Tuesday, 28 April 2015

National Day of Service 04/28/15

I took this from the car.  Look beyond the fence
at the beauty!
No one actually says that here, but that IS the way to say hello and I love that word!  Speaking of words...our struggle with the language continues, but unte unte (little by little), we are learning it.  People usually speak a little bit of English (konte lang- just a little).  There is a saying and an action here, that the people use if we speak too much English to them.  They say "nosebleed," which means that their head is going to explode inside which will cause a nosebleed.  They have a gesture that goes along with that.  So, since we don't want to give everyone nosebleeds, we are trying so
hard to learn.  Everyone loves helping us, so we have many teachers!  Most of the time WE are the ones who feel like we'll get the nosebleed!  Everyone speaks Tagalog, but there is another language people use in our area called Pampangan, and they try teaching and speaking that to us as well.  We just tell them we can only learn one language at a time!  The 2 languages are very different!

Still on the subject of language, many people would love to learn to speak English as it will help their job prospects at call centers and other better paying jobs.  We have gotten the official okay to start English classes and hope to have it up and running by next week.  We are busy planning lessons, games and songs to use.  The District President promised us that if we teach English, WE will learn Tagalog.  We hope people will have enough time to attend the class.
This is April, the teacher.

The youth are amazing!  How we love the youth and the young single adults!  In one of the branches, the teenagers organized a family history workshop.  There weren't any adults there, but there were probably 12 teenagers from 9-4, loading their family history into Family Search.  The internet is awful everywhere, so they had to be so patient.  They were all totally engaged in this effort and soaked in all that was taught by the young woman in charge.  They were on the phone with their parents, getting names to type in and loved seeing the family history fans.
Group work around 1 slow computer.

Elder Wood posing with a fighting cock rooster in it's cage.
The normal wake up time is with the sun and the crowing roosters- around 5:30am.  Our branch planned a service project that started at 6:00 on Saturday morning!  We picked up garbage in one of the barangy's (neighborhoods).  The barangy captain claimed that most of the garbage came in from an outside community, but there really aren't any anti-litter campaigns here.  We see garbage being tossed all the time.  A favorite pastime is burning garbage piles and rice stubble.  We breath in a lot of smoke as there are always fires going.  Here are some pictures of our service project.

Burning garbage along the side of the road.  This one
got a little out of control and a water truck came later.
Notice the electric wires just above it!

We were given brooms to sweep the garbage
into piles to burn.
One of our work crews.

More sweepers.

Elders and young people in the branch.

Branch President is on the left.

After the service activity we had a lunch that was masarup!  I got to help with the string beans.  They grow them long here!  We are at a member's house.  I guess this is a good spot to talk about some of

 the food here.  We always go to the palenke's to get our mangos and bananas.  Mike has been telling me about them forever and his is right- they have more flavour here and we can't get enough of them!  We also love getting fresh coconuts.  They husk them with their machete's very quickly and then we bring them home, cut through the top, drain the water to drink and then spoon the soft coconut flesh out- YUM!!  That's one of my favourite things!  They are 20 peso's which is about .50.  There is so much sold in the markets, but the meat has been out in the hot sun for who knows how long.  We choose to get that in the grocery stores.  I've been trying to cook
 some filipino dishes, but I'm certainly not up the calibre of our Winnipeg friends!  Oh, another thing we love is the hot pandasal.  Those are little hot buns that are so tasty!

Thought you might enjoy the name of this
canned chicken!  How do you think this brand
name would go over in the US or Canada?
One of the areas we work in is called Guagua.  It has a town centre that is quite nice.  Here are a couple of pictures from Guagua.  One is a government building and the other is a picture of the jeepney's lined up and ready to go!

Our little city of Lubao has a VERY old Catholic church in it.  I will include some pictures of it.  The plaque tells the history- so interesting!

Finally, we were able to visit with Steve and Bette Gibson, my parent's neighbors in Provo.  They run a bunch of schools that teach people how to run their own businesses and how to take their ideas and help them to grow so they can provide decent income for their families.  It's a wonderful program and runs with the Self-Reliance program.  It was great to see them and to hear about the wonderful things they do for the people here and in Mexico (mainly).
Here we are with Steve and Bette Gibson as
well as their program directors here.
Four of our outstanding missionaries!
Until next time!  Kita-Kits sa Linggo!  Have a great week!

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