Tag Archives: Ashanica Campas

Kathy Recommends Jungle Reading

[Kathy]: Ron Snell writes these. You can get them off of Amazon.It's a Jungle Out There!

It’s written from kind of a young boy’s perspective. Very humorous. But Eric and Bruce and Dad [Will Kindberg] are all mentioned in the books and it kind of just gives a taste of what it’s like as a missionary kid living on the. . . . You were commenting on “Really, your parents let your brothers do that!” Well, he kind of makes reference to many things his parents, who were also translators in a related language that we worked in, what his parents let them do as kids. Anyway, very fun.

[Eric]: They’re like kissing cousins [the Machiguenga and the Ashanica Campas]. They’re very closely related, so the stories he tells about his experiences, we could have told some of the same experiences.

[Kathy]: The river, going down the river on the raft, you know, that kind thing. But just living out in the jungle area and living on the Yarinacocha center where we were. so anyway, if you’re ever interested in some light reading, you can look that up on Amazon.

recommendation by Kathy (Lee’s daughter) with help from Eric (Lee’s son) to the family reunion gathering on January 11, 2014; transcribed by Dawn Duncan Harrell (Steve’s daughter)

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  • What books would you recommend that capture the experience or place where the Eight worked, lived, grew up, etc.?

Bruce and Eric Ride the River

[Eric]: What did you like about Peru? What were some of the things?

[Bruce]: In Peru the way we got around was not by four-wheeled vehicles, but on motorcycles, so from the age of probably twelve. We learned to drive fairly early. There was no pavement. It was all dirt and mud and in summertime it’s dust, four inches thick. That’s how we got around.

Then, of course, alligator-hunting was a favorite. What else did we do? We would climb sheer rock cliffs where we would go vacation once in a while. There was a waterfall that we would mess around in.

We took river trips where Eric and I, at one point, it took us—how long did we figure it took us to get out of one whirlpool that we were stuck in?

[Eric]: Around and around.

[Bruce]: It seemed like it was hours, but it was probably, maybe twenty minutes or something.

[Eric]: Huge, huge whirlpool. Our raft was kind of slender and long. Of course, he was on one end and I was on the other end. When it made it made one swirl around, he would be underneath the water, chest deep, and I would be way up in the air. Then it went around the other way and we reversed, so I was deep in the water, scared to death, and he would be up, laughing at me. We went around and around in this thing. We didn’t know how we were going to get out. Finally, it just swirled us out. It took forever. Later on, I think, we saw a skeleton down on the beach.

[Steve]: Who didn’t get out.

[Bruce]: Spit it out on shore. Did a Jonah.

[Eric]: I just couldn’t believe that our parents let us do that, thinking back. How on the world, did they let us make this two-week trip down the river, in an area where only the Ashanica [recorder off].

. . .

[Eric]: So Bruce ran as fast as he could to get there in case the plane were to take off again. And fortunately, you know, they had room for us. But, I mean, it was all by the seat of our pants. Crazy.

[Bruce]: The year before, they’d had a flood, bigger than usually, so all their bananas and yucca had been washed out, as I recall, so there was very little food. We ended up eating with the Indians as we stopped at different villages. And we were so hungry at this one village we stopped at, I had to brain the head of the fish and it tasted so. . . . Remember that? And then once we got to where the plane was. . . .

[?]: So what? It wasn’t so good?

[Bruce]: Yeah. It was delicious. But we stopped and we ate two loaves of bread each when we finally got to civilization.

[Eric]: Mmmmm.

[Bruce]: We hadn’t had any carbs and we were. . . .

[Eric]: We would get to a community, a Campa community. Of course this was all area where my parents worked and they knew my parents. We knew they knew my dad’s name and so they associated us with him. Some of them knew us as kids, but, I mean, we didn’t know really the people. So we would ask them for a place to stay and they’d put us up for the night, give us some food, and we’d go on the next day. It was quite an adventure.

story told by Bruce and Eric (Lee’s sons) to the family reunion gathering on January 10, 2014; transcribed by Dawn Duncan Harrell (Steve’s daughter)

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below. (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.)

  • How old were Bruce and Eric when they took the river trip?
  • What year(ish) would this have been?
  • What was that bit that wasn’t recorded? I seem to remember something about Eric getting sick.
  • What’s the name of the river they were paddling down?
  • Anybody got a photo you want to add of that kind of raft or the boys/kids in a raft at about that time?

 

First with the Word

Lee, Will, Kids, Campa Welcoming Committee in Nenquechani, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Lee, Will, Kids, Campa Welcoming Committee in Nenquechani, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Nenquechani:   The Kindberg family marches purposefully past a say, welcoming group of Campas, en route to a new house at Nenquechani, built by Will while awaiting his family’s return from a trip to Yarinacocha. The Campas wear the cushma, a course woven sort of Mother-Hubbard of immense practicality in the insect-ridden jungle.

WBtW, Will and Campas, 1963or4, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Will and Campas, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Cushma:   Cushmas are worn by mean, women and children, with vertical necklines for men, horizontal for women. The natural brown cotton cushma may be thrown over one’s shoulder to allow freedom of movement, pulled up to allow crossing of rivers without getting it wet, and camouflages dirt very well.

WBtW, Lee and Doug with Campas Looking On, 1963or4, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Lee and Doug with Campas Looking On, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Privacy:   Silently, these youthful Campa mothers watch Lee tend her youngest child. The Kindberg house has no walls. They learned very early in their relations with the Campas that privacy was impossible, that sharing the intimate daily routine of their household established a warm and respectful bond with the primitive Indians. “We put a ‘tucuyo’ (unbleached muslin) around our bedroom for some semblance of privacy, only to discover that the Indians loved to pick up the edge and peek underneath,” said Will.

WBtW, Will and Lee Study in Kerosene Light, 1963or4, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Will and Lee Study in Kerosene Light, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Shared Calling:   Lee is a registered nurse, shares with Will an equal interest in missionary linguistic work in the foreign field. The couple met at Wheaton College in the U.S.A.; six months after their marriage [they] arrived in Peru to begin their life work.

WBtW, Will Consulting with Jose Flores in Quempiri, 1963or4, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Will Consulting with Jose Flores in Quempiri, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

José Flores:   In the Ene river village of Quempiri, Will consults with Campa Indian José Flores concerning text for the next day’s sermon, which José will deliver. Will, using his home, Nenquechani, as a base, visits other outposts in the Ene river area of the Peruvian Amazon. To reach the most remote places, he travels by canoe, raft, on foot, and occasionally uses the Jungle Aviation and Radio Service aircraft. One such outpost is Quempiri, 35 minutes by plane from Nenquechani, but seven difficult days away poling upstream in a canoe.

WBtW, Jose Flores Teaches, 1963or4, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Jose Flores Teaches, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

The school at Quempiri was built only last year. Teacher Flores was the first Campa with whom Will had direct contact nine years ago when he first began his language work in Peru. Before he came, many of the inhabitants of Quempiri had never seen a white man. Although Will visits Quempiri regularly, José Flores carries the main responsibility of this missionary effort. Nine years ago José could not read, write or understand Spanish, spoke only his own Campa tongue.

WBtW, Will Watches as Jose Flores Teaches, 1963or4, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Will Watches as Jose Flores Teaches, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Teacher José Flores instructs Campa children at Quempiri under supervision of his old friend and mentor Kindberg. José has provided cultural, educational, spiritual, social and economic leadership in the tiny Quempiri community. He is classified by the Peruvian government as a bilingual teacher, receives a yearly salary of 4,500 soles ($174). So eager are the Campa to learn, that official attendance records at his school show 53 persons attending out of a total village population of 100. Among José’s students: his wife, Felícitas.

José, encouraged by Will, learned to read and write, first his own language, then the national language of his own country. Now bilingual, in Campa and Spanish, and trained to teach by the Peruvian government training school for Indians of the jungle conducted at our Yarinacocha base José is an effective direct link between the Campa tribe and Peruvian national life and government.

WBtW, Will Teaches a Campa Child to Write, 1963or4, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Will Teaches a Campa Child to Write, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

His desire to share his own personal faith in Christ with others, plus his ability to read and teach the Scriptures already available, have made him a spiritual leader among his Campa people too.

José told his students, “I learned to read and write through working with Mr. Kindberg. If this had not happened none of you would be learning. You would not be able to read the Bible and to be Christians.”

Then Will, adding his word of instruction, said: “Jesus is in heaven, and we accept Christ’s resurrection as proof that there is resurrection and He will raise us up.” After Will spoke, the students sang “Onward Christian Soldiers” in the Campa language.

WBtW, Lee Bandages Campa Child, 1963or4, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Lee Bandages Campa Child, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Nursing:   In the daily routine of life a Nenquechani, Lee Kindberg bandages the punctured foot of a Campa child and introduces a huge forest parrot to young Dougie Kindberg.

WBtW, Lee Shows Eric? a Parrot, 1963or4, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Lee Shows Eric? a Parrot, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Little Kindbergs:   After dinner at the Kindberg home, the family enjoys “reading time,” first for the girls, who perch on their father’s lap and listen breathlessly to “tonight’s story.” The Kindberg boys await their turn to hear their father read from “Paths and Pathfinders,” a basic reader. Afterwards the family joins hands and prays, Daddy and Mommy get “good-night” kisses. There is no fighting to stay up late, for the children are tired after the day’s occupations.

WBtW, Will Reads Bedtime Stories to Gail, Kathy, Eric, and Bruce, 1963or4, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Will Reads Bedtime Stories to Gail, Kathy, Eric, and Bruce, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Whole New Testament:   “Before we leave the Campa work, I want to see the whole New Testament and portions of the Old Testament translated for them; to see adequate schooling provided, with basic books, such as reading primers, books on arithmetic, history and health, in their own language and in Spanish. We hope to leave an enduring testimony, practiced and led by the indigenous leaders developed during our years here. We hope to stay here until this is assured, however long it might take.”—Will Kindberg

WBtW, Will Kindberg, 1963or4, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Will Kindberg, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Mission:   A Wycliffe pioneer from New Jersey brings Christ’s Word to the Campa Indians, one of the 32 Peruvian tribes being served by the Wycliffe translators.

Missionary-linguist Willard R. Kindberg, of Orange, N. J., is opening spiritual frontiers along the Apurimac river of eastern Peru, three hours’ flight time—or one month overland—from Yarinacocha, headquarters of the Peru branch of our Summer Institute of Linguistics. Shooting the rapids of remote Apurimac tributaries, it is Kindberg’s special joy to be on a spiritual frontier—a joy shared by his wife Lee, and five “little Kindbergs.” For all the Kindbergs, the privations and dangers of jungle frontier life is a spiritual adventure, rich in Christian service, and in the privilege of being the first to tell the Indians, in their own language, about Christ.

An athletic, determined man, Will wants to see his Indians progress, pragmatically accepts the fact that, although he may imitate Campa dress and ways, he is accepted by them only as a representative of another way of life. He contends that the Indians will appreciate the Bible more if they pay for it in kind-bows and arrows or sugar cane.

transcription of an article in Cornell Capa, “First with the Word” in Who Brought the Word (n.c.: Wycliffe Bible Translators, n.d.), 46–57. found and contributed by Jim Duncan [Wally’s son], March 2015

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below. (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.)

  • What do you remember of the visitor who took these pictures and recorded these vignettes?
  • Doug was a baby in several of the photos, so they were probably 1961. But the original article says “Dougie” is the child looking at the parrot (and Eric and Virginia confirm it was him), which would mean the article and picture were at least 1962. Can you confirm the date of the article?
  • What else do you remember about Nenquechani? About the “old house” and the “new house”? Why did he have to build a new one?
  • Did they finish the New Testament? Any of the Old Testament as Will desired? How many years were they there?
  • Who else has articles about the Duncan Eight stashed somewhere that you might like to contribute to eightduncans.com? Can you scan them? Would you like to drop them in the mail? I can email you my address if you need it. Let me know in the comments box below.

Kindbergs Anticipate Their Return to the Field

The past two and one half months have been happy ones for us as we have had opportunity [sic] to visit with members of our families and also to see numerous of you [sic], our friends. We have also enjoyed telling of the work of the Lord among the Ashanica Campas, and of their needs. We have been encourages by your interest and your prayers. It has been a time of spiritual and physical refreshing because of warm Christian fellowship and the cool and invigorating climate.

Eric adapted well to his new environment here in the United States, too, and we are thankful to the Lord for a quick settlement on the insurance for his accident. We miss very much our other children who stayed in Peru, and we look forward to seeing them the end of this month.

It has been a concern of ours to help interest people in, and recruit them for, Christian service on the foreign fields. There has been some response to the challenge, but the need continues to be great. Would you continue to pray with us for new recruits for several types of mission work, especially the following:

1. Tribal teams to accept the challenge of learning a tribal language and culture, along with translating and teaching God’s Word [sic]. The task is difficult, the challenges great, but the rewards immense.

2. Teachers who would be willing to sue their abilities teaching missionary children (in English) on the mission field. There are mission schools in many countries, including Peru, badly needing grammar school and high school teachers.

3. Typists who can greatly speed up the work of translators on the field by typing manuscripts of the translated Scripture portions, reading primers, and other books in tribal languages. In Peru right now much of our materials is awaiting a typist. Peru needs a few typists and so do several other mission fields.

As we anticipate our return to the field, we would appreciate your continued prayers for the Indian believers and for us and our children that we might be physically, mentally, and spiritually well so that we can be the most use to our Lord in His work. Pray for us as we work on the revision of the presently translated Scriptures in December and as we prepare for new translation work in January—probably starting with the book of Romans.

Our address until November 15:
16 Frost Lane
Greenlawn, L. I.
New York 11740

Thereafter:
Casilla 2492
Lima, Peru, S.A.

form letter from Lee and Will Kindberg (Lee’s first husband) to “friends,” November, 1969, courtesy of Virginia Gorman (Lee’s daughter)

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.).

  • Eric’s accident is mentioned? Can Eric tell the story of his accident and why he needed to adapt to the United States? Can you?
  • The address until November 15 is in Greenlawn. Were they staying with Aunt Polly and Uncle Bob? Can Polly and/or Colin, Gene, Andy tell the story from their perspective?
  • How old was Eric in 1969?
  • What were the “other children” doing in Peru? Were they old enough to look after themselves? Did someone else look after them?
  • A Lima address is listed for Peru. Was the family still stationed in Pulcapa? Were they elsewhere?
  • Can someone tell us about the Ashanica Campas: where they are/were, their language, their cultural characteristics, their dress, your friendships with them, their architecture, their mode of transport, their stories?