Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Good, then the Bad and the Ugly

This was a week where lots of good things happened.  There was only one bad and ugly thing, and I'll save it till the end.  Let's talk about the good. . .

 Monday afternoon was got a text saying that there was going to be a family home evening/birthday party at the beach that night for any branch members who wanted to come.  We joined in the festivities and had a ball.  At least 30 members piled into a flatbed truck where they had put plastic chairs for some people to sit down, and the rest sat on the truckbed or stood up the 12 kilometers to the beach.  The sides of the truck were only 24" high, and it was piled with adults teens and little kids.  I should have gotten a picture.  You wouldn't believe it!  I was afraid someone might fall over the sides in the dark, but they all made it safely there and back.

The first order of business was to eat--massive pans of pancit, adobo, various meats, eggplant dish, and dessert.  I brought rolls and jam and lemon bars.  One of the sisters tasted the lemon bar and pulled a face like that was the sourest thing she'd ever had.  So cute!  But they cleaned up the pans, so it must have been all right.
Then they headed for the beach, and came in later soaked from the top of their heads to their toes.  They never wear bathing suits here--too immodest.  Everyone swims in shorts and tee shirts.  Really different from the States.

Tuesday during the day we attended district meeting, then
Tuesday night we celebrated late Valentine's Day at the Paradisio restaurant in the nipa hut.  We had steak Tagalog, which was Philippine steak with peppers and sauce,and chop suey, mango shakes, and of course plain and garlic rice.  Delicious!
The bamboo was growing on the grounds.  So amazing!

Wednesday we went visiting with Dola.  This carabou was near where we were going.  Notice the rope tied in its nostril.  I hope it doesn't sneeze!

This is one of our sweet sisters we visited.  Ten years ago her husband was working on a sky scraper and fell at least four stories and hit an iron beam which stopped his fall.  Unfortunately, he became blind because of the accident.  He was curled up in a ball when we came, sleeping
 on the wooden couch, oblivious to us.  She roused him when I wanted a picture, but she says he mostly sleeps day and night.  She makes a living for them and their two boys by doing manicures and pedicures.  She comes to your house and gives you both for $3.  She always has a smile on her face like she doesn't have a care in the world.
I had to show you her gate which she made.  Pretty ingenious use of twigs.

Then we visited this sister.  She has 6 kids, and these are the youngest two.  Her husband was working, so they were really glad.  I believe this was the humblest home I've seen.  It was bamboo stalks and cardboard. 

Her little boy is playing on a hammock, eating a mango.  That's a clump of bamboo in the background, and their cooking pot for their rice.  The bamboo shades the house, but she says they get snakes that crawl along the bamboo and fall into their house from time to time.  Great!  I'll try to add a picture of the house if I can figure out how to crop it.  Or I'll see if Marilyn can do it for me.

Next we visited this sister, and she picked some guava from her tree for us.  Dola is holding the guava.  It's so sad.  Dola lost her bridge in the front of her mouth and she can't come up with p8000 ($200) to replace it.  So now when she laughs she joins many other Filipino ladies who covers her mouth because she doesn't want to show the gaps in her teeth.  We hope she finds the missing tooth!

This is the guava.  It's a hybrid called apple guava and tastes somewhat like an apple.  Not my favorite, but okay.

The last place we visited was this sister and her daughter-in-law and baby.  The daughter-in-law wants to know more about the church, but her husband who is a member doesn't want her to.  We hope his heart will be softened and they will be able to be taught soon.

We had to pull over on the road to let this baka (cow) and driver pass.

Saturday we had a flower-making activity at the church where I showed them how to make fabric flower corsages.  They loved it and said they would all wear them Sunday.

The young people were having a post Valentine's dance,and we helped decorate and fix food for their shindig.  They were so excited to dress up and have this get-together.

The RS sisters helped prepare an ulam topping of ground pork, finely chopped potatoes, carrots, onions, soy sauce, ketchup, and. . .a few raisins!  We didn't taste it, but it smelled delicious!

Saturday it was announce that our mission will be split.  Part will remain the Baguio mission, and part will become the new Urdaneta mission.  I'll write about that in my email if you want to know more.  That is exciting news.


Hope you have a great week!

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