Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

 I will be spending the evening in the company of my family enjoying some movies and chocolate pie!

 Here on the border with Brazil, in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, we get two rounds of celebratory fireworks due to the difference in the time zones of the two countries!

 How will you be receiving the New Year?

Where will you be spending New Year's Eve?

What will you be eating?

Sunday, December 30, 2012

My Sunday Morning

On the way to church I saw a guy riding a motorcycle in flip flops and no helmet and he was TEXTING! On the way home from church I saw one motorcycle towing another one on the highway, using a sheet to do the towing.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Map of Memories

My husband posted the following  a while ago and this year I surprised him by having his map framed for his office.

(A note from Yekwanaman)

I just unpacked a hand drawn survey map of the Caura/Erebato river basin in Venezuela, made sometime after MAF first entered Venezuela back in the late 1950´s. It shows the rivers, rapids and different villages, (Chajuraña is on there). Those pilots flew many hours just to record what was down below. Perhaps they were the first to do it. I will be framing it and putting on my office wall here in Paraguay as a connection to the life I will never forget.

It was given to me by a missionary in Venezuela who at one time was with the Orinoco River Mission. He and his wife lived on a house boat with their 6 children  as they traveled to preach in different villages along the Orinoco. They, and others, wanted to go deeper into the jungle, but they needed help. That was when MAF came into the picture.

Another  missionary family with ORM was in the village of Chajuraña traveling in and out by canoe. They loved the MAF plane and the pilots. They helped us with advice and counsel on our way there 20+ years later .

I see places on the map in the jungle where I slept, where the men went hunting, and rapids where some of my friends died.

To touch the map is like touching almost 60 years of missions history, most of it will be forgotten in a few decades and the world will never know of the pilots, missionaries and tribal people who lived in that region. But the people who have lived and worked there, who know Jesus Christ as their Savior, will one day be reunited as family. We will eat Washadi ,(Tapir), Cawaadi (Deer), casabe (manioc bread) and waddue (hot peppers sauce) and drink as much manñoco and Yucuta as we possibly can.

And we will laugh like Ye'kwanas. because it is so much fun.

Yep, I am gonna frame that map and hang it to remember.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Paraguayan Spider Lace ~ Ñandutí

A new Ñandutí table runner and its ORANGE! :)

 Here is the Guarani legend of the origins of Ñandutí (Spider Lace)
Two young men loved the Cacique's (Chief's) daughter. While he alone determined her destiny, he loved his daughter and desired her happiness. He devised a contest that would be sure to show which young man would be best suited to marry his daughter. Each one must bring a gift. But not just any gift. A unique gift. One that would cause the Cacique to release his daughter to marriage.

One young man was very rich, and there was nothing he could not buy. He gathered every kind of animal and prepared them to be taken to the Cacique.

But the other young man was beyond poor (you knew it would be so, surely). He had nothing, and no way to buy anything for his beloved. As he wandered through the woods, he looked up and saw an elaborate spider web hanging from a branch. He thought to himself, "How perfect! I will take this as my gift!" But as he reached up to grab it, it dissolved in his hands. He left the forest weeping, completely defeated.

His mother heard his cries and found him. As he poured out his dilemma, she assured him that all would be well. She found another spider web and sat down to mimic it's pattern and create her own beautiful web. Using the hair from her own head, a stunning salt and pepper, she weaved the first ñandutí.

When the poor young man presented his gift, the Cacique gave his daughter to him. Since that day women all over Paraguay have been creating ñandutíi out of lovely colored thread.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Not Only on Christmas Day

Lord, this is my prayer
Not only on Christmas Day
But until I see You face to face
May I live my life this way:

Just like the baby Jesus
I ever hope to be,
Resting in Your loving arms
Trusting in Your sovereignty.

And like the growing Christ child
In wisdom daily learning,
May I ever seek to know You
With my mind and spirit yearning.

Like the Son so faithful
Let me follow in Your light,
Meek and bold, humble and strong
Not afraid to face the night.

Nor cowardly to suffer
And stand for truth alone,
Knowing that Your kingdom
Awaits my going home.

Not afraid to sacrifice
Though great may be the cost,
Mindful how You rescued me
From broken-hearted loss.

Like my risen Savior
The babe, the child, the Son,
May my life forever speak
Of who You are and all You've done.

So while this world rejoices
And celebrates Your birth,
I treasure You, the greatest gift
Unequaled in Your worth.

I long to hear the same words
That welcomed home Your Son,
"Come, good and faithful servant,"
Your Master says, "Well done."

And may heaven welcome others
Who will join with me in praise
Because I lived for Jesus Christ
Not only Christmas Day

-- Mary Fairchild

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

In the Southern Cone

 It was 50 degrees today here. 
That is 50 degrees Celsius.
Do you know how hot that is in Fahrenheit?

122 degrees Fahrenheit!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


I caught Jayde practicing for her upcoming final exams while helping put up our Christmas tree.Notice the fan in the back ground? It is about 100* here in Paraguay this time of year.
 She is doing vocal drills developed by Giuseppe Concone. Anyone ever used his method ?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

One dark night

Written by my daughter, Jewel Vernoy

      There is a legend among the Ye’kwana Indians that if you leave your house and are seen by the death spirit you will die that night. The Indians feared this spirit so much that they never made windows in their houses. A few people had become Christians and no longer feared the spirits in the jungles, but sometimes, in the darkness of the night, it is hard to hold on to that faith in God. Especially difficult when there is no light and you can have a snake an inch away from your face and not even know that it is there, until you feel the fangs pierce your skin and inject their poison into you. This night was no exception, there was no moon or stars to share their glimmer to give hope to the people of the morning, only a dark blanket to cover the village in. It was as though the darkness wanted to hide something, to keep it a secret, but what?
            I had just turned 15 and thought I could handle anything but those dark nights could send chills through even the bravest man on earth. As I slept in my hammock, or attempted to, I heard feet running towards my house, and they were running quickly. Suddenly, someone was banging on the door crying out to us, “Please help! The baby has come, but something is wrong! Please, please come quickly!”
         My father jumped up quickly, grabbed a flashlight and his medical bag, and ran out after the girl who had come to get him. While my father was running towards the small hut where the young mother was giving birth, the light of his flashlight shown on a large puddle of blood pooled on the ground. He stopped the girl and asked her whose blood it was? The girl replied in a gasp, “Sister had gone to the outhouse and on her way back the baby was born. This is where it happened.”
        As my father listened to the girl and looked at the blood on the mud path his worst fears were confirmed, “Why God? Why now of all times? And, also, why to this woman? I don’t understand?”  he thought to himself and he prayed.
            When my father got to the hut he saw the parents of the new baby. His heart hurt for them. How could he tell them? As the man looked at my father with hopeful eyes, my father knelt on one knee and gently placed a hand on the husband’s shoulder, shaking his head. “How long?” the husband asked my father as tears ran down his face and he lovingly held his wife.
       My father was heartbroken over this scene but replied, “I don’t know. It could be an hour or two…or it could be in the next five minutes, but I will try to make her as comfortable as possible.” My father administered some pain killers to the unconscious, hemorrhaging mother.
 The woman had already lost so much blood! If only she was in a hospital, but even there it would be difficult to save her life. My father looked at the mother and the puddle of blood that was now forming under her hammock.  Once again, my father shook his head. “Dear God, why? I don’t understand. She was healthy and this is not her first child so why did she have to hemorrhage?”
 My father stayed with the family until dawn broke and the mother went home to her Savior. In the jungle a body must be buried as quickly as possible or sickness would plague the village. My father also wanted to make the coffin as quickly as possible because the carpenter of the village was also the husband of the woman who has just died.
 As my father and the new widower built a coffin, others went to the burying ground to dig a grave. After her body was placed in the coffin, we took her to the church and held a service.
During that week we had been hosting a soccer tournament in our village. Because of the death in the village the tournament had been canceled. It was to be expected that the villagers would leave out of fear of the death. However, some villages stayed because they were shocked and could not understand the calmness that the Christians of our village had shown even when faced with a death. Three villages stayed and listened to the gospel being preached at the funeral.
As my father looked around at all the unsaved people, he remembered a prayer my mother had heard during a ladies prayer meeting earlier in the month.
 “Dear God, please do whatever it takes during this tournament to let the other Indians hear about your Son. Amen” and then my father under stood that it was God answering a payer through this death. The simple prayer that the gospel would be preached, that prayer had come from the mother who now lay in the coffin.

Monday, December 3, 2012


 We are off for a few days. Hopefully, no doctor's visits, no waiting rooms, no lab work, no ER visits. Just a little R&R for the family after going through a rough month, both emotionally and physically.

I'll tell you all about or trip when we get back, but here are a few clues:

  • We will see a man made beach
  • We will break out in a song from the movie Nacho Libre
  • We will tour century old ruins
  • We hope to catch up with fellow missionaries
  • We might cross a border
  • We will walk jungle paths
  • We may even see the ghost of Dr. Mengele !

Saturday, December 1, 2012

It seemed like a good idea at the time...

Another one of those things that may not have been such a good idea after all...
("This is a work of fiction - any resemblance to actual persons
living or dead is purely coincidental...maybe".)

After leaving the jungle, we were still under investigation by the authorities. Sometimes this involved having our phone tapped. We had been warned of this and sometimes, you could hear a machine click on and occasionally, even breathing and other background noises.

We had nothing to hide and did not discuss anything private over the phone, certainly not with our lawyer. Even so, it was very irritating.

So... we embraced the situation. If I ever had a toddler in the house I would let them speak, and babble and sing to their hearts content over the phone.

Or, read scripture passages for long stretches!

Give the official listening in the 'Plan of Salvation".

Speak in PIG LATIN!!! Oday ouyay eakspay igpay atinlay???

Our favorite, when calling one another, from the market or some such place, was to speak in Ye'kwana! This is best done in low, grave voices. Oh the evil codes they must have thought we had invented! They may have assumed we were discussing the evil empire and it's plans to dominate, but we were really just discussing what items we needed from the market. Hee, hee!!!

But the most important thing of all is to speak to the officer listening in. Say "Hello, how are you? Are you having a nice day?" If asking a question to the person with whom you are conversing, ask the official what he thinks, "SO, dear official of the day, should he bring home chicken or fish for dinner? We'll have plenty so you all can come by as well! "

And, be nice! You know, like before you hang up say ,"I am not expecting anymore phone calls this evening so why don't you just go ahead and rest now, or get a coffee".

And being a good Venezuelan family, we even ended with, "Bendición?" !

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Jayde singing at the US Embassy

 I just wanted to share my daughter's video. She was invited to sing the American and Paraguayan national anthems at the 4th of July celebration. So , if you have never heard it before, here is the Paraguayan National Anthem.

So, what do you think of our anthem?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Malaria Memories

I was recently reminded of the first time I had malaria. We had ran out of all meds, even Tylenol, due to an epidemic of over 80 cases of malaria at one time. We had no radio to call for more and had to wait for the scheduled flight to come out about 5 days later. I ended up being flown to town for medical care. It was discovered that I not only had malaria but strep throat as well. I was never so glad to see a plane land in my life! Well, except fort he time I had to be flown out for the gall bladder incident on Christmas Eve, or the time my husband's plane almost did NOT make the landing, but , those happened later...

When we were newly arrived in the village, I came down with malaria. I had been sick several days, (weeks?) with high fever and pain, followed by some hallucinations. It was hard to know what was really happening around me from the hallucinations. Often times, in the village, the real life happenings were more bazaar than the dreams!!

Imagine having every bone in your body aching like the worse flue you can imagine...X 10!! And no bed, no bathroom, no where to do the laundry but the river, still cooking over a fire, with four small children.

One day, I was feverish and in my hammock in the mud hut we had been loaned to use until we finished building our own mud hut. The doors did not lock, so there was no way to keep people out of the house. I was wiped out and fell into a deep sleep.

I began to wake up as I became aware of something rubbing my arm. As I strained to fight the fatigue and open my eyes, I realized my legs were also being touched. I could hear some low voices nearby speaking a language I did not understand.

As I raised my heavy eyelids, I saw four faces bent down over my hammock, looking me over. They were Sanama Indian woman from the next village. Each had their face painted and were adorned with the sticks they use to beautify themselves. They also had a roll of tobacco placed between their bottom lips and lower teeth. This gives the teeth a green, slimy look and produces a green dribble which they spit out on the floor every few seconds.

As my eyes took in the sight, I screamed!

The four, poor women, jumped! Screamed! Dropped their tobacco and walking sticks...and ran out the door! Screaming all the way through the village as they headed to their canoe!

I must have been just as scary to them as they had been to me. To add insult to injury, all the men in the village came running in to check on why I and the women had screamed, expecting to find a jaguar or something equally dangerous!

NO, just me sitting in my hammock trying to figure out if it was real...or another hallucination!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wednesday's window

 Here is a picture a friend of mine took of the inside of a local bus.

 I thought you might want to see what it is like to use public transportation here in Paraguay.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday's Inspiration

Morning Inspiration with James Merritt

God says, "yes, I'm going to allow things to happen to you you're not going to like. Yes, I'm even going to cause things to happen to you that you're not going to like. You're not going to go through this life without hurt, without heartache, without disappointment, without bitterness and anger. I'm not going to promise you you won't. But here's what I will promise you. It will all go through My filter, and if it can't be used for your good, it won't happen."

Friday, November 16, 2012


We managed to get out of the house for a bit today and go somewhere besides a doctor's office or hospital. 

We took the bus tour of the Itaipu dam, the worlds largest hyrdo electric plant.

 I am claustrophobic, Clint forgot about the tunnel. 

I don't like bridges or causeways.

 As we drove over the dam, holding back the water on one side, the guide told us if the dam were to break it would flood all the way to Buenos Aires.

 After facing two of my phobias, we parked the car and I waited while Clint ran inside for Jayde. The transformer above the car exploded and caught on fire!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Happy Birthday to the USMC

Happy 237th Birthday, Marines! 

I thank my husband,




 My father in law and my husband's grand father for their service in the USMC.



In a video posted on the Marine Corps website, Lt. Gen. Christmas explained, “What really happens, you know, when you get called ‘Marine’ for the first time, is two invisible hands reach up and rip your chest cavity open. Another set of invisible hands with an iron singes an eagle, globe and anchor on your heart. The same invisible hands close up your chest cavity, and you’re simply never the same again.”

Friday, November 9, 2012

Facebook Friday

 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23 (Be careful of what you think, your thoughts will run your life!)

First gun shots of the month.

 Hope BIG BIRD is unemployed tomorrow!

On election day,
Who is your favorite US President of all times and why? Mine is Rutherford B. Hayes. he has a state and a soccer team named for him here in Paraguay!

 Last night we were stopped by the police and Clint had forgotten his wallet. I had to stay in the car on the side of the road while he walked home, and back, to get his wallet to prove the car was ours. They were impounding several motorcycles and cars. This morning the alarm battery died suddenly and left us stranded. We did a little 'MacGyvering' and used a key, electrical tape, and an old alarm we found in the car to get ours to work. We did not look suspicious at all!

 I am thankful to live in a country where I have the privilege to vote and elect leaders. Even when the campaigning gets ugly, we have had peaceful transitions of power. Happy or not with the results of yesterday's election results, I hope you will all stop and realize what a wonderful and rare thing this is!

 "Nor is the people's judgement always true: The most may err as grossly as the few."-John Dryden

Thursday Therapy

It was not a good day. Enough said!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election talk

 Tereré Time
It's election day... who do you think will win?

Not who are you voting for, but who do you think will actually win?

Leave me your answer, but let's be nice in our comments! 

 As for me, I am ready for a little R&R, but I think Obama may win this again.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

My church

My husband is a pastor and we are starting a new church in our city. Here are some pictures from this morning's service.
This is our new church, Iglesia Bautista Sin Fronteras.
We meet in a home for the time being.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Witch Doctor's Chant

At Maweda Shodi on the Maweda River, near Chajurana.

This was written a few years ago by my oldest daughter ,Jackie.

(Keepin' Sane with Littles )

We were preparing to leave for furlough. We had furlough fever, more commonly known as Furloughitis. The symptoms of furloughitis involve cravings (for everything you can't get in Venezuela, but will be eating shorty in a matter of two months) such as Double Stuffed Oreos (my dad's favorite) Strawberry Pop Tarts (mom) Bagels and Cream cheese (me). Along with the usual Snickers, Olive Garden bread sticks, and Big Mac. Furloughitis also involves the hurried frenzy of taking all those last minute pictures for the slide presentation. You have no idea how many missionary pictures are "posed."

"Hey, Tito, can you pretend like you're making a canoe, please??"


"So I can take a picture"

"I don't need to make a canoe."

"I know....just pretend."

"You've seen me make a canoe before."

"Right....but I didn't take a picture....I told myself I would take one later."

"But I only need one canoe. How many canoes did you think I was going to make?"


My parents had the brilliant idea of recording a witch doctor's chant for the background music. My parents had a lot of brilliant ideas, usually at the expense of their children's lives. As my dad would put it, "We're young. We can have more kids if we loose one!"

Now, the witch doctor is a little old man, who wears a loin cloth constantly and occasionally puts on a shirt for special occasions. Such as coming to our house. He wasn't "creepy" in any way, or hostile, unless he was 'working' then he could give you goose bumps. He moved across the river to get away from all the people. He said Chajudana was too crowded, a bustling metropolis of 500 people. He slept in a hammock next to his dad's skull....yeah, that was creepy. I think over all though, he was more scared of us than we were of him. He thought we were way creepier I'm sure.

One day the perfect opportunity to get the background chant arose. The witch doctor was only a few houses away chanting over a sick woman. So my dad decides to send my brother (about ten years old at the time I guess) with small hand held recorder over. He told him to stand by the door, push record and stick the recorder inside the door. Just a few minutes is all I need, he said. Josh was TERRIFIED. The witch doctor was chanting, screaming, shouting, growling like a bear (all can be perfectly imitated by my brother now.) Josh told my dad he was scared, and it was creepy...and why didn't he do it. The answer was, "I'm too busy right now." But we all know he was just as creeped out! :D

My dad told Josh, "Don't worry son. You're under the Blood. Nothing is going to affect you. Now go."

My sisters and I walked with Josh to the house....well, we stopped about ten feet away and made him go by himself the rest of the way. He was muttering under his breath the whole time, "I'm under the Blood. I'm under the Blood." We watched as he stood against the outside of the house, and poked his hand with the recorder in the doorway. He recorded for a few actuality it was about ten seconds, and bolted towards us. As he was running towards us, the pastor's son, who knew we were all creeped out by the chanting, had climbed a tree that grew in the path, and just as Josh ran under it, jumped down and screamed like a panther. My brother is a white boy, but I had never seen him so pale as that day!

Josh returned the recorder triumphantly, my dad said it wasn't a lot of chanting on the tape, but it would have to do. Relieved to be all done with that horrendous task, we all went back to our school work.

If you ever see my parents slides from that furlough, listen closely to the chanting in the background. I'm almost sure you can hear "I'm under the Blood" being whispered!

Friday, November 2, 2012


Imagine my surprise to discover this morning was FRIDAY when I spent all day yesterday thinking it was Friday. I lost Thursday somewhere in the middle of the hustle and bustle of  travel and guests arriving.

Thus the Facebook Friday post on Thursday. May as well do a Thursday post today!

Yes, Thursday Therapy. One of the things I most dislike about the medication which is doing such a great job at  managing my pain is that it tends to make me feel a little befuddled at times. Not the same as a high one would feel from a narcotic pain medication but just sort of  'cotton headed'. I feel like my brain is a little slow and words seem to slip my mind more often. Speaking in two or more languages everyday is confusing enough but then to not be able to get a word out that is on the tip of your tongue is frustrating. The medication is Lyrica and I am on the lowest dose. I need it to be able to function and do the therapy and exercise but this side effect is annoying me.

I don't like it !!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Facebook Friday

 Spent the last few hours in the hammocks on the porch. A storm came through and our power is fluctuating. On, off, sort of one, this half on, that half on.Its on upstairs, for the moment so I am checking in on FB. Night everyone!

You might be an expat if you move your fridge into the middle of the kitchen so the extension cord reaches upstairs to the only stable current in the house. And then those lights go off too! :)

We just made it to the NTM guest house. We stopped and walked around the new Pinedo Mall... slightly overwhelming for someone from Ciudad del Este!!!! Quizno's Subs???? Really?????

We are home and the power seems to be fine! However the air conditioner on the car broke on the way home. We had a nice surprise to run into the Fields and the Hurds at a small restaurant. Small world. 

 I have lost a total of 45 lbs. I hope to make it to 50lbs before Thanksgiving!

THURSDAY~On this date in 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the cathedral in Wittenberg.

Look! I made a pumpkin pie! (pi)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My Town

I live on the border. Actually, I live on three borders, that's right, my city borders on Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina. I live in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay.

Today I thought I would share a few pictures of my home town.  I find the town to be very busy, like a miniature NYC, we have so many different languages and people groups here. It is never boring!

 Main streets in the center of town.

 This is the mosque downtown.

 It is a border BOOM town with thriving importation businesses. You would be amazed at the things you can find here!

 This is the town as seen from across the river.

Monday, October 29, 2012

On the road again...

 A short post today as we traveled all day from our city in the east to the capitol.

We stopped and walked through the new mall, it has a Quiznos Subs!!!!! WOW!

We stopped at the children's home, HOGAR GANAR, where my daughter will be teaching English next year. I just love that place.

We stopped and had ice cream at Lactolanda, YUM!

We stopped for lunch at Cucuruchos and bought pecan pie, apple pie and banana muffins for tomorrow's breakfast.

We made into the guest house here. I am resting with my TEN's and Clint and Jewel went out for Lomitos Arabes (shwarmas). I am not partaking as I am on a diet, you know!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

It is a life long war!

It is a tough battle which the Christian is called to fight; not one which the weak and soft might win; no easy skirmish which he might gain who dashed to battle on some sunshiny day, looked at the host, then turned his courser’s rein, and daintily dismounted at the door of his silken tent. It is not a campaign which he shall win, who, but a raw recruit today, foolishly imagines that one week of
service will insure a crown of glory. It is a life-long war — a contest which will require all our strength if we are to be triumphant, a battle at which the stoutest heart might quail, a fight from which the bravest would shrink did he not remember that the Lord is on his side: therefore whom shall he fear? God is the strength of his life: of whom shall he be afraid? This fight is not one of main force or physical might; if it were, we might the sooner win it; but it is all the more dangerous from the fact that it is a strife of mind, a contest of heart, a struggle of the spirit — ofttimes an agony of the soul.

Charles Spurgeon

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Death Stone

While living in the jungle we found it very difficult to keep dry. Perspiration is a constant problem. You are living in a steam room. Without electricity, there are no fans or AC to keep you cool. My husband found it necessary to change his shirt several times a day to try and keep dry. Since I had to do all my laundry by hand in the river at the time, I was always looking for a new super-duper antiperspirant to try.

I ordered a "deodorant stone" from a health magazine. We had to wait a few months for it to finally get to us in the jungle. On the flight day, the Missionary Aviation plane arrived with our supplies and mail. Flight day was always exciting! Not just for us but for the entire village. It was a window to the outside world.

We had not made the new airstrip in the village yet, so we had to canoe up river to the airstrip to meet the plane. The indians were always glad to help us carry our stuff down to the canoe and then back up to the house. We always shared goodies with them. And then they would sit and watch as we put our supplies away. This way, they knew what we had and what they could ask for!

On this flight day, a group of men were sitting and chatting as I went through the mail bag. I was so excited to see the order had arrived with the deodorant stone!

I pulled it out. It came in a small velvet pouch with a drawstring. I pulled out the stone. It is essentially a compressed deodorant that you use as a soap. Very little goes a long way. It looks like an egg size crystal stone.

I pulled the pouch out and began to pull the stone itself out. I noticed the men on the bench became very antsy. One man asked, loudly, "What is that?".

Ok, how do you explain deodorant to an indian from the Amazon? I tried explaining it was a soap, but the men were already wearing terrified looks and had begun to leave ...QUICKLY!

I didn't know what I had done to run them off. I kept on unpacking, but had left the stone lying on the table. Shortly after, one of the men returned, timidly. He asked me to hide the stone. I could see his fear was real so I took the stone to another room.

He was so relieved. He began to explain to me why everyone had run away. And then he wanted to know where I had gotten the stone.

The Ye'kwanas have a legend of a "death stone". The witch doctors travel to a certain mountain where there is a type of crystal which they believe has special powers. It is called the death stone. The witch doctors have to keep it under wraps, because of its power. The witch doctor will keep it in a small pouch.

You use the stone ONLY for killing your enemies. To use the stone, you pull it out of its covering and point it at those you wish to die.

Well, I had inadvertently tried to kill off half the male population that morning by showing them my deodorant stone!

I ended up having to meet with the men and explain my stupidity and swear I had no intentions of harming anyone! Very humbling experience for me and frightening for them, I am sure. Later on we could all have a good laugh about it and I count these men as my friends.

So, a little known fact about me...I almost massacred an entire village!! Single handedly!!
Scary aren't I?

You should be afraid! Be VERY afraid!

Because ,
I've got my eye on YOU!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Facebook Friday

My week @ Facebook 

  • Saturday~I blog because "Writing is the best way to talk without being interrupted." ~Jules Renard
  • Sunday~ Clint had allowed Janus the Great to come in and spend some time on her doggie bed. He then went up stairs to his office for awhile and Janus was left alone. We found her walking around with the top of the kitchen trash can around her neck like a collar. Guess she was checking out the garbage can for some food and got caught!!!!!
  •  Monday~I would like to ask for political asylum to the United Federation of Planets. Where is their embassy?
  • Tuesday~ First it was Big Bird and now its horses! ( Presidential debates, the things one hears!)
  • Wednesday~ I can't help myself! It's been building up for days now... It's time.... CANNIBAL JOKE!  A man thinks he is a cannibal. His wife convinces him to go to a psychiatrist.When he comes home his wife asks him, “So how was the psychiatrist?” The man smacks his lips and says,”Delicious!”
  •  Thursday~It's summer, just had to change the sheets because I left the bedroom windows open with the light on and my bed was covered with gnats! I had forgotten that in the summer, you know, when its hot, I have to close my windows to keep the bugs out. And yes, we have screens but these are tiny little 'no see ums'. Of course, in the winter, when its cold, I can leave my windows open , no problem.
  • Friday~ I wonder how many copies of "Where there is no doctor" we have worn out???
 And that was my week! Are you on Facebook? Let me know and I will friend you!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The EVIL treadmill

 I am writing this while walking on my treadmill. I can not  go very fast, only about 3 kilometers per hour. I do try and walk an hour each day  that I do not have hydrotherapy. On good days I walk another half hour in the afternoons. Last week I actually managed 5 kilometers! I find I have more confidence on the treadmill than I do walking about outside. There are a few different reasons for this:

  •  Because of a drop foot and numbness in my left ankle and foot, I tend to stumble and fall on uneven ground. The treadmill feels more stable and allows me to move faster with less fear of falling.
  •   I don't live in a safe neighborhood. I could easily be mugged or worse if I regularly walked around outside of our walls. It is especially important to not do the same thing at the same time in any noticeable pattern around here as it will make you an easy target.
  •  The treadmill, though not pretty, is in my bedroom where I have an A/C unit, so in the summer it is climate controlled. :)
  • Since my husband built an add on desk top, I can use my laptop while walking and this distracts me from  the actual pain I feel while walking.

  So, what do you do for exercise?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Along the roadside

Last week we drove to Itagua and along the way I made my husband stop the car and take this picture so that I could show you what our termite hills look like. This is only a medium size hill. My husband did not want to trek too far off the road to get a picture of the big ones. I think I embarrass him with all my picture taking !

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What is Paraguay like?

 On Tuesday's I really hope you will interact with me through Q&A in the comments!

 So here are my questions for you today;

1) When you think of Paraguay, what do you imagine it to be like?

2) Do you know what city I live in?

3) Do you know anything of Paraguayan history or culture? If so, where did you learn about it?

4) What do you think would be the most enjoyable aspect of living in Paraguay?

5) Could you imagine yourself ever living here?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sunday, October 21, 2012

My climb, my fall, my rescue

Flying over Mt. Duida, Amazonas, Venezuela

I must reach my God! I must see His face, hear His voice. He dwells upon the mount. The mount that looms above me. I am here below, in a deep, dark chasm, a pit. Yet, I know the way to Him lies above and I must go.

The path leading up is steep and dark. Treacherous, but I must risk it, for He has placed with in my soul a need to see Him, face to face. And so, I reach upwards, searching for a hand hold. First one hand, then the other, and with stumbling feet, I try to find a path to God.

I gain a bit, a foothold here, then stretching forth my hand, I slip! Slip backward and lose my ground! Striving, grasping, but I seem to not advance at all, and yet, with the weakening of my flesh, my soul does strive still!

My very heart cries out to climb to God, but I do not seem to progress. I know He resides above and that is where I must go. There is no other place of peace. I must go! Upward, upward! Go!

At that moment, I feel the strength of my arm falter, at that very moment, I lose my grip...and fall. Down, down...I fall to the lowest place. It is as if I had not attempted the climb at all. I am filled with despair knowing I had given it my all. I can not climb to my God. There is no hope for me. I am to die and forever be here in the depths of darkness.

And as I lay there, waiting for death, broken and afraid, I hear a sound upon the path. The sound of footsteps coming down the very way I had trod. The path that led to my fall. To where I now lay dismayed. Hearing the footsteps, I feel a glimmer of hope rekindled in my soul. Upon opening my eyes, I see my God, coming down for me! He reaches out His nail scared hand for me, He lifts me up, in His strong embrace, and all my fears dissolve.

Lovingly, He carries me to the mountain top. He places me upon my feet to stand in that blessed spot. And what a view I now behold as I stand atop the Mount of God!

I feel as if sunlight is in my soul, even as I hear the thunder of a storm below. I am calm on this height where I stand beside my God, for no storm or cloud can reach me. I am under clear, blue skies that reach for all eternity. I am strong in this place! No one can harm me. I am secure, at peace with all.

This is life! This is joy! My God has found me! He lifted me up to see His face! To hear His voice!
And now, His love I know!

I John 4:19

We love him, because he first loved us.

Romans 5:8
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Isaiah 26:4  Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.

These are thoughts I write down in my devotional journal. At times I must fight depression with chronic pain and find writing to be helpful in organizing my thoughts and reminding me of truths. I rarely share them with anyone, but decided to do so here. The mountain pictured is what was in my mind's eye.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

So... this is heaven?

 On Saturday's I will be sharing memories of our time spent in the Amazon jungle. Today I share something I wrote several years ago for The Jungle Hut.

I wish you all could meet a friend of mine from the Ye'kwana tribe. Cristina was my neighbor for all those years we lived in the village. When I first met her, she was a married woman with 5 children. A few months later, her husband died of a high fever, probably yellow fever. This made her a widowed mother of 5. Life in the jungle is hard even with a husband but for a woman one to build the house every five years or so when it falls down...HARD!

About this same time, I had my first back surgery. This meant I could no longer do my own laundry in the river. Lugging dirty clothes down the bank and then heavy, wet clothes back up was no longer possible. Cristina showed up one morning and told me that God had led her to do my laundry for me. I had been praying about whom to hire. It is hard in a small, cashless society to hire one person over another. But this was the perfect answer, as everyone knew Cristina needed help. She did my laundry for several years.

One dry season, she was collecting fire wood, which must be collected before the rains and kept under a roof to use during the long rainy season. She stopped at my door and took off the head strap of her handmade back pack.
(These men are wearing the same style back pack.)

"WOOO", she called.
I opened the door and as she came in I could tell she was not feeling well. Now, Cristina stands at about 4'8" or so and might weigh 45 kilos. I had just watched her come in carrying a good 25 kilos of firewood on her back. Her garden was probably 2 to 3 kilometers away, so, she had every reason to not feel well!
She asked me if I could give her a "red" pill for her pain. The "red" pill was ibuprofen, the Miracle Pill in the jungle!

I went into the store room to get it for her, and when I came back out, she was sitting with a smile on her face looking around my house.I gave her the pill and began to tell her how that in heaven there would be no need for medicine as there would be no pain. And there would be no need to gather firewood, as God would provide all our needs and be the very light. I said it would be so great in heaven , to have all our needs met and provided AND , we would each have a mansion!!
Her face lit up, she looked at me and said something I will never forget. She said, "Heaven will be like your house!"

Now, my heart stopped for a moment. My house, that she was referring to was a mud hut! With a palm roof!! When you touched the walls, pieces of it fell off. Worms and cock roaches nested in the palm roof and even occasionally fell on you, not to mention the lizards and snakes! I had a generator and lights though, and a rough cement floor. I had colorful curtains, and a sink!
To Cristina's mind, this was as good as she could imagine!! (Inside The Jungle Hut)

I remember thinking, "Please God ,let her be wrong! Heaven has got to be better than this!"
And then I began to think, in Cristina's limited imagination, my home was a mansion.
What if, in our limited human imaginations, we are as far off as she is in what we imagine heaven will be like!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Facebook Friday

 I will share my life this week as posted on  my Facebook status updates.

Saturday ~ I made it! I walked 5 kilometers! Who cares that it took me 99 minutes!

Sunday~  Enjoyed singing 'There is a Fountain' tonight. It's as beautiful in Spanish as it is in English. It was so very exciting to see two baptized this evening!

Monday ~ Finished my devos, now for some coffee, then off to hydro therapy before we hit the road to go visit an orphanage in Itagua  where Jewel will be visiting for a few days.

Tuesday ~  Major storm blowing in. Expect to lose power soon and need to disconnect everything. Hope to see you all tomorrow!

Wednesday ~  I slept for two hours before the power went out (have partial power now) Then the pain from the 10 hour road trip kept my awake. Finally fell asleep for half an hour when a very loud noise
woke us up. The wind took out a large tree outside our bedroom window and we nearly lost our water tank. So.. I am thankful for two hours sleep, I am thankful for partial power and internet, and I am thankful for water! Very thankful there was no damage to the house.

Thursday ~ A good night's sleep, an hour of hydro therapy, getting ready to do a thorough cleaning of my bedroom before I head out to another session of physical therapy. Then out to do some errands, pick up Jayde from work, take her to the eye doctor and try to get in to see the neurologist too. Traveling back to Itagua tomorrow to pick up Jewel Vernoy.
Friday ~ I love road trips in Paraguay. Even traveling the same road four times in one week, you are assured to see something new and unusual. Like a sculpture of the Alien from the movies. And a knight in armor. A man driving an ox cart on the highway while texting. A well in the middle of the street! And the many things one can transport on a motorcycle! 

THERE! I bet you thought my life was much more exciting than that, didn't you? 
So tell me, what has been going on in your life this past week? 

Thursday, October 18, 2012


 I spent the day in the car as we drove to Itagua to pick up Jewel who had been visiting a children's home this week. (More about that later.)

I enjoyed the ride, in spite of my back pain, and am finding my TEN's to be very helpful for times when I am required to sit for long periods at a time.

Tomorrow morning I have an hour of hydro`therapy and in the afternoon an hour of physical therapy .I am praying that will help me through any inflammation to the sciatic nerve caused by the trip. I am trying very  much to not use any opioids or narcotic pain killers and have not used  hydrocodone at all since June 11. Pray for me to be able to continue on this path!

 I am on Lyrica which has its own challenges but is seeming to manage the pain for now. The biggest challenge is not to gain weight while taking it. I have lost 40 lbs since May, mostly due to the hydrotherapy and time spent on the treadmill. As I lose weight my pain levels decrease and my core muscles are getting much stronger. Even when I have a terrible, horrible, bad day, I seem to bounce back faster.

My biggest issue of late is insomnia. Please pray for me as I deal with this. I had a good night last night! WooT! 8 full hours of sleep. It was as if my life went from black and white to color, just like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz!

Here's praying for another good night sleep without pain waking me up!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Window View

 On Wednesday's I want to post pictures of my life here in Paraguay, things I find interesting or think you may find interesting. It just so happens that Monday night we had a huge storm come through that made a lot of damage  to our yard.

It was the middle of the night and I heard a loud 'CRACK' as a tree crashed outside of my bedroom window. I woke up and thought, "Oh! It's just another gunshot." and rolled over to go back to sleep. Then my husband discovered the tree had nearly hit our water tank  and barely missed our house. That's when I got nervous, THAT freaked me out! We could have been hit by a tree!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tereré Time ~ What is it?

 One of my favorite aspects of the Paraguayan culture is the emphasis put on spending time with others, not just family, but neighbors and co workers. At certain times of the day, one must just sit down and share some tereré. Sipping communally from the same cup, sharing thoughts, offering advice, it's a vital part of life and relationships among these wonderful people.

I have to confess that after four years, I still do not enjoy the flavor of  tereré, I don't hate it, but its not something I would drink alone. But what I do love is the time spent drinking  tereré with my Paraguayan friends, especially outside, sitting in a circle in the late afternoon.

Tereré Time is a time to unwind and catch up with one another, a time to bond and chit chat. On Tuesdays I would like to have a virtual Tereré Time with my readers. Tell me what new in your life. Ask me a question. Encourage one another.

To get the conversation started, let me ask you, do you know what tereré is? Have you ever tried it? Would you try it if offered to you? How would you feel about sharing the same cup and straw?