Saturday Night, September 22, 2007
We just got back from our waterfall adventure, and all I can say is ….WOW!
We ended up being a group of 17. Well, kind of, we didn't exactly stay as a group. I will try to explain, but I will start by saying that I am exhausted! So forgive me if I don’t make sense!
We thought we would be able to drive the 4 wheel drive SUV quite near the chorro (waterfall), but the gate was locked, so we left it on the Pan Am. We thought we were going to the base of the chorro, but we were going to the top. Look at the photos to see why that might have been a problem for this chubby OLD gal! All that said, I did not make it very far before I realized if the group waited on me they would never reach the fall. I turned back determined to find a key and drive up the road to the top. It took 3 hours for me to do it, but I made it to the top in the Suzuki Jimny. The type of vehicle is important, because it is very narrow. I could not find the man with the key, so took the car through the horse/ walk gate. It was about 4 feet wide, and I had less than 6 inches to spare when I passed through.
I need to digress and say that
Now I want to tell you that I had already been praying, a lot! I kept praying as I tried to find a way to lift the wire and pass under at the same time. I tried finding tall limbs to hold up each side, but when I released one end it leaned and the other fell. I heard some commotion in the nearby trees as that happened, and looked up but saw nothing. I walked down the fence to the corner to see if I could separate the circuit and pass over it, but using only sticks, I could not budge it. When I realized this, I threw my hands up and slapped my thighs in frustration. Then I heard the noise in the trees again. It was a group of monkeys – they were laughing at me. Seriously. They laughed and laughed. I could not help but laugh too. It was pouring, I was good and stuck, and I was in the middle of true jungle land with monkeys laughing at my folly. I had been praying all along, and God sent monkeys to help me see more clearly the beauty around me in the midst of my frustration (and yes, a little fear). I went back to the car and tried different ways to lift the wire. At one point I had raised the wire on a slat of wood and was trying to balance the slat on top of the fence post. The wire slipped and fell onto my right hand. It was the strongest electric fence I have ever felt – and I have felt plenty. It knocked me on my rear 5 or 6 feet away. And yes, as I sat there on the ground my audience began to laugh again. They howled with laughter for a full minute. I thanked God that I could still hear them and decided to be more careful with the powerful fence.
I got the fence up to about 4 feet and decided to try to get under it. It was raining heavily by now and very dark for 3 in the afternoon. I had the nose under the fence, but just did not have the fortitude to go on. I knew it would touch the car at about mid-windshield, and just did not know what to expect with such a strong current. I backed out, got out and as I approached one of the crates I had used to hold the fence up, it fell over. I jumped back not wanting to feel the fence again. The monkeys roared with laughter. I was quite a show for them. I laughed back, and then they laughed again, and I, then they, for several rounds. Then they just quit quite suddenly. I though it odd, but went back to the problem at hand. I actually had the thought, ‘what would MacGyver do?’ as I tried to think of how to get out of the mess I was in. I was soaked, so decided to get inside the car for a few minutes. I had also just noticed huge ant hills all around the car, so needed no further motivation. I sat for a minute, and decided to try again to disconnect the line at the other corner. I had heard nothing more from my audience, and was thinking how strange when I heard another noise. It almost sounded human. I suspected that this was why the monkeys had stopped playing with me. I began to look behind me, and finally I saw them coming toward me – MY GROUP!!!! Was I happy? I can’t begin to tell you!
With the youth group in front of us we slowly descended the mountain, thrilled with the day’s adventures, soaked to the bone and deeper, worn out beyond words (especially the old man who conquered the whole mountain, the chorro, and the walk up stream to the swimming hole, and all of that in Spanish!) They saw many monkeys, the biggest hornets nest
OK, I am now very ready for my bed. The hot water is not working anymore, so the hot shower is out. The bed sounds just fine!
We love you all, and are counting the days to see you again!
All because of Jesus!