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Published: August 13th 2012
Day 20 : The jungles of Tena Day 2:
I think I must have gone to bed a bit earlier than normal, cause by 5:30am I couldn't sleep any more. Apparently I was the first one up and about, so I wandered around and sort of watched the sun come up. By 6am or so, I noticed someone in the kitchen room and went to investigate. It turned out to be the host, Thomas Moore, getting coffee. Of course, I had to have a cup too. By 7am or so, almost everyone was up and about, and around 8am we all sat down to breakfast. Breakfast was scrambled eggs, cocktail sausages, pancakes with syrup, and a plantain mixture. Everything was pretty good, and prepared us for our day. We all put on our jungle clothing with boots and plenty of mosquito repellent applied, divided up into our five groups, and went down to the waiting boats.
We all loaded into three longboats for the trip downstream. Each of the five groups were dropped off at different points. Our group was the last to be dropped off, giving us the best and longest ride. We even had to turn around
and go back up the other side of Anaconda Island. Each group of five, with guide, was supposed to try to visit five families from a list the island president had made up. During each visit, our medical personnel will do checkups and treat anything they are able to. Then, we explain of water purification kit that we give to them. Lastly, we give them a bible en Spanish, if they don't have one, and see how they fell about God and Christianity. Usually they/we read bible verses and ensure they understand the need to be saved.
When we got out of our boat, we were met by several young children, handing out the cutest little flower shapes made from banana leafs. They even showed us how to do it, but none of us could follow it well enough to reproduce. Our first home was a couple with five children, four boys and a girl. After the children were treated medically where needed, I played balloon ball with the kids while the parents were looked at and the water treatment kit was explained. The kids and I had a lot of fun, and we went thru a few balloons.
Here, one of the younger boys handed me a bracelet woven from a piece of banana leaf (I think), so I asked him to show me how to do it, and with a bit of practice, I was able to make my own. His name was Anderson Tapu, so I told him I'd show it on the internet and make him famous by calling it the Anderson Secret Weave.
The next house was a bit different than most. Most of the families on Anaconda Island have decent, by primitive, houses with little or not conveniences, although a single electric lightbulb is fairly common. The second house was a bit bigger, had a little store of sorts, full electricity with a TV and I think a refrigerator. They even had a little cement block outhouse, without running water. In this house was a younger couple with three young sons, Javier, Jaero, and Abel. When I asked Jaero about the wood the house was made from, he took me out to show me the Chirrimoya tree, and later brought both my wife and I a sample of the unusual fruit. I wasn't that excited by it, but I ate some. Manoli
liked it more and almost finished hers. After the medical checkup and water purification kit demo, the young couple told us they had a bible and were easily prompted to take turns reading suggested scriptures. They seemed to almost get the idea of salvation after a few different verses.
After the second house, we stopped outside to eat a quick bag lunch, then headed to the third, and ended up being final, house for the day. In this house, the grandmother lived with a few of her children and 20 plus grandchildren. The house was a little bigger than the first one, but not fancy at all like the second. Since the grandmother couldn't read, after the medical checkups, one of the daughters was shown the water purification demo and also ended up reading scripture with Manoli and Paul afterwards. One of the granddaughters noticed me trying to get the attention of one of the home-roaming jungle chickens (their name, not mine), so she went and captured it and brought it to me. After placing it in my hands, it settled down enough that I was able to let it sit in one hand while I gently stroked it.
Eventually, it got tired of the attention and flapped back down to the floor.
We were planning on visiting one more home, but nobody was home, so we headed back to the boat pickup point. Just as we reached it, we ran into the mother of the home we'd bypassed and made arrangements to visit her last tomorrow. The return trip was even cooler, because we were running upstream and had to maneuver a lot. Along the way, we stopped to pick up another group, then met up with the second boat waiting upstream on the shore. Apparently four of the five teams had returned to their pick up spots, but the fifth team was still out there. So, our boat returned while the second boat waited for the fifth crew.
After everyone returned, again we ate dinner a little early because again the lights were out. Dinner tonight was barbecue chicken (or something that tasted like good barbecue), warm potato salad, and kernel corn with a good ajil sauce. Everything was quite tasty, especially the chicken. After dinner, we all shared our experiences of the day, the lights coming on sometime along the way. Just before 9pm
Our interpreter Gabby and our guide Galo
Our interpreter Gabby and our guide Galo. Showing how the water purification kit works.
the evening devotional and sharing was over and some folks went to bed while others repacked their medicine and stuff bags for tomorrow's outing.
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