Saturday, June 6, 2009

Welcome Wagon on the Way

After much anticipation and not-so patient waiting, our very first visitors are finally coming! Thomas and Alexie leave this afternoon for the 12 hour bus ride to Manila to greet his parents and our niece, Jordan. Please pray for their journey and the return trip to Bontoc. It has been raining for the last three days so conditions are optimal for landslides. The plan is that they will ALL be in Bontoc Tuesday night. We did not think they would be up to the 12 hour direct bus after traveling the MANY hours over the ocean so they will spend the night in Manila, then go to Baguio spend the night, then take the bus to the remaining members of the welcome wagon.

UPDATE the welcome wagon has had many difficulties in their journey and your prayers are really appreciated...

This is a look at my communication with them via cell phone texts after bus left Bontoc at 3:10 PM:
3:46 PM We hit a road grader. Nothing serious. We stopped so they could inspect. On our way again.
5:10:01 PM We r stopped as men work to clear rocks. More keep falling. DANGEROUS!
5:10:29 PM Made it!
5:11 PM All is well. Movies r B grade tagalog. (The movies commonly shown are very violent R rated movies and I was concerned with my dear 12 yo sitting in the front seat.)
6:56 PM We r ok. Movies still in tag. and seem goofy.
9:19 PM We left the gas station. Drove 100 meters and the drivers got out with tools. Waiting 2 c what happens.
9:26 PM We are moving again it seems!
3:58 AM Remember how I said they were working on d bus? We have been at d half-way point since 9pm. On another bus, waiting. We will transfer once more.
4:00 AM We used a vacant lot for cr. (Not that the bathrooms they usually stop at are nice but ...)
4:03 AM Ok. We are both tired but dont feel like sleep.
4:13 AM Here they refunded part and left it to us to make it the rest of the way. They had hired a van which would have cost 100p plus d refund, each. (This is the reply after I said in the States they would give you a coupon for your next trip at least.)
4:26 AM While waiting 4 d van another bus line said they could take us for less than d refund. We loaded, drove 15 min and r waiting again. ??? The adventure continues. I think Alexie is asleep.
7:44 AM We r ok. We have just boarded d next bus. We will c where that takes us. In San Jose City now.
7:58 PM Bus broke down at 9 p.m. Boarded next at 4 a.m. to San Jose. Now on bus to Cubao.
Cubao is part of Man. (Manila) Dont kno time left.
8:14 AM Estimating by hours traveled, about 2 to go. But that is just a guess since our route is probably different.
8:18 AM Conductor just said 5 hours. WooHoo! (that's my exhausted love's sarcasm after being on the bus for 16 plus hours to travel what should take about 12 hours and finding he is just over half way!)

1:04 PM Just arrived at SM north. (Mall in Manila) Going to eat!
1:15 PM Huge slices of Chicago style pizza and Sarsi (Philippine version of root beer, both the Sarsi and the pizza are treats as we can get neither in our small town of Bontoc but does not make up for the 22 hour adventure instead of the anticipated 12 but seeing family will!)
12:30 AM We r loaded in the van and heading to the base. ( All of the family has arrived safely and going to the YWAM base for the night.)
12:37 AM All went well (They got through Immigration including the special clearance since Jordan is a minor and not traveling with a parent and left with all their baggage.)

Now they just need to travel in the Philippines for the reunion with the rest of the family. Thomas and Alexie decided they were going to walk back,
"It's quicker and easier on d bum." I hope the rest of the Americanos brought their walking shoes and packed light! Just kiddding, we want them to experience real-life in the Philippines and that involves taking the bus over the bumpy mountain roads. But we do hope it is not the loooong adventure Thomas and Alexie just endured.


  1. So glad to hear of the arrival. Will be praying for the rest of the trip go smoothly ;)

  2. always an adventure! hope the trip home goes more smoothly. :) hadn't checked out blogs in a while and really enjoyed catching up with u guys - especially loved the rice terraces pics!

  3. OK, Ann! How is it?
    Mrs. Emer

  4. What a trip and that was only half of it ~ WHEW! I hope everyone is safely home in Bontoc! Enjoy your time with your loved ones!

  5. Mrs. Emer,
    It's hot.
    It is great to be with the kids.
    I didn't realize there was so many bumpy roads.

  6. Glad to see everyone made it! Give everyone a hug for me!

  7. Hope to see a safe arrival update soon. We just made the 20 hour trek back from Ft Wayne to Melbourne, probably a little easier on the "d'bum". And the hotel was possibly nicer? :)

  8. Been thinking of you all and hoping you are having a wonderful visit and safe time. Can't wait to hear of your adventures.

  9. Wow - and I thought a few hours delay in an airport was bad LOL .. sounds like quite an adventure - not one that anybody would care to repeat! :-P