Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Amazon river

As I said we traveled by boat from Manaus. Our first stop was at Autazes, just for picking up supplies. To do this we went downstream and back up a tributary. Below is a map from Google Maps. Manaus is in the upper left and Autazes is in the lower right, labeled with a red A marker:

The rivers flow from left (west) to right (east). Note that some rivers are blue, and others are black. The blue rivers actually look brown up close, and are full of sediment; the black rivers actually look black in real life and are full of organic matter. Manaus is actually at the crossing of two rivers: the Rio Negro in black on the top-left and the Solimões river (the Amazon proper) in blue on the bottom-left. As you can see, the rivers maintain their color for some distance even after they merge. This is apparently something you can see when you're there but we missed it because we got there at night.

We visited several villages: São Félix, Igapizú, Murutinga, and one place that we had church services at that I didn't get the name of. I did find Murutinga on Google maps (the others are probably too small, but are in the area of Autazes and Murutinga):

We came at the peak of flood season, so there was more water and less land than is in the map here.

For Igapizú, we couldn't bring the boat in to shore but took some smaller boats in. In the previous post there was a picture of locals taking a boat. That was at Igapizú, and that shot was from our boat.

More about the boat next.

Friday, June 24, 2011

What we did

We started in Manaus (the capital of Amazonas) and together with Manaus Presbyterian Church went on a boat to various villages along the Amazon river.

I mainly worked with the kids, helping teach Bible lessons. Here's a school in one of the villages:

Here is Ketyb (one of the translators from Manaus) running the Bible school in our first village, São Felix:

Here are some kids after class. They're playing with balloons they received at the end of class.

Boats are the main mode of transportation to and from the village:

Besides Bible school, there was providing medical care (I didn't do this so I don't have pictures) and visiting homes (often lay leaders of the local village church and the sick). We also had worship services, prayed for villagers, and shared our testimonies. But mainly we were there in union with the Christian community in the villages.

More later about the boat and the Amazon.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I'm back!

I've returned to the US now. The trip was amazing. More details to follow.