Amazon river journey. Day four

20120324-165448.jpgSame format as previous mornings. I think I actually got some sleep, probably because laboring out in that heat/humidity wiped me out. Up around 5:45-6:00am, breakfast, devotions. Today was going to be the busiest one for the mission team. They had so many things to do ranging from teaching to feeding the villages lunch. Then in the afternoon was a clothes bazar, where clothes were going to be issued as well as a variety of cloth bags filled with items specifically for mothers and adults, and coloring books, toy cars and candy for the kids.

We met the community at the health center again, which seems to be the main gathering place and, as with the previous day, it quickly filled up with kids, young mums and a few older ones. The team decorated the stage, gave out cookies and juice and began teaching classes. As I wandered around the children were a lot more bold than yesterday. I kept feeling a tug on my belt and when I’d look down there would be a dark haired, big eyed child grinning up at me. I would take their photograph and then let them see it in the camera – more giggles!

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Amazon river journey. Day three

20120324-211325.jpgUp at around 5:30am. This isn’t quite as crazy as it sounds. Out in the rainforest natures lights are literally switched off at 6:30pm with no lighting coming from the village (they have a generator but only out it on occasionally), so we have little choice but to retreat to our boat and call it a day, usually going to bed early – around 9pm. Usual routine of cold shower, breakfast, team doing devotions and me catching up on my post from the day before. Then we took the boat back over to the village and jumped out. We were heading to the main school house first to introduce the team to the community and also to give the kids of the village a cookie and juice, then fluoride treatment and toothbrushes.

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Amazon river journey. Day two.

20120324-210742.jpgI think that maybe the hype about how comfortable sleeping in a hammock is could be a little exaggerated? Certainly my 6’1″, 210lbs found it a little difficult to find that elusive position. Never the less, I did get enough sleep to feel refreshed for day two on the river, plus the cold shower (I can brush my teeth, shower and go to the toilet all at the same time in this boats bathroom 😉 cleared any lingering cobwebs from my head (mentally and physically – lots of spiders on the boat!). When I did wake up through the night it was also because a sound from the riverbank over the engine noise, or the illumination of an isolated village woke me.

Breakfast, including an all important coffee, was excellent, as have all the meals on the boat. My biggest treat was a bowl of Tapioca! Haven’t had it since I was a kid back in England but apparently it’s pretty big here in Brazil. Also, they use a plant called Manioca in and on their food here a lot. It’s actually highly poisonous to start off but all the poison is extracted and then the rest of the plant can be used safely – in this case as a sprinkle on food such as rice, potatoes etc. Then devotion time for the rest of the team before getting ready for the days adventure.

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Amazon river journey. Day one

20120324-161001.jpgHardly slept last night through excitement and anticipation of the journey ahead of us today. Information about our river trip was gradually becoming clearer and clearer. It was going to take us up to 30 hours heading east on the Amazon to the Municipality Maues (apologies for the lack of accents etc.), where our destination was the Vila (village) Nova on the Lago (lake) do Marau. We had to have a special permit to access the village reservation, which is usually impossible to get, however, our group had connections with the chief or the Pastor of the village, both highly positioned individuals within the community. Very, very few outsiders have visited this particular village and it’s people and so we are both privileged and a little apprehensive about being the first. Even the local members of the team haven’t been this far down the river.

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