Monday, February 6, 2012

The jungle, green & mud, green & mud & more mud

On several days we went for long walks. We walked to other villages, looked in the virgin forest for more water sources and some of us got eaten alive by the flies. The flies here leave a ring around the bite with a small hole. They itch really badly and take days to heal. Two the team must have had sweet blood, because they looked like red pin cushions after a few days. I was very fortunate and was only bit about 20 times in the week.

On our first walk, we crossed what appeared to be a small, 4 foot wide path outside the village. We were informed this was a street, had a name, and defined the outer boundary of the village. The street ran in a large circle around the village and the people were not allowed to live outside of the ring road. Inside was the city, outside was the jungle. To me it looked like a small path, but it was very important to the culture. You see, the people do not see themselves as living in the jungle. Each community has streets (small walking paths) with names, neighborhoods (2 or 3 houses together) and a school with a common house. Inside the ring road is the city. Outside of it is the jungle. Each town was amazingly organized. What appeared to be at first random, was anything but random. I was very impressed with the life people lived. In general they ate well, had a school, had family close by and live in a near heaven condition. They used money, but did not need it, had goals for their children and with clean water (all three villages we visited had some sort of clean water) had a very low disease rate.

City border - edge of town (ring road)

Jungle Highway

The last place we visited was Washingtza. GPS points “S 02 02.291 – W 77 33.773”. This was a small village of 8 families. I met a new friend here named Wilmer. He wants to be a pilot someday and fly into the jungle. We had a great time chatting and sharing dreams.

In Washingtza, we stayed in a partially finished church building being built by outsiders. I am not sure if you ever read “when helping hurts” but this was a really close example to it. I need to speak to some others and to determine how much this helping has hurt, but I suspect it’s a classic textbook example. Anyway, we stayed in the partially finished church and it was way better than sleeping outside. Dry roof, reasonably clean floor and decent food: Not bad, if I do say so myself.

Church where we slept

Inside the church where we slept

This village had a spring that was protected by an HCJB team last year. The trouble is the spring does not give enough water for the community. We ended up doing lots of walking around the jungle looking for alternate sources, but none were found. We think it will be better to capture two different springs for this village and that should do it. I think this would be a great place for a well, but the people do not have the mind to put one in. Wells it turns out are not very popular in the jungle. HCJB knows of only two communities that have installed them and like them. People have been getting water from springs for so long, that a well just is not in their current mindset. Most of the time, springs are fine, but this community is a little short of water.

Location of current spring (one of 2 - the other is protected)

1 comment:

  1. It is awesome what you all are doing! God Bless your ministry and your hearts! @DanInTheDen


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