It’s rarely below 85 F in our house in the dry season. Now, in the rainy season, it dips to 80 F at night.
Porto de Moz is a town of about 10,000 people and has mostly dirt roads, one stop sign, no traffic lights and two mailmen.
Porto de Moz, which is a hub for a region with a population of 30,000 people, currently has two local doctors. The two closest towns of any size are 6 hrs away and have none and one doctor respectively. The closest hospital of any size (Altamira) is 14 hrs away.
The Xingu River, at Porto de Moz, is about 4 miles wide, and enters the Amazon river about 30 mi to the north of us.
Because we live very close to the equator, all year long the sun rises at 6:15a and sets at 6:15p.
There is virtually no such thing as glass windows in the Amazon and very few people use screens (we do!). … and only in our school room do we have an air-conditioner.
Petty theft is huge and all houses (or shacks) have the windows barred or lockable wood shutters for security. We’ve been robbed three times.
Since our return three months ago, I haven’t had one normal, formed stool! I know, I know, what do OLD people like to talk about?
When not on the river, I ride a bike on some logging roads for about an hour each morning for exercise.
Bets and the kids run/walk with many other local people each evening @ 5:30p on the unused, paved airstrip.
The high ocean tide slows the emptying of the Amazon so significantly that 500 miles away the river rises daily about a meter.
Last year, the Amazon rose higher than it has in over 100 yrs.
Meredith awoke one morning on the river with so many mosquito bites that she counted more than 100 on one arm. All of us had a miserable night!
At a local swimming hole in a creek 3 mi outside of Altamira, Luke found a dead 20 ft Anaconda (See "Snake Pics" in photos). It was killed the day before 200 yards away by a rancher who found it eating a calf. He killed the snake with a machete and tossed it into the creek, where it floated down to our swimming hole.
The Amazon Basin is as big as the continental United States.
Our (the men) favorite recreation is competing a couple hrs/week at Wii golf (Tiger Woods edition). We’ve actually had two, 72 hole tournaments, with little trophies awarded!
Our most irritating pest is the fire ant (they’re EVERYWHERE), followed by the "housefly" (they’re EVERYWHERE), followed by the mosquito and the chigger (they’re…)
The three missionary men meet one night/week to share what God is doing in each of our lives. We also have a small group one evening/week for the English-speaking missionaries. The missionary women meet one afternoon/week to share and pray together. They also walk together each day at the airstrip.
It’s quite common in this part of Brazil for motherhood to begin by the age of 15.
After being in Porto de Moz only three months, I averaged 6-10 medical consults per day at my house (as many as 25 and as few as 2-3).
We have no TV but we watch movies on the computer and the kids enjoy Facebook and Game Cube.
One of the most pleasant things that I do is give away reading glasses to people over 45. They are SO appreciated.
Nothing here made of wood lasts more than a couple years because of termites (they’re EVERYWHERE!).
Clouds, shade, breeze, and fans are highly valued here.
While traveling on the rivers and in the jungle, we’ve eaten crocodile, piranha, turtle, raw turtle eggs, armadillo, ant butts, paca (large jungle rodent), tapir (same), snake, jaguar, monkey, sloth… A joke among the missionaries here is that when they visit a zoo they can comment on what many of the animals taste like. I know, I know, this explains the stool thing!
The kids spend an average of 4 hrs/day in home school. I think we need to look at this!
The "rede" or hammock is the "bed" in most homes here.
Porto de Moz, like most Amazon Basin towns, has no road access.
On the rivers, they have a different tea (bark or leaves boiled in water) for every ailment. I’m still investigating the efficacy of these teas. For most, it’s pretty minimal
People on the rivers are typically only in their houses to sleep and to get out of the rain. Most remote river homes, however, have T.V.’s and they are watched a lot.
We treat ourselves for worms about every 3-4 months.
All river homes are built on 6-10 ft stilts and only rarely contain furniture. Virtually never is there soft furniture or furniture with backs. The river rises to the floor every year, eliminating all land for miles.
Most Brazilian women Betsy’s age are grandmothers and most Brasilian "men" Luke’s age are fathers.
The "Real" ("Hayow"), Brazilian currency, was created about 12 years ago and at the writing of this, the exchange rate to the American dollar is 1.75. It was 2.5 six months ago and a few years ago was at 4:1.
We can rent DVDs for one real!
Gasoline is about seven American dollars/gallon
Travel on the rivers is at about 8 mi/hr.
We lose our electricity every day for either a few minutes or a few hours
We pay about $100 US / month for very slow internet and about $150 US for electricity.
Porto de Moz has ice cream available only at night from two street vendors at the main park.
Most Brazilians are uncomfortably "cold" in the rainy season, when temperatures during the night might fall below 80F. I love the rainy season – at times I even stop sweating.
The Kubacki’s have two dogs, a cat, and a pregnant guinea pig (any day!). We’ve had four parakeets and a variety of other birds, but…
In our yard, we have many acai trees, lemon, cupuacu, cashew, jamba, goiaba, cinamon, inga, and other special trees, all edible.