Journey to New Heights

Journey to New Heights
We need a heart for the lost

Friday, August 10, 2012

Embera Indian Tribe

On Tuesday we went to visit the Embera Village. I was thrilled to get a chance to go there. My team, Team Four,(thirty-seven us) plus Melinda Watts, (the famous gospel artist) her godmother Jackie, Steve Goley, and our tour guide Michael left the resort at nine am. We drove for a couple of hours and then stopped to but rice to take to the tribe. Rice is a staple they they can't grow but is very important to them. We bought them about twenty-five pounds of rice. We drove for another hour and then had to navatgate a steep embankment to get down to the Chagres River.

It gives you a strange feeling in your stomach to watch the natives bail out water in the boats before you ever get in. Each boat would hold up to eleven people plus two natives. So our group consisted of four boats, although we saw other boats on the river. The river ran fast, in places it was very deep and in some places the natives had to get out and push us through the rapids. The scenery was absolutely fabulous. We saw multiple small water falls, beautiful birds, and wildlife along the shores. It was truly breathtaking. Gods handiwork is truly amazing.

We rode in the boats for about an hour then we stopped. It was decided we would through the forest to a beautiful waterfall. It was a short fifteen minute walk. (Ha! thats what they told me but I want to know who actually timed that walk, it took me about forty-five minutes if not more!) I was at the very end of this excursion. (Melinda and Jackie were right in front of me) We all had on sandels and I can tell you that is not the right kind of footware for a jungle.

We traveled on the banks of a small but fast moving stream. It had rained for days and the bank, some kind of clay, was very slick. My thongs were leater and the bottom was very slick and the souls slid in the mud so I had a serious problem with my shoes. I would take them off whenever I could.  There were times when we would have to wade in the srteam. I would have to wear them in the stream because the rocks were so sharp but the water ran so fast it would almost knock me over. Steve Goley and my head leader Mark Hill were very concerned about me so they took turns helping me.(You can see a picture of me and Mark on Team 4 page on facebook.If you want a good laugh.) I found holes in the stream that took me waist deep in the water. I lost my shoes in the creek mud several time. One time one of the natives had to dive down to find it. I did make it to the water fall though and it truly was beautiful but my main thought was "I am going to have to walk back.

I joked with Steve about he should put a warning in the brochure about one hundred year old really shouldn't attemp to walk this ten mile trek through the rain forest. I told him I was going to write a book about all the horrors I had to endure.He just laughed at me and told me it was only a half a mile or so. He said he had just walked it the day before but it hadn't been nearly a slick.

The trip back wasn't nearly as bad but my shoes fell apart as we were leaving. I was trying to walk without the souls of my shoes,(Which was even worse than before) one of the tribesmen took my shoes and Michael our tour guide gave me his thongs. It went pretty well. I kept joking  with them about how lod I was and how I shouldn't be there but God stopped me cold and told me to shut my mouth. I wasn't old and my problem was basically my shoes. I did shut up and quick. I started praying the ninty-first Psalms instead.

An hour later we arrived at the tribe's villiage. My legs felt like wet noodles and I had to moan a little when I saw the village was on top of a great embankment with what looked like hundred's of steps. I made it though and all by myself. The Embera leader welcomed us and told us the history of their tribe, then they fed us a meal, and did native dances. I got a tatoo(it was only ink) and we shopped(their basket work and beadwork was outstanding.). We met many of the villagers, watched them doing their crafts, and were able share with them. 

We returned to our hotel to late for supper but they had held the buffet open for us. It had been eventful day. Susie ministered that night and after we were dismissed we had to minister to the teens about what she had taught them it had been a long day but very fulfilling.

I hope you enjoyed my ten mile trek through the rain forest. I'm not sure I would ever try that again. LOL!
Praise God I made it and was uninjured. there were several who turned ankles, broke toes, and sratched
legs that ended up in the ER.

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