After dinner some of my cabin mates and I went back to the room. Just for a little while but it was long enough to miss the birthday cake for people born in July. That was me! In addition to Nancy–my other cabin mate! My birthday is July 29th! I heard about the cake after it was all over. The cake was for me too! I just hope that Nancy ate a piece for me.
After the service, the other team members drifted back to the boat for dinner. The villagers who came to see us, left in their boats to go back home. This picture was an amazing one. That stroller was the only modern thing I saw in the Amazon. The stroller in the boat was a sight to see.
Dinner was a modgepodge of other things we had had earlier in the week, all made into a soup. We had that sort of soup on yesterday as well. It think we were getting low on food. Because of all the starches, I began to crave salad and all things green! And balsamic dressing. I could kill for salad dressing! Everyone is winding down for the day.
Jonathas told us that we all needed to put on bug spray to avoid being bitten. It was very buggy. I don’t want to put any on and don’t . I have already had my shower. My state? Baked. The sun had left me with 2 very bad sunburns on my forearms. I have changed about 2 shades darker due to the sun.
Some of the Brazilian crew tool some of the Americans on a short ride in the motor boat around the area where we docked.
Just before the sun set, the captain told us that it was safe to get into the water. Some decided to swim. I did not. Nancy, Sue and I watched. Our 4th cabin mate, Virginia did decide to swim as well. She had her bikini and she was the most fashionable person on the entire trip! Here is swimming just before sunset, just before we had to leave for the night.
After lunch, Nancy , Michelle and I decided to go back to the village.
People were still coming on board to have medical treatment.
As we walked we saw several different varieties of chickens that were very different that what I had seen in the states.
We attended the Womans’ Group run by the american nurse Maureen. She was great. She taught the women self breast exams, family planning and how to avoid UTI infections. She even taught the women how to use condoms and put them on the correct way. She taught the benefits of condoms…no more kids! We did not have any condoms to give out but we did tell them they could be bought in the city.
The women were very shy, but Maureen worked with a member of the Brazilian team who acted as her interpreter. VBS ended a little early so the kids played soccer with the Americans while the women finished up.
Since this was the very last place we would be stopping, we evenhad a special magic show for the kids. The Brazilian crew was very entertaining.
After watching the magic show there was the evening church service and donations. I did not go to these two things. I was done in by the heat and was totally drenched in sweat. Nancy and I went back to the boat and took nice long showers in the cold, brown amazon water. It was a good choice because the water ran out later and no one could take any showers.
As we continued to walk through Paraquuba, we came to a house where the oldest woman in the village lived. She was 110 years old. I spoke to the younger woman with her and this was the woman’s granddaughter. She was very small and was almost in a fetal position in a hammock. There were other small er children there who must have been the gret grand children. I spoke to the grand daughter in Spanish and she did answer affirmative to what I asked. At this time I did not have a member of the Brazilian crew with me to interpret if she answered in Portuguese, so I asked just yes/no questions in Spanish.
The granddaughter said that the woman was very tired. In reality she was ill but with no long term medical care, there was not a lot to be done in terms of really helping her long term. I did not stay too ong but she was able to sit up for just a minute to get my greeting to her.
She really looks good for 110 years old. She was unable to come to the boat for medical care so our doctors went to her. she has a heart problem and the medical team did treat her and gave her some sort of medicine before we left.
Every where we went we just saw the women and children. The men were away working or hunting. As far as family life the social dynamics are not good in this village or any of them really because they are so very isolated. Pastor John told us that when he went to this house where this woman lived, he felt an evil presence in the house. He said that the daughters and grand daughters were very oppressed. Oppressed by the men and dynamics of the family and village. Lots of violent things happen in this village to the woman and the children and according to the local ministers they were in agreement and things were gettign worst. Pastor John said that all the kids in the picture had something wrong with them spiritually. He said it was a generational curse. He went on to say that the village needed prayer and we did that. We prayed for the village that night after dinner during our sharing time on the boat. We did a lot of sharing that night as to how God worked in us that day.
After visiting with this family, Nancy and I went back to the boat for lunch and the meeting to get ready for VBS. Now, on this trip I tried to rotate through all the activities and since this was the last village, I helped get ready for VBS but this time I went to the woman’s group. It was held at the same time as VBS. We had the kids at one place so that the mothers would be free to attend the Woman’s Class that we also held at each village.
As we wondered through the village and thatched homes, we came upon a family with a young girl who had a monkey. The monkey’s name was Chico.
Chico was a wild monkey that the girl caught in the trees of the forest near the village. He was cute and looked very cuddly. I wanted to pet but did not. It was small and made chirping noises like a bird. The only way the girl could control the monkey was by keeping a string tied around the monkeys penis. When he was out of control, the string got a yank to keep the monkey in line. He seemed very tame but we were told that he had recently killed a large dog in the village by biting it to death. A few of our group did venture to pet Chico. Soon after he was given back to the girl, Chico bit her. Very hard.
When he was not with his owner, he was in his hammock. This was his home. He swung himself back and forth in the hammock when we were there. The fatheir of the girl took us around the village on a tour of sorts. He told us of home remedies using monkeys teeth and caiman teeth to keep babies quiet. We saw lots of typical things like people hunting and bathing.
Paraquuba was the most primitive of all the places we visited. It was more remote as far as location and the people seemed a little more into their native tribal ways. Here we visited several homes and visited with families. Not everyone here wore clothes.
The people here did not have a lot of food. There was cattle and I was sure glad I had my boots. There were free roaming and some of the villager had a few plants with gates around them to keep the animals out. We say a very muddy pig sty with a larg hog nurisng four babies. Nearby was a deep well. I wonder if the well actually went to the water table or was it just as far as the Amazon.
It is Thursday, July 19th..afternoon
Well, it has been a while but I am finally back to finish this trip up. Lots of things have happened in the past months but the meaning of this trip has never diminished. In the afternoon, we packed up, had lunch and traveld to the next village. On the way there as we sailed along, I asked about the tribes of the interior and was told that they are the ones that noone is allowed to visit. Special permission is hard to get from he government to visit them. Many wear clothes but still wear tribal paints and have piercings.
Pastor John found some fresh lemon grass in Sao Felix, so the kitchen help brewed it up and it was wonderful. We tried not to think about what cattle had been grazing nearby as we drank it! We even chewed some of the leaves whole. They were not washed either. Just bundled up with a large rubber band.
As we got closer to the village of Paraquuba, we all went out on deck as we approached.
It was another beautiful day. Nothing but water, sun and clouds.
As we got closer to the village, we left the open river and moved into another tributary. As we got closer we all went on deck to see what we could see.
Hello all…it has been a awhile but here I am again. Guess what? I have never stopped looking for the acai sorbet locally as it was never available here. Guess WHAT!!!!! I found it about 3 weeks ago at Publix West Ashley. I of course had to buy 2 containers of it. I am glad that it will be here locally for me and you to enjoy. Acai Sorbet for all..go get some!
Now let me get back to finishing this blog! I still have some days to go!
Okay….remember this post about me finding the acai ice cream, walking the planks and the huge bats? Ice Cream in the Amazon. Well, as part of reliving my trip over and over again, I have had many opportunities to tell people about it. I feel like I just went on yesterday. I am a member of a bible study that meets in someone’s home every Monday night and I presented my trip to them in powerpoint form on October 22. They, along with others as well as my church, helped to fund my going. I wanted to do something special for them to make them feel like they were part of the trip. In addition to the show, I served foods that I ate when I was down there. I ordered some items from Brazil and they were shipped here to me. Some things I was able to find here, like the hearts of palm, papaya and cheese and crackers. The things I ordered from Brazil were the Guarana Antarctica, the Bauducco Chocottone and the Garoto Serenada de Amor. We had foods as native as I could get to being there!
The dessert to top things off was that purple ice cream from the Amazon…the acai ice cream. I searched the internet for weeks before trying to find anyone who had it, imported it..whatever. I could not find it. The closest thing that I did find was an acai sorbet made by Haagen Dazs. I called the Haagen Dazs in the market downtown. They informed me that it was only available in California…that the berries were imported from Brazil to California and the sorbet was very limited. I began to call all the local stores here in town…literally every store… and asked them ALL to try to order some as they already sold other flavors of Haagen Dazs. No luck there. No one carried any of this special reserve series of sorbet.
I went to the Haagen-Dazs site and saw where it could be ordered but at very high shipping costs. That was a great cost..too much. I did see where the sorbet was available in the larger northern cities like New York and Boston and then in California. None at any store near me. The wonderful people at Haagen Dazs came to my rescue. After explaining the situation, the trip and why I just had to get some sorbet, somehow, someway, they answered my prayer. The wonderful people at Haagen Dazs understood my urgency to get some of the Brazilian Acai Sorbet, part of the Reserve Series. My hunt came to an end. At first I was communicating with Diane who then put me in touch with a woman named Summer. They were both great! After a few emails back and forth, I got a complimentary shipment of the Brazilian Acai Berry Sorbet. It came in a sleeve of 8 pints and was delivered overnight by Federal Express packed in dry ice. Did I say complimentary? Can we say random acts of kindness? They certainly did not have to do it. The sorbet is not available anywhere near me and it does not look like it will be any time soon.
I served it to my ladies in my Monday night bible study. They all liked it. It was the fitting end to the presentation. Big thanks to Haagen Dazs for their gift. Here we all are enjoying the acai sorbet! Click to see bigger picture!