Still riding the wave of euphoria after handing out the bracelets I went off in search of the sleeping area. Fortunately, we were staying in the village school. Boys in one room and girls in another. We staked out our territory by putting down a hammock on the wood floor and then rigging our mosquito nets over that and tucking in ALL sides under the hammock. If you don’t use a net you will be eaten alive by morning – even with repellent. In fact I think they love repellent and are attracked to it like perfume!

Amazon pueblo sleeping area
Amazon pueblo and my bedSurprisingly it was comfortable – well for the first hour or so. Then the sickness hit. More on that later. Did I mention the large creatures that inhabit the Amazon?

Amazon iguana Many a time out in the jungle “taking care of business” you never knew what would be beside you.  I learned to go to the bathroom very, very quickly on this trip.

After all the beds were made I headed to the makeshift kitchen for dinner and was treated to a pretty sunset and although the picture doesn’t do the colors justice, it was absolutely stunning.

Amazon pueblo sunset Maybe the sunset was so stunning because I was not stunned by the dinner presentation! More like shocked! Take a look.

Amazon meal
Okay so – needless to say I didn’t eat that much and handed my “extras” to Samuel, one of the young German men who never seemed to get enough to eat. Interestingly, he didn’t need an extra portion this time around!

After “dinner” we showed both a kids and an adult movie. Had a mini program and then about 20 people received Christ. It was amazing. Afterward we literally ran to our beds because the mosquitoes were out in full force and biting. I think I got there first followed by a huge swarm of mosquitoes -that is the fastest I have ever run – 100 yards in 3.5 seconds! But it was too bad because we missed gazing at the stars in the sky that were brilliant and so plentiful that they were too numerous to count. It was so beautiful to look up toward heaven and see them  sparkling in the dark blue/black night sky. We settled into our beds,  getting under the mosquito nets very quickly so that no mosquitoes came in with us and then tucking all the netting under us. Checking with flashlights we had to check inside the nets and kill whatever bugs had gotten in with us. Disgusting but a necessary process. I prayed that night that the malaria pills I had been taking were working in my system.

I should have prayed for a calm stomach though. About 3 hours later I woke up doubled over, not sure what I had eaten or drunk to have my stomach be so unsettled but the thought of being sick in the jungle “bathroom” was almost worse that the pain I felt. And I soon found out that I was not alone. There were 5 other people in the same condition. We almost laughed – not really since the pain was intense – at the sight of all of us running to the jungle outhouses. Up and down out of bed, back and forth to the outhouses – this went on all night. How would I ever make it on the river the next day? The boat had no bathroom, no stops along the way. Oh what a world. But by the next morning we were better – well I should say we were able to travel just really tired. And to top it off there were no showers or running water – you can imagine….

But the kids were out in full force, sitting outside the schoolhouse smiling and waiting for us and there was no time to be sick. 

Amazon pueblo kids waiting
Amazon pueblo kid closeup
Looking at us in picture below ready to head to the boat to make our way to the next village you would never have known that we spent the night in agony! And each one of us said a silent prayer for calm stomachs, calm seas and a quick boat ride upstream.

Amazon pueblo Samuel Pastor Sandro Steph and Simon

Hanging with the guys In His Mighty Gip,

Stephanie