Sunday. Counted my days and washed enough socks and whites to make it home. Pastor Wellington had spent most of Friday night at the hospital with a sick church member. He was tired and asked if I could do Sunday School. I didn't feel I did very well. After Sunday School there was a big sessão (biz meeting).
|Igreja Batista Esperança|
Pr. Wellington had already asked me to speak at their congregation at night since the usual speaker couldn't make it. Most of the afternoon I spent prepping and dozing. Couldn't get my outline to congeal. Finally while sitting at the congregation waiting for the service to start, it came together. "The Bonzai Christian".
Graça, ("Grace") the mother church, has an orchestra. The congregation, Antioquia, has a flute. I was told to take the minimum on the next leg so was up to 1:00 am re-packing. Taking just a backpack. Some clothes were damp even with a fan on them all day.
At 5:15 am got up, left before 6. First we took the pastor's daughter to military school. Picked up Pr. Osmar and left my suitcase and hammock. I'm going with Pastor Osmar to visit his work up the Solimoes. Pastor Osmar's wife (Antonia) asked if she could wash my hammock, and I said no need. Now we took Pastor Wellington's son to his school. He was dressed as Gaúcho for something special (someone from Southern Brazil) and had no books. When he arrived at the school he panicked and wouldn't get out of car for fear he had gotten the wrong day.
Bad traffic (like most every day in Manaus) - especially now that a main bridge is out. Very hilly city, some so steep the tires spin on the asphalt. It took 2 hours to get from Pastor Wellington's house to the port. There was some concern we'd be late.
Pastor Osmar and I made the boat on time. We went by expresso but there was no air conditioning. Lunch was bought separate.The Solimões River is low, too, but it's rising. When the river's high there's a shortcut, but we have to go downstream to the mouth and start up. Banks are high like the Madeira but darker colors - black, red and tan. Seems to have more stuff floating - even entire trees and seems to have more as we go up river. There are some brown sand beaches that grow and move.
Pastrr Osmar is from here so he knows the area well. He says sandbars silt over and become the black land that's now eroding to silt over somewhere else. We see more floating houses and shops than I remember on the Madeira. There were very few on Negro. There are some private boat rails and ramps. Houses are almost continuous and many have electricity. Seems more populous than Madeira and definitely more the Negro.
The expresso was showing some kick-boxer movie on the boat. At Manacapru (accessible by road from Manaus via bridge), the boat filled and started stopping about every 3rd house. May have picked up lunches that were phoned ahead. I had chicken. Pr. O brought own food for health problems. He split his lunch with our seatmate.
If I had a dime for every time he pointed and said "that's an island", or "the river covers that" this trip would have turned a profit. He and his wife are really, really nice people, but his speech quirks drove me nuts, "entendeu?"
|remains of thre three boast that caught on fire the day before|
Toured city. Motorcycle battery was dead and we pushed it half way back to Manaus before it caught. The whole area floods at high river and becomes one big swamp - especially in 2015. There are water marks on many houses and people just raise the floors of their stilt houses or put the fridge on a table.
Saw a man carving wooden animals and decided to come back and try to buy one later. Pr O's got a nice truck that's been broken for a year because of his sick wife. She's "famous" for the first Brazilian brain surgery while awake.
Saw the church and parsonage which he left for the current pastor. Pr. O built a smaller, wooden house on the corner on the church lot. I'd wanted to go into a wood house. The bath and floor were brick and concrete. The wood walls were fairly sealed and painted. Wooden windows slid in tracks. Small, but I liked it. We went out for churrasco (grilled chicken on a stick). He insisted I sleep in his room. Talked to M on the phone and went bed.