Thursday, April 12, 2012

Journey Home

We were off to a great start. When we moved to the Philippines back in 2008, we were still frantically packing until the very last moment. This time, we had all of our bags packed and were ready except for shutting down the utilities. The van showed up early and we were packed and on the road before he was even scheduled to arrive. The blue sky was perfectly clear and the temperature was pleasant as we drove through Bontoc to begin the journey to Baguio and, ultimately, our family and friends in the USA.

But within 2 kilometers of Bontoc we ran into a problem, a problem that did not exist 45 minutes earlier when the van passed that way going to our apartment. A landslide blocked the road, holding up traffic going both ways for nearly 5 hours. We could almost see our apartment looking across the river from where we waited with so many others. Due to the mountainous terrain, there are few roads so when a landslide occurs detours are rarely available. So we waited and watched the loader move bucket after bucket of rocks. We did need to move when they cleared the area so they could use dynamite to blast some of the rocks which were too large for the loader.
The hero of the day
Waiting for the slide to be cleared
While we waited we thought we would get a picture of the 4A's in front of some of the terraced rice fields that are iconic for this part of the world. Whenever you visit us in Bontoc, you will see these fields on your right and then you will know you are driving through the place where many landslides have taken place.

Back: Alayna, Alexie, Adriana  Front:  Annalise
We arrived at YWAM Baguio without any more problems, just in time for dinner. The next morning, we hit the road early. Along Kennon Road just outside of Baguio on our way to Manila, we stopped to snap a few photos at Lion's Head.

At 2 a.m. Wednesday, we awoke to go to the airport in Manila.
Entering the Manila airport for the beginning of a long journey
At the Manila airport we were caught off-guard by an unexpected fee by Immigration. We did not have enough cash on us, but I was able to get to an ATM and resolve the issue without making us miss our flight. Stressed and a bit irritated, but still on time.
Chillin' in Japan
Even though our flight from Japan to Detroit was delayed by an hour causing the next leg of the journey to need to be rescheduled by an hour, everything went smoothly and many were there to greet us when we arrived.
Yay! We're Home!
Alayna with a little, "That's right, we're here!"
April 11 will stand as one of the longest days in history; due to the many time zones we crossed, from midnight in the Philippines to midnight in Michigan, April 11 was a 36 hour day.

We are glad to be home and look forward to enjoying time with family and friends as well as the bountiful blessings of our homeland.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Kevin and Charity

Our friends, Kevin and Charity got married April 3. Lisa and I were asked to be sponsors and Alexie was asked to be a bridesmaid. The role of sponsor may not be familiar to most of those reading this blog.  It is an honorary position which serves as a mentor to the couple through the journey of life. 
Alexie was beautiful in her lovely dress

Several children were involved in the wedding as ring bearers, Bible bearers, coin bearers, and of course, flower girls. I have several pictures of them all dressed up, but I thought this one of Thea was especially cute as she converted the basket into a bonnet.

Alexie with Kevin and Charity
Instead of throwing the bouquet, it was given to the lucky young lady through a hot-potato/musical chairs type of elimination.  When it was all over, Alayna was the young lady with the bouquet. Perhaps because the tradition is different, the implications of catching the bouquet are as well, so we don't need to start making wedding plans any time soon - she is only 12 after all.
Alayna and Charity with the bride's bouquet.