Excerpt from Christi’s journal:
Back in Iquitos we enjoyed a fantastic conference with about 60 churches represented. We were so busy we were never able to visit any of the local shops. Ron and Chris Ranalli did a fabulous job teaching “Leadership and the Big Picture”. Lunch was provided through funds we had raised in the U.S. On Saturday I was the speaker for the Ladies Meeting, with about 80 present. I spoke on “The difference between ‘Influence and Manipulation“.
Some other exciting things we did were to go, with John & Cindy Mortimer, to their property in the jungle. This was an amazing adventure, as everything in Iquitos is in the rain forest, and their property is all you would expect the jungle to be. We walked for a long time dodging all kinds of threatening looking plants and small creatures. John and his son, Vince, were our guides. At one point, John had us stop. We watched as he poked a long blade of grass into a hole at our feet. We were taken aback as a tarantula lunged out at the grass. This was a lesson to us, as we could easily have stepped right on the hole without being aware of what was there. Needless to say, we observed everything more closely for the rest of the journey. It was amazing to see the small monkeys swinging from tree to tree above us. For the first time we also pulled on those “Tarzan ropes of vines”, which were hanging along the pathway from as much as 60 or so feet in the air. Our lunch was at a primitive eatery along the road. Ron and I had chicken (predictable), but Chris,Tony, John and Vince all had grilled worms (also predictable). They put the worms on a skewer for roasting. At the beginning they were alive and wiggling, but not for long. Somehow , when looking at this sight, all Ron could think of was pus in a bag.
Then we stopped by the Iquitos Zoo and saw many of the animals and birds that are indigenous to the Amazon. While there, the guys, including Ron, all put a big Anaconda snake around their necks and took pictures. I chose not to, although the zoo people assured us this snake was quite at ease with people.
One night Ron and I decided to treat the whole team to dinner at a floating restaurant on the Amazon. The only way we could get to the restaurant was by water-taxi. What a treat!