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????

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Five Years Ago Today

"Under my Thatch Roof"
By Jayde Vernoy (2006)

I lay in silence,
Unable to sleep,
We'd move to the city,
so soon each day I'd weep.

President Chavez had said,
Right on TV,
That he didn't want to see in the jungle,
One missionary.

I felt like crying,
when he said those words.
I felt like I was being stabbed,
by a thousand swords.

I loved our home,
I loved it there,
how could Chavez say that?
It just wasnt fair.

So we packed a bunch of things,
some were old,some were new,
but when we boxed it all up,
we could only take a few.

"Plane Day" came,
and we all climbed inside the plane.
I did not like it.
I thought it was insane.

One last look,
At the Indian's lined up,to say goodbye,
It hurt me so much,
I thought I would die.

But here I am now,
One year later,
getting used to a new life
And no longer eating gator.

Monday, October 11, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow?

(Another recycled post. Very busy this week.)

When we moved into the village, I had great intentions of planting a vegetable garden. I really did! My grandmother always had a garden and my father would plant one any time he had the space. Not always possible for him as he is a Pastor. Sometimes the church provides a parsonage and there just isn't land for a garden. But whenever possible, he would plant one. My mouth waters remembering his tomatoes!

In the beginning years in the jungle, we only had fresh vegetables once a month. That was when the plane would come with supplies. We would stuff ourselves on fresh veggies for a few days! We did not have any type of refrigeration at first, so we had to eat it all fast. Later, when we had our own plane, we had more frequent flights, and when my husband was able to install solar panels, he converted a small fridge to a 12 volt system to run off batteries, which we charged with the panels! He did the same with a small freezer! We were living good!!!

Back to the garden... I had ordered seeds for things I thought might grow well in the jungle. Although the soil is fertile, it is a very thin layer of top soil as the heavy rains wash it away each rainy season. This is why the Indians have to cut new gardens every year. There are also a lot of insects to combat. The Indians grow, tubers mainly and the best, sweetest, pineapples, and lots of different types of bananas. The main food is casava made from yucca, so the majority of their gardens are given to the yucca plant.

I wanted to try to raise tomatoes, green onions and peppers. I thought that just those three things would "spice" up so many of our plain meals!. As I waited for my seed order to get to the states and then back to me, I tried to prepare a compost. One morning, I found an Indian friend diligently "cleaning" up my compost area for me. Oh well!!!

Finally, the seeds arrived on the flight day! That evening I had sat at the table and sorted them all out into nice little piles, imagining all the good food we would have. I left the room for just a moment ,only to return and find several Indian children enjoying the "snack" they thought I had prepared for them! I often would make popcorn and place it on the table for the visitors to eat and the Indians would eat dried pumpkin seeds as a snack, so they assumed I had left it for them! Oh, well!!!

A few months later, I received my second order of seeds. I was much wiser now. No more sorting at the table. I guarded the seeds as if they were gold. I even managed to get my tomato seedlings started. What joy! I would set them out each day for the required sunlight.

The village was experimenting with raising sheep. They kept the sheep across the river, usually. No one told me, but they decided to bring the sheep over to the village side because a jaguar was killing them off over there on the other side.
Well, you guessed it, the sheep assumed I had prepared a "snack" for them . They really seemed to enjoy my young tomato plants! Oh, well!

A few more months went by, and once again, I received my seeds, set the tomatoes , carefully guarded them from all 2 legged and four legged creatures. I had my husband clear a spot and build a small, low fence. You know, to keep out the sheep. I set out the young plants! I was very excited!

We had to leave the village for a few days and I asked a neighbor boy to water the garden since it was now dry season. He was excited to do it as I promised to bring him a treat from town for his work. And he did! He watered the garden faithfully.

The men of the village decided to burn off some jungle area. They burn off the areas around the village during dry season to keep snakes and critters away. Guess which area they burned? Yep! Bye, Bye garden!

When I returned the poor little neighbor boy was still trying to water the burned garden!

Ok, so I am not a quick study, it takes me awhile to figure stuff out, but after over a year trying to get a garden...I decided, maybe it wasn't going to happen after all!! Oh well!

My garden certainly never produced any vegetables, but I did cultivate something else. What, you ask?

Patience (Hope deferred maketh the heart sick!) and a good attitude when things don't go as I had hoped and planned !( Put away anger and strife) So I guess it was a success after all!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

I survived

... my first hair cut in Ciudad del Este

I am happy with my hair! Considering the stylist was
either speaking Spanish with a Portuguese accent or I was speaking
Portuguese with a Spanish accent! Not really sure which...