Monday, February 18, 2013

Dorotea's bucket

One night, our youngest daughter was experiencing croup. A bad case of croup. She was about 2 at the time. We were in the jungle and no doctor or hospital was available, we couldn't even call for an emergency flight to come get us. The Cessnas cant land at night on a dark airstrip. So, we did all we could. We set up a pop tent and I boiled kettles and kettles of water while she and her dad laid inside the sauna like environment, hoping to loosen the phlegm which was blocking her breathing. Finally, around 3 a.m. She was able to get rid of the phlegm and promptly fell into a deep sleep.

My husband and I prepared to get some sleep as well. A few minutes after we had gone to bed, just on the verge of that wonderful sleep...we began to hear something.


We went out of our room in time to see our son (10 years old or so) run by on his way outside! The 2 older girls were right behind him. We could hear indians beginning to run past our house, calling out...something!

We grabbed the little one and ran out as well. You see, children always learn a foreign language faster than their parents and Josh had understood the screams of the indians.

He heard them yelling, "FIRE! THE ROOF IS ON FIRE!", and as he rolled over and looked out his window, he saw the flames VERY close to our roof. He thought OUR roof was on fire.

We had taught the children that if our palm roof EVER caught on fire..Get out FAST! Dry leaves go up in flame very quickly and there is no time to grab anything. He took us at our word, and with only a yell over his shoulder to his siblings, he was out the door.

Once outside we realized the fire was at Tito and Dorotea's house, about 100 meters or so away.

My husband began to run towards the jungle path that led to our water pump. Their house was lost, but we hoped to be able to save the houses near it, including our own, by wetting down the roofs.

Clint ran out, barefoot, into the dark jungle. The indian trails are narrow and only wide enough to walk on in single file. Staying on the trail in the dark was not easy. The pump was about 500 meters or so down to the river. There was no moon light, and the jungle at night can be scary. I ran in and grabbed a flash light and tossed it to him.

(a narrow jungle trail)

In the mean time, I climbed up our water tower to unhook the flexible pipe which filled the barrels we used for a water storage tank.

Once down, my son and I began to pull the 2 inch hose towards the fire. A two inch hose full of water is HEAVY! We were pulling and had gotten to the edge of a thick piece of jungle we needed to get through to reach the fire. My young son's voice was a little frightened as he asked, "Mommy, are we going to walk through there without a light?!"

I answered in my own frightened voice, "I guess we have to." At that same moment, something SWOOSHED by us and we felt the hose pulled from our hands!

All this time, my husband is experiencing his own adventure! The flashlight I had tossed him...well, the batteries were dead. So he was running through the jungle in the pitch black! Now, unless you have been in the jungle on a moonless night, under the canopy of the forest without a light, you have NO idea how DARK it can get!

he ran, he prayed aloud, "Please God! No snakes!"

Later, he said he wished he had prayed "No thorns". I had to pull 13 thorns, some up to an inch long, out of his feet later. But he did make it to the pump house and he did get the pump started.

Josh and I felt the hose taken from us. It was so dark we couldn't see who, or what! had ran by until one of the Indians said, "We got it now".

Whew! I was glad to not have to go through that dark jungle!

After fighting the fire for several hours the village was able to save all but the one house.

The thing I remember most was poor Dorotea! She was crying, "My new bucket! I lost my new bucket!"

That was her prized possession! A plastic bucket.

I ask you, if you had a fire, would you be crying over a bucket? That kind of puts it in perspective for me. We are so wealthy.

Lets remember to be grateful! God has blessed us with so much in our country, we don't even comprehend how wealthy we are. So next time you (or I) feel like whining about not having something, think of Dorotea and her bucket.

(This is a typical Indian house)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My Life as a Fairy Tale

The People of the Enchanted Forest

Once upon a time there was a land of great wealth and prosperity in the north, and in that land two people were born who were destined to be together. One was a young knight, Marinus who was in the service of his King and country, and the other was a young Lady, Roseus who was waiting for her knight.

Marinus was sent to serve his land in a band of mighty warriors who were the first to fight and were under direct orders of their King. He was of the few and the proud who were the first line of defense of that great land. They were known to be always faithful to that duty. Semper Fidelis was their standard.

As these things usually come about, the two met and were joined in holy matrimony having a great, pure love for one another. Their love would pass the test of time and they would live happily with their four children.

When his days of service to the King were over, young Marinus was released from his duty and the young Knight felt called upon to serve his God in a far away place where His name was not known.

Marinus, Roseus and their children began a journey to the south, the land of a great forest. Some even believed the great forest to be enchanted. In that land of forest and rivers there dwelt a people who had not heard of the ways of God . Marinus was determined to find them and show them the glory of God that they might know it for themselves.

And so they set out upon a long and adventurous journey, their highway was the river and their steed was a dug out canoe. After many days of travel through the enchanted forest, they arrived at a small village and were invited to rest and share the food with the people of the enchanted forest.

The people asked them to stay and share with them the great mysteries of the unknown God. Marinus began to learn their ways and their words. Roseus worked to understand and befriend the women and children of the enchanted forest.

And they were busy. They taught the people of the forest how to mark their words upon white leaves so that their words would never be lost. They taught them to decipher the marked leaves and read the words of others. And they taught them of the ways of God.

Marinus and Roseus shared their knowledge of medicine and healing with the people of the forest, caring for the sick and elderly. Many children were born to the village and their strength was improved. The village became the mightiest in that region.

Roseus helped the elders to gather the children together daily to teach them at a young age how to make the markings upon the white leaves, how to do the ciphers, how to care for their health.

Marinus taught them of God. He showed them the word's of God written upon the white leaves and they could now understand God's words for themselves. Many an evening the elders would sit around the fires and read aloud the words of God to others. Soon so many were eager to hear these words, the people decided to build a large meeting house just for that purpose. It was a place of Hope.

All seemed well in the enchanted forest. The people were happy, Marinus and Roseus were happy, but outside of the Enchanted Forest a fear was growing among the people of the cities. A new leader had arisen.

This leader was known as Thugo the Tyrant and he spread his hate and venomous teachings through out that Land of Grace. The numbers of Thugo's followers grew and violently took the land. It was as if a wave of red hatred grew in the hearts of many and spread to the hearts of all those with whom they spoke.The wave of red flowed forth to encompass more and more of the land, but the enchanted forest was far away and still untouched by Thugo or his red thugs.

Slowly, the rumors arrived that the wave of red was ever growing nearer to the enchanted forest. Alas, some of the enchanted people were washed away with the wave of red anger and hatred. Thugo's grip was growing ever nearer, but things were still calm in the village were Marinus and Roseus lived happily among the people of the forest.

Until one fateful day, a decree went forth through out the whole of the land. Thugo the Tyrant spoke and declared that all those who lived in the enchanted forest as emissaries of God must leave and leave at once. Thugo's red thugs arrived to put fear into their hearts. The red thugs began to do evil in the enchanted forest and cause harm to the people ever threatening Marinus and his family.

Marinus and Roseus attempted to seek justice from the peoples of the city. They went into the Palaces of Justice, showing their works were not evil but good. It was to no avail. Thugo the Tyrant would not listen, Thugo's red thugs had lost the ability to see and think on their own and were now completely entranced by Thugo and his evil spell. They would not listen and so, Marinus and Roseus left the enchanted forest with sadness.

They left their friends, the people of the forest, and all were heart broken. Many cried on that day. Marinus beseeched them to never forget the ways of God, to continue to follow in His path and Roseus hugged and cried with the women and children of the forest. But they must leave, and leave they did.

As time went by, Marinus and Roseus moved to a new land and were happy once again. But a part of their heart remained behind in the enchanted forest, a longing and a calling they could feel most everyday, to be with the people of the forest. They learned to trust God with their care.

At times they would receive messages from the enchanted people. Their words marked on white leaves so that Marinus and Roseus might know of their friends and how it went in the enchanted forest. The words were good. The people still followed the ways of God and declared His glory through out the forest, spreading it from village to village. God remained among them even after Marinus and Roseus had been forced to leave them. They had known that He would, but it was a comfort to read the markings.

And so, the people of the enchanted forest were well and Marinus and Roseus were happy. And all lived happily ever after until they would one day be reunited in a beautiful city of lights to live together for all eternity. A place where all was enchanted and the likes of Thugo the Tyrant and his Red Thugs would never be able to reach them again. A place of true peace and rest.
The End

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Civilized?A young Ye'kwana woman  had gone into labor. After 36 hours, she had still not delivered and was beginning to run a fever. I went in and checked on her, but I could tell things were not quite right with the labor. After asking many questions, she admitted she had not felt the baby kick, or move, for at least 3 days. I could not hear a heart beat.

We began to monitor her and planned to call the plane for a medical evac the next morning as she was running a fever, most likely from an infection due to the death of her unborn child. However, in the night, the child was delivered. A beautiful little girl, perfectly formed and of a good size, but dead at birth. I could also see why my friend had an infection as the child had been dead a few days. I delivered the child and placed her in a metal basin.

We had not lived among the Ye'kwana very long at this time and I was not sure how to proceed or culturally how we should dispose of the baby. I asked her brother in law what we should do. Imagine my surprise and shock when he took the basin with the dead child outside and gave it to the dogs! The hungry dogs of the village began to fight for the meal and soon nothing remained.

I was abhorred! Appalled! Disgusted! How barbaric! How inhuman! How primitive! How could I understand such a people!?!?! How could I ever love them? I wanted to scream and shake and yell out my disgust! I was sick to my stomach!

Then I realized... my own culture, my own people do something much worse and much more barbaric, and we assume ourselves to be educated, enlightened, cultured, civilized! We have the understanding of science and we have used to to our 'advantage'. We can 'choose' to end the life of an unwanted child at any time. This 'right' is even upheld by our courts.

Sure, we are too advanced to throw the corpse of a child to the dogs, a child that died in the womb, a child wanted by her mother. We would never do such a thing! But... we would end the life of an unborn child if the mother finds it to be inconvenient. We would then dispose of the child in a scientific, hygienic manner and pat ourselves on the back for being so superior to other primitive cultures which would deny this right for a mother to choose whether to keep the child or dispose of it.

Yes, dress the doctor up in a white lab coat, it makes all the difference! One is the picture of depraved humanity at it's most primitive while the other is enlightened science at its most evolved.

But, which is the more evil?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Happy Birthday to me!

 I have not updated in awhile due to real life. I have had a few misadventures along the way :

I tested out a tazer on myself

I have been getting a root canal and ended up with a throat full of bleach, followed by cups of water being forced down my throat and the spray thingy washing my face, sort of like being water boarded, but more expensive.

I fell. It was an epic fall involving tumbling across two rooms, with witnesses. Nothing graceful about it.

Went back to the dentist and paid for more torture.

Moved my daughter to her new job at a children's home.

Today my husband bought me 4 beautiful gourmet cupcakes for my birthday. I manged to tip them over in the car, squash them a bit while getting in the car, and dropped them frosting side up on the  kitchen floor!