Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Quick Note

We are on the road headed to Uruguay. We spent the night along the banks of the Parana River in a town called Encarnacion . Being fans of the  Nacho Libre movie, this name, ENCARNACION, makes us all break out in song. My husband wants to go to the WEELDERNESS. I am looking for the  LORDS CHEEEPS and Jayde is hoping her dad does not appear in STETCHY PANTS. 

We are getting ready to make an early morning crossing over into Argentina, pray all goes well and we arrive in Uruguay safe and sound.

Did you know that to drive through Argentina one must have a white sheet in their trunk?  Just in case you come across a corpse and need to cover it. If you do not have one, you will get ticketed.

We almost needed to use our sheet yesterday. It involved a stolen vehicle, a high speed chase. a near collision,  and an armed confrontation at an intersection.  All this and we were still in Asuncion!  Always exciting to travel through Latin America. We were very close observers but we are fine!

Pray for us today as we travel and that we will  have an early arrival in Uruguay.

Friday, November 27, 2009

More Beauty Shop Talk

So I went to the beauty shop to get a trim this morning. I was met with squeals of glee by all the girls  as they ran up to me with a newspaper in hand.

"You're in the paper!"  

"And we do your hair here!"
" Aren't you glad we changed your hair? And gave you high lights?"

"I'm in the paper?"

"Oh yes, SeƱora! And with the American Ambassador!"

And so I was. 
Then they began to tell me how I would be wearing my hair for the holiday season, just in case I come out in any more papers.

So now I know... my hair belongs to the ladies at my beauty shop.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

My Poor Baby

Jewel made this Thanksgiving dinner in her dorm last night. A few kids did not get to go home for the holidays, mostly the MK's. (missionary kids) They got together and ate  Raman noodles, deli sandwiches, and Honey Buns last night.

  I am SOOOOOO thankful that today  he Spanish Sunday School teacher's family has invited her over for a family meal... still, my poor baby!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Things I see...

 What would you say if you sent your husband to the store,

And he came home with two Bimbos in his arms??

No worries! Bimbo is a brand of breads here. These are  Panetones/Pan Dulce with Chocolate Chips.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Talking Turkey

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! I like the fact that it is about being with friends and family and being thankful without the pressures of Christmas to purchase gifts and fill an entire season with activities in order to celebrate it. It is a simple holiday. I am a simple person. Thanksgiving and I go well together!

Having lived the ex pat life for a long time now, I recall years where getting a turkey for our Thanksgiving meal was not always an easy thing to accomplish. These days, turkeys are much easier to come by in South America than they used to be.

I remember, many, many, years ago, in Mexico, my soon to be brother in law and his sister managed to get us a turkey from the village where she taught school. We filled our home with his family for our dinner. I was a little upset to see them add chili peppers to my dressing!

In Venezuela we managed to find turkeys in the city, but in the jungle, it was not always so. IF a plane came through on the right day, the missionary pilots might be able to bring us one. Or perhaps an indian would run across a wild turkey while hunting, but if not, we would just be happy to have any meat on our Thanksgiving table. I remember  some years  we ate tapir, which is much like beef. We had deer, which seemed appropriate as I recall that Squanto and his friends brought deer to the Pilgrim's thanksgiving feast. We have eaten fish, chickens, even capybera. The important thing was to be together.

This year we are celebrating a little differently. Tomorrow we are invited to a traditional thanksgiving dinner to be held for the Embassy staff, the board of directors for the Centro Cultural Paraguayo-Americano, the Chamber of Commerce, and a group of Paraguayan professionals who have graduated from American colleges. I am sure it will be fun and entertaining. I love meeting new people and hearing their life stories.

But the real fun for us is that we will be traveling to Uruguay to visit friends for the holiday. They were also missionaries in Venezuela and we have not seen each other for a few years now. We will be driving our own car and since there are no turkeys available in their town, we are taking the turkey with us. Hopefully, we will get it through customs as we are traveling through Merco~Sur countries.

I went out to buy the turkeys last week end and found two small ones which will fit in the cooler for the two day road trip. We will take them frozen and packed in ice which we will replenish along the way. These two turkeys are well traveled having already come to Paraguay from Peru and their journey is not over as now we take them to Uruguay, via Argentina.

 Americans will do a almost anything to ensure a turkey for the thanksgiving table!

How about you? Have you had troubles finding turkeys for your Thanksgiving, now, or in the past?  Have you an interesting tale about  celebrating Thanksgiving over seas or even at home in the USA?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Talent Shows ~ Jungle Style

We've got talent!

Written by my oldest daughter, Jackie of Keepin' Sane with Littles

Missionary familes have a lot of talent. If you've ever been at a missions conference before you know what I'm talking about. Mr. Missionary stands up and introduces his large family. They are imaculatly dressed and perfectly behaved. Mr. Missionary calls Mrs. Missionary and all the Little Missionaries up to the platform where they sing a song. Oh, but they dont just sing a song because every single one of their children (all eleven of them) can play a different instrument, and play it well. They sing with harmony, and then, after the song, because it wasn't cute enough, the Youngest Missionary (about six months old or so) recites Psalm 23. Most missionary families are like that, great voices, and amazing music abilities.

Then there was the Vernoy family. We all have decent voices....sometimes. Depends on what mood we're in I guess. As for playing instruments? Dream on. We were too busy reading books to learn an instrument, plus we lived in the Amazon and there's a shortage of piano teachers out there. Not to mention pianos.

So, in many missions conferences we sat and watched yet another amazingly talented Super Missionary family sing lovely songs in multiple languages. Then it was our turn to do something. But what?

It's not that we didn't have talent! Oh, we have talent. We even held talent shows in the jungle...the Indians loved them! They were usually held on weekends, when our house was especially full. They would start crowding in, thumbing through our old National Geographic magazines, and then some brave soul would ask my sister, Jewel, if she could do a one handed cartwheel. Always eager to please, Jewel begin to tumble about the living room which would bring on a chorus of "ooh's" and "aahs." Not to be outdone, Jayde would impersonate Patsy Cline, Elvis Presley, or do the split on the cement floor. The split was always a great big hit. Indians are strong, and muscular, but not flexible AT ALL. Flexibilty is something everyone in my family is blessed with, and the Indians were always impressed. I would sit with my legs crossed "indian style" and then walk on my knees, or put lay flat on the floor, face down, with my legs behind my head. This made quite an impression. The talent show was only getting started! When my mom's turn came she would raise one eyebrow, or while standing with one foot pointed forward, twist the other foot completly back. I share that talent as well, but would let her preform it since I already had so many others. :-) Joshua always added a colorful piece to the show with his accurate impersanation of the village witch doctor, which always brought lots of laughs. My Dad was the biggest hit when he would stand in a doorway, his back towards the barefoot audience, and hug himself with his arms. They thought that was hilarous!

We would continue with our antics, my hog calls, Jewel shimming up the center pole of the house, Jayde throwing her legs over her arms and walking on her hands (it's really hard to explain,you have to see it) Yes, our talent shows were very cool. The coolest thing going on in that village anway.

As "cool" as we thought we were, we just didn't think churches would appreciate our kind of talent during their conferences. I can picture it now. The pastor gets behind the pulpit, "Why, thank you Super Missionary Family for that lovely rendition of Amazing Grace in five langues,with twelve different instruments. Truly a blessing. And now, our next family, the Vernoys, will be doing their hog calls, and their youngest will finish off by swinging from the rafters while singing 'Crazy' in her Patsy Cline voice."

Hmm...doens't seem very likely. What usually happened was my dad would stand up, introduce and say, "We just dont' sing...but we have some stories we could tell you!" Or, as one missionary friend put it, "I would sing a special for you, but it would probably be more special if I didn't!"

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pictorial Essay ~ My Autobiography ~ In the Jungle

I am re posting this for new readers as I have had several emails asking about my life.

 Part Three;
Home life in the jungle.

Cutting a jungle trail.
Josh, Yekwanaman with Jayde on back, Indian Daughter Woodi, Jackie, and Jewel

Making camp
Notice blue portacrib!

Jackie leads the Way!
Followed by Josh, Jungle Mom, Jewel and Woodi.

A family meal on the trail.

A road trip through Pemon territory.

Beginning to build The Jungle Hut

Putting on the palm roof.

Jungle Mom and Baby Jayde are happy to be behind screens!

While doing all laundry by hand in the river,
we learned why indian babies don't wear much clothing!

Washing hammocks is hard work!!!
Jungle Mom with Woodi.

A very happy day for Jungle Mom!!!!

My clothes lines worked great...except for during rainy season,
which lasts 6 months out of the year!

Our jungle closet. Less is best!

The famous water bed!
Frame is for mosquito netting.

Josh moves into the loft to get away from sisters!!

Life is good!

Part Four:
Serving the Tribe

Providing Aviation Support.
Hangar in Ciudad Bolivar.

Transporting indian patients.

Yekwanaman learning the language
and culture from the chief.

Jungle Mom visiting with the ladies
to learn the language.

Entertaining guests in The Jungle Hut.
( The animal is a baby wild pig.)

Teaching the Word.

Yekwanaman and Victor,
Translating the Bible into the Ye'kwana language.

Providing Emergency Medical Care.

Delivering babies and providing vaccinations.

Building Dispensaries.

Fighting malaria through fumigation,
blood testing and medicines.

Jungle Mom teaching hygiene class.

Teaching literacy.
Children learn to read both Ye'kwana and Spanish.

Build schools and train teachers.
Education provides protection from abuse!

Help provide food for hungry children.

Provide and repair Short Wave radios
for communication.

And the church goes forth!

to be continued..

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pictorial Essay ~ My Autobiography

I am re posting this for new readers as I have had several emails asking about my life.
Part One~ My Youth

Born in California

To a wonderful Christian Family

Survived Middle School
( Barely!)

Did the Big Hair in College
( The 80's )

Became a teacher

Married a Marine

Part Two~ Motherhood and Missions

First Child
Daughter Jackie

Move to Mexico

Our Church in Queretaro, Mexico

Move to Venezuela
Son, Josh, is Born

Teaching Sunday School
Cabudare, Venezuela

First Furlough to the USA
Children meet Mickey Mouse

Return to Venezuela

First trip into Jungle

Jungle Hike

Third Child
Daughter, Jewel

Teaching Ladies Bible Study

Begin Home Schooling

Teaching other Missionary Kids
(An accident with ink!)

Fourth Child,
Daughter Jayde

To be continued... (tomorrow ~Jungle Life begins)