Saturday, January 1, 2011

Day 3 - Christmas Day!

The four of us, Julia, Jane, Laurel and me had a wonderful breakfast together and opened gifts. Late morning found us on a long walk. We started out down the ‘dirt’ road out the main gate. After a few hundred yards its forest on both sides of the road. Jane spies a chipmunk looking rodent crossing the main road. The flora is beautiful along the main road.

We turn off the road on what looks like an old logging road. A sign marks the road, “Yana River” points us down the lane. Along this way we see and hear the forest insects, birds and other animals – and evidence of locals. There are piles of cut wood, small trees along the side of the road. It’s being gathered for pick-up later. I feel anguish about the forest being cut but at the same time I know the locals need fire wood for cooking. It’s hard to be very upset over that. Still there are many good reasons for the forest not to be cut down.

After walking for more than an hour we reach a tributary of the river and my two companions decide to explore a smaller side trail. I opt to stay by the stream and rest a bit. Sitting quiet I am privileged to watch a multitude of various butterflies; small white or little lemon yellow ones, black and orange ones, large turquoise and black ones, huge yellow and black ones. My friends return and we hike back by another route through the forest. This two hour hike tells me I’m not very fit.

Every afternoon it seems to rain. Maybe that’s why they call it a rain forest. It’s the perfect opportunity to play a board game. Julia says the word and a staff member comes to build us a fire in one of the sitting rooms. We play a game of Clue while having our afternoon tea. Before we break, Laurel reads us some of the things she’s written over the years about Christmas. Laurel has worked with refugees in a lot of places around the world. Most of her prose is centered on the fact that Jesus and his family were also refugees.
It’s good to remember the challenges along with the bliss of having our Savior arrive. Our “God with us” understands the tough things humanity goes there.

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