Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Anabel - October 22-23

On the way to Anabel is a sign which indicates the general religious outlook of the nation. This is a sign along the road, perhaps 12 feet high. It looks very familiar, but if you look closely, you may find something missing.

This road is the same as the one to Sadanga. We are thankful that the road is open, but when you look up, you often see large boulders suspended precariously above you. (Please don't break down here...)
Looking up from the top of the jeepney
From inside the jeepney, most people don't have view of what is above them. Even the people riding on the outside of the jeepney are usually looking the other way - at the often very narrow strip of soil between the wheels of the jeepney and the steep drop down the mountain. The video below gives you an idea of what that sometimes looks like.

Anabel has a very picturesque setting.  The village sits on a hill in the middle of a bowl shaped valley.  On one side, the Chico River runs down from Bontoc and continues winding through the valley and on to Kalinga Province.  Wrapping around the other sides, are the many rice fields and terraces which are so familiar to anyone traveling in this region.

Anabel, a city on a hill

Once you arrive at the end of the road that leads to Anabel, you need to cross the bridge. This, like the road, prompts prayer in the hearts of many.

But Anabel is a beautiful place.  From the bridge, there is a 15 minute hike through the fields.

I enjoyed getting to spend some time with Jerome and Agnes who have always been so kind as to be our hosts when I have come to Anabel.  Their daughter, Hazel, is not shy and it was not long before we were playing together again.

On our walk through the village to Jerome and Agnes's house, we passed by a gathering of people as they were burning the hair off a pig and preparing to butcher it.  When we arrived, we were told that a thanksgiving feast was being prepared because a family from Anabel had just acquired a tricycle.  We were invited to join the community in celebration of this occasion and to bless the tricycle.

Pork, boiled and chopped
Sonny Boy was quick to try to befriend us.
Large meals in the village are not like going to Grandma's and eating off the good china. Rice is served generously on plates. They may be individual or shared by a few people. Some vegetables or a bowl of broth may accompany it. Then the meat is distributed. Some men carry around a winnowing basket and hand out (literally, as in with their hands) pieces of the cooked pig. I noticed that they were careful to try to distribute the meat and the fat fairly as they went around. According to local tastes, the chunks of fat are the prize pieces. Washing the silverware is as easy as licking your fingers.

After lunch, we hiked back to the road to pray for God's blessing on the tricycle. This is a great opportunity for the young family to have an income.

Dinner preparations were a little different than usual.  Sister Agnes was so concerned because they had not had the opportunity to get their LP tank refilled so I had to cook in the "dirty kitchen".  It was no problem at all, just different.

(On a side note, for lunch the next day I made macaroni and cheese. I obtained hero status with the team, even though it was Lisa's idea. Although it was tempting to take all the credit, I did fess-up and let them know that Lisa saved them from peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.)

After dinner, we went to someone's home for the evening Bible study. We hoped to use the other Proclaimer the team brought and then present it to the church Sunday morning after service. Unfortunately, it failed. Fortunately, someone was able to read the passage from an Ilocano translation of the Bible and the  study went well.

In the morning before church, Alayna and I led the team on a hike around the hill the village sits upon. It is a pretty hike and all of us wanted to stop and go swimming in the river - perhaps next time. But I did get a great photo of Alayna along the way.

During Sunday School, Alayna helped Amy and Trina with the children outside.

Anabel is an incredible place and we look forward to going there again. Maybe we will even be able to present them with a Proclaimer. But at the same time, we were looking forward to being home in Bontoc once again.
Alayna lovin' that Top Load ride

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