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The Merry Month of May June 3, 2010

Posted by ericanddonna in Uncategorized.
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In re-reading our newsletter from the month of May, I (Donna) am reflecting on what a full month it has been.  Our time in the picturesque village of Jatapuzinho was unique in that we had never visited the Wai Wai people before, nor flown in a small plane over the hilly jungle area of southeastern Roraima.  It was pretty cloudy going out, but the Friday on which we returned to Boa Vista was a glorious day of puffy clouds, and we could see all the way to the savannas of British Guyana in the east.  The Wai Wais live beside mighty rivers, which are really tributaries to mightier rivers: their culture is very much about bathing, fishing, and paddling  their impressively large dugout canoes on these rivers.  Surrounding the village inland is nothing but deep jungle for as far as the eye can see.  There are still rumors of lost people groups out there, and this idea is very believable.  We met a young man who was adopted by the Wai Wais as a child of about nine years of age. He descended from the Atroari people, who are mostly infamous for their waging war in the 1970’s (with blowguns) on the engineers and workers who cut the road through their territory– which lies between Boa Vista and Manaus.  Today their section of the road is closed to all but buses between sunset and dawn. Signs warn: Do not stop.  Do not get out of your car.  Do not take pictures…. One occasionally sights these people walking along the road with shotguns or bows and arrows or fishing gear…Attempts by white missionaries to reach the Atroari have been thwarted for generations, but now various Wai Wais, like this young man who is now a church leader in his village, have a burden to reach their neighbors with the gospel.  That is very exciting.

Village of Jatapuzinho

After  more than three months on the road, our traveling son Nathaniel left South America via Caracas, Venezuela.  Having logged about ten thousand kilometers on his motorcycle, which he sold in Peru, he enjoyed/endured bus trips which took him up into the high Andes, where he and his sister Chana joined up to tour the famous Machu Picchu ruins; he then came over the mountainous divide and descended into the far western state of Brazil named Acre, also by bus.  From there, he made his way to the bustling city of Manaus, and was able to spend ten days at Puraquequara (PQQ), Zack’s boarding school (and his own high school alma mater) a short distance downriver. (That would be the Amazon River, which is about nine miles wide at that point.) Another bus trip brought him through Boa Vista and up here to our home in Pacaraima, where Brazil and Venezuela meet. [Have you seen the movie UP?  That is set nearby on top of the mysterious Mt. Roraima, where the borders of Venezuela, British Guyana, and Brazil meet.] It was great to see him and his photos, but he was running out of time and had to make it back to the States ASAP. Guess what!? It was just one more 24- hour bus trip from here to Caracas.  The good news is that he only had to fly to Colorado Springs, pick up his new (donated) old car, and drive to New Hampshire via Missouri! What’s another 2000 miles? His and Danielle’s wedding will be July 17 in New Hampshire.

Nathaniel and Danielle (Dore)

The grand finale of the month was my having the opportunity to enjoy some of the end-of-the-year school activities at PQQ.  Zack was the male lead in a comical murder mystery involving a handsome young Irish cop and a boarding house full of widows and old maids. How do you get the cute cop to pay a visit?  Randomly poison the tea, of course.  [Julie Champlin, the director, is one of many teachers at the school who have sacrificially poured themselves into the lives of these students. She will not return next year. Faith and Dan Ketterer, who have dedicated thirty years of their lives to the school, will return to the States in July and will leave a big gap, especially in the high school social sciences department. The school has already  struggled for several years without a bona fide high school science teacher.  Anyone out there interested in a difficult but rewarding job? ]  It was with great pleasure that I witnessed our youngest son Zack’s baptism, by the principal, David Kern.  I am so thankful for the Christian emphasis of PQQ, and that each of our children has now made a public profession of faith: that Jesus Christ is our personal Lord, Redeemer, and Friend.  Amen?

Zachary's baptism

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