Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Yes, I realize that the knife pictured is a filet knife. Prior to leaving home, we had put out an appeal for packing suggestions . One tidbit we received was to pack a few good knives - and a worthwhile suggestion I might add. Well, I grabbed a few good knives and my sharpening steel. What I did not grab was a serrated knife.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Annalise, Mary Jane, and Alexee at the park.
So often, children are overlooked, ignored, or sent away so they do not disturb the adults. Over and over Jesus words, "Let the little children come to Me," have been in our minds. Our heart is to reach out to the children and introduce them to the One who loves them so. Yesterday afternoon, Lisa introduced an organized children's program. She read stories, played games, and sang songs with the children as she shared the story of creation.
Then she unveiled a great surprise - play dough! We had a great time watching the kids replicate God's handiwork. Only the blonde American girls had ever played with play dough before.
Roses were a popular creation.Even the teenagers who were helping out enjoyed getting their fingers a little messy as they experienced play dough for their first time as well.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
A bag or two at a time.
This is the house being worked on.
Here is a close up of a real concrete "truck".
This is the "road".
The animals can even be counted on to help with daily chores. For instance, this dog offered to take our garbage for us.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
- the mayor awarding gifts to students for an art contest,
- an update from the local health officer regarding dengue fever,
- the commissioning of a new ladies' organization that will work with the local government,
- presentation of new cell phones to serve as hotlines for the police and fire departments,
- demonstration of how to use the fire extinguishers just purchased for the municipal offices,
- more music, including a number by the municipal chorus
The mayor demonstrating the new fire extinguishers.
After the rather extended but interesting flag ceremony, we followed the police officers to their offices. Because the ceremony went so long many had to leave right away to get to their posts. After a prayer I was introduced to share the teaching for the MRP. I used the opportunity to introduce myself and our purpose in being here.
I look forward to getting to know these men and women. I pray for their safety as they serve and that they will know Jesus better.
Interestingly, I met a couple from Chicago as I left the office. They are here travelling and photographing the Philippines with another couple from the Netherlands. (Her website is www.lauramcglone.com and if you look in the Humanities she has some great photos from various places in eastern Asia.)
Saturday, July 19, 2008
As of today we have been in Bontoc 6 weeks. So how are we doing making the transition to life in the Philippines?
We are like our beautiful brown-skinned neighbors in many ways:
- We eat a large quantity of rice
- Our laundry is hung up outside and inside to dry
- We walk everywhere in the official footwear, flip-flops
- We visit the market almost daily to purchase our food
- We never put toilet paper in the toilet
- We carry a cellphone and send a text when we need to communicate
- We use more soy sauce than ketchup
- Our front door is open most of the time
- We offer all of our guests something to eat
- And this week a few of us even had lice
- Our skin turns a pretty shade of pink after being outside too long
- We spend time emailing, blogging, surfing the net, watching movies, and reading
- We homeschool, which baffles the locals when most school children are seen walking to school in their uniforms
- We eat cheese (not for too much longer as our $22 supply is almost depleted), baked potatoes, peanut butter sandwiches with Peter Pan peanut butter and pizza (we found yeast after much searching one week ago and have made the most delicious pizza in a borrowed toaster oven twice this week)
- We prefer chicken breast to feet, necks, and internals
- We speak in English
- We expect water when we turn on the tap
- We like to take warm showers
- We are relieved when we see western style toilets - not sure we will ever feel at ease with squattie potties
- We expect meetings and events to start on time
- We take pictures of things like rice drying
- We still forget to take our umbrellas everywhere so have often been caught walking in the rain, it is the rainy season, which brings many lectures from the Filipinos
No matter how we adapt, we will still be "Americano" to the children we pass on the street. The blonde hair and blue eyes seems to give us away.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Last night, we went to Fun Night. This is a Friday night youth event coordinated between several area churches and the YWAM SSM. (SSM stands for Student Sponsorship Ministry.)
We have enjoyed getting to know the SSM students. Lisa has presented the lesson at the Tuesday night Discipleship Time. Thursday night I attended the student led, Chapel Talk. They have just changed locations as the YWAM base and the SSM housing combined into the area most of our team occupied when we were here last fall. The students are appreciating the larger area and having more CRs.
With all of their commitment to school, work duties, and times of discipleship, Fun Night provides an opportunity for fun and fellowship. We played several games last night. One, I caught on video. Enjoy...
While Thomas was busy learning at the DTS workshop, I was learning more about the Filipino culture courtesy of the wonderful family we lived with and the many taxi drivers I met throughout the week. Nolan and Gina have four children about the same age as our four, all girls except the oldest. In Bontoc, we walk everywhere... the post office, market, church, the base, but in Baguio you must catch a taxi or a jeepney to go anywhere. Since there are so many of us, it is more economical for us to travel in a taxi.
The girls and I visited the shops along Session Road and the big SM mall. First on my shopping list was a cell phone. This is the main method of communication here. Hopefully I won't lose this one!
Other items we purchased:
- Ilocano dictionary
- Books at the used bookstores (Even though we packed books we quickly realized we didn't bring enough. No library and even the bookstores in Baguio don't have a wide selection. The used bookstores are like shopping garage sales at home. After much searching, sometimes you find a prize.)
- 2 basketballs for fun at the plaza
- 10 hula-hoops and a dozen small soft balls for teambuilding activities
- 2 movies (Annalise was quickly invited behind the counter to sit on the lady's lap and another took her picture with her cell phone adding it to her photos of the other blonde 5-year-old, Abby, our friend from Canada.)
- 3 pairs of flip-flops (One was an emergency purchase as one of my only pair broke while walking along Session.)
- Sheets (Most sheet sets here include one fitted sheet and two pillowcases. I was able to find flat sheets though but all sheets are very expensive here, two to three times the price in the States.)
- Rubbermaid containers and a few dishes with lids to keep our food free of insects
- Nonstick skillet
- Butter knives (These you really have to look for so I was happy when I was able to locate 6.)
- A few kitchen utensils
- Vegetable steamer/rice cooker (Yes, we have been successful in cooking rice in a pot but our stove has 3 small burners and cooking some meals is quite a juggling act as the burners are close together so you can't use all of them at the same time and if you want to cook with a large pan you can only have one on the stove.)
- Face soap
- Replacement razor blades
- Dental floss
- 3 jars of Peter Pan peanut butter, (We can buy American peanut butter in Bontoc but it is cheaper in Baguio. Even in Baguio it is still expensive so we won't be living on PB&J!)
- 2 jars of Smuckers strawberry preserves
- 1 bottle of Hunt's tomato ketchup (Banana ketchup is much easier to find, but it is not the same.)
- 2 cans of Hunt's spaghetti sauce
- 3 packages of tortilla chips
- 1 bag of Baked Lay's (we ate these on our trip back to Bontoc)
- 3 small packages of cashews
- 4 kilos of brown rice
- 2 tubes of Oreos to share with our hosts
- Mozzerella cheese sticks
This is a treat because 2 blocks like the one pictured cost us about $22 and the nearest place to buy it is about a 6 hour drive from home.
Friday, July 11, 2008
The timing could not have been better for me to attend. Prior to joining YWAM my training career had given me experience in developing, coordinating, and presenting training courses. At church, I had been helping to plan and coordinate our Christian Education. Now that we are officially "YWAMers", it was perfect timing to learn how the DTS is managed and to network with other YWAM bases in the Philippines. A perfect opportunity for our first month in the country.
Not only did the workshop discuss requirements and experiences of DTS, it also was used to roll out vision for YWAM in the Philippines. It was exciting to see how YWAM leadership felt the calling to implement some new ideas and how they handed it off to people on the front lines to develop. Coming from a corporate setting, it was fascinating to see how decentralized YWAM strives to be. New ideas and direction for the 2009 DTS across the Philippines were presented but the DTS staff from the various bases were allowed to strategize. Much of the workshop was given to facilitating a team that would work out the details and implement the vision.
Our team at Mountain Province has not yet had a chance to process how exactly we will fit into all of these plans. Most of the team is travelling in support of the One Story Project, a partnership with Wycliffe.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Later we will share more. Still waiting to get internet at home...