The Swanlinbar Kildallon Group of Parishes in the Church of Ireland Kilmore Diocese. Corrawallen Kildallon Kinawley Newtowngore Swanlinbar Templeport Tomregan

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Richard's Trip to the Chaco July 2011

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Meet Beryl Baker
Beryl:      I only stayed with Beryl a couple of days but this wonderful lady certainly left an impression!Beryl is a remarkable lady who has now been in the Chaco for over 30 years.I was struck by her warmth and love for Jesus.While caring for local people medically she has an even greater desire that the local Indians would come to know Jesus as Lord of their lives.She would take every opportunity to share Jesus including the use of film.When I visited, patients from the clinic were able to watch the film, the Cross and the Switchblade on dvd on Beryl’s laptop.   
The Clinic
The Clinic: Patients come to the clinic each day arriving early in the morning.  Any medical condition could be brought to Beryl’s attention.  Urine infections are particularly common, while TB was a great problem eased by a vaccination program.  Young children visiting the clinic will often get a tennis ball as a gift to put them at ease.  The tennis balls are donated by an Englishman every year from Wimbledon!  Later that day we saw the patients we had seen by the roadside seeking to hitch-hike a lift home.  They lived some 30km away.  The giving that we have sent to Beryl has paid for the medical supplies she uses. Beryl is not a doctor, but has had training more akin to that of a paramedic.  She will often help patients organise trips to hospitals further away sometimes travelling with them.
Visiting: At the time of my visit Beryl was preparing for some eye specialists to come from America.She had a list of 80 patients who she knew could benefit from the eye treatment, so she was visiting to let them know.The homes are simply made from palm tree logs with corragated iron roofs.Locals would be very poor and many have no water or electricity.Water would be collected off the roofs – a huge problem when there is no rain.The previous two years it didn’t rain!Many had to move.In winter it can drop as low as freezing at night, while day time temperatures during my visit varied between 18-35.It summer it would be a good deal hotter!
Chaco Homes
The Ranch:
The Ranch: Beryl's clinic and home are both near the entrance of a ranch. Owned by an American the ranch is about 40 square miles. The Owner has kept it in a way that is sympathetic to local wildlife. Many of the other ranches have removed the trees, although this has not helped the land or the cattle.
Bible Translation Centre
Bible Translation Centre: One of Beryl's neighbours is Tim Curtis based at a specially built office in Río Verde. Tim Curtis is co-ordinator of the Enxet Bible translation project which began in the 1980s. The Enxet (pronounced Enk-let’) are one 18 tribes in the Paraguayan Chaco. The New Testament was dedicated in 1997 and a team of translators have now completed a draft on the Old Testament under Tim’s guidance. Before it can be published it needs rechecking. This will take another 2 years!
Oscar investigates
Oscar: Visiting Beryl's home we met Oscar. I thought it was a dog in the kennel in the corner of the living room. I would never have imagined meeting a not yet fully grown giant anteater! His mother was killed on the road and Beryl is rearing him until he is able to get back into the wild. Beryl is also looking after some deer as well as cats and dogs.
Chaco Other Wildlife & Birds:
Other wildlife & birds: The Chaco is full of wildlife and these photos were all taken just outside the front of Beryl's house or from the car when visiting. I spotted an alligator on the far side of a pond. "Never mind that one over there" said Beryl, "Take a look down there!" An alligator watched us in the water just below the road. The Chaco also has many snakes and Armodillo, Puma and Jaguar. There are also many birds with Vultures, Eagles and Hawks easily seen.


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