Tuesday, January 31, 2012

3 Gifts for Anabel

To explore the area, click here
This weekend we had the opportunity to visit the village of Anabel. This small village has a unique setting with a memorable bridge.

When we arrived at the village, we looked for Kindel who had arranged for our visit. Kindel is a former SSM student who then completed the Tribal DTS and just completed staffing the Family DTS in Baguio. We found her sorting through coffee beans.
Adriana and Kindel sorting through coffee beans
Coffee beans growing on the tree
When she was done with the coffee, Kindel took us for a walk around the village.
There is always a hill to climb
We did not play any basketball, but I thought the goal was worth a photo.
Basketball anyone?
As with every village in the region, Anabel is an agricultural community. You can not walk too far without passing pigs and chickens. In the photo below, the pig that had been standing with the rooster has matching coloring but was too shy for the photo.
Below is Agnes who has always been so kind to open her home to us when we stay in Anabel.
Agnes giving a lesson on weaving banana leaves into a packet to hold sticky rice
Going to the villages is always a great time to practice our Ilocano with new friends and old.

Paulina was threshing the rice she recently finished pounding in the mortar on which the basket is sitting
It was decided that we would install a solar bottle-light in Paulina's house. The room in which we were to install the light was completely dark if the window and door were closed, and there was no electrical lighting in the room.

Saturday evening, Pastor Marlon and others gathered to see how the solar bottle-light was prepared and to see the rocket stove I had brought.
Preparing the solar bottle-light which would be installed in Paulina's home the next day
I could see there were many people crowded into Agnes's house, but because I was busy, I did not notice how many people were also outside of the house.

I described the construction and use of the rocket stove, but most of my attention was given to preparing the bottle-light for installation. As the pastor and I worked on that, the ladies investigated the rocket stove. It was not long before they had it outside, boiling water in a tea pot.
Adriana, Kindel, and Jacqueline looking over the rocket stove
In the morning, Arthur came over from next door and asked if he could use the rocket stove.

I had expected the bottle-light to be of most interest to people, but it was obvious that people could see immediate benefits to the rocket stove. Behind Rudy, the man in the black shirt, you can see the dirty kitchen at Arthur's house. Most homes in Anabel use dirty kitchens (referred to as dirty because of the soot build-up from the open cooking fire) because LP for gas stoves is expensive and heavy to carry from the jeepney, across the bridge, through the rice fields, and up the hill to the village. The rocket stove is helpful because it creates less smoke and uses much less wood than an open fire.
When I went next door to talk with Arthur, his neighbor brought over a large can and asked if I could make her a rocket stove using the large can in the picture below. Rudy and I cut and fitted as people brought the cans we asked for.
I had not made one this size before, but it seemed to work well. Instead of using ash to insulate the chimney, we tried a 50/50 mix of clay and rice hulls. I hope to hear which works better so I can teach the best technique as I introduce the rocket stove to other communities.

The title of this post refers to 3 gifts for Anabel. The first two, the solar bottle-light and the rocket stove, will hopefully make things a little easier for their daily living. The last gift has a much more important and lasting goal. The Proclaimer the YWAM Salem CDTS team brought did not work, so when they returned to the US, they got a replacement and sent it to us. After presenting a teaching about God's story of redemption through an overview of the Bible, we used the Proclaimer to listen to the climax of the story, the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. We then had the honor of presenting the Proclaimer to the people of Anabel. We pray the gift of God's word will transform lives for eternity.
Listening to the crucifixion and resurrection in Ilocano using the Proclaimer
Presenting the Proclaimer to Pastor Marlon
After I taught Pastor Marlon to use the Proclaimer's controls, he brought together some of the leaders within the congregation and taught them.
Pastor Marlon and church leaders
After church, we met Pastor Marlon at Paulina's house for the solar bottle-light installation.
Paulina's house
While we installed the bottle-light, Alayna read to the children from the translation of the Read Aloud Bible Stories we have been working on.
Alayna reading a translation of a children's Bible story book
The installation went well with the exception of the nails we used to anchor it in place, Pastor and I both bent a couple. The wood was hard as rock, having been baked beneath the galvanized roofing for so many years. Of course it was hot on the roof, but my biggest concern was making sure I was only putting my weight on the supported portion of the roof. A wrong step would have put a much larger hole that intended in Paulina's roof.

Paulina and Thomas with her new light
"Yesterday before that one was installed it was very dark." ~Paulina

Before we left to catch the jeepney, we were invited to pray with Manuela for her daughter in Baguio recovering from surgery.
Lisa, Manuela, and Adriana
We thought we would leave then, but were told there was a while before the jeepney would arrive and there was another request for a rocket stove. So Pastor Marlon and I made another, working until someone said it was time for us hike back to catch the jeepney.

However, our timing was a little off and the jeepney had already left. Plan B - hike up to the road and catch a ride with a passing jeepney, bus, or vegetable truck. From Anabel to the road is about 1.5 kilometers in length and about 400 feet up. We were all glad to have some sugar cane to snack on as we waited especially since our store of water for the weekend was basically depleted.
Alayna and Annalise enjoying sugar cane
After an hour, we began to doubt that Plan B was going to work out. A resident from Anabel who was also waiting for a ride suggested our best plan, Plan C, was to hike to the next village, Tocucan, another 5.5 kilometers. Fortunately, Jerry was gracious and offered to carry one of our large duffel bags with our bedding.
Jerry leading the pack on the hike to Tocucan
It was well after dark when we arrived in Tocucan. In the 2 hours it took us to hike to Tocucan, no large vehicles had passed us, only a few motorcycles. One of these motorcycles was driven by our friend Steve on his return from pastoring in the village of Saclit. He offered to take Annalise to Bontoc and wait for us there. In Tocucan, Jerry made arrangements for a trike to take the rest of us to Bontoc. It would take two trips. Not long after Lisa, Alexie, and Alayna left, another friend showed up. Steve and Annalise had arrived at Pastor Rudy's house in Bontoc and he took his truck to fetch us. Pastor Rudy had stopped the trike the girls were in and they were in the truck when he came to get Adriana and me.

Finally, we made it home. It was a good weekend which will be memorable for many reasons.



  1. I love the stories of traveling in the mountain villages... you never really know how you will get home, but somehow it always seems to work out :0)

    1. I did not know how we were going to get home, but Lisa and I both were at peace knowing that God is in control.

  2. wow, you guys went to my mom's home village. Last time i went there was 2008. Glad you guys went there and did what you do best! =)