|In the jeepney awaiting our departure|
But travel is always an adventure. Not long after leaving Bontoc, we had our first tire change - both front tires. One tire was flat. The tread was peeling off of the other. But honestly, I was not so sure its replacement was much better.
|The first tire|
|Tire change in the mountains|
You may have noticed the rocks on the right of the picture. That is from a landslide. All along the way, the road varies from 1 to 2 lanes due to interferences from rocks above or collapse of the road below.
|Adriana of the Cordillera Mountains|
|She go no mo'|
Enough about travel. Our purpose for the weekend was not to write about getting there, but about being there.
|Entering the "City Gate"|
|Preparing pig food|
When we finished the stories that were recorded in Ilocano, I read the remaining stories in English. Some understood more than others, but we had to go through all of the stories a couple of times before they would let me leave to go to the church building.
|Read Aloud Bible Stories|
|Walking to church|
Much like the Bible study the evening before, we read from the Bible and talked about what we can learn from the story. This time we talked about Zaccheus. In both settings, we also listened to the Read Aloud Bible Stories. This was helpful to more than just the children who were there. Many of the people in Saclit are illiterate and as such are oral learners. Hearing the story as it is written in the Bible and hearing it repeated with the illustrations from the book makes it easier for them to retain. When Pastor Steve and I were talking about it later, he expressed how much he appreciated the teachings and felt the way we presented these Bible stories will make it so that people will think about them when they are alone - working in the fields or lying in their beds at night. Isn't that what we should all be doing with God's Word?
After the service ended, many people stayed at the church to talk. Adriana and I were warmly welcomed and asked to come again. The people emphasized how much they appreciated our coming and would like very much for our whole family to come. People brought food for us to eat for lunch, although they were too shy to sit and eat with us.
We enjoyed their company so much that we were too late to catch the bus. Since there is no vehicle that leaves from the top of the mountain in the afternoon, we needed to hike down to the highway to catch a ride. Adriana was not feeling well much of the weekend and the rain made the shortcut too slippery and dangerous - it is shorter, but much steeper than the road. Together, these made our trip down take longer - besides the fact that we left late.
We were able to catch a ride with an overloaded jeepney for part of the trip. It was full of people from a nearby village who had been at the river all night. A person from that place had drown when he was crossing the river and the storm surge swept him away. All along the river there were people taking turns watching to recover the body. We crowded in with them until they turned off the main road to return to their village.
After waiting a while along the road, another vehicle came along. If you have never ridden in the mountains in the bed of a dump truck, the picture below gives you an idea of what it looks like. It was a blessing that there was room for Adriana to ride in the front and that he took us all the way to Bontoc.
|Hitchin' a ride|