Thursday, April 28, 2011

Market in Coca

Some of the fruits have a strange appearance, this is achiotillo, we haven´t tried it yet but I hear it is also grown in Hawaii. They look like hairy strawberries to me.

There is a hugh variety of fruits and vegtables available.

Saturday food market in Coca

Anyone want a chicken for Sunday dinner.

Saturday April 2, 2011
As we were preparing to leave Coca we noticed a food market by the bus station. We only had a few minutes but Sister Geldmacher and I ran over and got a few pictures. It was Saturday morning so the market was busy. These markets are interesting and there is so much variety, but they are defiently not a Super Walmart.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Elder Smith and The Fish

Having dinner in Coca, Elder Smith, Hermana Normam, Hermana Gonzalez, Elder Geldmacher, Me, Sister Geldmacher and Elder Mercado

We took the Elders and the Sisters to dinner in Coca on the Malcon. It was a very warm evening after a busy day. We think they have found a new apartment for the sisters which is wonderful. Their old apartment was hot and very dark and the bathroom was outside the apartment in the courtyard. We had a fun evening and everyone seemed to enjoy their food, especially Elder Smith who has become quite native in his food choices. He ordered a whole fish and ate the "whole" fish, starting with the eyes and the head.

Coca Ecuador

It is hard to get a picture that will give you the feel of how emense the jungle is. I was only able to take pictures from the road, sometime I hope we can actually go into the jungle.

There were several turtles in a small garden area at our hotel

Getting my shoes shined in Coca.

This was a little shop on the river walkway, they sold native items many made with beautiful feathers.

Napo River notice the new bridge being built.

I took these pictures from our hotel window, the Coca River empties into the Napo River here, the Napo River becomes the Amazon River in Peru.

Two of the monkeys in the trees.It is kind of hard to see because the picture is blurry but in the bottom picture there is a baby monkey on his mothers back. The monkey´s are cute but they steal your hats, bags, cameras and food, and they are quick.

I bought one of the grasshoppers and gave it to this little girl, she was a bit shy but let me take her picture.

A man was making these grasshoppers out of reeds on the river walk.

After our river adventure we tried for a long time to get a taxi back into town. We finally found a pickup truck that was headed that way. We hopped in the backseat and several other people waiting in the park hopped in the back. The taxis in Tena are mostly pickups but this one was not marked as a taxi, this may have been a side job to make a little extra money since he was going to town anyway. When we arrived, we quickly boarded the bus and headed for Coca. We arrived again after dark, checked in at the hotel and the missionaries, the Branch President and his wife met us for dinner. The next morning we headed out with Elder and Hermana Geldmacher to visit the missionaries. I had a TB test to do on Hermana Norman. It was very hot and humid; Sister Geldmacher had not been feeling well so after a short time Sister Geldmacher and I headed back to our hotel. Elder Yost and Elder Geldmacher walked the streets of Coca in search of needed items for the missionaries. The Sister´s needed a new apartment so everyone was searching for "for rent" signs. Later in the afternoon we did some exploring and found a Malcon, river walkway, not too far from the hotel. There were a few little shops, a tourist/cultural center and some restaurants. The funniest thing was the monkeys in the trees. We met the missionaries and the sisters here and took them to dinner. As we were finishing our meal a little boy came in and asked if he could eat any food we didn´t want, we gave him everything that was left and waited until he had eaten. The restaurant wouldn´t let him stay and eat if we had left. We are hoping to find some projects here as there appears to be great need. It is a beautiful town on the edge of the jungle. This is where tourists come before heading into the jungle lodges.

Elder Yost vs. The Monkey

you can make up your own captions for these pictures!!

I had to do this post seperate so I could get more pictures on it. When we arrived at the animal center a monkey named Lucas jumped on Dad and seemed to really like him. He just did not want to get off. We joked about being a monkey´s uncle and having a monkey on your back.

Napo River Journey - Part 2

Enjoying the journey!

Dancers in Tena from Brenda Yost on Vimeo.

Children going down river. Kind of reminds me of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.

One of the dancers, they are a very beautiful people.

The band.

Demonstration on making the drink from the Yuca plant, yuca is also made into flour and baked into bread (pan) we get yuca pan often here.

After leaving the animal center we journed back down the river to an native village. Here we had a demonstration on making a fermented drink from Yuca (cassava). They grind the yuca plant very fine add some coloring and wrap the pulp in a banana leave for about 2 weeks. This results in a drink. It is amazing that all culturals seem to have the knowledge to make strong drinks. We also took part in a native dance. We did not have time for the Shaman demonstration. Hopefully we can return again as I want to get some more items from their gift shop.

Napo River Journey - Part 1

Snake skin, hard to believe how large they must be, hope I never met one.

Our guide told us about several of the plants the natives use. Some are used to heal, some are used to kill, and some are used to get a high. We are having problems in the mission right now because thieves are using one of these plants to control minds, causing people to give over all their money.

One of the traps the natives use. There are traps for large fish, small fish, small animals, large animals, snakes, and people if they want to capture them alive otherwise they shoot them with a poison dart.

Blow gun demonstration, the natives still use these, they make the poison from a plant in the jungle. The tribes used these in 1995 in a border dispute with Peru. I couldn´t believe how long they were, must require some great lung power. Our guide said in 5 minutes the victim is dead.

More of the wildlife, an anteater of sorts I think.

Beautiful Parrots, be careful their beaks are dangerous it really hurts if they bite you.

This cute little guy is full grown.

It is hard to see, but if you look close you can make out the head and some of the body of an anaconda, he is only about 12 feet long.

Getting to know the ocelot.

Preparing for our river adventure. I wondered about the live jackets, seemed to me we would be eaten by something long before we would drown.

The next morning Elder and Sister Geldmacher went to check apartments; Dad and I walked around town and tried to find some travel/tourist information. The Geldmacher´s had to get some furniture for the missionaries so we were delayed and could not make it to the tour we had arranged. We took off on our own and took a short trip up the Napo River by canoe. We visited an animal rescue center and an Indian village. Someone is helping them to develop these areas into tourist destinations. They were interesting and we enjoyed the trip very much. We learned a lot about the Jungle animals, native tribes and plants. It was fun and a journey we will remember.

Tena Ecuador

Sloth from Brenda Yost on Vimeo.

Life on the river, must be wash day.

A new friend at our hotel, not in our room thank goodness.

Going native in Tena, the flowers are unbelievably beautiful.

Slogh #3 joining us for dinner, we didn´t name this one.

Our group having dinner, Tena Branch President his two sons who are waiting for their mission calls, the missionaries and the Geldmacher´s.

Sloth #2 we called her Cylia.

Painting on the wall of the restaurant, you can make up your own interpretation.
Guess who is coming to dinner sloth #1 we called him Syd.
March 30, 2011
We left much later than we had wanted and the bus trip was 6 hours. We arrived late but the Branch President and the missionaries still met with us at the restaurant for a very late dinner. The restaurant was actually closing when we arrived but they graciously fixed all of us a nice meal. A while back one of the missionaries gave them a CD of church music and when we arrived they changed the music to this CD. It was so nice to have dinner with good music. This is a very interesting restaurant as they have 3 sloths that live in the rafters; all 3 appeared during our meal. They move very slowly and were fun to watch. Our meeting went well and we hope to get one or two projects going in this area. The Branch President would like to do a Helping Babies Breath course as they have many Parteras who travel up and down the river delivering babies. They also have teachers who travel up and down the river to teach the children who can´t come into town for school, so we suggested that perhaps they could use some school kits. We will see what happens.