My parents have sponsored a little girl through Compassion International for several years. Monica lives in a village called Achuar, which is only accessible by air or two days on foot. On Saturday Chad was able to fly my parents, Josiah and Olivia in for a visit. I was left behind due to my weight! The airstrip is short and the weight limit for the plane on takeoff wasn't enough for us all to go. Since I have already visited them and the kids hadn't, we decided that I would stay behind. The kids had a great time and Josiah even said he would like to live out there.
Achuar is a village of about 12 families. They are all related in some way or another. They have a primary school and there are about 30 kids in the school. Monika's family has 5 boys and she is the only girl. This is hard for her mom because the girls help with all of the housework, gardening etc., etc. Boys help their dads with hunting. They all live in thatch-roofed homes or what you would think of as a "hut". They have no modern conveniences. Think of a lifetime of rustic camping.
We have enjoyed getting to know Monica's mom. She is actually from Shell and a different indigenous group than her husband. She always comes to visit us when she is out of the jungle for whatever reason. She is living a life similar to what we are experiencing by living in Ecuador - She lives in a different culture than her's, a different language and away from her family. Recently when she came to visit she took us to her mom's home and we were able to meet her family....or at least a couple of them. She has 13 siblings! They couldn't even remember how old the youngest is!
You could pray for Monica's family. Even though they live in the jungle, they have some of the same problems that we all have. One of those problems is that after next year Monica may need to live here in Shell to finish her education. Not an easy decision to make. Pray for wisdom.
Monica's family, including her Grandma in the middle.
Monica's uncle had just killed a tapir.
Here it is in the canoe getting butchered...also the job of the women. Can you imagine the great luck in shooting this animal and all the meat that was on the big animal....but no refrigeration! They live in such a close community that they end up sharing everything. They quickly butchered the animal and then passed it out to all of the families.
Nice leg Monica!
Intricately woven thatch roof