Sunday, May 7
This was our travel day from Indianapolis to Manaus, Brazil. The actual “in flight” time was 8 hours, but it took us >24 hours to arrive in Manaus because of the long layovers. We arrived at the CBM boat about 4:00 a.m., and we tried to sleep until breakfast that was at 9:00 a.m.
Monday, May 8
Today after breakfast and devotions, we unloaded our luggage that was filled with medications, family packs, and toys. We sorted the items and put them in the clinic areas that needed them. After lunch, we counted and bagged the vitamins and pain relievers for the upcoming clinics. The rest of the day was spent relaxing and conversing with each other while we traveled to our first village. Note: The villages that we visit are not actually on the Amazon River. They are on tributary rivers. The villages on our trip were on the Uatuma River.
Tuesday, May 9
Breakfast was at 7:00 a.m. followed by devotions from Mike (about proclaiming the Good News). Our first clinic was in Bom Jesus. After lunch, we traveled to Leandro Grande. There were lots of children in this village! Most of the families in all of the villages arrived in nice clothing, and their children were well behaved. Cristiano used the CBM accessory boat to pick up a family of 7 in a nearby village so they could come to the clinic.
The cooking crew has made amazing meals and snacks for us using local fruits and vegetables. Of course, there was always beans and rice and spaghetti. Several people have been sleeping in the hammocks (Hede), which are outside on the top deck of the boat, and highly recommend it!
Wednesday, May 10
When we went to breakfast at 7:00 a.m. today, it was foggy, which created a calm, peaceful feel on the river. We left Leandro Grande after devotions (led by Jeremy about being the light). We docked in Lago do Macuna (Arara) for our first clinic of the day. There were many families that arrived by boat, including a family of 8! (Their boat was barely above the water when they were all in it!) There were so many families that came by boat to this village that we had a second clinic for this village in the afternoon. One cute couple had been married 50 years! In between families, we enjoyed watching a pod of dolphins that was in the cove.
When we closed the afternoon clinic, we traveled to Caribi, because it was a safer to dock there overnight and it is difficult to navigate the boat in complete darkness (as the river is at night).
Thursday, May 11
After breakfast and devotions (by Al about the tape measure of our lives versus the length of eternity), we traveled to Mont das Oliveras (Mount of Olives) for the morning clinic. Again, there were many families that arrived by boat. One family had 9 children!
After lunch, we traveled back to Caribi (San Francisco Caribi) because several families saw our boat docked overnight and were waiting for us to see them in clinic. There was a long rain (Chuva) storm and many families left but we still saw patients until 6:35 p.m.!
After dinner, several of us walked 0.5 miles to the modern schoolhouse in the village so that we could us their Wi-Fi to text and “messenger call” our families. Most of us eventually were able to connect, but it was hit or miss.
Today is Meresa’s birthday! We sang to her in English and Portuguese, and the cooking staff made her a couple of cakes.
Because there were still so many families who wanted to be seen, we stayed in Caribi for our morning clinic. Four boats full of people arrived while we were in the middle of devotions! There was a woodcrafter that had a “factory” and “gift store” in the village and several people purchased souvenirs.
After lunch, we traveled to Pedras for our afternoon clinic. We docked here overnight.
Saturday, May 13
After breakfast and devotions (by Sandy about how prayer is not like voicemail), we traveled to Santa Luzia Caranatuba. We had heard that there had been some cases of malaria in this village, so we put bug spray on!
The clinic was very busy! Having a later start than usual, we still weren’t finished seeing patients until after 1:30 p.m. We finally left Caranatuba around 4:00 p.m., and arrived in Abacate about 5:15 p.m.
We had an earlier than usual dinner so we could go into Abacate to use their Wi-Fi. The village would turn on their electricity for the Wi-Fi starting at 7:00 p.m. for 2 hours. Several of us were able to connect with our families and many wished their mothers or wives Happy Mother’s Day.
Mother’s Day! After breakfast, we had a special time of communion during our devotions (by Meresa about God’s grace). Then, we had a clinic for the villagers of Abacate, which had more affluent appearing houses. The village even had a small restaurant! There weren’t as many patients or large families served in this village.
After lunch, we traveled to Enseada (a new stop for CBM because the village began about 1 year ago). The village had just welcomed the Governor of Brazil who visited so there were colorful signs everywhere. Upon arriving to this village, it appeared to be a park because the houses are hidden in the trees and are spread out. This village was very close to the jungle, which was fascinating! We star gazed in the dark sky after dinner and saw a shooting star and the Southern Cross constellation! We also watched bats skimming the water for bugs and fish. Afterwards, we played Uno with the crew.
Monday, May 15
Today was supposed to be our last clinic day. After breakfast and devotions (by Chelsea about being still and quieting our hearts based on Psalm 46:10) we opened a clinic for the people of Enseada.
After lunch, we traveled to Jacarequara for a clinic. Because of our travel time to arrive, the clinic did not start until 2:00 p.m. so we had time to walk around the village before clinic started. Clinic did not end until 6:30 p.m.! Because it was dark, several families that wanted to be seen left, so we continued the clinic the next morning.
Tues, May 16
After breakfast and devotions (by Meresa about loving others including our own team!), we opened the morning clinic for Jacarequara again. There were more villagers to see the dentist than the doctor on this day, so several team member were just sitting and waiting.
After lunch, we went to Caiua and had a small clinic because there weren’t many that needed to be seen. After the clinic, we traveled to San Sebastian where we docked for the night. After dinner, we played Uno with some of the crew.
Wednesday, May 17
After breakfast and devotions (led by Jeremy), we were supposed to go to the CBM greenhouse to work, but it rained until about 1:30 p.m. We played Uno and ate lunch while we waited for the rain to stop. Eventually, we walked into San Sebastian and saw some various sites like the St. Sebastian church, the school, and the hospital. Because it was during Siesta, many stores were closed. At the CBM greenhouse, we meet Santana, who works at the greenhouse and makes jewelry that we purchased to help her make some money. On the way back to the boat, we stopped by an interesting cemetery that had little “houses” on top of the graves.
We were supposed to leave for Manaus at 4:00 pm, but Captain Sanderley decided to remain docked at San Sebastian again because it is an 18 hour boat ride to Manaus and navigating in the dark is challenging and dangerous.
Thursday, May 18
After breakfast and devotions (led by Brian about children coming to Jesus), 3-4 people decided to go swimming off of the steps by the soccer field while we waited to leave (around 10:30 a.m.). Before we set off for Manaus, we fueled the boat. The tank was not full but Sanderley purchased 300 liters (79 gallons) of gas for R$1,950 ($390) which calculated to $4.94 per gallon. "Today we travelled all day, and Friday was spent sightseeing and shopping in Manaus."