Monday, August 1, 2011

Espaniol Amigo!

Ahh...Piriati, Panama.  I did some calculating and I have now spent a combined 35 days in that village. 
Travis and I got back on Saturday from a 10 day long trip with 11 of our high school students.  The students really made the trip for me this year.  They were all very real, very responsible, and very faithful!  

When we first went to Piriati we primarily focused on work projects.  We built a couple houses, bathrooms, concreted a kitchen floor, worked in the fields, did some medical stuff and so on.  This year we did none of that.  The church down there is hungry for the word of God so this year we just gave them what they asked for!  Teaching from the Bible.   Here's Travis teaching at church one night.  They speak spanish and Embera (the native language) so teaching takes 2 - 3 times longer.

Normally I don't venture outside of the village too much.  But this year I decided to head out into the jungle to get some bananas.  Jasey, Madeline and I hiked about 30 minutes with a couple of woman.  Then they told us to wait.  They said it was because we would get too dirty, but we knew that it was because we were actually just in their way. :)

So we just took the opportunity to take some dumb pictures of ourselves.  I have like 15 more just like this one on my camera, but I'll spare you for now.

 One surprising village pass time is Volley ball.  The Embera people are actually really good at it!

 Here's Armae.  He's one of the older guys in the village. He's always so welcoming and gentle.  I really enjoy talking with him and his wife when I can.  He is 71.  There is another man in the village (his wife's father) that everyone just called Grandfather because he's in some way related to half the village.  I asked Armae how old Pino (Grandfather) is and he said that Pino says he was 9 when the canal was built in 1904!!!  But no one knows his real age.

This right here is my favorite place.  God blessed me this trip to have lots of free time to sit on this front porch and pray, read, and relax! Something I don't get myself to do very often at home.  Each day we asked everyone to take and hour in solitude with God and here is where I spent mine.  It was so peaceful and cool.  I prayed that God would help me to remember what it feels like to be calm and know that He is God and everything else will fall into place.

Here's our friend Chango.  He's the local medicine man.  He saw that Travis had some psorisis problems on his legs and went and got this tree bark to put on it.  He pounded it down and rubbed the bark on Travis' legs.  Travis said it helped a lot!  Crazy jungle bark! :)

The woman here make great crafts!  It's really fun to walk around and see what the new styles in the village are year to year.  They actually DO change!  Sometimes I"ll wear a skirt of necklace that I bought in previous years and they almost tease me for being behind the times!

Travis and I ate dinner at Cornillo and Loyda's house one night when we were there.  It was a super awesome night.  Cornillo is a high school teacher too so we had a lot we could talk about.  They would probably be our best friends if they lived here.

 Fransico!  I met this kid on my first trip and have seen him every year since.  He's always known to our group as a troublemaker, but as he and his friends have gotten older it is fun to see that although he likes to joke and tease, he is developing a gentle heart.

On our last day in Panama we decided to give our adventure skills a try!  We went ziplining and river rafting!  I dont have any pictures from the rafting yet, but here are some from the tree tops.  Travis was pretty nervous.  He doesn't like heights.  This picture really does show exactly how everyone was feeling right before we went down the first line.  I love it.

On our way home we had a delay in Houston, which caused us to miss the last flight out of Chicago for the day.  We had to spend the night at the airport in Chicago.  I was severely disappointed to say the least.  But, just as he always is, God was faithful and lifted my spirits by blessing Travis and I with a bump up to first class on our flight from Houston to Chicago.  It was a fun experience.
And Savannah?  She had her own little vacation with the grandparents.  Both sides had a few days with her and she was TOTALLY spoiled.  She was glad to have us back but I dont think she missed us at all. Which is kind of what I would hope for.


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