January 2, 2009

I Am Legend

UPDATE: Caroline is recovering from her stomach virus and I am sleeping again. Heavy rains came through in the night and it's about 80*. We're shooting three for three today! BLESS GOD! Relief! I've learned some things about Paraguay through this sleeplessness that I thought you might get a kick out of. I should put a disclaimer out to the mom-friends of mine who read this post aloud to your kids. Once you click the link below, I have included a potentially scary picture and some paragraphs you MIGHT want to skip.... just so you know.

I told you that one of my theories on non-sleep included this incessant heat, and my body's inability to adjust to it. It's kinda funny, as Ken and the girls seem to be just fine with it. They're hot, mind you, but I'm debilitated. Anyway, in an effort to sleep, I have spent some time out in the hammock on the back porch. Several people, upon finding this out, have warned me of Pombero. One young lady brought me a book with Pombero's picture in it, and the story of his mischief. It was all in Guarani, but she translated it into Spanish for me.

Pombero is one of the mythical creatures the Guarani culture takes quite seriously. They have a whole line of legends and myths, much like the Greek and Roman gods. (It's actually fascinating how closely their creation story comes to the real story of Creation.) What's even more fascinating is how many people believe in these stories and adjust their lives accordingly. Back to Pombero...
Lovely little fella, huh? Some pictures show him with a sombrero, carrying a tattered backpack. He's a wanderer, living out in the woods or in abandoned homes. He waits around for unsuspecting folks walking on deserted roads alone, or for people who just venture outside in the dark. He calls to them before they actually see him, either by whistling or making animal noises, most often the sounds of baby chicks or parrots. This didn't seem alarming to me, as practically every house has chickens and every tree is full of parrots, until a local explained to me that these birds are quiet at night. Oh, yeah, forgot about that.

So he calls to this lone person, and then he attacks. When I say attack, I mean that he is blamed for destroying houses, spooking and scattering livestock, impregnating women (hairy unattractive newborns are attributed to Pombero), and various other acts of mischief. To appease the Pombero, one must leave cigars and whiskey (cana) outside as a gift. Sometimes Pombero leaves other gifts in return, such as eggs.

Several adults warned me about going outside after dark, and one lady in particular told me Pombero calls to her every time she goes out onto her patio at night. Many people leave the above mentioned gifts every night, and others NEVER whistle at night. They don't want to summon Pombero. These are the same people who will not speak his name out loud, because to do so is to invite his presence. Since he can become invisible and shape-shift, one never knows when he's nearby.

Needless to say, these people were most worried about me, a foreign, unsuspecting woman venturing into the dark all alone. I did find a Christian youth who also warned of Pombero, but he had a different take on it. He told me about the black magic and the witchcraft prevalent out here in the country, and that spiritual disturbances are pretty common, and mostly blamed on Pombero. For now, I'm just thankful that I can fall asleep in my own bed again, and stay asleep! Thanks for your prayers...

1 comment:

  1. Oh neat! Glad you're sleeping again. That had to have been rough!
    Poor Caroline! We're glad she's better!
    I hope camp is going well! Ya know we want pictures. =)
    Thanks for commenting. Eddie had SO much fun! Maybe we'll be missionaries who have knowledge of flying and mechanic-ability!


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