Friday, June 6, 2008

Mightier than the Thunders of Many Waters

This past weekend we were able to take a much needed little break, and we headed off to Foz Do Iguacu, to see the absolutly awesome Iguacu Waterfalls. It was a good experience for us to be away from Itaperucu, and all the people who know we are learning Portuguese- we did fairly well at communicating what we wanted/needed, and talking with people! It was especiallly encouraging when several times during the weekend our ability to speak at least some portuguese, had people mistaking us for Brazillians! Wooohoo.. now THAT is progress!

On the Argentinian side of the falls there are many Guarani Indians who come to the national park to sell their handcrafts. These children were singing and dancing while their parents sold the many colorful bags, bracelets and carvings! The land surrounding Iguacu falls is traditionally Guarani land, and if you have seen the movie "The Mission" this is the same people group as is depicted in the movie.

We visited both the Brazillian and Argentinian sides of the falls... its hard to say which is better. From the Brazillian side you can see the whole thing in panoramic splendor... but on the Argentinian side you are so close to everything you feel like you will go rushing over the edge with the water at any second!

This plaque is so powerful... its in the middle of a National Park, where millions of people walk by every year, from hundreds of different countries and religions- I just love it.. what a great way to think of waterfalls!

It was an amazing experience, and there were several times where I just had to stop and stand in awe of this amazing display of God's power. The second day I decided I didnt care who thought I was insane, I just stood there and sang a P&W song- it was so incredible. The other interesting thing is that the name of the biggest set of falls is "The Devils Throat"- bizzare how something that so clearly points us to the Creator is named after satan!

Me walking down an incredibly high shaky set of stairs (this is only one section) to get down the the river bottom for our rafting trip... I am scared of heights to the point of tears and unstoppable shaking so this was a big deal for me! (and yes i did cry almost the whole way down!)

We were able to do some more touristy things as well, like whitewater rafting down the rapids directly below the falls, and taking a boat ride up right under one of the smaller falls. We also had the chance to visit the Bird Park, where Rick insisted I face another of my fears- I held a Boa Constrictor (I think the air down here is getting to me!)- I managed to hold it until it started turning its head with the intent of slithering up my arm- at which point I turned to the Park attendant and practically hurled the thing back at her! It was an great weekend, and we definetly enjoyed our time together, just relaxing and taking in the beauty around us!

Rick, Hockey Dude, and the head of the same Boa Constrictor I held!

This parrot had a thing for the zipper pulls on Rick's pack.. he flew onto Ricks back TWICE! And managed to break three zipper pulls in the process!

On tuesday we came back to Itaperucu and continued with our studies! We are looking forward to the next couple of weeks when Brazil will be celebrating their version of Valentines Day, and we have plans to visit with several families. Visiting at the homes of other people is allways interseting for us, but most definetly our most educational experiences! We are forced to speak portuguese the entire time, and by the end of our visits we have usually learned several new words, phrases, and of course.. more verbs!

Please continue to keep us in your prayers, as we study, and volunteer at Mount Horebe. It is challenging and very tiring to continually be educated, but we know it is worth it! If you would like to send us a card, note of encouragement etc, we have posted our address on the right hand side of the blog- mail from home is allways the highlight of our day! God Bless, and thank you for your prayers!

Rick and Heather

It wasnt that it was cold here... we were just getting drenched! The mist coming of the "Devil's Throat" falls was incredible!

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