Central Brazil Mission: Amazon Boat Trip - September 8-17, 2018
Arriving on the boat on Saturday and immediately all of the expectations were already changed. Seeing the boat we were about to venture out on completely changed that. Seeing the living quarters we were all going to be living in made us all kind of laugh. We all got settled in and had our first dinner on the trip. We set sail down the Amazon River.
That night it was peaceful to sleep with the sound of us going down the river. The morning came around and we were still cruising down the river en route to our first village. Surprisingly, the first wild animal of the Amazon we saw was a dolphin. I am estimating that none of us were expecting to see dolphin but they were everywhere.
It was incredibly neat to just be down in this part of the world. This land still dominated by nature and not by man. Taking in the breeze off of the Amazon was very relaxing. These next few days was going to offer a variety of thoughts, sights, and sounds and having that moment to take in where we were was nice.
Our first stop was Port Cururituba. It was the first time I saw the Brazilian bus. It was explained to us later on that the river was the highway system. They board these boats and lay in redes till they get into town. Over the course of the trip we saw lots of these boats.
Learning some of the language which was Portuguese we headed to our first village. We docked for the night. A few of us got off the boat and ventured through the first village. Quickly, a soccer field was discovered. Naturally, a most of our crew partook in a game of soccer. It was a unique experience. Once the sun went down the bugs where out in bunches.
Morning came and the village lined up and one by one they went through the process. They were greeted on land and registered to see the Doctor or the Dentist. Médico or Dentista por favor would be yelled out by our own Dave. They would come down the ramp and Dave greeted them then they went to our team members Susan and Kate. They got measured, weighed, and blood pressure taken. Once they were ready they went and saw Brad our Team Médico for the week. Once checked out they visited Emily and the ever energetic Maureen and they would get fitted by our optometrist Nick who with Kate would throw in a massage every so often. They checked in with the pharmacy team featuring Jill and away they went. Often, they would return and get some dental work done in which case they had the pleasure of being in the care of Randy. With the help of the crew we were a pretty well-oiled machine it was amazing to see. Each person was having an impact in a positive way. It could be greeting in their language or some medical attention you could tell it made a difference.
Over the course of the next few days we had the opportunity to assist over 400 people. They came and went and back to their lives they went. It was a pleasure to form bonds with folks who didn’t speak the same language. In our morning devotionals we each practiced and sang in each other’s language albeit funny it was a joy to share those mornings together. These devotionals were great. Instantly, they were relatable and my feeling is they were with everyone. 5 different devotionals were given and all were different yet all had a similar message to put others and love others before you.
One of the great things about being on a boat together for over a week is that you bond with the people that you are with. I got to take the pictures so I got to see a lot of different angles of the whole trip. Seeing these bonds form was nice. All of us talking about different kinds of movies as we are going under all the stars, or a few of us going on a walk about through the Amazon marsh to get to a village.
Lastly, the entire crew of the ship was exceptional. They really did their best to make sure we were as comfortable as we could be. They ran a tight ship. It was clean, smooth, and during devotions they really helped us understand Portuguese. If it was beyond helping they threw in a good chuckle. They are a great crew and enough things can’t be said about them. I look forward to the future however; I am glad that we were able to serve in God’s name with such a great group. Thank you for your time.