Jonathas announced meals daily with a “Dinner is Seeer-ved! ” He was funny! It was his way to get us all together at the right time…to keep us all on schedule. Have I said it enough? He is an amazing man and God is using him to do amazing things!
Lunch was . It was awesome! It tasted unlike anything I have had before. The most interesting thing about the pirarucu is what I googled on line.
The Pirarucu, a member of the catfish family, is one of the largest freshwater fish in the world. It can grow up to 10 feet long and can weigh 400 pounds. It is an air-breathing fish, a directdescendent of the earliest osteoglottid family. It is one of 500 species of catfish in the Amazon River and it’s tributaries, which have more fish species in it than the entire Atlantic Ocean!
This remarkable fish stands out for more than it’s size. Native people use the dry scales of the fish as sandpaper and its tongue is used as a grater. It is eaten both fresh and dried as the main food fish ofAmazonia.
The fish was served with a wonderful yellow fishy sauce called “creme de camarao.” There was a chopped vegetable salad, beans and rice, green oranges and more cupuacu. The cupuacu was a different flavor than what we had had before. Each day after lunch there was a break–without the a/c–until 2pm. The boat had all current turned off at several times during the day to preserve the engine and the generator. After the lunch break it would be time for vacation bible school and thewomens group as well as the daily church service that was held before we left each village.
I of course was about to go to the village. I happened to see Jonathas in the commom area and he looked at my Timberlands and socks. He asked if I had been to the village like that. I told him yes. He said that that was not good…my socks being so high without the use of a repellent . He explained that there was some sort of invisible bug in the grasses of the amazon..kind of like a chigger of sorts. We can’t see them but we will be able to feel them once they burrowed into the skin. The result: we will be miserable and regret ever going if they burrowed in. He whipped out a natural insect repellent made from the fruit of a local tree called andiroba . I of course was already loaded down in repellent that I brought with me. He said this special oil would be the thing that would keep the invisible bugs away.
So what is Andiroba?
Andiroba Oil is an emollient nut oil which has been processed from the seeds or nuts of the Amazonian tree, Carapa guianensis. The Indians in the Amazon have used andiroba oil for centuries as a natural insect repellent.* Chemical analysis of andiroba oil has identified the presence of a group of chemicals called limonoids. The anti-inflammatory and insect repellent properties of andiroba oil are attributed to the presence of these limonoids, including a novel one which has been named andirobin.
This is what it looks like in its natural form.
Once I took off my shoes, socks and oiled up, I put them back on and off to the village I went. Vacation bible school was waiting! It is soooooo hot on this day that my clothes are just saturated. That brown river water will surely feel good once I get back to the boat later this evening! I can’t wait.