Thursday, September 3, 2009

Baguio and Back Again

Sunday morning we made the trip to Baguio. When we arrived, it was pouring! Fortunately, the trip itself was uneventful.

In some ways it was typical of our trips to Baguio: get cash from the ATM so we can buy food in Bontoc, look for clothes for our growing girls, buy things we need (or want, like cheese) that are not available in Bontoc, and eat at McDonald's. The ATM/cash business did not go as well as expected. For unknown reasons, I was able to get our August cash allotment, but then my card stopped working. I could not use it to purchase at the store and the ATM just spit it right back out at me when I tried to get our September allotment. Lisa's card did a little better, working at a few stores before being rejected. But the problems will mean another trip to Baguio later this month after we determine the source of the problem and get it resolved.

Something new for this trip was the girls getting their haircut. Since I cut my own at home, I have no communication problems with the stylist. Also, if I get it wrong, shaving my head would not be out of the question. But my long-haired beauties must be more careful. Clear communication becomes much more of an issue for them and their stylist. This is only the second time they have had their haircut since we have been in the country. The last time we were in Manila and all of the stylists gathered around as each of the girls got their hair cut.

Lately, I have been making a monthly trip to Baguio and back in a day while the girls stay at home. This time our whole family went and we spent a few days. The DTS team that had just visited Bontoc (click here for Part 1, Part 2, or Part 3 of that story) was there, back at their studies. In the evenings we were able to spend time talking and playing games with them. We also enjoyed watching them rehearse their dances and joining them for worship. Annalise and another missionary kid her age had a lot of fun playing together. Because we were there for a longer period of time, we not only got to eat a McLunch, we also found a restaurant that serves tacos - a treat!

The trip home was not a treat. The driver was qualifying for the bus version of the Brickyard 500. Although a grand prix is more descriptive of the trip. We were on schedule to make record time. Normally we make two stops for bio-relief. This time, the driver stopped only at the first. At the second stop, he only paused long enough for a couple passengers to board. A couple of us could have made use of the CR (bathroom), but we thought at the rate we were going, it would be okay. Shortly thereafter, the amusement park ride feeling of the bus took effect on one of the girls and without warning, she erupted. There was no time for getting a bag or opening a window. Afterward I tried to open a window for her to feel fresh air on her face and to abate the smell. But because it was raining so hard, when the bus tilted a certain way a sheet of water poured off the roof, hit the window sash and gave a good dousing. So for a while, it had to remain closed.

About 30 minutes from Bontoc, the bus stopped. This is never a good feeling. But when you need to pee, you are trying to keep your feet out of vomit, and the smell of it out of your nose it is particularly annoying. Remember the rain I just mentioned? Well, it had loosened up the soil on the side of the mountain. Gravity took effect and the road was temporarily reclaimed by the mountain. Fortunately, we were only held up for about 1.5 hours. On the good side, the tumbly-tummy was settled during that time. Also darkness had fallen so that even though there was a string of vehicles and several people out walking in the rain to investigate and chat, it was possible for my ladies to find a spot alongside a truck that provided a little bit of privacy for taking care of other biological needs. (It's good to be a guy!)

At my previous workplace, someone may have shouted out TMI (Too Much Information - not referring to the nuclear meltdown in the late 70s). But hey, that will one day be a family story we will laugh about. It may take us another week or so, but since you did not live it, you can begin laughing now. And besides, I didn't post any pictures so you can be glad about that.

We made it to Bontoc, finally. The rain had picked up so we unloaded in a downpour. But at least it was dark out too! :0) The driver did drop us off very close to our place though. So that was nice. Not quite as nice as pulling the van into the garage, sending the kids to bed, and dealing with the unpacking in the morning. I had to leave Alexie and Paeope (a fellow staff member who traveled with us) under an awning up on the street while I ran the luggage across the street, down the stairs, around the rice field, and through our courtyard to shelter. It took me a few trips but I was glad to find the contents of the luggage and cardboard boxes remained mostly dry.

Overall it was a good trip. The bus ride is always an adventure. But we are safely home now and that is nice.


1 comment:

  1. My goodness ~ what an adventure! Kinda made me queasy just reading out it. :~) Sounds like you all handled it well and gave me some things to think about and try to be prepared for... if not physically then mentally!