Sunday, July 12, 2015

Amazon Adventures - Day 6 - Juruá River

On Friday, June 26th, we left at noon for a 5 hour trip up the Juruá River. We stopped first to buy our lunch and supper at one of the "fast food" places along the river.
The "river taxi" we took was called "Fé em Deus" (Faith in God) and was made from one large tree that is opened by heat. It had a canvas top to keep out the sun and can fit between 12-15 people. It is the small white one in this picture.

Lawanda slipped in the mud when entering the boat and hit her shin pretty hard. It swelled a lot and hurt for many days. Fortunately now, 2 weeks later, the swelling has gone down to the size of a banana and the pain is bearable without pain medication. Here is inside the boat. (l to r: Pr. Antonio Duarte, Stephen Minion, Pr. Francisco Reis Damasceno and his son Timóteo)

The water was very muddy due the recent end of the rainy season, and the beautiful green "Amazonica" jungle could be seen on both sides of the banks along with small plantations of beans, manioc, watermelon, squash, sweet potatoes and bananas that the "Ribeirinhos" (people who live along the rivers) plant for their living.
Along the way we saw literally hundreds of fishermen catching fish with both drag nets and casting nets!
A gust of wind took Lawanda's hat off right after this picture was taken and the boat men turned the boat around to rescue the hat! By this time all other passengers had gotten off and our group of 5 were the only passengers on board.
We arrived near sunset at Luzeiro, where Pr. Francisco has a congregation. We had to walk up a steep muddy bank and then about one kilometre uphill to a simple, wooden house on stilts.
The house belonged to Dona Maria and Sr. Antonio and their 4 teenage children. They received us with such loving hospitality!
Their house was impeccably clean (the floor is easy to sweep as the dirt falls between the cracks to the chicken under the house). The aluminium pans all shown like mirrors (and yes, that is a spider in the corner behind the bottle of wood oil).
The "bath room" was very true to the culture of the "ribeirinhos" = a 3 sided enclosure of palm leaves, wooden slats, and old bed sheets; a truck tire reservoir filled with ice cold spring water; and a can to throw water on oneself!
The other option is to walk back down to the river and bathe we chose this one! The other bathroom "needs" were taken care of in the woods behind the house!
We had a special Friday night service in the little wooden church building there.  The "Anchor Baptist Congregation"
We had 33 people present which is a remarkable number seeing as how the service was not on a usual service night and called at short notice.
Stephen sang and gave his testimony and Pr. Duarte preached.
It was so wonderful to see the hard work of this dear missionary family our church helps support!
Back to the house for a supper of rice and the grilled fish we had brought or homegrown chicken in broth.
And then off to bed. How do you fit 5 extra adults in a small wooden house with 3 small bedrooms and 6 people already living there? Mattresses on the floor! But all with mosquito nets! Malaria is very prevalent in the area! In fact, all the houses we were saw in Acre used
mosquito nets! Stephen got the girl's bedroom and Antonio and Lawanda got to sleep in the tiny storage room. There was no electricity...but the smell was wonderful in there. All the fresh brown cane sugar (gramixó) that they had just made was stored in there!
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

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