9/30/2017 - 10/02/2017
It was actually 10/02 when I got a chance to write in my journal, so let's see what I can remember. The missionary Gary Parker decided not to accompany me to visit the Word of Life ministries on the Abacaxis River because of his step-mother's health. He did ask me to carry some mail and receipts to his brother who was to pick me up in Manaus.
Turned out it was blocks of new receipts and heavy. I wore extra clothes and that got my suitcase to the maximum weight limit (plus 50g). I tried to think of how to send some stuff back home, and even separated out my heavy pants, but just was not practical. Since Gary would be busy with hospital, I didn't want to bother him to mail a box of my stuff.
I closed my suitcase at midnight and got up at 1:30 am. Gary said he hadn't slept. We went to airport, plane left at 3:30 am. Just as I dozed off they woke us for 4 measly cookies smaller than a quarter each. I dozed off again and the pilot said Manaus was fogged in and we were stopping at Santarem. We were there only a few minutes when the pilot announced we were cleared for Manaus. It was starting to get light. I wasn't at a window (never again by choice), but I could see ground through a few holes in clouds. Just as I thought we were about to touch down, ROAR, WHOOSH - full throttle and nose up. We circled around for 15 minutes. This time the pilot didn't even get close. Back to Santarem (1 hour). There they shut off the engines and the fuel truck came. No a/c. Finally they opened a door. More cookies (3rd time).
Tried to get messages through to Gary's brother who was in Manaus waiting for me so he could just leave and let me go to Itacoatiara by bus. Word came back that he was going to wait. An hour later we left again and this time we landed okay. Turned into a 10 hour trip door to door (probably 8 hours of actual flight time for what was supposed to be a 1:40 hour flight.
I ran the rest of day with Rick doing errands before we headed to Itacoatiara in his vehicle. We had a nice talk driving from Manaus to Itacoatiara. Since it would cost them R$500 to take the bigger boat for me to go on their floating seminary trip, I decided to skip it. "Floating Seminary" is just a name, not a boat that goes from place to place as I supposed. Rick has to bring the new boat up before river drops. I thought I might could be of some use with that.
I was unable to be of use to Gary and now I can't seem to help Rick. Probably not much I could do that would be of use. Tried offering "options." They weren't rude nor did they abandon me, just were focused on several problems and a stranger wasn't part of their mechanism. The step-ma was worsening and the whole family was planning a Belem trip where she was in the hospital.
I felt that I was in way so I offered to move on (probably this was on 2nd day). I heard howler monkeys! I got to see their new boat. Nice. Interesting. Lots of money. We talked until late about goals, ministries, and what's around. At some point he seemed disappointed. He mentioned a new couple in Borba towards Novo Aripuanã. I made plans to move along on my trip.