Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Things I See...

We purchase milk in one liter plastic bags which are called, sachets, This morning my husband arranged three of the milks in a cake pan and informed us he had made a Torta Tres Leches, one of our favorite cakes.

GROAN~ I know, this is his Three Milk Cake.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve ~ Vernoy kids~ Beaufort, SC ~ Dec. 24, 2007

Don't mess with me and my chocolate!
My daughter, Jewel, takes on her brother and cousins in defense of her chocolate.
(3 years ago)

The Night Before Christmas ~ In Paraguay ~ Written by BOB BOSTON

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the barrio
Not a person was calm, not even old Mario.
The stockings were hung by the kitchen with care,
In hopes that Papa Noel soon would be there.

The children were running around through the house,
Fireworks exploding, scaring even the mouse.
And Doña in her tank top, and I in my cap ,
Gave up on the idea of a long summers nap

When out on the cobblestone, there arose with a clatter,
I sprang from the hammock to see whats the matter.
Away to my rejas I flew like a flash,
With my windows open, smelly gunpowder made me gasp

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen dust
Gave the luster of grey to the objects at dusk.
When, what to my watering eyes should appear,
Through the dust, the gun smoke, and the sparklers veneer.
But a miniature sleigh, and eight exhausted reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than car window washers they came,
He whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

As fireworks lit with a candle they fly
when they met an obstacle, go to the sky.
So up to the flat top houses they flew,
the sleigh with few toys, as everyone knew

Cracking the tiles, I heard on my roof
the landing of rockets, and thrown sparklers too.
As I ducked flying objects, and was turning around,
down the kitchen extractor came St. Nick with a bound.

His eyes-how they twinkled! His nose red like a beet!
Fireworks and explosions, he´d braved to my street.
His droll little mouth was smiling at me,
At midnight, with a heat of one hundred and three.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a shout,
Having used up the fireworks, it was safe to go out.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight.
“Feliz Navidad, and to all a good night”


Wednesday, December 08, 2010

The Things I See...

 I am pretty sure that a hobbit lives here!

 I would like to knock on the door and ask for,
 "Mr. Baggins, please!"

Hobbit Holes

Monday, December 06, 2010

After the storm!

Leaks... 4 am and my hall was turning into a river...

These were taken after the rain had stopped.
We woke up to find water flowing out of the chimney and leaking from the roof onto the mantle. The Flat Screen TV was dripping. The Wii was being baptised. My laptop was sitting under the dripping water in a puddle on the mantle.
Our fireplace resembled the Iguazu Falls not too far from our home...

Maybe we should open up a water park in our house?

Sunday, December 05, 2010

A thought for today

"We're not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be."
C.S. Lewis"

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Sweep away the Flaws

This broom was photographed by my oldest daughter and it does indeed serve it's intended purpose. It is mainly used as an outdoor broom to clean patios and yards. I have noticed that Paraguayans tend to keep a very neat yard even when they live in a humble home.

While mentioning this to my neighbor, she shared a Guarani 'wives tale' with me. It seems that the mothers and grand mothers are always telling the young girls to do a thorough sweeping of the yard, porch, and house.

This sweeping needs to be done in a methodical, meticulous manner because it will effect the future of the young lady. A girl needs to be extremely cautious while sweeping so as not to leave behind any litter or dust bunnies because each one left behind represents a flaw in her future husband.

So a lazy, careless girl will undoubtedly end up married to a man with many character flaws, where as a diligent girl will find herself betrothed to a nearly flawless man.

No wonder my neighbor's daughter gets up early and sweeps the yard almost every day. Even the sidewalk! Her husband will certainly be a saint! Personally, I am not so sure I would enjoy being married to a perfect man. I would probably leave a few dust bunnies just to make sure my future husband had a little 'rascal' left in him!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Señor Topocho

In Venezuela we were introduced to various types of bananas. From the cooking plantains to several varieties of eating bananas, the small 'manzano' to the 'topocho'.

We were delighted to discover a topocho banana plant in our yard. We found this banana which is short and a bit rounder than the more common ones, to be sweet and delicious. When the banana plant gave its fruit, a nice large bunch of bananas, we enjoyed them greatly and determined to keep the topocho plant alive so that we might enjoy its fruit yet again. ( Los que saben, ya están reindo!)

Unfortunately, the plant began to ...droop! We noticed it seemed to be wilting and drying out. So my husband decided to try to save the plant. He found some rope and tied the plants stalk up to a pipe. But it continued to droop, now in another direction. We were very concerned because we really wanted to save the plant so conveniently located in our own yard!

So Yekwnaman added another rope to pull the stalk in the opposite direction. This continued for a week or so. Each day we would notice the banana plant drooping in a new direction, so we would add a rope trying to support the plant. It seemed as if a drunken spider had spun a web in our yard, with ropes strung in every direction!

Finally, we asked for help. A friend who worked in gardens came by to see what was ailing our poor topocho banana plant. He stopped, looked at the plant being held up by rope, glanced at us with a bewildered look upon his face, and laughed !!! He laughed, and laughed and laughed!

He finally said,"Your topocho is dead!"

We sadly asked, "You mean, it can't be saved? We really wanted more topochos to eat!"

"No", he said "Once a banana plant gives fruit, it dies! You can't save it!"

"But... we liked the topochos! We want more!"

And then he proceeded to explain the mystery of the banana plant. Each plant gives fruit and then dies. BUT... not to worry! The plant has off shoots (hijoitos) which had already sprung up around the base of the dying stalk. These would provide a continuous supply of topochos for our eating pleasure.

oh...we didn't know ...

And from that day forth, my husband had the nickname of 'Topocho' in Venezuela! Even when called on the ham radio, people would ask to speak to ' Señor Topocho' much to his chagrin.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving in the Jungle

Our first Thanksgiving in the jungle.

We had officially moved into the village in October and were living in a "borrowed" indian hut while trying to build our own. That was the time we all got our first taste of malaria and, thus, of quinine! It was my first time to hallucinate. First time I saw a corpse burned and then consumed by the family members, first time we built a coffin, first time I slept to the sound of indian drums.

I was reading aloud the Little House on the Prairie books to my children. I recall vividly their excitement when Laura and Pa listened all night to the indian drums  because we had been doing just that ourselves for over a week.

We were living much the same as Laura Ingalls and her family had over a century ago. We had no floors, no running water, we were using kerosene lanterns for light, and eating what was hunted or had grown in the gardens.

There were very few believers in the village yet, so the norm was for the tribe to "party" about every two months or so, with dancing, chanting, and drinking. This, of course, led to fighting and abusing of women, and abandoned hungry children.

All day, all night, the drums would BOOM! BOOM!BOOM! As the Ye'kwanas did their slow dancing shuffle, two steps forward, one step back. In a circle around the round house. Over and over until you passed out. This had been going on for 8 days, leading up to Thanksgiving.

The floor of the round house was covered in vomit. A white frothy foam on the ground, a terrible stench in the air, and roaches crawling all over everything! Little babies sitting on the ground crying amidst the vomit.

We had another elderly missionary couple fly out to spend the holiday with us. Dear friends who are like grand parents to my children. We were excited to speak English and to eat all the goodies they brought. One of the pilot's wife, Tracy, sent out home made banana bread! Yummo!

(My kitchen at the time)

We had no turkey, or even chicken. We had fresh tapir!

With yucca and canned corn.

I had brought out some dried apples and we made a pie. We also invited a christian Ye'kwana to come eat with us. The children called him "Squanto" all day! After tasting the pie, Antonio decided that Thanksgiving was a nice tradition!

The best part of that day was that the dancing finally stopped and we could sleep in our hammocks that night without the drums! Peaceful, quiet sleep.

We were truly thankful!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


My daughter in law won the challenge with her Goombah carving,

I flew back to Paraguay and am just now getting caught up on sleep and around the house.

I;ll see you all soon and in  the meran time, Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Vernoy Pumpkin Carving Challenge

The annual event was founded and hosted by Naomy Vernoy. This year the competition was fierce!

The competitors would like for you to vote for your favorite pumpkin, please!


Republican party


Badtz Maru

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Happy 235th Birthday to the USMC

Freedom is not free, but the U.S. Marine Corps will pay most of your share.
Ned Dolan

Monday, November 08, 2010


I tried to go shopping at Target and was very overwhelmed. 
Walked out with a Candyland game, (shhhh! Don't tell the grand kids!)
kitty litter scooper ( you can tell the cat!)
and hand towels...

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Where is Jungle Mom???

This is Junglemom's husband in Paraguay.
Rita was just delivered in a box to the

(my daughter just told me that I am not supposed to say Pam's age is 50) 
birthday party for her sister in Arcadia Florida.

She travelled secretly this week with the help of a dear friend and surprised her.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Nate Saint House Tour

I really enjoyed seeing the Saint House but it was even better to see and hear our friend Dan Whitehead on the video!

Nate Saint House Tour

Friday, October 29, 2010

Have You Ever?

Listened to the sound of rain falling upon a palm roof?


Heard the songs of howler monkeys in the jungle?


Seen a sky only God could paint?

Watched the majestic macaw soar overhead?

Fallen asleep to the sound of the river flowing past your window?

Swam beneath the spray of a waterfall that has no name?


Listened to the thunder roll across the jungle, and heard the voice of God?

Followed the tracks of a jaguar down to the creek,
hoping to catch a peek?

Walked under a moon so bright, it cast your shadow at mid night?

Stand under the jungle canopy, looking up...and see no sky?

Felt the sun beat upon you as you paddle down stream
in a dugout canoe?

Loved a child with dark, black, shiny eyes?

Swam in a current that nearly takes you away?


Eaten a sun ripened pineapple, straight from the garden?


Held the hand of a tribesman, and truly felt him to be your brother?

Smelled the smoke of a camp fire, hours before you arrive?

Been held in the embrace of an Indian grandmother, 
who "rocks" away your pain?

Eaten a fish that was swimming only moments ago?

 Had your face lovingly painted in onoto, and felt beautiful?

Had to leave it all, not knowing when , or if you would see them again?

I would like to thank  the Venezuelan jungle missionaries who have contributed  these photos. All photos are original to Jungle Mom, Don Arnold, Mike Dawson, Pastor Von, Micah Jank, and Jonathan Reed.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Things I See

People crossing the border to Brazil on a mototaxi... every single day!


Monday, October 25, 2010

The deer god

One of our concerns in the jungle was making sure we had enough protein in our children's diet. In the early years, before the solar panels, generators and battery powered refrigerator, we were constantly searching and trading with the Indians for fresh meat and fish.

One meat that the Indians were usually interested in trading with us was liver. Deer liver and tapir liver. We were glad to get it! We always pretended it was STEAK! The most yummy, prized, sought after cut of meat in the jungle! OH ,yes, my children, you get to eat LIVER! Poor children in America rarely have this opportunity! Aren't you all lucky! WOO HOO!

Since my kids were really isolated in the jungle...the ruse worked! They all ate liver with gusto! But our favorite was deer liver as it was more tender.

One day, Jorge arrived and asked if we liked liver. My husband assured him that we liked liver very much. Then, dear hubby said, in very clear Ye'kwana, " We love to eat deer liver! Our children all love to eat deer liver. Can we buy or trade for some of your deer liver????"

Jorge, opened his eyes and repeated, "Deer liver?"

Hubby says, "Oh yes! We would be glad to trade whatever you might need, for some of your deer liver for our children."

Unfortunately, the Ye'kwana word for 'DEER' is 'CAWAADI' and the Ye'kwana word for 'GOD' is 'WANAADI'. Very similar to a new language learner.

My husband had been asking to purchase a bit of 'God's' liver for our children to eat!

Wanaadi...Cawaadi.. God ...deer... a big difference

Friday, October 22, 2010

I'm back

Normal road conversation while traveling in Paraguay may include the
" Is the Ostrich Farm before or after the Totem Pole?" 

"Before the Totem Pole but after the Jockey Club." 
 "and where is The Yacht Club?"
Oh that's in the middle of all the corn fields." 
"Oh LOOK, a man carrying his lawn mower on the back of his bicycle!"
"STOP! This is where they have the German Chocolate Cake"
"But I wanted to get ice cream and Pecan Pie from the Canadians."

I was AQUI !

Click to view the photo album

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Especially for my friend Gringo... this is a fair reenactment of Jungle Mom's first taste of tereré, but it grows on you!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Help a Missionary!

You can help me win a KINDLE!

  • Leave a comment on the post mentioning (and linking to) one of your favorite posts from my blog.   You also must post the country you live in (not the missionary, you).
  • If you want to get an extra entry, post the link somewhere else.  If you post it on a blog, you’ll get 3 bonus entries, if you post it on Twitter, Facebook, or somewhere else, you’ll get 1 bonus entry.  But you have to post it and then leave a comment (with a link to where you mentioned it) below.
The contest will be open until 11:59pm Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), October the 16th, 2010.  Contest winners will be announced sometime the following week.

So, can you help a missionary out???????/

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Kitchen

It has been three months and we have been working to get the kitchen functional. I never showed you the pictures of the condition of the kitchen when we moved to this house. I was afraid someone might think I was crazy. We tackled the kitchen with a lot of elbow grease and a budget of $200.00.

What to do?
(The whiskey bottle was on the counter when I came! It's not mine!)

First, I cried! Alot!

We decided the lower cabinets had to go! My husband and son in law scrubbed the upper ones to make them useable. We had a cement  and tile counter put in. We did not have a lot of money nor did we want to invest too much in a rental property. The owner eventually covered the cost of the counter.

I decided to go for color!

I covered the end cabinet, which was grease stained beyond repair, with chalkboard contact paper.

We purchased a second hand cabinet.

I found these orange checkered dish towels in Asuncion
and attached them to the cabinets with velcro.

 Easy to clean.

Easy on, easy off!

My husband painted the walls a light turquoise.
These are our termos y guampas for Tereré .

The ceiling fan is a relic that was left in the house.
Clint cleaned  and painted it for me.

This was made by a dear Venezuelan friend and it is what makes a kitchen feel like it belongs to me!

Since I have no drawers, I use a dish rack and shower caddie for storage.

Hey, it works!

I have hot and cold water in the kitchen...just not out of the same faucet.

The window treatment is made of four napkins.
We painted the 3 light fixtures and a basket the same tangerine color as the fan.

My ONE outlet.
I added the adaptor to make it three in one.

Our water filter

My favorite kitchen appliance.

 So...what do you think????