(Written during my first week there, around April 20th. Sorry for the lack of creativity in the title. Will try to come up with something better for the story I’ll be posting tomorrow.)
Wild pig sighting in the jungle! Even without knowing much of what was going on, the emotion of the moment was evident. I could only imagine all that this signified for the Neno. Please understand that at this point, before sufficient observation and data collection, these thoughts are merely conjecture, and should be interpreted as such.
This is a real hunting culture. Lewis County culture certainly includes hunting, and passionate hunters, but for many families it is optional, not absolutely essential for survival. Here, with only one freezer in the village, which is plugged in for about 3 hours a day, to function as an “almost-as-good-as-a-fridge”, meat doesn’t have a very long shelf life. And the nearest grocery store is hours away. An appropriate saying would be, “He who doesn’t hunt doesn’t eat meat.” (I just made that up, though).
Men ran back and forth, one grabbing a gun (I heard the Portuguese word for 22, so just guessing at the type), another a large knife, and another a shirt which he threw over his head.
Even the chickens seemed excited, squawking as they raced around the village.
I stood with a group of women near the edge of the village as we watched the men leave to chase the pigs which would hopefully provide meat for the village. From the snorting, squealing, and ruckus, it sounded like a large herd. After a bit, the animated exclamations and gesturing died down and we all sat down to wait, outside the nearest house.
As I listened to the women converse, observing their behavior and expressions, paying attention to the sounds of this intriguingly beautiful language, I thanked God for bringing me to this place and giving me to these people. I hoped that just in sitting there with them, I was demonstrating, at some level, my desire to be their friend, to be one of them, to share not just this moment, but also our lives from this day forward. In just a couple weeks, I won’t be so quiet. My job will still be observing and learning, but part of that will be talking.
By faith, relying on the work God is going to do, I am already claiming these ladies and children as some of my best friends.