Friday, July 30, 2010

The Things I See..

This was the condition of the yard when we moved in...

Isn't it lovely?

I always wanted a garden sink but...

I cried!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Last week

 Via Facebook status updates.


Please keep us in your prayers as we travel to Asuncion for a doctors appointment and to check our mail. Its raining cats and dogs so it will be a slow trip. Hopefully, my washing machine part will be in the mail!



We made it back home and managed to get the tests Jewel needed and she now has her diagnosis confirmed. She has a thyroid condition which is treatable but will be a
long haul to get her levels back in balance.This condition had a domino effect on other systems and we are now trying to get things back on track before she leaves for school in Florida on August. 3,Pray for her (and US)!



So about Blue Grass in Ciudad del Este last night... we sat behind a Taiwanese business man and in front of a Texan who came across the river from Brazil for the music.The band tried to teach them to yell out 'YEE HAW'~ we had some 'HO HO's' and some 'HEE HAWS' and a strange variety of other' hees' and 'hoos'! Quite  entertaining!


I tried to explain to Elelna that tomorrow she will be meeting people from England who speak English but that it would be the Queen's English. She was very excited to hear of a real live queen but somehow, she seems to think she will be meeting the Queen herself rather than two lowly subjects of the Queen! I need to tell my British friend to wear her tiara tomorrow!



Woke up to find no lights in most of the house. The one and only outlet in the kitchen works but not the fridge or lights. In the living room three lights were out and one bulb is working at half capacity...but I have internet! 

It's Abbie's Birthday!



CHURCH PLANTING MODEL #1. The Parachute - A planter and their family move into a new location to start a church from scratch. The planter has very little
connection with or existing support within the new area. The planter and their family are "pioneering" new territory. Where there is great risk, there is great reward. 

GERONIMO! I'm a paratrooper now!



Clint preaches in Spanish in the AM, plays the trumpet in the
afternoon, and translates in the PM. Brian is preaching in Asuncion and
we have the grand daughters for the week end.



Monday Morning Headlines in Ciudad del Este ~ 7 violent murders in under 8 hours. Remind me to stop reading the paper, OK???? (it compares to Caracas if you adjust for population)



Pray for Clint as he travels across country by bus all night. He has meetings tomorrow and then comes back tomorrow night.



I just made two batches of granola. Peanut Butter /Chocolate Chip and Raisin/Cinnamon. Last week I made Cranberry/Pecan/Maple and it was like Thanksgiving in a bowl! I can't make it too often though, because all of those ingredients are imported and expensive here. was your week?


Monday, July 26, 2010

Up Your Nose with a Rubber Hose!

I don't know if any others will remember that common play yard threat which we threw around in my youth. I never expected for it to actually happen to me by someone I love, or that I would perform the same upon another.

But happen it did! My husband and I were receiving our Missionary Medical Intensive training and as it would be, we were often one another's lab partners. We had lab work most of the afternoons and would practice the procedures we had been taught.

It started out lame enough, taking histories, blood pressure and such. Then we began injections and stitches and other procedures.

One morning we were taught how to make our own NG feeding tubes out of IV tubing. OK cool! This procedures is needed to be able to feed patients who are unable to self feed. Or to give meds without an IV. It involves plastic IV tube about a meter long which is placed in the nostril, fed down the throat, carefully avoiding the lungs, and on into the stomach. Then one can begin feeding with a syringe through the tube, directly into the stomach.

It is not that complicated and many parents learn to put them in for their children, but one does need practice and to learn how to avoid the lungs. So...

Yeah, there I was, head tilted back as my loving husband held a long plastic tube which he intended to place 'up my nose'. And I was going to allow him to do so. I began to practice my Lamaze breathing which I remembered from labor! You girls know, pick a focal point, breath slowly ...basically, zone out!

It was not so bad. He did it quickly and correctly as he does most things. He is a quick study and very confident and unafraid to try new things. My husband can do just about anything he sets his mind to. Later, in the jungle, this would be invaluable in our small dispensary. He has delivered over 50 babies, placed many stitches, removed arrows from people, placed feeding tubes, catheters, pulled teeth, done biopsies, and even helped with an amputation.

After he inserted and removed the tube a few times, it was now my turn. I needed to do this as well because I might be alone one day and be required to place a feeding tube in a patient. Or perhaps I would need to place one in my husband, so...

Now he was the one with his head tilted back, great fear in his eyes, as I held the tube and fully intended to place it 'up his nose'. I just wanted to get it over with! Later, in the jungle I did have to do many things, like deliver babies, put in stitches and other medical procedures, I never enjoyed it.

I carefully measured the tubing I would need, cut it off, put in the holes, melt down the sharp edges of the tubing, sterilize, and began to feed the tube up my husbands nostril. He began to gag which is common as one reaches a certain spot. This is helped by having the patient swallow water if able. I offered the water, my husband, pushed my hands aside and continued gagging. Loudly!

Everyone was soon watching us because he was gagging and squirming. So I continued to feed the tube, until...he opened his mouth! The tube was going up the nostril, down the back of his throat and now out of his mouth! Not knowing what else to do, I quickly hauled back on the tube and pulled mightily! It came ripping out. Along with a fair amount of blood and a murderous glare from my husband.

That maneuver became known as the 'Briggs and Stratton' maneuver! You know, how you haul back and pull the rip cord to start a motor? Or lawn mower? It really should not be used to remove an NG tube. The patient would much prefer a calmer removal as there will be less blood involved.

Of course, I still needed to successfully place the NG tube. So we did it again, and again, until it was done properly and I could do it easily. That was not my husband's favorite day of our marriage. Although he had been taught many things in the Marine Corps, Lamaze was not one of them, making it difficult for him to do the 'zoning out' part. All the males seemed to find the procedure much easier to give than to receive.

I am very glad we did learn the procedure as we were able to use it in the jungle for patients who could not eat. I never did need to put another tube up my husbands nose, though, for which I am sure he is most grateful!

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Things I See...

The color of the water coming out of my tap!

I could pretend it is pineapple juice!

Thankfully, it looks a little better after going through the filter.

 And just to gross you all out, here is the way it looks in the toilet! 
At least it matches my liquid hand soap!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


My dear Ye'kwana friend has passed on to be with the Lord. One of the young people of the tribe was able to send the information online while in  town  for classes.

Here is a post I had written about her:

Let me tell you about Petra.

I first met Petra when we arrived in the village. I did not speak her language and she does not speak Spanish. At the time, we were living in a borrowed indian house while we built our own house. My youngest was not yet walking, and I also had a 3 year old, a 7 year old and a 10 year old. We still had our indian daughter with us at the time. She was 16.

Clint was busy from sun up till sundown. Getting poles from the jungle, making adobe bricks, getting leaves for the roof. I was busy teaching all the children and carrying water, doing laundry in the river, washing dishes in the river, cooking over an open fire.

All was going well, until one day, indians began to get sick. We had over 80 cases of malaria in one month. We had no radio to call for outside help, so we were doing all the medical work ourselves.

One morning, I taught my 7 year old son his math lesson and left him to do his work sheet as I went to begin cooking . After a few minutes I went to check on how he was doing...I saw my son passed out at the table! He had been fine just 30 minutes earlier! I felt him and he was burning with fever.

He had contracted falciparum malaria. This is a cerebral malaria which comes on fast and strong. We had a microscope to do the blood work and we had the quinine to treat it. So we began his treatment. On the third day when he was finally able to talk and walk with our help, the 3 year old also came down with malaria. Hers was vivax malaria, though not as dangerous ,she was still very feverish and in a lot of pain. Next was our indian daughter, she also contracted falciparum malaria. Then...the baby! She came down with vivax malaria.

Quinine is the most bitter pill you can imagine! Trying to get it down a one year old is a real struggle, but we managed.

We had so many sick, we began to run short of medication. We still had quinine , but no analgesics for pain and fever. I began to crush up Tylenol for babies. I remember giving my last dose to one poor toddler.

That night, I began to feel achy! Then the fever. And a terrible head ache! Sure enough, I also had malaria. I developed a bad case of strep throat as well, from working with the sick children. We had no more antibiotics and no pain reliever.

At one point I began to hallucinate. I don't remember much. I remember worrying about my children. They were still sick.

Thankfully, my husband and Jackie somehow were spared malaria that time. We had to wait for the scheduled flight day to go out for help and the antibiotics I needed. I sort of remember the flight, but the fever was very high.

But...what I wanted to tell you is how Petra would come everyday and hold my sick baby. I was too weak to care for the little one, and Petra took it upon herself to come each day and stay most of the day. She was the one to make sure Jayde got all of the quinine down and kept it down. She made sure we had water in the house.

I couldn't speak to her much at the time, but later, she told me how she felt that she was led to care for us and the baby. Even when we returned, all healthy, she would come and sit in on our home school classes and entertain the baby for me.

She said she wanted to help me, so that after I finished teaching my kids for the day, I would have the time and energy to learn her language.

WHY? So I could teach her the Bible! She did all in her power to help me to learn the language so that I could begin a ladies Bible study.

It took a few years, but I did begin a ladies bible study twice a week...and I know Petra will be rewarded by God for her ministry to me and my family when we most needed it. She may not look beautiful to you, but to me....she is an angel!

Proverbs 17:17
A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Monday, July 19, 2010

When I look into your face

I watched my daughter hold her youngest little one the other day. It was like a time capsule. I saw myself in her face and looking at the babe, I saw my daughter as she was when but a babe.

Was it not but a few months past the mother was a baby in my arms?

And was it not but a year or two ago that I was the smiling young mother cooing at my little girl?

And then I look into the mirror and see, not the babe, not the young mother, but, whom do I see?

My very own mother, looking back at me!

And in that moment I felt the earth move under my feet as it made its continuous turn from which it never slows. I was just a passenger trying to stand atop the moving ball of time...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Brrrrrr... My name is Jungle Mom! NOT Polar Parent!

It has been in the 30's and low 40's for several days. The thing is that no one has heat, just space heaters or fireplaces. The houses are cement and the windows are not very well sealed so it is hard to keep warm inside. The wind is coming up from the south pole with a cold front and rain and we are to have 6 more days of this. It is very hard on the Paraguayans that have to be out using public transportation.

My son in law, Brian McCobb, is the greatest! He loaned us a window unit AC/HEAT combo so we now have heat in my room! He also procured firewood and we have a fire in the living room! Now, if the Argentinians continue to not sell the Paraguayans propane I can  still cook in the fireplace until the American shipment arrives! (The Argentinians seem to think they need the propane to heat their own houses...can't say I blame them.)

Was that a penguin that just walked through my house?????

Friday, July 16, 2010

Just thinking...

What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?
- Vincent van Gogh

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Long Trip

 We have been traveling again.

Monday morning we drove to Asuncion and returned last night. That may not sound  like a very long trip to you but we actually left in  the summer, with temperatures in the high 80's F, and did not return until winter with a low of 36 F last night!

36 F may not sound too cold for you in the north but, we do not have heat in the house here. And the houses are mostly cement and not insulated and...I know, I'm whining, right?

It is just that I do not DO cold well. I signed on for jungle, steamy tropics! How did I end up in a parka inside my own home???

May as well have moved to New Hampshire for goodness sake!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I Can See the Shore: Growing Up Yanomamö Today

 Mike Dawson's new book is now available...a must read!

The long wait for the arrival of Mike Dawson’s 2nd book is now over! I Can See the Shore: Growing Up Yanomamö Today is now available for purchase in our store.
If you read Mike Dawson’s first book, Growing Up Yanomamö, you’ve already begun to walk Mike’s journey through joy and sorrow, victory and defeat. Whether or not you’ve read the first book, you won’t want to miss this second one. Full of excitement and adventure, ”I Can See the Shore brings to life a little known world of shaman, rituals, and secret initiations of the stone-aged culture of the Yanomamö tribe. Walk with Mike Dawson as he shares the Gospel and deals with his own personal life and death situations.”

I  laughed at Mike’s jungle exploits and cried with him over his daughter’s death. Very few people have the opportunity to grow up on both sides of the cultural fence as Mike and I have. Reading this book will highlight the Gospel as a multicultural message. — Steve Saint,
I Can See the Shore depicts a life lived among the Yanomamö with gusto and good humor, while personal sorrows are overcome with grace and transcendence. Mike Dawson not only tells his own remarkable story, but also translates the experiences of Yanomamö shamans, warriors, and childhood friends as they struggle with illness and warfare and confront choices about how to live as Yanomamö in a modern age.  — Amy Wray, National Geographic Television
I’ve known the Dawsons for several years and rejoice in their great faith in God amid severe trials. In spite of the obstacles of primitive conditions, sickness, and death, they have persevered for the souls of the Yanomamö Indians in the rainforest of southern Vene-­ zuela. This book is a gripping life story of the triumph of missions with all its mega-­challenges. — Dr. George Sweeting, Chancellor Emeritus Moody Bible Institute

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Down town Ciudad del Este

Yesterday I almost tripped over the Arab men smoking their hookah because I was looking at the Chinese lady selling the silk kimonos. But the Portuguese man called out a warning. I then took refuge in the christian Korean store called AMERICAN KIM.
This city is culturally ADHD and I may need to start taking some Ritalin!!
Did I mention the man playing the Steinway piano in front of the Sushi bar? He had a CD with a Sinatra song entitled, "MAY HUEY". (My Way)

I  also found Rolex watches even I can afford! Who knew????  But I best not discuss here what the guy tried to sell us as we crossed the street in front of the protest march before the National Police blocked the road! Speaking of protests, Paraguayan protests are like a Sunday School parade compared to the ones in Venezuela. It was so calm we were already IN it before we realized what it was!

After that we walked back to where we had left our car parked...right in front of the TAXI line '11 de Septiembre'. (September 11).

Then we had lunch at a Brazilian steak house with a room full of  Chinese people.

This city, Ciudad del Este, is like the duckbill platypus of cities! As if God took all the left over fragments of societies and dumped them down here together on the edge of no where just to confound the rest of us!

OH WAIT! I fit right in, don't I????

Friday, July 09, 2010

27 years ago...

We got married! 

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds.
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is not shaken:
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Loves's not time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom,
If this be error, and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Papers, please!

 When we made the road trip over here to Ciudad del Este last month, we were stopped twice by the National Police and asked to present all of our immigration papers. It is something that rarely happens here but was quite common in Venezuela. We were glad to show all of our papers as everything is legal and up to date.

We also had to open the trunk and allow them to see in our luggage. After the second search my husband asked the police officer why there were so many more National Police out and about than normally. He answered that there were 'malandros en la via' (bad guys on the road).

Once we arrived in Ciudad del Este we learned that the night before Interpol and the Paraguayan National Police had arrested a BIG BAD GUY in Ciudad del Este, and he was being transported to Asuncion for possible extradition to the USA for terrorist ties with Hezbollah. He was known to sell false Paraguayan ID's to foreigners which would explain their special interest in our family as we  certainly are foreign looking! It seems that some of this BAD GUY'S group might be trying to make a run for the border and we were traveling the same road.

I was glad for the presence of the National Police in protecting the  road and checking documents!

We also saw a few things which one might only see in Paraguay! I just love road trips here as they are never boring and one will usually see something never seen before or after.

We saw two men on a motorcycle transporting a large hog. It was very much alive and they had it straddled across the seat between them.

Then, as we drove through a small town, we saw a campesina lady waiting to catch the next bus. She was wearing a table cloth as a cape, had a dish rag on her head, but she had a very nice yellow leather Gucci knock off hand bag. That was all within the realm of normal but she also was smoking two cigarettes at the same time!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Mad, mad world!

Power went out...again. The electric gate was half open so I had to chase the stray dog out, while dodging falling avocados as I hung out the laundry, which was only halfway finished with the spin cycle





In other news...Paraguay was eliminated from the World Cup after our loss to Spain on Saturday. 

We will see you in 2014 in Brazil! 


Sunday, July 04, 2010

God Bless America

Happy Independence Day to all my fellow Americans. Of all the lands I call home, none will ever replace the land of my birth! God bless America and may she ever be free in His endless grace and unmerited mercy!

“Under the law of nature, all men are born free, every one comes into the world with a right to his own person, which includes the liberty of moving and using it at his own will. This is what is called personal liberty, and is given him by the Author” ~ Jefferson

Friday, July 02, 2010

The Things I see...

The spontaneous street party in down town Ciudad del Este after we defeated JAPAN!

Paraguay made it through to the quarter finals of the World Cup. Tomorrow we play Spain which will be very difficult...but NOT impossible!

I'll be with them in spirit!