Wednesday, April 30, 2008

APRIL 2008

My kids walking to school


Jeff and I went to Maria Auxiliadora to take blood pressures and listen to the hearts of 30 7th and 8th graders so they could participate in PE. My observations:

When we arrived the 7th and 8th graders were outside raking up fallen leaves, hoeing weeds the lawn, taking a machete to bushes and laying rocks around trees. Paraguayans are such hard workers. You’d be hard pressed to find a group of young kids doing this kind of work in the states (community service assigned by a judge doesn’t count).

The PE teacher wasn’t there yet so we sat outside between the pre-school and first grade classroom. The entire 30 minutes we were there, no teacher stood p to teach. In fact, the preschool teacher spent the entire time in the first grade room gabbing. The first grade teacher was on the phone, out of the room, and talking to other teachers. The kids in both classes were staying in their seats but talking amongst themselves. It never ceases to amaze me when I walk past my kid’s school that the teachers are always outside gabbing with each other. I was asked to take pictures of Ginny’s class. One sunny day I walk her to school with my camera in hand. As I lead the kids under a tree to take their individual pictures four other teachers leave their classrooms and come to see what is going on (including Pearla, Joshua’s teacher). I glance at my watch. After I take the pictures, the teachers and I talk for awhile and I am offered terere. 45 minutes have passed when I decide to leave. That means that Pearla’s class of 30 pre-schoolers was 45 minutes without a teacher in the room!

The 7th and 8th graders were asked to fill out a form before we did their physicals. The form had “tough” questions on it such as name, date of birth, and today’s date. The kids had so much trouble filling them out. They had to be walked through it step by step by step and even then they were so confused and put things in the wrong spot. Some of the kids didn’t even know their birth date. The teacher reminded them to check their cedulas (i.d’s) to find their b-day.

Each kid had to pay 500gs for the photocopying of the physical form. Each time Ryan has exams in school he has to bring money to cover the paper and photocopying.


The McKissick family has set a new record this week for the number of piques (burrowing flee) found in a 12 day period. The total was…..29. Lots of needles, tears, and band-aids. As a result we have heavily sprayed our yard and dipped our dog’s feet in gasoline to kill their piques.

Ryan – eight on his toes

Joshua – two big ones on the top of his foot, two on his toe, three on his finger

Jeff – three under toe nails, one on bridge of foot

Amy – two under toe nail, one on bridge of foot

Tyler – one on finger, one on toe

Micah – one on toe, two on finger

Ginny – two on toes

Ginny with a pique on her elbow

Paraguayan Supper

Tonight was the first time Jeff and I had Paraguayans over for dinner. I tried to make the meal and atmosphere more Paraguayan and less American. Here’s what it looked like:

  1. In the morning we killed one of our ducks. It was the first for Jeff and me and luckily our house help was willing to show us how. Actually Jeff did the killing and most of the plucking. Jeff chopped off the head and legs and Nilsa helped me gut it and get it ready for the oven. The whole event took about 3 hours. My friend Ceserina just had baby number 6. She told me that she kills a chicken everyday for their noon meal. I cannot imagine doing that everyday!

  1. In the afternoon I squeezed about 40 oranges. We had been given several sacks full by neighbors and patients. Paraguayans often offer fruit juice when you go to visit them. They like their juice very sweet and therefore put in a lot of sugar. Citrus season is just beginning and already we have had a plethora of oranges, lemons, and tangerines given to us. I am sure that this year will be no different than the last; by the time the season was over we didn’t want to see another orange! Paraguayans don’t drink anything with their meals. They will drink afterwards. This was the case with our guests. Each one refused a drink when offered. Many people here have frequent headaches, dizzy spells, and weakness. People here are dehydrated all the time. They admit to only drinking water with their terere (terere is a dieretic). Summers here are hot and people work hard and walk long distances, yet they don’t consume liquid.

  1. Paraguayans eat mandioca with every meal (with the exception of breakfast) so of course I had to serve it. Mandioca is a root, longer and wider than a potato. It is tougher than a potato and the inside is stringy instead of soft. It doesn’t have much taste. I like mine with salt. Ryan will only eat his with ketchup. There is no shortage of the stuff. Most Paraguayan men grow it in their field and bring bags and bags home. They also feed it to their animals. Our neighbor gave me a sack with the biggest mandioca I have ever seen. I spend a good hour peeling and cutting it.

  1. At 4:30 I put the duck in and at 6:00 I boiled the mandioca. I also made rice and a dessert of fruit. Paraguayans would never eat fruit with the main meal. They don’t mix sweet and salty tastes (meat being salty and the fruit sweet). They believe that you would get sick and could die from eating these things together. There are also many things such as mango, milk, and spicy foods that you cannot eat or drink before drinking terere. When they see us Americans doing it they say it is because we are foreigners that we don’t get sick or that we are use to it so if doesn’t affect us.

  1. I swept the front and side porch and made sure the house looked nice from the outside. Paraguayans like things to look nice. They say “pura pinta” which means picture perfect. It is important that the outside looks nice even if the inside doesn’t (hmmmm, is there a spiritual lesson here?). For example, it is more important for school reports to look nice (nice cover page, multicolored headlines, ect) than the actual content (this was told to me by a Paraguayan student!). You can really see this in Asuncion. The “look” is everything – flashy clothes, shoes, hair and jewelry. When I would go to the mall in jeans and a t-shirt I would always feel so underdressed.

  1. Paraguayans always use a table cloth. Although we never do, I had one just for this occasion. And actually Florentina brought me a table cloth as a gift. Our family uses plastic plates because of the kids handling them but this night I got out my clear blue glass plates which are typical here (usually seen in brown) and my 8 not matching glass cups.

  1. Late afternoon I changed my clothes. Paraguayans taken a shower around 4:00 and change clothes. I have been told that people who don’t change their clothes all day are either lazy or very poor. Also, Paraguayans dress up a little bit when they leave the house. Once when I went to picked girls up unexpectedly for a movie night all 7 girls said they had to change first. The “new” outfit wasn’t any nicer or cleaner than the first.

  1. Paraguayans would prefer to eat around 9:00 but we asked our guests to come at 7:00. I was surprised when they showed up at 6:30. We fed the kids earlier and gave them instructions to come out and visit for a while before starting a movie. Paraguayans would have included their kids but for us it was easier this way. Paraguayans are so good with children and very excusing of bad behavior (which isn’t always a good thing). Greetings are very important here so I made sure the kids knew to shake everyone’s hand and greet them individually. They made me proud!

  1. We ate outside where we eat all our meals. It is very Paraguayan to eat outside. The weather was beautiful. The duck was delicious. The teenaged daughter washed all the dishes even though I told her not to do them and that I could do them in the morning (I didn’t want her to see all the things in my kitchen). It is in their nature to help. I am very impressed by their initiative and helpfulness.

  1. At 9:30 when all was eaten and good-byes were said I felt pretty good about the evening. I picked up the rest of the things and put the table cloth aside to be washed (Paraguayans use the table cloth for a napkin).

Albert the duck just before death

Burning the hairs off the duck



If I lived her 30 years I would still not understand completely the political situation here and how it has affected the country and the Paraguayan people. The Paraguayan government is known throughout the world for being very corrupt. The Colorado party has ruled for 60 plus years. The way I understand it, if you vote for the “right” party certain favors will come your way (jobs). For example, our district is known for being very Colorado (I guess like some US states as known for being Republican). ALL the teachers in this area have to vote for the Colorado party r they loose their job! We asked our house help if this way true (she is currently studying to get her teachers certificate) and she said confirmed it saying that she too was threatened – if she didn’t vote Colorado in the election, she would have no job when she finished. The nurses at the health center also must vote for the Colorado party or fear loosing their jobs. The director of the health center has his job due to politics – how else can someone with just a 6th grade education have such a high job! One family that we have spend a couple nights with before the elections were scared of what will happened to their own jobs if Colorado didn’t win. The wife works as a janitor in the health out post but only because her husband agreed to be a key person in our community promoting the Colorado party (there are about 5 of these men who act kind of like spies for the party). They have two daughters who work jobs in another town “because the family votes Colorado). Voting isn’t secretive here like it is in the states either. After voting you give your paper to men sitting at a long table. They look at it and do as they wish.

Last week the elections took place and the Colorado party did not win. The new president, Lugo, will take office in August. We are in for change although I am not sure how much or what kind.

Here’s a blog entry for a fellow missionary serving in Paraguay:

There's a new hope in the air after last weekend's elections. Many could hardly believe that the reign of the Colorado Party was finally over. The atmosphere at work on Monday was reminiscent of the 1997 defeat of the Conservative Party by Labour in the general elections. Everyone was smiling and no-one talked about anything else. Newspapers are calling the 20th April 2008 the second most important date in recent history (after the 3rd of February 1989, when the dictator Stroessner died). It is the first time ever that power has passed from one party to another without bloodshed. According to one commentator, Lugo's win has brought back the desire to live in this country where so many have known nothing but disappointment, broken promises and corruption for so long. Many Paraguayans who have gone abroad in search of work are now considering returning because of this change. No-one knows just what Lugo will do once he takes control of the country, but people obviously have faith in him; he inspires confidence in a way the Colorados had not done for a long time.

Leftist ex-bishop ends 61-year conservative rule in Paraguay

AFPBy Laurence Thomann AFP - Monday, April 21 08:38 am

ASUNCION, (AFP) - A leftist ex-bishop Monday celebrated his historic electoral triumph in Paraguay's presidential election after defeating the ruling party candidate and ending 61 years of conservative rule.

Fernando Lugo was declared the winner by the Electoral Tribunal with nearly 41 percent of the vote compared to almost 31 percent for Blanca Ovelar of the ruling Colorado Party, crushing her dream of becoming the South American country's first woman president.

"Today we can dream of a different country," Lugo, 56, told reporters late Sunday. "Paraguay will simply not be remembered for its corruption and poverty, but for its honesty."

Ovelar, whose party has been in power since 1947, conceded defeat before the final results were released.

"I recognize the triumph of Fernando Lugo," she said. "We acknowledge with dignity that the results of the presidential contest are at this point irreversible."

Another candidate, Lino Oviedo, 64, a retired army chief who helped stage a coup that ended the 35-year military dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner (1954-1989), trailed far behind in third place with 22 percent of the vote.

Lugo earlier addressed jubilant supporters of his leftist Patriotic Alliance for Change coalition at his campaign headquarters, saying the election showed that "the little people can also win."

"You are responsible for the happiness of the majority of the Paraguayan people today," he said as supporters chanted his name.

"This is the Paraguay I dream about, with many colors, many faces, the Paraguay of everyone," said Lugo, who was suspended from his religious order by the Vatican in late 2006 for his entry into politics.

His supporters began celebrating their anticipated victory setting off fireworks even before polls closed.

The Colorado Party has been in power for 61 years, including Stroessner's rule. Paraguay chose its first democratically elected president in 1993.

There is no runoff vote in Paraguay. Outgoing President Nicanor Duarte constitutionally could not seek re-election after serving a five-year term.

Turnout was a high 65 percent among Paraguay's 2.9 elegible voters, said Electoral Tribunal vice president Juan Manuel Morales, who announced the final results of the elections when 92 percent of precincts had reported.

Lugo's Patriotic Alliance for Change coalition earlier had feared fraud would mar Sunday's vote, but as 70 observers from the Organization of American States monitored ballot stations, electoral court chief Rafael Dendia said voting went smoothly.

Transparency International, an organization monitoring for voter fraud, reported some cases of corruption.

"We've seen voting cards being bought and money going around in some polling booths," one of the group's observers, Pilar Callizo, told Channel 4.

"We also saw Colorado Party teams inside and outside some polling stations creating an atmosphere of intimidation," she added.

Lugo's opponents have said he is in line with leftwing presidents Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Evo Morales of Bolivia.

But Lugo, while championing the rights of the poor, says he is more centrist as he seeks to overhaul a country with a per-capita income of just 1,900 dollars.

While Paraguay's formal economy relies on agriculture, corruption is pervasive.

Duarte made little headway in stamping out graft, which also sullied his own administration. Paraguay is a prime source of contraband electronics and cigarettes, most smuggled into neighboring Brazil, Argentina and Bolivia.

After election results were announced, Duarte vowed to help Lugo make a smooth and peaceful transition.

"Today we suffered an electoral defeat," Duarte told his Colorado Party, but added: "I want to stress that for the first time in Paraguay's political history, there will be a party-to-party transition without bloodshed, coup d'etat, without violence."



Saturday we had a mobile clinic. Jeff saw about 25 patients and I helped with the labs. I am thankful that our children enjoy playing outside because they have no trouble entertaining themselves during the clinic days. They climb trees, collect bugs, play soccer and have races. At this last clinic spot, there was a big pile of dirt which was irresistible for the kids. They jumped in it, slid down, rolled it in, buried their arms, and pretended to be sandman. Once I astonished to see Joshua (who is most prone to dirtiness) buried to his neck in the dirt I said, “Why are you getting so dirty?” His answer was simple, “You said we could take a bath when we got home.”

At 4:00 we arrived home and I, being the keep of the house, had my agenda:

1. Bath kids

2. Start laundry

3. Do dishes.

4. Bath myself.

Only it didn’t work out that way because we had no water! I brushed the kids off out side as much as I could but they were still dirty. The laundry baskets were overflowing but they too had to wait. My kitchen was a mess. We had a family of 5 stay with us the night before and we had put off doing the dinner and breakfast dishes. My sink and counters were piled with dirt dishes. For me, it is hard to do anything else if my kitchen isn’t in order. It kind of stresses me out. However, I was very optimistic that the water would come back on shortly. Afterall, we go without water all the time but only a couple hours at a time.

Bedtime for the kids came and still no water. My bed time came and still no water. I raced to the sink first thing Sunday morning and still no water. By now almost all the 2 liter bottles that I keep for an emergency water supply were used up. Monday, since there was still no water, I went to our neighbors to ask if they’d heard anything on the radio. She looked at her watched and said, “Right now it will come on but only for a little while.” I raced in the house and put water in every container I could. I filled sinks and buckets, I turned on the shower in hopes to get wet (by now I was so over due for a bath) but water never came out. Finally Tuesday morning the water returned.

Here’s the spiritual application: during those days with no water I kept thinking, “If I only had known, I would have filled up buckets ahead of time and been ready.” How many people when Christ comes will say the same thing? “I wish I would have known. I would have made my life ready. I would have prepared for his coming.” On Monday I had that opportunity. I knew it was on but going off soon. I rushed and I prepared. I did the dishes and watered the animals all in a short amount of time. We do know that Christ will come although we do not know when. We need to live our lives like those 15 minutes when the water was on. We need to do all we can to get ready for his coming. Part of our responsibility is to tell others about his return.

Bath time!


To celebrate Jeff’s 32nd birthday we went to our team mates house for dinner. The Stout family also joined us.

Jeff's birthday dinner

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

APRIL 2008

Gladys cooking dinner



6:00am I am awaken to someone clapping at our gate (People who get up at 4am to milk cows have a hard time thinking that someone would want to sleep in till 7:00). I quickly don appropriate clothing and head outside yawning. There stood our neighbor from up the hill smiling and chattering a mile a minute in a foreign language (am I suppose to speak Guarani this early in the morning?) She eagerly hands me bag over the fence and I ASSUME it contains mandioca because I could make out a brown outline. I do a courtesy glance at the contents (I can barely see because I don’t have my contacts in) and am surprised to see a…… took me awhile to register…….a chicken. Was it dead or alive? I opened the bag again. I couldn’t tell. It was dead I was sure….but then it moved…..or did it? The lady noticed my confusion and a remark. The only word I could make out was “kill”. I looked in the bag one last time. The eyes are closed and the neck cocked in an odd position and it wasn’t moving. I ASSUMED it was dead.

I came inside and threw the sack on the kitchen table and went back to bed (I’ll let our house help deal with that when she arrives, I thought). An hour later I wake up to Joshua asking why there is a chicken on the table. I tell him that our neighbor had given us dinner and not to touch the dead animal. I decide to move the chicken before a kid pulls it down and to my horrification the “dead” chicken jumped up and began squawking! Luckily my scream did not wake up the entire house.


I have become a Kinko’s lately. Last week about 12 students needed passport type photos taken and printed. It is easy for me to do and it saves them time and money not having to travel to Caazapa (45 minutes away) to get it done. One girl came at 10:00 and needed a photo before school time (1:00). I told her that I was schooling my kids and was leaving to visit someone at 11:00 and I would try to have it done at 1:00 but I made no promises. She left but then came back at 11:00 to ask for her photo. I was out and Jeff let her know to try back at 1:00. She came back at 12:00. Jeff was a little put out and told her to come back at 1:00. He said, “This isn’t my wife’s job, you know, to take pictures of people.” She walked away surprised.

A teenager came to the house and I ASSUMED he also needed a photo taken. It took a while to understand what he was really asking. He had a report written on lined paper broken up by various headings. He wanted me to type the 10 headings on a separate paper and later he would handwrite the rest of the contents. I verified over and over……just the headings, not the entire paper…..just the headings, not the entire paper. I agreed. It didn’t take long and by the next day he picked up his work pleased. I charged him 5 mil for ink.

Thursday a girl comes to the gate with a folder in hand. I ASSUME the word had gotten out about my computer work and she too wants help. She has a report written on lined paper broken up by various headings. Now here’s where the conversation got tricky. I ASSUMED she just wanted the headers typed. And I am sure I even asked her if I just needed to do the headers. I agree and tell her to come back Friday. I also upped the price to 10 mil because I do not want to make a habit of this.

Friday I show her the finished project (headers only) and she asks why I just did the headers. She wanted me to do her whole paper! I don’t know what to say. I feel sorry for her and stupid at myself. In the end, being the passive person that I am, I agree to type the rest of the paper but I tell her that I am busy today and can get to it tomorrow, Saturday. Well, wouldn’t you believe it but the paper is due tomorrow, Saturday. Thankfully God gave me a few quiet moments and I was able to lock myself in our bedroom and type the paper. I even delivered it to her house.


Today started like any normal day (although I am beginning to question what normal looks like) as I cooked breakfast for my family plus one (Romy, an MK Ginny’s age, is staying with us for three days). Jeff rushed off to work, the younger kids began playing outside, and I sat down to home school Ryan. I didn’t have grand plans for the day but the everyday plans of keeping my family fed, clean, and occupied is a full time job (no mom would contest that). I had high hopes getting Ryan started with home school and then teaching Romy, Ginny and Joshua. Of course, I would be doing all this while tending Micah, cooking lunch, and cleaning the house. I got ½ through Ryan’s spelling words when the phone rang. My time is not my own……

It was Jean, “Barciliza miscarried and is upset, would you go with me to minister to her?” Yes. Nilsa, my house help watched the kids. As Jean and I set off we pondered what to say and what to do in a situation like this. Barciliza is 16 years old. She and her 13 siblings were abandoned by their parent’s years ago. She now lives with her 14 year old sister. Two other sisters live close by. She was three months pregnant when she began to bleed. As we arrived, we were immediately shown the baby. There in a cup was a perfectly formed baby 2 inches long. Barciliza was lying on the bed, tears in her eyes. Her neighbors were gathered around trying to decide what to do.

A neighbor, Sulma mentioned that when she lost a baby in the womb she didn’t know what to do so she just buried it in the ground. She said she had nightmares after that the baby was calling out that it was hungry and cold. Jean and I thought it might help to have a service to burry the little baby and bring closure to the situation. Barciliza liked the idea and we agreed to meet at 2:00.

I got home at 11:30 and saw Valeria waiting on my front porch. Valeria just graduated high school; she is smart and easy to talk with. I have enjoyed getting to know her over the last year and it was sweet that she came to visit but in the back of my mind I kept thinking that I needed to be getting lunch ready. My time is not my own…..

12:15 I start on lunch and rush the kids to dress for Paraguayan school.

1:05 we arrive at school. The teacher kindly reminds me that school begins at 12:40 now. How can we be so late all the time when we live so close!

1:30 I arrive home after visiting with teachers and going to the store for school supplies.

Between 1:30 and 2:00 I spent time praying for Barciliza. She is so young to be having sex and so young to be getting pregnant. Is it better that the baby didn’t make it instead of being born into this endless cycle of poverty and teen aged mothers? How can we expect Barciliza’s life to turn out any different when there is no example of purity among her sisters and neighbors? Many suspected Barciliza used herbs to abort the baby, but no one wanted to ask. If this is true, Barciliza may also be feeling guilt or remorse or relief. How do I feel offering my sympathy when she deliberately killed her baby? What I should be doing is challenging her to live her life not for men but for God (How do you say that in Guarani?).

2:00 I head back to Barciliza’s house for the burial. Tony dug a little grave, read Psalm 139, and then we all sang. Barciliza decided to name the baby Alcide after the father. Her boyfriend knew that she was pregnant but didn’t know about the miscarriage. She said she would have to tell him on Sunday because he only comes around once a week to visit. Jean asked, “He doesn’t live in San Francisco?” With a surprised tone, Barciliza answered, “Yes. He lives just over there,” as she pointed to visible houses. After the service Jean and I stayed to visit with the ladies and I was glad to get to know them better. The conversation turned to light and fun and even Barciliza was smiling again. Driving home I begin to plan the next hour….clean up lunch, start dinner, prepare for 6:00 bible study, talk to kids about their day at school….

5:00 I arrive home and see Austeria waiting for me on my porch. My time is not my own…..I haven’t talked with her in a while so I am glad that she has come. Ginny and her grand-daughter played while Austeria and I chat about our gardens, her children, and the weather.

5:45 she leaves just in time for Jeff and I to get in the car, drive the kids to the Floyd’s house, spend 10 minutes in prayer, and get to our neighbors house for bible study.

7:30 the study ended and we drive to the Floyd’s to pick up the kids. We spend some time with our team mates recapping the day’s events and rejoicing in what God is doing in San Francisco.

8:30 we arrive home. The kids are hungry (there was no time for dinner) and tired. We rush to feed and dress them for bed.

9:15 kids are in bed and I finally have time to myself. I think I fell asleep after reading the first paragraph of my book. My time is not mine own and I don’t want it to be. I want my time to be Gods and my agenda to be His.

Barcilia with cousin Diosnel


I never knew there were so many questions to ask about a culture before beginning a bible study. One thing that our SIM team has been researching and trying to answer is: How can we BEST minister to rural, illiterate Paraguayans and make it reproducible in order for the Paraguayan to teach someone else. In light of this, Jeff has written a 6 weeks bible study highlighting the different covenants of the bible (Noah, Abraham, David, Jesus and us). The believers that can read have recorded the study onto CD. The idea is that even those who cannot read will be able to lead a study. The study is full of repeating themes and scripture memory. Jeff made a picture time line to be hung up representing the different covenants.

Each of the believers is encouraged to start their own bible study using these materials. For some it is intimidating and they have been slow to start. For some it is exciting and they have already heard the participants ask, “How can we be saved?” Praise God! Jeff and I decided that we would also invite our neighbors for a study.

We talked with Karaî Cansio and Nã Nenita before Easter and asked them to consider having a study at their home. All last week I was suppose to go over and get their response. All last week I found excuses not to go. It rained. My maid didn’t come. No one could watch the kids. Ryan needed home school help. I haven’t spent time with the family. On and on my excuses went for not visiting this couple. I don’t really know why I was so afraid to visit. I do know that it is easier to stay within my comfort zone and not venture out (my comfort zone is my home and speaking English).

On Saturday I told Jeff that I was going to go for terere time (about 10:00am). I finally mustered my courage to visit at 11:45. We talked about children, the fruit trees in season, and then I turned the conversation to spiritual things. When I talked about studying the bible she seems to have many excuses: people here are very Catholic and set in their ways, she doesn’t like to be out when it is dark, sometimes she goes to a friend’s house so she cannot commit to a weekly study. But I noticed when I said talk about the Bible she responded that she doesn’t understand the bible completely and she would like to talk about Biblical things. Her husband came in the room and we set a date – every Tuesday night at 6:00 at their home.

After my encouraging time with Nã Nenita I was kicking myself for not going over there sooner. God blessed the result despite of my timidity! I praise Him that He is a God of grace and second chances.

Jeff leading an outdoor bible study


When you cross someone in the street or when someone walks by the house they tell, “Adios!” Because “s” isn’t pronounced the word becomes “Adio”. And to shorten it even more, most people just say, “O”. I don’t know if I will get use to saying “good-bye” when greeting.


Paulina was 14 years old when she gave birth for the first time (she was 13 when she conceived!). She delivered at house in San Francisco with the help of a lay mid-wife. What a surprise when she delivered not one but two healthy baby girls. Now she is 19 years old and has four children. She is still with the man who got her pregnant (not married, of course). He is at least 10 years older than she. How can one respect him at all when he got a 13 year old pregnant?

Repeating Prayers

Because the Catholic way of praying is engrained in their heads, often when we pray for someone they will try to repeat what we say. They feel that they cannot pray on their own, only prayers that they have memorized (usually the Lord’s Prayer).

Praying Man

A lady found Jeff over at the Floyd’s house and asked if he was the praying man. She said that her brother was in the hospital in Asuncion and someone had told her that the doctor in San Francisco prayed. So she came. Jeff explained that it is not him but who he prays too. He told her that she too can offer prayers to the Lord.

Motorcycle Accidents

In the short time we have been here, Jeff has seen many people who have been injured in motorcycle accidents. It is no wonder when 10 year olds are allowed to drive around town, when teen-agers speed around corners, and when families of 5 or 6 ride together (all without helmets, of course).

Saturday we had a crowd form outside our house. A 16 year old was lying in the back of a truck writhing in pain. Jeff assessed him as having broken ribs and a broken arm. He was riding a motorcycle too fast around a curve and couldn’t stop in time when he saw a crowd of people standing in front of an almacen. He hit them.

One lady that was hit needed stitches above her eye. Her arm was bruised and bleeding and her writs badly hurt. Her baby was knocked to the ground in the commotion and we were sure if he was injured or not. Another lady had a huge black and swollen eye, plus some blood forming on her sclera. Her 5 year old was thrown out of the way and was a little bruised and limping a bit. Jeff sent them all to Caazapa for x-rays and other tests.

Earlier just that week Jeff stitched a man’s face that had started his motorcycle and pulled onto the street just as a semi was coming. Luckily neither was going very fast and the motorcyclist just collided with the truck’s side.

Baby Blues

You should have heard the gasps from the 4 Paraguayan women I was sitting with when I turned Micah upside down to kiss his tummy. I forgot that to Paraguayans turning a kids upside down is a horrible thing to do and will make there inside twist around and they will be sick.

You know that stage in toddlerhood when the kid plants his feet and touches his head to the ground to look through his legs? Paraguayans say that it means he wants a sibling.

Jeff and Micah