way or place than you read fiction?

Not really, unless it is for preparing a class to teach, then I will take notes.

9. Do you buy most of the books you read, or borrow them, or check them out of the library? When stateside, I pick up a lot of used books, and when ever anyone visits and asks what to bring, I always ask for books. As missionaries, we also borrow and share each others books. My husband just became part of the board of trustees for the American/Paraguayan Cultural Center which has an English library. It makes me feel like I won the lottery!

11. If you have children, what are some of the favorite books you have shared with them? For small children, Winnie the Pooh, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Rabbit. For older children, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings as well as the Chronicles of Narnia

12. What are you reading now? The Grand Idea (Washington's tour of the west after the war) The Gift of Dyslexia, A Table in the Presence of my Enemy ( The memories of a Navy Chaplain assigned to the Marine Corps in Irak.) The Book of Galatians.

13. Do you keep a TBR (to be read) list? Of sorts. It's usually just a stack of books on my shelf.

14. What’s next? I will probably re read Gone with the Wind (I just finished the biography of Margaret Mitchell)

15. What books would you like to reread? Just about any book worth reading is worth re- reading!

16. Who are your favorite authors? Tolkien, Elliot, Dickens,
Eugenia Price, McDonald, Austen and oh so many others!

What are you currently reading?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunday Funny

Do you know what a little old monk with bad calluses and bad breath is called???

( answer in comments!)

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Things I See

I am trying to collect photos of some of the new, exotic, interesting sights I see here in Paraguay. Last week, we saw the most amazing sight ever to be seen in this country! Really, the expat community is in such a buzz about it. It is the topic of our conversations, we text one another when ever we go there, it is the update of our Face Book status, we share opinions and impressions about it.

It is a very big deal!

What is this new and amazing place?

Yes, folks! We have a TGI Friday's!!!!
We visited to celebrate my daughter's Birthday.

But it was my son in law who was most excited... don't you think?????

Look at the menu? Isn't it awesome?
And they even had Heinz squeezable Ketchup!

My grand daughter, wasn't too sure what all the fuss was about.
Never mind, we'll teach her!

( I stole all photos from my daughter's blog. Keepin' Sane with Littles )

Thursday, March 19, 2009


The following was written by my youngest daughter, Jayde.

Amazonian worms.

The earliest memory I can recall clearly is eating worms instead of my mom's chocolate chip cookies. I may have been crazy, or simply craving worms. I don't know. But they were smoked, and they were very tasty. They taste a lot like beef jerky only a little bit more...um...wiggly. Plus, they are long. About a foot long. Let's just say that they are like Slim Jims. Only living.

They are much tastier when they are cooked, as are most foods. But, eating them live and raw can gross out any tourists or city-folk and it is fun. I used to snack on them like potato chips. I prefer them over potato chips.

Anyways, I'm guessing myself to be about five to six years old, and obviously, I was hungry. I was growing anyway, and I needed something to hold me over until Mom finished making lunch.
"Mama." I said, and looked up at her as she stirred the pot...Or cut the vegetables...Or baked or whatever she was doing. And she looked down at me.
"I'm hungry." As I said this, I rubbed my tummy.

Mom told me to go look in the fridge, as there was something to snack on. "Go look."
I walked over, and opened the fridge. Inside was a wild array of meat, fish that the Indians had brought, baby veggies, leftovers and...Worms. I dug in for the worms. I took them out, and carried them up to the loft while I played.

As soon as the Ziploc was empty, I quietly slipped back down the ladder, and threw the bag in the sink as Mom had always instructed me to do, because 'those magical bags didn't grow on trees'. I found this odd, because, to me, everything grew on trees. Fruits, vegetables, and I thought birds grew on trees. And the fact that they were magical meant they had to be cleaned every day, to be used again. And then stuck against the window when wet, to dry.
Anyway, once I threw it in the sink, I looked over and saw Mom leaning into the fridge. (I remember this clearly).

I went over and asked what she was doing. Mom stood back up, and said, " Where are they!?!?! They're--They're---They're GONE! What happened? Do you know??" She asked me.
I shook my head. Then Mom saw me. And looked in the sink.
"Did you eat the worms??"
I nodded. "You said there was a snack in the fridge."
"But--Those were for your cousins for when we see them next week. Oh...I was gonna surprise them!..." Mom looked so sad. So I looked at her, smiled and said,
"They wouldn't like them anyway. They would think that they were gross. So I eated them."
"I'm sure you did."

Turns out, she had meant the chocolate chip cookies when she said a snack. Who knew?
Jayde 'helps' her dad while a friend gets stitches.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Our Church In Venezuela

This is a video of the 25th Anniversary of the church where we began our missionary work in Barquisimeto, Venezuela. We were blessed to be able to take part in the ground work of this ministry during our first 8 years in Venezuela. After 8 years we moved to the jungle and began our work with the Ye'kwana indians.

We helped to establish a Bible School for the training of future pastors and teachers as well as begin the camp ministries. Both continue to this day and have grown greatly. Our coworkers, Carlos And Susan Arce are still at this ministry,Iglesia Bautista 'La Santa Biblia' and have been greatly used of God.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Personal Space

People, people everywhere!

In the village round house.

The more the merrier!

You are never really alone. Not in an indian village. There is no concept of 'personal space'. Actually, the Ye'kwana language does not even have a true translation for 'privacy' or 'being alone' as a positive thing. The translation is a negative, like 'lonely'. Something sad. Something to be avoided. Something dangerous, as being alone is an invitation to the evil spirits to come and attack you. Especially 'Canaima'(the death angel) who flies around at night, looking for some poor soul who is alone. Canaima will set in and give that person a beating and death within 3 days. That is why no one would ever think of walking around the jungle alone, even to go down the path to the river alone is risky.

I share all of this, so that you can understand how different the culture is in regards to privacy. We had NO privacy. Our home was always open, and often full of people. We even had indians standing around looking in our windows most of the time. Especially at night. Our house had large windows to afford us with light and cross ventilation. But with our lights on at night, we were watched by the entire tribe. We were their entertainment, ' Live, in Technicolor and Surround Sound'. Even in the house, under the palm roof, with no inside ceilings, what was said in one room was heard through out the entire house.

Being very aware that our entire lives were under scrutiny, we had to discipline ourselves at every moment. Even when speaking English or Spanish, our body language, facial expressions, and reactions were all being watched. They wanted to see how a christian re-acted to things, we needed to show them patience, love, gentleness...self control. Christ in us.

My husband and I learned to not show our irritation with each other in public, and we were always 'in public'. If an issue came up that absolutely had to be discussed in private, that meant, going to the river, getting in a canoe, paddling for 10 to 15 minutes to get out of hearing range from the village, in order to have a private discussion.

Frankly, not many things are worth that effort! By the time you get done paddling, you don't have the energy to argue. Or it no longer seems important enough, you may even forget what had annoyed you to begin with, or, you find yourself alone and don't want to waste that precious privacy in anger.

I think every married couple ought to buy a couple of rowing machines and make a rule that before responding to one another in anger, you both have to row for 15 minutes!!!!

In the village.

In my home.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Get to Know the REAL Jungle Mom!!

The Big Five Personality Questionnaire

Raw Percentage More Information

Last updated on: 13 March 2009

Answered 20/100 questions

Trait Explanations

In order to interpret your raw percentages, they were compared to the first 350,000 people to complete the full My Personality Big Five questionnaire. This allows the way that you described yourself to be put in the context of how other people respond to the questionnaire. You should remember that there are no fundamentally good or bad personalities, as each trait description has potential advantages and disadvantages.


This trait refers to the extent to which you prefer novelty versus convention. Approximately 94.5% of respondents have a lower openness raw percentage than yours. From the way you answered the questions, you seem to describe yourself as someone who is far more intellectually curious and sensitive to beauty than most. You might say that your beliefs are individualistic and frequently drift towards the unconventional, and that you enjoy your imagination and the exciting places it takes you!

Jungle mom says:

I found it hard to beleive so many people are less 'open' than I. but then again, here I am sharing all of this with the whole world!

" far more curious and sensitive to beauty than most." This is probably true!

' you enjoy your imagination and the exciting places it takes you! ' Oh yeah!


This trait refers to the extent to which you prefer an organized, or a flexible, approach in life. Approximately 34.5% of respondents have a lower conscientiousness raw percentage than yours. From the way you answered the questions, you seem to describe yourself as someone who is spontaneous and fun, and that you like to do unexpected things that make life that bit more interesting. You might say that you aren't completely unreliable, but you've been known to slip up on occasion.

Jungle Mom says:

'you like to do unexpected things that make life that bit more interesting.' Who doesn't?

'You might say that you aren't completely unreliable, but you've been known to slip up on occasion.' OOPS!


This trait refers to the extent to which you enjoy company, and seek excitement and stimulation. Approximately 84.1% of respondents have a lower extraversion raw percentage than yours. From the way you answered the questions, you seem to describe yourself as someone who is constantly energetic, exuberant and active. Your answers describe you as someone who aims to be the centre of attention at social occasions, asserts yourself when in groups, and usually says, "Yes!"

Jungle Mom says:

'constantly energetic, exuberant and active.' LOL! Not lately, but I was in my younger days before back surgeries.


This trait refers to the way you express your opinions and manage relationships. Approximately 8% of respondents have a lower agreeableness raw percentage than yours. From the way you answered the questions, you seem to describe yourself as someone who is willing to make difficult decisions when necessary, and will point out when something is wrong no matter what other people might feel. Your responses suggest that you would say that you can be tough and uncompromising.

Jungle Mom says:

' you will point out when something is wrong no matter what other people might feel.' I do that quite often!!!

'you can be tough and uncompromising.' Just ask my family! Not always a good thing.

Neuroticism (Emotional stability)

This trait refers to the way you cope with, and respond to, life's demands. Approximately 0 % of respondents have a lower neuroticism raw percentage than yours. From the way you answered the questions, you seem to describe yourself as someone who is extremely difficult to upset or stress out, since you rarely, if ever, react with negative emotions, and even when you are anxious about something the feeling quickly passes. Based on your responses, you come across as very calm and resilient.

Jungle Mom says:

'someone who is extremely difficult to upset or stress out, since you rarely, if ever, react with negative emotions.' I have had a lot of practise!!!

Answers, Part Three

Findalis said...

What is the one thing you enjoy most about being a missionary? What is the one thing you hate most about being a missionary?

And would you do it again if you had the chance to do it over?

I enjoy the blessing of feeling that my work makes a difference in the lives of others. Not anything that I do, but the work God allows me to do for Him. I also enjoy that my husband and I have spent our lives together, almost 24/7, working together and for the same goals. It has made us very close as a couple.

Our family life has been enhanced by the time we lived in the jungle. We were all together nearly everyday. Our children spent time with us, we had no real outside influences competing for their attention. This bonded us in a way many families never are able to achieve. I will never regret that.

One of the difficult things to accept as a missionary is that no matter where I go, I will always be missing someone. In the US, I miss my friends here. While here, I miss my friends and family in the states. Now, I miss family and friends in Venezuela. Sometimes this makes me not want to get too close to people as I fear the hurt of leaving them. I have to work on that all the time.

Would I do it again? You bet! I have been privileged to live an amazing life and see and experience things that many others never will. Would I change a few things if I were to do it over? Yes! I am much wiser now than in my younger days. Mostly, I would slow down and enjoy things more.

Brenda said...

Have you ever considered doing something different than missions? How much longer do you think you will stay at it?

We should plan a road trip to Filadelfia together in June or July. . . maybe we will even let our hubbies go along ;)

I think that one of the benefits of being a missionary, as you well know, is that in reality, I am able to do many different jobs. I have taught, spoken at conferences, delivered babies, buried the dead, traveled, been a counselor, ran camps and conferences, even got to fly the plane a few times. It is a multifaceted job and I don't think any other could compare. I hope to stay at it for quite few more years, but I have learned that sometimes God's plans are not the same as mine.

I would love to go to Filedelphia once it is cooler!

Betty said...

This is so funny. I had exaclty the same post prepared for today, but changed it to tomorrow. So you´ll see it then.
My question. When are you planing on coming to Filadelfia? What do want to see when here? Just to be prepared... :)

I would like to go before Jewel leaves for college in June. I really want to see you and perhaps sit on your newly refubished patio and eat some of the great recipes you post! I want to see your ranch! My husband says the grocery stores there are very nice, too.
Dani Joy said...

Do you go to the Chaco of Paraguay?(not sure if I have the name right. it´s like the outback) If so what are your thought´s on it. I went once when I was there and the children made such a lasting impact on me. So poor.

I do plan to go to the Chaco in a month or so. My husband has already been. The poverty in Latin America is very heart breaking to see and will change your perspective on what true poverty is.
Mrs. Reverend Doctor said...

I have always wondered what do you love to receive in packages from the state, or growing up what did things did the kids get excited about receiving?

I love to get books, DVD's, music Cd's, and Zip Lock baggies!!!! I also like to have seasoning packages on hand for things like Tacos, Sloppy Joes, Italian dressing mixes, Ranch mixes and that sort of thing. My children enjoyed getting their own mail when younger. Anything that was current in the states, Tshirts with logos, candies, books and movies.
Once we did get a package that spent 3 months in the mail. It had drier sheets, Chili powder,
M & M's, as well as Jiffy Muffin mixes. Unfortunaltey, the Chili powder permeated the
M & M's, so they were HOT! The drier sheets invaded the muffins to the point that they made bubbles in our mouths! So paking things indiviually is important. ( Also, I am unable to leave comments on your blog but loved the article with advice to Pastor's wives!)

I think that answers all of your questions, unless you have some more for me!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ever had one of those days????

I woke up this morning to find my toilet leaking. Not a good start to a day especially when you are having guests over.

My husband had to take Jewel to immigration to renew her Visa as she is here as a Venezuelan and all her paperwork is different. Her Visa expires tomorrow. We had planned to take her to Argentina to re enter but had been assured she could get an extension here in Asuncion. But there is a new director and, No, they no longer do that.

So we have to pay a fine of 200$... and get all her Interpol papers... and spend a week in lines to get a new 6 month Visa even though she leaves in just 3 months.

In the mean time I decided to bake an Angel Food cake for my guests and use a new pan. My cake spilled out of the pan and all over my clean oven creating a lot of smoke and a big mess.

We invited our guests for 3 pm, but they arrived on Paraguayan time, at 4:30 pm. Which was fine as we had expected them to arrive late. We had a great time visiting with them and their two children. Their son has Cerebral Palsy and had been hospitalized all last week. This was their planned vacation and they spent most of it in the hospital. We had wanted to encourage them a bit.

My husband grilled some steaks and sausages. I cooked yucca and made a salad and rolls. We were just sitting down to eat when Jayde decided to get ice for her terere thermos. Our fridge is not a frost free model and is in need of being defrosted. She decided to use the butcher knife to get the ice free...

And the knife punctured through the freezer and the gas began to escape, loudly...

And my husband was not happy...

And neither was I...

And Jayde felt terrible...

And, well, it's just been one of those days!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Answers, Part Two

Home school answers and memories.

The early years of home schooling.
(Lots of messes!)

Sarah Joy said...

Yes, did you have trouble homeschooling on the road??

One of the most difficult things about being a missionary is the time spent traveling in the states and trying to home school.

If your furlough will be 3 months or less and your children are still in elementary school, I would not even attempt formal schooling. I would recommended reading aloud in the car or listening to Cd's of good literature. Use the time in the US to discover America, visit historical places on your travels. Make scrapbooks and allow them to write their adventures and memories of their trips, flash cards are easy to use in the car to review material the children need to keep up with.

Older students need to stay on target with the core subjects. Supplement with literature and field trips as well. The only time I use a packaged curriculum is while on furlough. I find that something like ACE is easy to cart around and the work is already done for the teacher. Carry a small file box with you so that everything gets filed right away. Organization is a must while on the road.

The biggest challenge is trying to make the time for school, especially during Mission Conferences. Many Pastors expect the wife to be very involved in daily activities and offer to put the kids in their church schools for the week. This does not really accomplish much for the student. The Pastors do not realize that where as the conference is only one week out of the year for them, it is likely a weekly event for the missionaries. Taking so much time off from school can be very difficult to recover for the high school level student. We once did 17 Mission Conferences in a row, with no break.

Just try and realize that although a lot of book work may not be accomplished, your students are gaining a valuable education in so many other areas involving life skills.

I had one new missionary wife come to me during a conference very depressed about their school situation. Her husband was pressuring her because the 5 children were falling behind. As I spoke with her, I learned that they were traveling in a van and had no home base. I will admit to feeling the need to explain to her husband that there was a major difference in home schooling 5 children and VAN schooling 5 children. Having a home base to go to in between meetings is vital for school age children. You can use this time to really hit the books and stay on top of academics.


Making a volcano

Tammy said...

I would love to read more about the practical aspects of how you homeschooled your children through high school, and what they did directly after graduation.

Home schooling in high school is easier in many ways, than teaching younger students. My goal is to train my students to learn for themselves and not have the need to be 'spoon fed' information by the teacher. Of course, you must check their work and supervise their study, but allow them to set some of their own goals. You must keep accurate records for their future transcript. Independent study will help them when they enter college.

My children all graduated early and we allowed them to go to the US and work for a year, or so, before starting college. Since they had never lived in the states, held a job, or even had another teacher other than myself, we felt it was too much to expect them to suddenly take on all these new experiences at once.

Our children grew up in such a small village that we felt it was best for them to attend smaller colleges. A large school would have been difficult for them to adjust to.

Jackie worked in a the records department of a hospital at age 16 and was offered a supervisory position over adults. Joshua worked with my brother in construction and learned many useful skills for his future life on the mission field. He is now selling insurance.

Jewel has been teaching here but will be headed stateside this summer to get a job before starting school in the fall.

I hope this is helpful.

Historical figure dress up day.

Drama at the Jungle Hut

Math Class, Jackie's 'favorite'.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Answers, Part One

The one who tried to get the infamous cow dent out of the Limo for us,
on one of his visits to the jungle hut!

Siberia Tom: How many Cows did Clint kill with the Limo on the roads between PA and Barkie or CB?

So you haven't forgotten about that!!! LOL! I think we only hit the one cow. We did almost hit several others and gators a time or two. We had a giant bat fly into our windshield once and we ran over some very big snakes. But as you know, the most dangerous thing about those trips were the gigantic pot holes! And maybe running into a terrorist.

We really miss our limo, which for those who do not know, was really not a limo but a '96 Chevrolet Blazer ! We have a small Toyota car now. It was made in Japan and then converted in Chile to drive down here. Everything is backwards. If we want to turn on the windshield wipers, we turn on the signal lights. If we turn on the signal lights, we start the wipers. We will have very clean windshields but will most likely end up tail ended!

The person who often kept our car for us while we were in the jungle.

FJ said... Would you ever avail yourself of an opportunity to go back to serve with the Yekwana if it presented itself?

We would certainly go back for a time at least. If we could even just visit occasionally and help them out, we would be thrilled. However, we do have new commitments here that we are now responsible for, so it would be complicated.

Kathy said...

Maybe you answered this before and I missed it, but what was your water situation in the jungle? Did you have a sink, pump, buckets? Did you have a shower of any kind? You didn't have to wash your clothes in the river, did you? Just wondering... :)

The river was our water supply and for many years we bathed, washed clothes and dishes in the river. We carried water by bucket to the house for drinking. My husband had rigged up a water filter which did not require plumbing.

We also had a bucket shower for when we did not make it to the river.I had a sink before I had running water as I discovered that carrying dirty dish water and such was worse than carrying clean water. A drain is a truly wonderful thing!!! If I had to pick between water and electricity, I would choose running water.

Later we were able to get a water pump and elevated some barrels. We would fill the barrels and gravity feed it into the house. We then put in a flush toilet ( no more outhouse!) and a shower. After 6 years, I even had a washer.

I will answer more of your questions tomorrow. Thanks for asking !

Q and A

Do you have a question you would like to ask me?

About Paraguay?

About Venezuela?

About spiritual matters?

About home schooling?

About missions?

Or anything else which has not been answered by reading my posts?

I will try and answer any question you may have, just leave it in the comments.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Friday, March 06, 2009

The Never Ending Night

That would be Wednesday night.

Here in Paraguay we had experienced several days with temperatures over 100*F and this seems to sap the, uh, politeness, out of everyone. We all seem to get testy and are easily annoyed and irritated and show it towards one another.

Wednesday night my husband had a deacons meeting at the church, so I decided to hit the sack early. I had started a new book, just a mindless mystery. I headed to bed with my book around 10 pm planning to read for 30 or 40 minutes or so.

Of course, I got wrapped up in the book and was still reading when my husband got home, so we chatted for a bit. I picked up the book, planning to finish the few pages left of the chapter, when...
ZAP! Out go the lights.

OK, no more reading for that night. After only a few moments, the heat built up inside the house to reach 88*F. UUGGHH! Not conducive to sleep. We spent a few hours tossing and turning, dozing a moment or two here and there.

I saw lightening and I got up to unplug all the computers and other appliances so that they would not get fried. All this in the dark with only flashes of light from the lightning!

Back to bed. While the electricity was out, it seemed the mosquitoes moved into the house and were all buzzing around my ears. The only way to stop the buzz was to complete tuck my head under the sheets! But that was too hot... Got up to swat a few of the evil doers!!!

Then it seems that the lights came back on. A rude awakening for sure! Bright lights, buzzing fans, humming AC, but a welcome wake up, I assure you.

I was just drifting off to sleep when I heard a buzzing sound in my room. It took awhile for me to realize it was my husband's cell phone on vibrate resting on the dresser. It nearly worked itself off and on to the floor. Caught it just in time.

Lets try this again!!! I finally fell into a good sleep when I hear another buzz. At this point, I no longer cared what it was! It could have been bombs bursting over head and I would not have budged! But not so my husband! After several buzzes, he decides it is my phone and heads to the closet to get it out of my purse. But I have MANY purses and men can never find anything in a lady's purse! So after several minutes of banging and mumbling...he starts throwing my purses out into the living room! That's when I realized it was my phone. And my phone was not in the closet. My phone was not even in the room. My phone was in the living room. So I got up, climbed over the pile of purses and turned it off. It was a stupid text message from the phone service at 4am.


I went back to bed, but my husband, who normally rises at 4:30 am decided to stay up and start his day. For the next half hour, I listened to him prepare for the day. When he drove off an hour later, headed to the park for his morning walk, well, I was kind of glad to see him go!!!

I tried to sleep again but...it was not meant to be... and that is my tale of a Mid Summer's Eve in Paragauy!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Personal Update

We had another busy week. Have you ever spent your days running around, but then can't really say exactly what you did? That is how I feel about last week. But here goes...

We continue spending time with both churches. I seem to need to learn how to text. I get several texts from Paraguayan friends, and I HATE texting, so I end up calling them instead. The problem with that is that I end up on the phone too long. Paraguayans are addicted to texting!

Saturday was a Church Leadership Retreat with about 20 leaders. I was unable to attend, but Clint, Brian and Jackie were there. It was a profitable time used to unite the leadership team.

Pastor John Lennon, ABWE missionary, teaching the leaders.

Part of the group.

Two of the church deacons praying for one another.

Male bonding! Some things never change, no matter the culture!
(A deacon and my son in law)

On Sunday morning the girls and I attended our regular church as we had commitments to keep there , but Clint and two other men from the church traveled two hours to a newly formed church out in the interior. The church had just moved into its own property and was celebrating. Our church wanted to send a delegation to encourage them along. It is always good to see new churches formed.

On Sunday night, Clint once again preached for the other church we are helping. We are planning an evangelistic campaign for Holy Week as well as a 2 day retreat. So we will be busy.

Next week we will began the Small Group for marriage here at the house. This not only allows us to minister to the church folk, but by meeting at the house, we can also invite people who would never attend a church...YET ;)

The girls continued in their Soccer Tournament, but were finally defeated. We ended up taking Jewel to the ER yesterday as she hurt her thumb and it was only getting worse. She is now in a wrist brace for 15 days to immobilize the thumb. What can I say? I broke my own wrist playing soccer once, a very long time ago.

We have also had some,'Boy likes daughter, talks to Father' events this week. Oh the drama of being a teenage girl! My husband is greatly feared by the young men, which is the way he likes it to be! And now they have the added threat from the brother in law who is also their Youth Pastor, so there is no where to hide from the protectors. My husband walks around mumbling something about 'Predators!'

My diet is working, I have managed to lose 10 kilos since Christmas. I really need to do this to help my back pain, so please pray for me!!!

We are into our fourth week of school and I am also working on getting Jewel's high school transcripts ready for sending out to colleges as well as applications. This has kept me busy and I have not been able to visit as many blogs as usual.

I wanted to share some photos of the famous Lapacho Trees of Paraguay. They are beautiful and I know my friend Gringo will enjoy seeing them.

(H/T Luque Life for all photos)