Thursday, September 11, 2014

Because Fifty Just Wasn't Enough


Sometimes life does know how to make it too hard for you.

The July and August have been extremely emotionally draining, stressful and tough months for me, personally and professionally.

I have been teacher training for five weeks.

Most of the time my son was staying with his father.


I love doing teacher trainings and I absolutely love our special education teachers.

They are amazing people who everyday put themselves out there for their students.

In a culture where disabled people are shunned and considered demonic.

And where just four years ago a disabled baby was burned by her parents, extended family members and other people from their village.


Because her father was certain that she wasn’t really a baby but a Supay Wawa.

A demon born from a relationship between a human woman and a jungle demon, Supay.

When these teachers are called disabled teachers and shunned by other teachers and their village’s members.

They continue, and fight for their students’ rights and lives.


Many times much harder than the parents themselves.

We had two weeks vacations and went to the beach with my son.

A beautiful time that we truly enjoyed.

At the end of the August it was time for my son came home and get ready for the school.


We also started the last, and toughest, week of the teacher training in the beginning of the September.


Just when my son got back and started school.

I just didn't have strength anymore; I would go to work, get back home, eat, try to spend time with my son while conscious and sleep.

There was no strength or time for anything else.


On top of everything else, September is Mutsuy Killa here in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

The beginning if the so-called dry season, so called because it's never really dry and it never really stops draining.

But what it does do is drop the humidity level from the normal 98% to only 94% and the daily temperatures raise over 100 Fahrenheit.

Making me wonder how sane I was when I decided to come live here.


But on the last day of our training I was reminded why the life here is so wonderful.

The special education teachers had organized a birthday party for me.

They made a speech, in Kichwa, and it was amazing how much I could understand them.

It was also heart wrenching when they told me that I'm there mother.


This wasn't the first time, I have been called Mama Joanna by them few times before but now it was official.

I have over 50 Kichwa children, and quite a few of them are older than I am.

But now I was prepared and I also had some cultural background.

In Kichwa culture women that lead and share their knowledge are called Mothers.


It is an honorary title, and one that is not easily given.

Mothers are life givers, and venerated as the source of life and wisdom.

It is a huge honor, one that I don't really feel that I deserve.

But like I told them, I have always felt that God has called me to have a big family.


And I could not understand why He only gave me one son.

But it was because He had fifty more waiting for me in the jungle.

I just needed to follow Him and find them.

39 comments:

  1. That's really beautifully written! What a blessing you are to them! (And I'm sure they are to you.) My husband lived in the Brazilian Amazon for two years and I've heard all about the crazy weather. Stay as cool and dry as you can!

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    1. Thank you, Valerie. They are a huge blessing and I'm amazed by how God has brought me here and surrounded me with such wonderful people. Right now staying dry won't be a problem, most of the time at least, but the staying cool part is going to take some serious effort :)

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  2. You're doing a great job! Hang in there and push on!

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  3. Personally, I got a little choked up on this Post. Yes, I agree it is wonderfully written and very touching. Thanks so much for sharing, and I totally loved your pictures.

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    1. Thank you, Marie! This time the pictures aren't mine but a friend of mine took them with my camera.

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  4. I love reading posts like these. It make me do so much more for humanity. You are doing an awesome job. Pat on the back.

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  5. This is so beautiful. Happy Birthday to you.

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    1. Thank you, Bonnie. It has been very happy :)

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  6. God bless your kindred soul sister! I admire you for what you've done teacher training. :)

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  7. Happy Birthday. How horrible for that poor child. It's sad that superstitions like that still persist. It's so wonderful that you are there to help educate

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    1. Thank you, Patty! She was very badly malformed from birth. It is really sad that she couldn't live what life she would have had in peace and with a loving family around it. Those are the lies that hurt the most, that some people don't have value.

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  8. Really beautiful story, well represented with pictures. Happy birthday :)

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  9. Happy birthday Joanna! Your blessings bless so many others in so many ways! So very much like our heavenly Father would have it! Thanks for your loving obedience to Him!

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    1. Thank you, Charlie! I hope that I may be doing His work, even with what little I have to offer. And I delight seeing how the teachers are bringing His love to so many that had never been able to experience it before.

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  10. Happy birthday! How beautiful and wonderful - you'll remember it forever!

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    1. Thank you, Lisa! And yes, I will remember it always :)

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  11. Happy Birthday. Thank you for sharing such a beautifully written post.

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    1. Thank you, Ann! Both for the wishes and the compliment. I'm glad that you enjoyed the post.

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  12. Your teacher training sounds like a really rewarding experience! That was so nice of them to throw you a birthday party. Happy Birthday!

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    1. Thank you, Lori! It has been rewarding four years. I'm so sad to see them ending. But hopefully God will give us more time together. Or if not, it's because He has something better prepared.

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  13. Happy Birthday!! :) I love what you said about the 50 more children. Kudos to you for being a great woman. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you, Rebecca! I'm glad you enjoyed the post and thank you so much for your words :)

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  14. What a wonderful experience! I love and admire all teachers. It was so great that they threw you a birthday party! Happy birthday!

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  15. Being a mother and teacher is no easy feat. Happy birthday to you! May you inspire more women to be as strong as you are. :)

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  16. What a great party they threw for you. Happy Birthday!

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  17. What a touching story and a beautiful way to spend a birthday. Teaching anyone, anything is hard but being a special education teacher takes a special person. Kuddos to you and sending positive vibes your way!

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  18. A very happy birthday wish to you. This is a very moving post and as an ESL teacher, I can definitely relate but it is so unfortunate that these types of superstitions still exist. However, teachers like you will help to make that a thing of the past.

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  19. Wow, what an amazing accomplishment! Your work is so worth it!!

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  20. Yay! Happy Birthday and may God grants what your heart desires.

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  21. Happy Birthday! Looks like a fantastic party!

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  22. Good luck in sharing your gifts with others. Teaching is one profession that can change generations. Your students teach their parents, and in time theiir own children. Their world becomes bigger with understanding. Kudos to you !

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  23. Happy birthday, what a lovely post (apart from the first bit, that is truly shocking) x

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  24. Oh, forgot to say thank for linking up to #TheList (this one not strictly a list though) x

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  25. Happy birthday! This is so sweet and encouraging :) You are making a huge difference serving! Thank you for linking up and sharing your story!
    -S.L. Payne, uncommongrace.net

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  26. Wow... I didn't know that about some of the culture! I know more of the area around Bogota, Colombia.

    Happy belated birthday... looks like it was a blast!

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