Sunday, 29 November -0001 19:00

Mission News for Children

Written by Nigel, Kathryn and Justin Herfst
Hello Everyone. Guess what we did? We went to Pachijul. On Monday, February 28th, Nigel, Kathryn, Justin, and Daddy went to Pachijul. Our mom was supposed to go too but she got a really bad flu which lasted for three days. Esther stayed at home with her. At 6:30 in the morning we went by truck to Pacani. Pacani is an aldea. It doesnÕt have very many houses. Uncle John Otten drove us down to Pacani and it took us about 40 minutes to get there. When we got down to the river it was nice and sunny. Then we had to walk for one hour to get to the boat. We walked on a trail close to the river. The river was really low because it is the dry season. Nigel walked the whole way all by himself. The hills and little mountains were very dry and brown. Many of the trees had lost their leaves. It didnÕt look very nice. Justin carried NigelÕs morral (a bat) and DaddyÕs bag which had three bottles of water in it. Kathryn didnÕt carry anything.

We finally got to where the boat was supposed to be. But the boat wasnÕt there. We had to wait for an hour. We had to sit and wait for the boat. Daddy talked to the men who came along with us. For something to do, Justin cut down prickly weeds with a hard stick. The boat ride wasnÕt really fun. We sat in the boat for two hours. The motor was only a 8 h.p. We had to paddle for a while too.

After being in the boat for two hours, we had to walk again for another hour. First we had to go down a really steep hill and some us slipped all the way down. When we got to the house the children were waiting for us. The family that we visited has four children. Their names are Wilma, Minor, Victor, and Alberto. It looks like they all have English names but you have to say them with a Spanish accent! They do not go to school because there is no school in their aldea. Wilma is six years old. Minor is five, Victor is four and Alberto in one. Nigel is a lot bigger than Minor.

When we got to the house we ate lunch. We ate tortillas with frijol. It was delicious. We couldnÕt use forks and spoons because they donÕt have any. We love eating with our fingers.

After lunch we played with the other children. We went down to the river and walked in the water. Daddy did not want us to go into the water because he said our colds would get worse. The other children wanted to make a nice big pool for us so Minor brought down the hose. Daddy was having a Bible study with the men at the house. These children do not have any toys so we played with the water, stones and sticks.

In the afternoon Nigel had to go to the bathroom. They donÕt have bathrooms like we do. The toilet is only a cement piece and it sits on a big hole. Daddy took Nigel to the ÔbathroomÕ and Nigel sat on the piece of cement and said, ÒIÕm going to fall in there.Ó And Daddy said, ÒIÕll hold on to you.Ó Then Nigel said that he didnÕt have to go anymore. Daddy told Nigel he had better go. And then he said, ÒI want my mommy!Ó

At suppertime we ate tortillas, chicken soup, and delicious mountain coffee. We ate at the childrenÕs auntÕs house. She took all of the chicken off the bones because she has been to our house many times and has eaten chicken soup with us. They always keep the chicken on the bones. These families that we visited are not Christians. So we did not pray and read after the meals. Daddy is having a lot of studies with these people. He goes almost every other week. After supper we had a service. The people only speak Spanish. Nigel fell asleep during the service. After the service we all went to bed. It was pitch black. They had a fire inside the house and that was our light. Kathryn was scared because the wind was howling and the stick house creaked. It was a good thing there was a full moon.

Where we slept was another story. Their house only has one room which is divided into two parts. One part was where they cooked and the other part was the room where they slept and sat. There were two beds. The house is made of sticks. The floor is just dirt with lots of rocks. Justin slept on a bed with Kathryn, and Nigel slept with Daddy. First we were going to sleep in the house of BertaÕs mom. She has an upstairs part where her daughter and granddaughter sleep. But when it got dark we chickened out and felt safer beside Daddy. We didnÕt sleep too much because the chickens clucked, the roosters crowed, the pigs were oinking and trying to get into the house, the dogs were barking and the baby was crying. Santiago (DaddyÕs helper) slept through it all. Nigel also slept through from 7:00 pm to 5:00 am. Daddy even tried taking him to the ÔbathroomÕ but he didnÕt go and slept right through everything.

Finally at 5:30 most of us got up. Kathryn was awake earlier because she heard the lady making tortillas. She was up at 4:00. Usually they go to bed between 7:00 and 8:00 pm and are up at 4:00 am. It was still dark when we got up. We had to stay inside the house because we couldnÕt see outside. We started making tortillas with the lady. Even Justin could do it. His were not as big, but they were round. Mommy has tried it before and couldnÕt do it. When she comes to Pachijul sheÕs going to have to try it again. Justin took home 15 tortillas.

For breakfast we had fish soup. We had a whole fish in our bowl. We didnÕt have spoons so everything was eaten by our fingers. Justin ate all of his fish except for the head. The eyes were staring at me! It tasted really good. After breakfast Daddy had another Bible study with the men and women. We kids went and played with the other children.

After lunch we started back to Pacani where we hoped weÕd meet our Mommy who was feeling better, and Esther. We left Pachijul at 1:00 and were in Pacani at 4:00. Nigel was carried a couple of times because he was so tired and it was hot. The temperature reached 94 degrees Fahrenheit (in the shade) that day. Nigel looked so cute wearing his cowboy hat. Everybody thinks heÕs cute anyway. When we arrived in Pacani, Mommy was there waiting for us with some nice cold water. We had a lot of fun but next time Daddy wants Mommy to be there too. We all missed her and Esther.

We are enjoying all the visit of the doctors and dentists that come and work at the hospital. We enjoyed the time with the work team and with Pastor Schouls and Mr. Postma. At the moment Kathryn is translating for Dr. Potts. He began a dental clinic at the hospital. We, that is all we have to say. We hope you liked our letter.

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