Saturday, April 7, 2012

Air Planes, Denge Fever, and Mr Squirrel

   Life here in Bolivia is continuing to not be boring! However, here are a few pictures of this last month.  
      The front doors were put up and it has been so nice. It was difficult for people to adjust to the idea that the construction site was now a house and a home, so they would just walk in without much, or any, notice. There were a few, ummmm, awkward moments! Now that there are doors though, people are very polite and knock before entering. Somehow doors make a building feel much more like a home, even though there are no windows yet. 

Steven varnishing the doors
   The annual inspections are due on three of the planes, the Turbo 182, the 182, and the Mooney. The inspections need to be done for paperwork to be able to import the planes and fly here once again. Please keep the aviation project in your prayers. The aviation project has been operating twin engine planes in Bolivia for the past year, but the government has not been giving permission to operate the single engine planes to operate in the country. The single engine planes are the planes that can go out to the strips in the jungle.

Natalia, a student air plane mechanic from Colombia
helping with the inspection

Sometimes smaller fingers are needed for the little things!
Natalia has smaller hands than Steven, but my hands are smaller still
so I do what both of them can't very well!

And then we were visited by many mosquitoes in our house and yard... it was like a moving black cloud for awhile, and they shared a virus with both Steven and I. Denge fever. Its symptoms are very high fever, headache, muscle pain, bone pain, and weakness. It is usually not fatal, only in the very young and old, but it still is not nice. We were in bed for a week, and then were in recovery for a week, and now at the end of the third week we are feeling almost back to normal. Thankfully we didn't get it as bad as some people. There are different strains, and either we got a 'good' kind, or God was merciful. 
Steven with a fever of over 104 F. We were trying to get his temperature down

Hydrotherapy using frozen bags of tamarindo (tamarind fruit)
as ice bags.
While we were sick we didn't eat much, and so gave away most of the special food I had made that Friday (we fell sick on Friday night). Bit by bit as we recovered energy, we also recovered appetite. A sur blew in, a cold south wind, and made cooking more difficult. My stove is under a south facing window, and the wind blows the gas away from under the pots.

Making a wind shield, trying to keep the gas under the pots so that it will cook.

Yummy food : ) Steven so far likes my cooking!
So after the sur and being cold and blown on for several days, we were very grateful for a donation, enough to buy wood for windows. However, the truck was loaded with another missionaries construction material and needed to be unloaded. In trying to turn into their driveway, the truck got stuck in the newly back filled water line ditch.

Stuck Truck

Using the backhoe to help get the truck out. 
Eventually we had to unload the truck to lighten it enough to pick it up out of the ditch. It was a job, since the truck was filled with tile, cement, and stucco, but the workers helped.

The wood for the windows!
And as health came back, so did work for Steven. He helped fix the alternator and some other things on David Gate's Twin Comanche, which he is flying up to the US now with Herman. Lincon and Monica went with them as far as Guyana, where they are going to be married this month! Very exciting seeing as they were engaged around the same time as Steven and I were. They are a very nice couple.

The Twin Comanche
With a farewell to our friends as they headed to other lands, it was time to return to inspecting the planes.

Looking in every corner and hole that can be looked into.

Smile Steve!

The most important inspectors tools, a mirror and a flash light to be able to
see into all of the interior and structure of the plane.

And last, but not least, is the continuing story of Mr Squirrel. While he was a fuzzy neighbour in the front tree eating ants and bugs, he was very nice. Now he has discovered a different type of food that also catches his fancy. Avocadoes and bananas are some of his favourites. However, it was a little too much when he ate the only corn that actually had a cob, and tried to chew through one of my lock and lock containers to get into the crackers I had stored inside. At dawn and dusk he comes into the kitchen and sees what he can eat, even when we are in the house. He is loosing his fear of people and becoming quite fat and sleek looking.
           NOTICE: There is a very nice, plump, South American Squirrel for sale.
                                                  Very low price. In fact I will give him to you.... 
The neighbours said eat him. Squirrels taste like rabbit they said. Hmmmmm.....

Squirrel cache
We are hoping to not have to kill Mr Squirrel, nor give him to our neighbours for supper, so we have put all the food he likes into containers and bamboo baskets and then put it into a hammock strung up on the clothes line inside the house. Hopefully in time he will give up looking for food, and when there are windows that he will stay out and not learn to chew through the screens.  
      So this is the highlights of this last month. Oh, and the other highlight was the brownies Steven made me for my birthday! He he! Such food doesn't appear around this house very often, so one must enjoy it to the fullest when it does!
       P.S. Here is a picture of a monkey we took when a troop of monkeys moving through the back yard interrupted breakfast.