Tag Archives: Mary Lynn Kindberg

Virginia’s Senior Year Wasn’t a Great Year

[Virginia]: I had my eighth grade year and then through high school, but of course, I got accustomed to the kids. Now I would say I am closer to those kids than I am to the Peru kids because it was in the high school years. So graduated in ’81. I went. . . .

kathy-gail-virginia-will-lee-doug-ca-1981

Kathy, Gail, Virginia Will, Lee, Doug; Texas, ca. 1981

Oh, and then my senior year was the year that Chet Bitterman, one of the missionaries, got kidnapped. They were after the director, who was my—Dad [Will Kindberg] was the director. During that time that Chet had been kidnapped and before he was killed, my mom and dad were in hiding. They had to keep moving and I was left by myself out at the base with one of the single ladies. But I didn’t know where my parents were and that was a very, very traumatic time for me.

[Heidi]: What? Really?

[Stephanie?]: Really?

[Virginia]: Yeah.

[Dawn]: So wait a minute. [Can’t hear], why didn’t they take you?

[Eric]: [Can’t hear] at all.

[Virginia]: Because they were after my dad, not me.

[Mary Lynn]: What do you mean, they were in hiding?

[Virginia]: They had to move from place to place to place so that the guerillas—so they were after the director and because they had to keep him hidden, so that they [M-19 guerillas] couldn’t find him. He was the goal. He was the target. They took Chet because Dad was not in Bogota. They were after Dad, so in order for him not to be, you know, them not come back and try to get Dad, Mom and Dad had to move.

[Gail]: But he was on the base the whole time?

[Virginia]: No.

[Gail]: Where was he?

[Virginia]: I think he was in Bogota.

[Lots of Voices]: He was one of the negotiators?

[Eric]: Right.

[Virginia]: He may have been, but he was not—nobody knew where. I mean, he was in an undisclosed location and he had to move around.

[Kathy]: They had to keep the base secure.

[Heidi]: So you knew that he was in hiding?

[Virginia]: Yes. Oh, yeah-yeah-yes. I didn’t know where he was, but I knew he was. . . .

[Heidi]: How long did that go on?

[Virginia]: It was only a few months. Oh, I cannot, I can’t remember.

[Kathy]: Well that whole ordeal, I think, was two months.

[Eric]: Chet Bitterman had been captured. He was held for a long time. It was probably a year.

[Virginia]: No. No, no, no. No, it wasn’t because it was during my high school months. And it was during that time that Dad and Mom had to move.

You guys [Steve’s family] were talking about soldiers. During my high school years, we always had soldiers around our house because when my dad was director. That was kind of weird because I had curtains that were almost like these curtains. You know, being a teenage girl, and these guys are right outside my window. You know, it was a shock, I mean, you know, when they’re not shot guns, but machine guns. So we had, we had a lot. And we had curfews during the whole time we were there. We had to be in by 10:00. There were shots, you know, occasionally we’d hear shots in the middle of the night and wonder what’s going on.

Anyway, so that was my senior year and so that wasn’t a great year.

story told by Virginia (Lee’s daughter) with interjections by Eric, Kathy and Gail (Lee’s kids), Mary Lynn (Eric’s wife0, and Heidi, Dawn and Stephanie (Steve’s kids) to the family reunion gathering on January 11, 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.)

  • You mention your Dad/Will writing memoires. Did he publish those? Are those available? Is it possible to add them to this collection?
  • The Steve Duncan kids didn’t receive trauma counseling. Did Wycliffe/SIL provide any kind of trauma counseling for you or your folks? Was that a known necessity at that time?
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Bruce Does Drugs, Eric’s Brain Leaks

[Mary Lynn]: Bruce was the star athlete of Yarinacocha, too.

[Eric]: Yup.

[Kathy]: Oh, yeah, he was!

[Mary Lynn]: Athletics was, like, huge.

[Kathy]: Bruce had a lot of records.

[Mary Lynn]: A lot of what?

[Kathy]: Records.

[Eric]: Fastest runner. Best hurdler. I don’t know about swimming, but almost everything else.

[Bruce]: The Indians set me up with some drugs.

[Gloria]: Performance-enhancing drugs?

[Marcia]: Performance-enhancing, yeah.

[Eric]: OK, so, Mary Lynn and I got married in 1980. We met in graduate school in Dallas. When I left Peru, I came back and went to the King’s College in New York.

[Mary Lynn]: Honey, you’ve got to tell your brain surgery story.

[Eric]: Oh, OK. Back up a little.

[Marcia]: How about when you were born?

[Stephanie]: He doesn’t remember, Mom.

[Eric]: I don’t remember.

[Marcia]: You don’t know what year you were born?

[Eric]: Oh, OK. Yeah. 1954. Bruce was born in 1953 and we were 17 days apart, so we always opt and celebrated our birthdays together.

[Mary Lynn]: Seventeen days and a year.

[Eric]: Pardon me?

[Steve]: A year and 17 days.

[Marcia]: I hope it was a year.

[Eric]: Seventeen days. Plus a year.

[Steve]: I’ve done that, fooling the patients, that distance between the deliveries.

[Eric]: Uncle Steve, you always come up with the best comments. I remember we were at Park Street Church talking in a conference, you know, with a whole congregation of people. This was during a Duncan family reunion there. Well, here I am up on the platform, nervous as anything and I’m telling my story of living in Kokorake [sp?] at 11,500 feet and Uncle Steve yells out from the audience, “Hope you didn’t fall off the roof!”

You’ve got some good ones. Everyone broke up. I’m glad you keep the humor in the family.

[Mary Lynn]: You and Bruce were in the same grade all through school.

[Eric]: We were in the same grade from first grade on.

So, let’s see. Came back to the States, went to the King’s College.

[Mary Lynn]: Tell the story.

Oh, back to the. . . . When I was ten, we were in the States. You know, people always say, “What about all the wild animals down there? What about, you know, the insects and all these evil, bad things that you hear about?” Well, I came to the States and never had had anything happen to me. Well, Bruce and I were racing across the street in Bloomfield, New Jersey, running to the church, and I got bit by a car.

[Stephanie]: Oh-oh.

[Eric]: So I was 9 years old and it hit me in the side of the face and twirled me around and broke, shattered my knee, my femur. So the doctors thought they would have to amputate my leg. Finally were able to piece it back together and I was in a body cast for quite a while until I got chicken pox. They cut off the upper part and let me at least scratch my itches. But yeah. So that was quite an experience.

[Marcia]: Now she said “brain surgery”?

[Mary Lynn]: Yeah.

[Eric]: Following that. Yeah, following that. I had a fracture and they thought it was just a concussion at the time. They didn’t realize I had a hairline fracture. When I was thirteen, I developed spinal meningitis, back in Peru.

[Victoria]: Oh, my goodness!

[Eric]: Three times. The first time was natural. It’s normal to get spinal meningitis once. Maybe not normal, but, you know, you never are supposed to get it a second time. I developed a second case of it and they knew something was wrong. So they sent me to Lima for observation and tested—you know, I had spinal fluid actually leaking through my nostril, so they realized that they needed to perform surgery to close up that fracture that was still there. So I had brain surgery when I was 13 after the third incident.

[Marcia]: In Lima?

https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fernando_Cabieses

Fernando Cabieses Molina, courtesy of Wikipedia

[Eric]: In Lima. And the neat thing about that is the way that God works. You know, you think of being on a mission field and what kind of medical care can you get there? Here we were, didn’t have the money to send me back to the States or whatever. So here I am in Lima. My doctor was called Dr. Cabieses. Well, he happened to be one of the world’s leading neurosurgeons. Not only that, but there was a conference of the world’s leading neurosurgeons right there in Lima, so he took my case before all of them, so I had the world’s experts in on my case. God is good.

[Kathy]: That’s how he turned out to be so smart.

[Eric]: Right.

[Stephanie]: So what was—you developed a third case of it later?

[Eric]: Third case, while I was in Lima.

[Stephanie]: While you were in Lima.

[Kathy]: I remember, as a kid, when he had that, it was really scary because his fever would go so high, he got very delirious. And I was having a sleepover with some friends. We were going to sleep in the rec-room, which was just separated from the house a little bit, but you could hear him yelling out, counting really fast, up and backward, and just kind of yelling out unusual things because he was delirious. It was just really unsettling to hear your brother. He went on to Lima or had gotten better soon after that.

[Eric]: Yeah, that was, I think, the first incident, or maybe the first or second one. They give you a spinal tap when you have spinal meningitis. They put this long needle. You have to roll up in a ball, so you separate your vertebrae. They put this needle in your back. It is the most—it’s like being in a dentist chair, having that needle, you know, that drill going into your mouth, into your teeth. I hated it. ‘Course I had high fevers at the time when they were doing the surgery, the uh, inserting the needle to get the spinal fluid out to test it.

But, yeah, God is good. I lived through it. Did give me a little touch of something, I’m sure. Did something to my brain.

[Steve, relaying question]: Does he hallucinate anymore?

[Mary Lynn]: Strange dreams. He’s had strange dreams sometimes.

[Eric]: Well, she puts me out of the room. I have to sleep in a separate room because I talk too much in the night. No.

Actually that’s pretty close to the truth. I snore too much at night.

[Mary Lynn]: But that’s why—well, I don’t know if you want to say that—but that also influenced why you ended up going into Bible translation and not aviation.

[Eric]: That’s right.

story told by Eric (Lee’s son) with interjections by Mary Lynn (Eric’s wife), Kathy and Bruce (Lee’s children), Steve, Stephanie (Steve’s daughter), Marcia (Steve’s wife), Gloria (Tad’s daughter), and Victoria (TJ’s wife) to the family reunion gathering on January 11, 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 do you spell Kokorake? Where was it? When did Eric live there?
  • Where did Eric receive the spinal tap that diagnosed the spinal meningitis?
  • Anybody else have chicken pox as kids? Tell us what you remember.

Reunion January 2014 Reminder

Paul, Altha, JA, Kathryn on the ocassion of Paul's retirement from the pastorate in PA, ca. 1975Last Day to Register is Sunday, December 15!

Have you: Booked your housing? Confirmed your arrival and departure times directly with JAARS? Signed up with me?

Update

So far, the following people are signed up:

  • Eric & Mary Lynn Kindberg
  • Kathy & Allan Courtright
  • Dawn Duncan Harrell
  • Heidi Duncan
  • Kimberly Duncan
  • Stephanie Duncan
  • Steve & Marcia Duncan
  • Gloria & Chris Boyer, Brett Boyer
  • Virginia & Bill Gorman
  • Bruce Kindberg
  • Gail Montez
  • TJ & Victoria Ramey

If you aren’t on this list, the party can’t start! Please confirm with Dawn. See below for how.

Lodging and itinerary have also been updated below. There’s still room!  Registration closes on Sunday, December 15.

Invitation

Are you related to Paul, Kathryn, Lee, Wally, Betty, Bob, Tad or Steve? Then you are invited to a family reunion hosted by Eric and Mary Lynn Kindberg and Kathy and Allan Courtright (Lee’s kids).

Waxhaw, North Carolina

Thursday–Sunday, January 9–12, 2014

  • Thursday, Jan 9: arrive; meals on your own; welcome meeting at 7 pm in hotel
  • Friday, Jan 10: Billy Graham Library outing (round trip 3.5 hours); dinner together in Waxhaw restaurant; evening pictures and family stories at Kathy’s house
  • Saturday, Jan 11: Carolinas Aviation Museum outing (plane that landed in Hudson River); volleyball if it’s not too cold; cookout at Kathy’s; family and personal updates, more pictures, more fun
  • Sunday, Jan 12: local church with Eric and Mary Lynn or Kathy and Allan; depart

RSVP to Dawn Harrell (Steve’s kid)              

Fill in this form, IM Dawn on Facebook, or email Dawn, so I know you’re coming. I’m collecting responses. I’ll pass them along to Eric and Kathy.

Meals

  • Breakfast: continental in JAARS hotel for a donation
  • Lunch: Thursday and Friday can be purchased on the JAARS Center; Saturday and Sunday in area restaurants
  • Dinner: see above itinerary

Lodging

The closest housing is in the JAARS guest hotel at the $40/night rate for one or two adults (plus tax). Note if you will share a room and with whom (additional people: $20/adult, $7/child, $56 maximum for families). Apartments are also available if you prefer. 

Make your housing arrangements with Penny at JAARS. Mention the “Duncan Family Reunion.” Call 704.843.6130 or see the JAARS website.

Pass this invitation along, so that everyone knows they’re invited. Thanks. Hope to see you there!