Flea Bitten

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  The land surrounding the city of Villahermosa was very swampy and full of beautiful wading water birds. There were many big white egrets, herons, and jacanas. They made beautiful reflections on the water and their calls sounded so funny. Some sounded like they had sore throats. There were so many new birds to add to our bird lists. Many women gathered to wash clothes at the edge of the water at the outskirts of town and into the country.

  The elevation was 35 feet and the land was very flat. They received 16 feet of rainfall a year. It was 30-50 miles to the nearest mountains, and twenty miles to the gulf of Mexico. The heavy rainfall supported lush green growth of tropical plants. If the wind began to blow in the treetops we knew it was time to run for cover. If we didn't run fast enough, buckets of water would drench our clothes and hair in minutes.

  During the first few days in Villahermosa, torrents of sweat ran down our faces, backs, legs, and left us flat on our beds panting, most of the day. WE arrived during the time that the average temperature was 105 degrees F. At night it sometimes reached as low as 90-95 degrees. The humidity was between 95 and 100 percent. Having only the clothes we had on our backs during the robbery, I was challenged with washing the sticky out every night and by morning it was still wet. Daily we were our own clothes dryer. It only took an hour or two.
The homes were so interesting to me. Thatched roofs of grass, bamboo, and sometimes cornstalks were the most common out side of the city limits. In town, there were some fancy houses with a swimming pool and nice early American style furniture. One wealthy man owned a leer jet. The city had oil industry to boost it's economy. There seemed to be no middle class. 
In a very poor section of town, I visited with the Bible worker doing Bible studies. I saw such misery. As we approached one home, I could see in between bamboo stick walls. A pit wandered in and out of the house. The floor was dirt. I was informed that when it rained, the floor turned into mud that feet would sink into at least a depth of one foot. Sickness was  common. The mother and father with many children slept together in one hammock. All children were congested with coughing and runny noses. My heart ached to help them out of their mud homes. In the corner of their bamboo home was one radio. It was carefully positioned on a wooden box counter. The hammock was very appropriate. They always dripped dry and were above the flooded muddy floors during rain.
  There were three chairs and a make shift table. That was simply all they had. There was no stove. There was no refrigerator. I looked around for a kitchen and realized it did not exist. Like many others, this lady cooked over an open fire outside her home. How could they cook if it was raining buckets? They just waited till they could cook. Waiting for food is a very common thing. Kids walk along the streets looking for fruit on trees and eat what they can find.

  The Bible worker told me this woman of the home had been a spiritualist medium but was studying to be baptized. During the course of the Bible study in Spanish, I strained to understand all that was said. The family pet dog came to lie quietly at my feet and shared a few of his many fleas with me. Soon I was itching and could hardly sit still. The fleas all seemed to want to sample the new flavor of American blood.

  I had never met anyone like this sweet Bible worker. The sweet simple ways of this daughter of the KING won my admiration. I wanted to go anywhere she went to study the Bible with people. My nursing duties always came first and then I really had fun doing studies with her. This sweet gal had such an eagerness to know Jesus  more. It left a deep impression on my soul. I wanted to do the same thing. I wanted to know my Bible so well, I could turn to any text to answer questions people had in learning the truth.