Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Run to Town

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.)
  • Towels
  • 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.)
  • Shampoo
  • 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
  • 2 blocks of REAL CHEDDAR CHEESE

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.

Besides doing some schooling and shopping I was able to extend our visas. They are now good until September 27. It was a much easier process than in Manila. I arrived early in the morning and got processed right away. I left with our passports stamped and my purse much lighter in less than one hour. We are still looking into the hoops we must jump through for a 2 year missionary visa. Let's just say not as easy as the extensions but there is a limit to how often we can extend and it is very costly to extend every two months, without travel expenses it's about $400 each time.


  1. so, email flip flop sizes for everyone as it won't be long until they start discounting them here. That would be an easy thing to mail that may comein handy over 2 years!!(actually a lot of them are already clearanced!)

  2. We are working on a wish list but flip flops won't be on it because there are flip flops everywhere. My "dress" flip flops were the most expensive and they were only about $3.

  3. Hey guys! Glad to see you made it to our favorite movie store. We were pretty regular customers! Sounds like you are doing well - I was just catching up (things have been a wee bit hectic here). Glad you have internet in your house now - that makes a huge difference. Talk to you soon!