Monday, March 2, 2009

Anaconda Adventure

I just got these pictures from a friend of mine whose parents used to be my parents coworkers way back when we lived "at the Lake". I am so excited because I am always telling my kids stories about when I was growing up and don't often have the pictures to go along with the stories (and to prove that they are true!).

My parents joined this tribal team in 1980 and our family spent about 5 years living at the Laguna Pavon (Bass Lake) location before moving inland. It's kind of a long story, but the reason the houses were built in the middle of the lake was that this was a contact work and the Macú-Nukak people were rather hostile at the beginning. It took several years to overcome the fear they had of the missionaries and to build their trust. Ironically, they thought the missionaries would possibly kill and eat them, whereas I'm sure the missionaries wondered the same about them!

Anyway, this first picture is an aerial view of our houses and the airstrip. Our family's house was the second from the "top". Two of the houses were on stilts and the other floated on huge blocks of styrofoam-the fourth building was a small floating storage building. Looking back now, I can see how this living situation was a HUGE challenge for my Mom, especially with a toddler (my little sister) who had a penchant for falling in the water...but for us girls it was basically an adventure! We spent many carefree days swimming, canoeing, and exploring. Lots of memories there...



This is what the houses on stilts looked like. This was our coworkers house; ours was much the same...
I am the most excited about getting this picture! This is a picture of the 18 foot anaconda that my dad killed one day (at the other end of the lake, although there did see some on our end, too, including a small one my dad found climbing up the stairs to our house...). He had seen it sunning itself on the bank in the late afternoons, so he took my oldest sister, Teresa, and the shotgun down there one day and nabbed it. I remember being pretty disgusted that he didn't take me! He was able to skin it and we took it back with us when we went home on furlough. When we would speak at churches, he would unroll it onto one of the back pews for people to get a sense of how big these things could get. One day a lady came in late to one of the services where my dad was speaking and slipped into the back pew...imagine her surprise when she realized what she was sitting on! I don't think she ever forgot about us! Anyway, left to right is my dad, me, Kimberly & Jason (our coworkers kids), sisters Kathy and Teresa. I imagine that my sister Chrissy wasn't too interested in holding a snake! LOL!
We were standing on the dock below our house. I can tell that it was dry season because the water level is so low. The lake and the area all around it flooded during rainy season because the location was close to a very large river.
Wow, what memories these photos bring back...

5 comments:

Missionaries in La Ceiba, Honduras said...

Awesome pics! I LOVE the stories that go with them too!

Terri :o) said...

Now that is a big snake, and I don't like snakes! Yikes! You come from a long line of vary brave souls. :o)

Julie said...

Now THAT's what I call five star missionary living!

Joy @ SAH Missionary said...

Ok, first of all your mom is totally amazing. I cannot imagine living in the middle of a lake. Wow, wow, wow. And the picture of the snake makes me want to throw up....seriously, that's disgusting (not a snake lover in case you can't tell). Now, I'm off to hang my head in shame over having a yard and not having to worry if my children will drown walking outside. :)
Blessings,
Joy

Ellie said...

Looks like so much fun for a kid! But, yeah, being a mom of toddlers there could be nerve-wracking!