Peru and the Amazon River~The Final Episode

23 May

A Life to Live

Melody Hendrix

I hope you have enjoyed sharing this journey with Melody on the Amazon River. I certainly have-Onisha

Sights of the Rainforest

For the last post of the Amazon series, I have included some random sights of the rainforest and land excursions and a little more information about this extrodinary place. Unfortunately, I only have a handful of the wildlife pictures here. We could only view from afar unless they were domesticated.

Behaviourally, Oropendolas are very interesting birds. They make long hanging nests which may provide protection from snakes.

 

 

The birds feel their hanging nests aren’t enough to protect their young, as they often nest around highly dangerous wasps. The wasps offer protection from parasitic species such as cowbirds, which lay their eggs in the nests of others. These parasitic birds often kill the nestlings and force the host-bird to care for their young.

 

 

Below, the Hoatzin (stink bird) is an herbivore, eating leaves and fruits, and has an unusual digestive system with an enlarged crop used for fermentation of vegetable matter.The alternative name of “stinkbird” is derived from the bird’s foul odour, which is caused by the fermentation of food in its digestive system.

 

 

This is a noisy species, with a variety of hoarse calls, including groans, croaks, hisses and grunts. These calls are often associated with body movements, such as wing spreading.

 

 

Water buffalo have been introduced, especially in the flood plains because they can thrive in a wet environment where cattle cannot.

This buffalo was in the water but quickly approached  me to find out what that strange noise was coming from. It was the camera clicking. It was a little nerve racking, but I came out alive.

Below, many sloths were pointed out to us as we explored along the river by boat, but all were a distance away. There is one sloth hanging in this picture.

Sloths are actually lazy with very low metabolisms.

 

 

Sloths sleep from 15 to 18 hours each day! Some even stay in the same tree their entire life. They spend most of their lives upside down.

Sloths are amazing swimmers. They are known to sometimes simply let go from their tree branch and drop into water below for a quick swim. They can move three times faster in water than they can on land.

Capybaras.

 

A constant source of water is important to capybaras, who retreat into murky waters to escape from predators. People eat capybara meat and produce leather from their skin. We often saw them in the villages along the Amazon.

Back to Lima where we spent our first and last day, I walked around a bit to record some of the life in Lima. Quite a large city. This was our hotel view.

 

 

 

Using every bit of space possible, rooftop living is common.

The city was founded by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro on January 18, 1535. He called it ‘La Ciudad de los Reyes’ (the City of the Kings). It became the capital and most important city in the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru. And after the Peruvian War of Independence, it became the capital of the Republic of Peru.

 

 

The buildings are adorned with great history and art.

 

 

Artisans line the streets with their talents.

 

 

I hope you enjoyed your trip to Peru and the Amazon. Thank you for visiting.

 

 

 

I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
Melody

31 Days of God’s Comfort~Day 28

22 May

Painting and Paraphrase by DiVoran Lites

 

Day 28

Work of Art

Matthew 11:29

 

Beloved,

My children are my best works of art.

Release the light in you.

Meet the new friends I send.

You’ll enjoy them.

You have a gift of discernment.

Use it, but harbor no judgement of others.

I relish working with you,

I turn your mourning into dancing.

I have cast off your sackcloth and ashes.

You prosper in body, soul, and spirit.

Memories of New Mexico~Part 13

21 May

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

More random memories of New Mexico:

 

In previous musings, I’ve written about Sandia Crest, on the East side of Albuquerque.

 

Sandia mountains, East of Albuquerque

 

Albuquerque is in the “valley” between two sets of mountains. (Please revisit my post of February 15 2015 about The Crest) The Sandia’s, to the East, are the tallest, while the ones to the West, are more volcanic. There are essentially two ways to get to Sandia Crest: drive, or take the Tram. My post of February 15, 2015 tells more about the tramway.

Occasionally, on a family outing, we would drive from our house up to the Crest. As mentioned before, the Crest tops out at 10,678 feet above sea level. And since it is that high, it is COLD up there – even in the middle of summer!!

 

 

At the top, one will find the usual gift shop (tourist trap as we like to call them), but they have some delightful New Mexico items to purchase. Also at the top are several microwave towers, as well as observation stations. If one cares to look – especially during the daylight hours – the entirety of Albuquerque can be seen from any of those observation points – probably 100 miles! It truly is a magnificent view!

Driving up to the Crest was an adventure in itself. At the time I lived in Albuquerque, there was just a two-lane road going up, with a lot of twists and turns – we called them “bobby pin” turns, or hair pin turns. But I suppose that was the best way to build the road to make the grade up that tall mountain do-able. It’s been many years since we made the jaunt up, so I’m not sure how the road is, at this point.

After Fred and I married and moved away from New Mexico, my parents kept talking about this neat all-you-can-eat-fish/chicken restaurant on the way up to the Crest. It was called Bella Vista (beautiful view), and it did have a magnificent view. It was such a popular eatery, that they just kept expanding and expanding, until they could seat approximately 500 people! Busy place! And the food was terrific! Of course, it was all fried fish or chicken, but that was okay back in that day. Unfortunately, the original owners of the restaurant either died or retired, and their children took over. The children turned it into a sports bar – which didn’t go over very well with the usual clientele, and the business folded. We were sorry to see it go.

 

Credit Google Search

 

As for driving up/down the mountain, I remember the time after my Mother died. Fred and I had flown to Albuquerque for the funeral, along with my brother, Bill and his wife, DiVoran. Our oldest daughter, Karen, and her husband, Brian, had made a driving trip from South Carolina, as well. We wanted to introduce Karen and Brian to Bella Vista, so we all made one “last” supper visit to Bella Vista, before heading back to our respective homes. By the time we had finished eating, it was beginning to get dark outside. Fred was driving the four of us, with Karen and Brian following us in their car, down the mountain. Fred, not being too familiar with the rental car, was trying to find the head light switch, while driving. At one point, he either hit or turned a button, and all the car lights went out. We all said “NO!” and he turned the switch back on quickly. Karen later told us that they both yelled “NO!” at the same time! There was just too much darkness to be driving down that mountain without head lights!

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

God, calm my storm

20 May

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

(May 19, 2017)

The experience was unique on my last trip home. The plane ride was bouncy and rough. I stretched out on the seat beside me in that 10-passenger small plane.

I must have dosed off because all of a sudden, I notice the engine slowing down, the plane seem to lose power. The engine turned way too quiet– a frightening kind of quiet. There was no one beside me to ask. A bit of worry knocked at the door. So I thought, “Lord, here I come, open those heaven gates.”

Suddenly, the plane stopped. Unable to see the surroundings, I had no idea we had landed. The change of the engine sound was because we were on the ground already.

Please make me feel good and tell me you did something silly like that, too. You assumed the worst when it was the best instead.

I don’t feel too bad, though. The disciples did something similarly as related in Matthew 8:23-26.

Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, and “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

Father, forgive me when I lose my faith and doubt that you’re in my boat, present during my storms. Grant me wisdom and conviction to know I’m never alone, to be calm when the winds of disappointment, of heartache and fear blow fiercely around me. I will count on the safety of your presence in the storms of all sizes. In Jesus’ name, amen.

What storms are you facing today? Who’s in your boat.

Janet

 

Source: God, calm my storm. ~ Janet Perez Eckles

Write Your Own Positive Quote About Growing Older

19 May

From the Heart

Louise Gibson

 

 

 

The age I am is a welcome friend-

It is so patient, no rush to the end.

 

One day at a time is sufficient for me
to glean the promises of God eternally.

 

I want so much to continue to grow-
It is Christ, my Savior, I want to know.

 

Age is a gift from our Lord above.
Treasure the memories of His infinite love.

 

One rule I have made as I age.
“Don’t let your life be ruled by a calendar page”.

 

P.S. As long as God gives you life,
LIVE it!

 

 

 

Peru and the Amazon River Part 6

16 May

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

Nazca Lines

For our next adventure and one I have been looking forward to is a flight over the Nazca lines. We began at the Lima (capital of Peru) airport where we boarded a small but comfortable plane. We were going to hop to another airport where they would take us to see the lines.

 

 

It was an amazing sight already flying over the Andes mountains. For the most part just a bare landscape of sand and rock . There were structures that made you wonder, possibly to store or extract water from underground.

Arriving at our next airport was a shocker. All I could see was mountians of sand and an extreme primitive control tower that looked like a tropical hut.

 

Inside the airport however was a beautiful place to relax, eat and even see some wildlife. There was a sacred condor  (Kuntur).

 

 

The Condor teaches the ability of fly and freedom. It is one of the most sacred animals because it lives on the heights and rules the skies, like the master of the wind, the clouds and the sky.

They soon called us to board the plane. Oh dear….. I had a feeling this might be a little rough. It was a tight fit in a warm plane, but we were still excited about what we were about to see.

 

We arrived and the pilot wanted to make sure we could all see each of the lines by lowering one wing, then the other. The motion soon got to me. I was able to click only a couple of pictures.

 

 

There were several trapezoids. Some believe they are landing strips for aliens, others believe they are roads that lead to gatherings of water rituals.

There are a few different birds that look similar. This one is believed to be a condor.

This one is called the owl man. Some believe it is an astronaut.

And some believe it to be a fisherman holding a fish and net.

This graph I found online shows many of the geoglyphs and what they are.

 

 

Some 700 geoglyphs (Nazca lines) are thought to have been drawn by the ancient Nazca people who flourished from around 100 BC to 800 AD. The earliest lines, created with piled up stones, date as far back as 500 BC.

Many of the images also appeared on pottery and textiles of the region.

Other drawings represent flowers, plants, and trees.

Archaeological surveys have found wooden stakes in the ground at the end of some lines, which support the theory the ancient people used simple tools and surveying equipment to construct the lines.

Most of the lines are formed by a shallow trench with a depth of between four inches and six inches, made by removing the reddish-brown iron oxide-coated pebbles that cover the surface of the Nazca desert and exposing the light-coloured earth beneath.

The largest geoglyph is a 935ft-long of a pelican.

The purpose of the lines continues to elude researchers and remains a matter of conjecture. Ancient Nazca culture was prehistoric, which means they left no written records.

One idea is that they are linked to the heavens with some of the lines representing constellations in the night sky. Another idea is that the lines play a role in pilgrimage, with one walking across them to reach a sacred place such as Cahuachi and its adobe pyramids. Yet another idea is that the lines are connected with water, something vital to life yet hard to get in the desert, and may have played a part in water-based rituals.

Anthony Aveni, a former National Geographic grantee, agrees, “Our discoveries clearly showed that the straight lines and trapezoids are related to water … but not used to find water, but rather used in connection with rituals.”

“The rituals were likely involved with the ancient need to propitiate or pay a debt to the gods…probably to plead for water.”

Anthropologists, archaeologists, and astronomers have all studied the lines, but have not found conclusive evidence for any of the theories.

Please join me next week for some wildlife and landscapes of the Amazon. Hanging Oropendola bird nests below.

31 Days of God’s Comfort~Day 26

15 May

Painting and Paraphrase by DiVoran Lites

 

Day 26

Galatians 2:20

I Forgive You.

 

Beloved,

If you make too much of the concept of sin

Guilt, worry, and sadness plague your days.

My Spirit blows away the tyranny of sin and death.

I am not here to punish you or force you into following rules.

I love your praise far more than any sacrifice or self-hatred.

I have covered you with a suit of mirrors, so that when I look at you I see only the glory of your redemption.

Our life together is full of goodness.

 

Memories of New Mexico~Part 12

14 May

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

One of my fondest memories is of the old KiMo Theater (we pronounced it kee’-mo) in downtown Albuquerque. According to Google Search, it was built in 1927, and opened on September 19 of that year.

 

Credit Google Search and Daniel Schwen photographer

 

U.S. Route 66 was Central Avenue through Albuquerque, east to west, the main street through town. The KiMo Theater, located on Central Avenue, is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the New Mexico Register of Cultural Properties (credit Wikipedia).

 

Credit Google Search and On The Road with Jim and Mary

 

The KiMo Theater began to fall into disrepair after a stage fire in the early 1960’s, and the “exodus” of much of the downtown. The Theater was scheduled for demolition, but the city of Albuquerque bought the KiMo building in 1977, and restored it to its original glory. It is considered to be Pueblo Deco architecture style, which combines the Indian cultures of the Southwest with the flavor of Art Deco.

 

 

“The colorful Kimo building in downtown Albuquerque, done inside and out in Indian motif, is of interest to all new-comers.” Theatre Posts Credit Google search

According to Wikipedia, The word KiMo translated means “Mountain Lion” in the Tewa language. This word is also loosely translated to mean “king of its kind”….Due to the use of the name outside it’s native Tiwa culture, it is now a ‘dead’ word and is no longer used by native speakers.

I remember being fascinated by all the Indian symbols around the theater. The decorations were absolutely unique, and different from any other movie theater in town. I spent many movie hours in that theater.

 

Credit Google Search and Mark Bayes Photography

Credit Google Search and Alamy

Credit Google Search and Mygola

Credit Google Search and Trip Advisor

Credit Google Search and The wanderer.net

Credit Google Search and Getty Images

Credit Google Search

Credit Google Search and Trips Into History

Credit Google Search and Alamy

 

Although I don’t remember any mention of the theater being haunted, apparently KiMo has that reputation. Again, according to Wikipedia:

 For decades the KiMo has housed the spirit of a restless child. In August of 1951 a 6-year-old boy, Robert “Bobby” Darnall was attending a screening of an Abbott and Costello movie at the KiMo with his parents.

 Bobby was sitting in the balcony with friends when something on the screen frightened him. He ran down the stairwell just as a water heater or boiler in the basement under the lobby’s food concession counter exploded.

 More than a dozen people were injured in this accident. Bobby was rushed to a hospital but died en route.

 After his death his ghost returned to the KiMo theater. Bobby’s spirit quickly gained a reputation for impish behavior.

The KiMo Theater was beautifully restored in September, 2000 and is now a prime venue for concerts, civic events, and the performing arts. The theater’s resurgence represents the city’s recent upturn with new development and stores popping up throughout downtown. (Credit Cinema Treasures)

There has been a resurgence of “downtown” in many cities in recent years, and I’m glad to see it. Albuquerque wasn’t too large when I was young, and cruising “downtown” was one of our favorite things to do. It was especially fun at night – we would drive to the sand mesa to the west of town, turn around and drive slowly back to town, admiring the city lights all the time.

I was also in the Rainbow Girls organization, and our meetings were held in the Masonic Lodge, also located on Central Avenue, not far from the KiMo Theater.

 

 

I learned many years later that the Lodge had also been destroyed by fire. There was a lot of my history in downtown Albuquerque.

 

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

What brings security for a mom?

13 May

Walking by Faith, Not by Sight

Janet Perez Eckles

 

 

God chose to bring me into this world on a cold spring morning in La Paz, Bolivia. My mom sat up on that old, unsteady bed in a worn-out clinic.

“The baby…the baby…it’s coming,” she shouted.

The woman looked up as she sat on a squeaky chair. She sipped her coffee. “Sorry, Señora. The midwife went home for lunch.”

With sweat beads on her forehead, my mom pressed her hand on her stomach. Tears fell and she anguished with no one to help her deliver me.

Finally, the woman put her cup down and went to the door. “Can anyone help?” she called out into the courtyard. “A baby is coming.”

The delivery started, and I was born lacking adequate medical care.

That first year, with me in her arms, she stood in long lines to get a loaf of bread and some wilted carrots. The recent revolution in La Paz had turned the economy upside down. Everything was scarce except for Mom’s love.

Years later, we followed the daily routine. I sat before her on a box we used as a stool. “Someday we’ll leave Bolivia,” she said as she braided my black hair.

That day came after four years of preparation to meet the U.S. Immigration requirements. We sold all we had. And Mother and Father worked night and day to earn enough money for airplane tickets.

And that airplane took us to a special place. As a young girl, Mom had read the Spanish translation of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” which took place on the shores of the Mississippi River. Her dream was to someday visit those places.

And that’s how St. Louis, Missouri, became the city where we began our new life.

But the adjustment to the unfamiliar territory in America wasn’t as beautiful as the stories in those books. My parents, my younger brother nor I read or spoke English. Unable to understand food can labels, we ate cat food, thinking it was tuna.

Sixth grade girls surrounded my desk, pointed at me, whispered to each other and giggled. My pierced ears in 1964 was an oddity causing astonishment.

But Mom set the example. Her job was hard on her emotions. She endured harsh treatment and humiliation. And her lack of fluency in English kept her there for many years.

She sat at the kitchen table, reading her Bible while tears flowed.

And through her strength, she nurtured us, protected us and taught us perseverance. All served to mold my childhood.

Decades swept by. And unexpectedly, I had to enter another unfamiliar territory. My blindness at 30 thrust me into a dark, terrifying world.

But like Mom, God’s Word gave me eyes to see beyond my blindness. With headphones on, I heard the Bible.

God’s strength fueled my days to do the tasks of cooking, cleaning and doing laundry while unable to see. When obstacles came, God promised me His grace would remove them and cover my mistakes.

I was born in a third-world clinic. But God ushered me into a first-class place where His riches are available. His blessings abound. And when my days as a Mom turn difficult, I ease into His arms to soothe my soul and bring security back.

To those dear moms, I hope you have the happiest Mother’s Day ever!

Janet

VIDEO OF THE WEEK SNEAK PEEK   https://youtu.be/O8lt7uWvSuw

Looking for a speaker for your upcoming event? A great speaker makes the difference between a so-so event and one that shines with impact. I invite you to view one of my two-minute videos HERE.

Source: What brings security for a mom? ~ Janet Perez Eckles

Reflections

12 May

From the Heart

Louise Gibson

 

 

What does a mother say to her children
at the end of her days-
Those she has loved in so many ways?

 

“Oh, what joy I felt in my heart
when I was informed that new life
had its start.

 

Each of you was a blessing from above-
a gift of God-
the symbol of love.

 

Each is unique-
Not one is the same.
You are loved and admired
for who you are; what you became.

 

Your talents are many-
Thank God for each one.
They will nurture your being
when the day is done.

 

God will supply the strength
to face each new day-
I will be with you in spirit
every step of the way.

I Love you.

Mom”

 

 

Footnote:

Quote from Max Lucado:

“God knows that we are only pilgrims and that eternity
is so close that any “Good-bye” is, in reality, a
“See you tomorrow”.

 

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: