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Published: August 15th 2012
Day 23 : The jungles of Tena Day 5:
Another similar start to our day, except this morning I was up even a little later. After a breakfast of eggs, little sausages, and pancakes with syrup, we loaded up the boats and headed upstream for our day with the community. Because of the low water situation, we had to get out of our boats twice and walk across land or beach so the boats could be dragged upstream. Today, our walk thru the jungle wasn't that far or rough. Probably because we were going to the community center that gets a lot of traffic. The community center is basically a large open field, small playground, and a white cement structure that can be used for meetings or whatever. Some kids were already there, so we started throwing frisbees and playing soccer. After a while, the community leader told us we were graciously invited to the house of a lady named Betty. We all traipsed over there to play and eat. Betty had 13 children and had been recently saved, but her husband left her. The property was pretty good sized, with two buildings and a volleyball court (sort of). We
all split into groups as the kids continued to arrive. Apparently, most of the island's families didn't want to come, feeling we were trying to change their religion from catholic. Many of the kids were allowed to come because the parents knew we had gifts for them, but as the day progressed, most of the kids stayed afterwards and some of the parents showed up.
After handing out a lot of bags of toys, tons of candies, and assorted things to help the young mothers, we ate our bag lunches, then lined all the kids up to give them their lunch. We had enough food left that we served a lot of parents too. By the time everyoen was done, it was time for us to clean up and head back to our camp. On the return trip, we again had to cross a couple of points where the water was very low. At the last place, I decided to get out of the boat and help push. I took off my shoes, hat, and fanny pack, and climbed over the side. The river was a bit cold, but that was mostly just refreshing. After the last fording point,
I was just barely able to swim, but then it got so shallow I had to bump along the bottom for quit a ways. Oh well, it was fun, eventhough my big toe still hurts from smacking a rock on the river bottom. By the time Manoli and our boat came to shore, I was there waiting. After helping to unload, I went to the camp to shower and change.
Tonight for dinner we had breaded chicken filets, rice, and a nice corn medley. After dinner, we had a rather long devotional time, and then I talked a lot with Thomas, the Casting Seeds minister. I ended up getting to bed just before midnight. Tomorrow is our fun/off day. After breakfast we are going to a wildlife refuge/zoo, then into the small town of Puerto Misahualli for lunch and a bit of shopping.
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