[From today’s team blog…]
Today, we linked forces with Sue Givens, the missionary, and Perla, a 22-year old college student who works with Sue, and headed to Los Chacos. The term ¨chaco¨ is similar to the meaning of forest where there is a lot of land, plants, and animals. Los Chacos takes up 80% of Paraguay´s land, but only 10-15% of the population live there. We crossed the Paraguay River and headed into land that is not as populated as where we have been staying. Mainly, the people who reside here are native indigenous tribes who speak a dialect consisting of a mixture of Guarani, Spanish, and their tribal language. When we arrived there, we immediately saw the living conditions of the Indian village, which were similar to living in shacks and huts. We were told that the men will go out 4-5 weeks at a time and hunt. Needless to say, it is a very primitive community. They survive on what´s around them…the chickens live in the houses, the cows wander around, they make money from jewelry they make, and the trees are used to build their huts, etc.
We trekked a little ways to an opening where we set up a homemade net system that Tom made using lumber for poles. The pastor there had to shovel up manure off the court while we set up the net. At the same time, Sue and Perla did a little devotional with the kids. We finally broke the kids into groups and we worked with them on the basics of volleyball. Surprisingly, some of the kids knew what they were doing and as we were walking to the area we would be playing, we actually saw a few nets set up in the village. Eventually, there were about 15-20 people playing on each side. Dawn especially fell in love with this place! She said that this was her element and her favorite part of the trip so far. After playing, we bought some bags, trinkets, and jewelry made from seeds. We then said our good-byes.
(The picture is of the Paraguay River from the internet. So far the internet is too slow to upload pictures, but they are working on another way to get a few pictures out!)