Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Life in the Lagoon

This past weekend, I was visited by a mentor and friend from Ohio. She arrived on Thursday and spent the weekend with me in Maracaibo. On Friday, we traveled to Sinamaica Lagoon to take a boat tour through the Palafitos. The Palafitos are small huts that are built on stilts literally in the water. These huts are built from sticks and you can literally see the water below through the 1-2 inch gaps between the sticks in the floor. This is a very poor area- the people literally have little to no possessions, with the exception of an old boat or kayak, which is an absolute necessity there.

Behind the huts, there are areas of dry ground and there are no houses built there. We thought this was odd that they would prefer to live in a hut on the river than to live on solid ground, so we started to ask about this. Here is what we found out from our tour boat driver and some other natives from around there when we stopped at lunch...

According to the story that they believe, the ancestors of this Native tribe used to be fish. However, as the fish, they started worshipping the moon instead of God. Because of this, God punished them by turning them into humans. He also forces them to live on the water and rely on fish for food, thus eating their ancestors. They are not allowed to move away from the water or they will be punished more.

What a depressing way to live, believing that being a human being is a punishment by God. I am glad and rejoice that God is truly a God who loves and did not create us as humans to punish us but to delight in us as we serve, worship, and praise Him.

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