Monday, 22 June 2015

We Get Around! 06/22/2015


I went contacting with some of the young sisters one day
and got to ride in a trike.  I have to say- it was pretty fun!
Not too easy to get in and out of, but a fun ride!

I bet some of you are wondering about some of the rules of the road around here.  Actually, that has probably not entered your thoughts, but we thought you might enjoy seeing what life is like without the strict safety laws we have in North America.

I had my first ride in a trike which was lots of fun!  Usually 3 people fit inside this little side car and one usually rides up behind the driver.  We have seen more people squish inside and a couple of people behind a driver, but fortunately for me there were only 2 of us inside on this ride.  I can't imagine how another adult would have squished in!  It is amazing what these little trikes can carry!  Who needs a pick up truck when you have one of these little babies!
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The one picture I wanted to take most was of a family on a motorbike with a little child up in front of his dad, and a mom holding a squirming child behind.  Helmets?  What are those!  We have seen this many times, but they always ride by too quickly for us to catch a picture.  We hope you find the following pictures we have spotted on our travels.  You might not see this is America!

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to work we go!
Bringing their wares to be sold in the markets.


Which is bigger, the load or the carrier?

Have a fridge to move?  No problem!

Capturing the wind!

A few clay pots anyone?

Jewish Presence in the Philippines?
 To finish this section off, here is a very threatening road sign....

Make up your own punishment!

We don't just look at the traffic all day, in case you are wondering!  Remember we wrote about how we are involved with the Self Reliance program?  Here is a graduate!  We brought some friends to their restaurant one day.  It is in front of their house.  They have tables and benches, enormous  
 pots of delicious food cooking and you can't beat the prices for such good home cooking!  This is chicken pancit and it was masarup!  You should come for a visit and try some- our treat!  This is a thriving business.  They have a full menu.

We went on many teaching appointments since I wrote last, but didn't take too many pictures.  It seems that rainy season is beginning.  We were in one house trying to teach, when all of a sudden the skies opened up and there was such thunder, lightning and POURING rain on the hot tin roof, that we were shouting at each other to be heard.  We finally gave up on that idea.  We couldn't hear a thing.  I tried including a movie of that, but it was taking forever to load.  Guess you miss out on that experience!

We parked out car along the highway and
practically had to scale down this concrete wall
to get to a house below.  You don't get the full
effect in this picture.  You see the stairs down
to the sidewalk level, but there is another wall
below that.  We had a nice visit with a mother
and daughter who have both had strokes.  It is
such a trial for them!

This is a bridge over some very troubled water!  The water is full
of garbage.  It's one of those bridges that makes you want to pray
before crossing!  We visited this brother twice to encourage
him to come back to church.  He wept at the invitation to come
back!  It's just WORTH it to cross those scary bridges!

Here is a family that is excited about putting
together their family history!  They are all working
on it!

This was the calm before the storm.  I have to mention that
it was 40 degrees C this day.  There is a humidex reading
that lets you know what it feels like with the humidity.
That brought it up to 56 degrees C!  The sky finally opened up!

This was a Family Home Evening we got to be a part of.
This is only part of the crowd.  There is always dinner, a
lesson and games.  Such fun!

Part of our church humanitarian services is a program called LDS Charities.  People (church members or not), with physical disabilities are brought to the church to get assessed for a wheelchair or walkers.  It is such a wonderful service that blesses lives!  The gym was full of people waiting to be assessed.
This is the tail end of the day.

I'll end with a couple of pictures of critters.  I know you can't really see anything in this tree, but
this tree is filled with bats!  It was very cool!  The other picture is just a bug that I think is really pretty!  Look at that green and it's legs are a shiny gold!  
These trees are filled with hundreds of bats!  I wish you could
see them in those branches, hanging upside down.  You're just
going to have to trust me!
Can you see the golden legs on this bug?
They shimmer!

I'll do better on pictures of actual missionary work next time.  We LOVE being here and spending time with such wonderful people!  We are BUSY every day which is just the way we want to be.

Until next time!  Ingat!

Sunday, 7 June 2015

All Kinds of Adventures! 6/7/2015

Sister Dorimon with one of her daughters
and two grandchildren.

A very swingy swinging bridge (just don't look down!) and a trip out to Corregidor Island have been two of our adventures since we last wrote, but the adventures never end!

For starters, meet the Dorimon family, or at least part of them as shown in the picture at right.  You know the song, "Over the River and Through the Woods to Grandmother's House We Go"?  Well, to get to their house we got to go over a swinging bridge.  The elders had told me so much about how broken down and swingy it is that I actually had a nightmare about falling off and into the river, the night before we went on this visit.  Turns out that I shouldn't have worried that much!  Yes, it is built from scraps and is quite swingy, but I would cross that bridge any day to get to see this sweet family!  We also got to hike along a beautiful trail through the woods and along the river,

Beautiful fields!
Elder Lorio, Banjoe and Elder Javier.  Banjoe is
leaving on a mission soon and loves working
with the Elders.  This is partway along the trail.

This is the river near their house where they bathe.
then up a hill to get to their little nipa hut made of bamboo.  Sister Dorimon built it all by herself and is so proud of it!  She did a great job!
In front of their house.  See the mango the little girl is
eating?  They just peel the skin off and eat them kind of like
apples.  It's a great technique!

7 people live there.  It is about 10x10 at most and doesn't have water or electricity which means that they hike along the long trail and over the bridge with large containers of water and do their cooking over fires.  At night, they put the sheets that keep the sun's hot rays off them, onto the floor for their bedding.  Brother Dorimon is being taught by the missionaries.  This makes Sister Dorimon SO happy!  More than anything in the world, she wants her family to be sealed in the temple for eternity.  That is the reason why their family moved to this area from up in the mountains where it was nearly impossible to attend church.  They still do not live too close to the church, so they save what they need for the fare to attend on Sunday's- a large part of their earnings.  Such faith!  We love them for their beautiful smiles and devotion!

We got to go on a senior missionary outing to Corregidor Island.  We rode over to the island on bonka boats.
All ready for our ride to the island!

Here is a fishing boat we passed on the way back.
It was so nice to feel the ocean spray as we rode over the waves.  Corregidor has been used to defend Manila from enemy attack since the 1500's, but especially during WWII when the U.S. helped defend the Philippines from the Japanese.  Tunnels were built that housed a hospital, ammunition and offices.  The Philippine and U.S. troops fought bravely for 5 months before the Japanese finally forced them to surrender.  The Japanese then marched the prisoners up the island of Luzon (the main island that we live on) for many, many miles in this heat without food or water.  Many died.  They were marched right through the area we live in.  There are markers along the road stating how many miles they had marched by the time they got here- about 85 miles or so.  Very sad part of history!  Here are some more pictures:

This is General McArthur.  The statue plaque
says, "I Shall Return."  Mike says he said the
same thing when he left here on his mission
40 years ago- haha! 

Mike, standing in front of one of the tunnels.
By the way, that is an ordinary amount of sweat!

Interesting information about the tunnel.  There is also an
island very near by that they turned into a decoy.  It looked just
like a battleship!  We couldn't see it that day because of the haze.

Bombed out barracks.

The view from the top of the lighthouse.

There are always many opportunities for service.  We helped clean another schoolyard one day and then another day we went with the Lubao 1st Branch to get a couple of classrooms ready for new students that would be arriving 4 days later.  We are always impressed with the number of people from the branch that show up to help.  We cleaned the classrooms and then painted the walls.  I think I have already written in a past post (say that 10x fast), that they don't split a class until there are 60 students!  Here are some pictures of that day of service:

Sister Ayala, Sister Curitana. President Jiro and some
other Branch members painting the concrete walls.
I don't have a picture of the finished product!
Gotta love a good mission statement! :)

A classroom that was already prepared and ready to go.

One of the classrooms we worked on.

We were able to attend a couple of baptisms in the last couple of weeks.  Seems that we always have some other commitments such as the English class we offer, and miss baptisms.  Our luck changed this transfer and we were able to attend two baptisms.  Sister Irma was baptized in Lubao 1 and Sister Anita was baptized in Guagua.  Both were so excited and bore beautiful testimonies right after their baptisms.  It was so nice to be there!
Sister Anita and some branch members in Guagua.

Sister Irma's baptism in Lubao.

We have been asked to work with the Self Reliance program for the Philippines Olongapo Mission.  It is a training program to help members become self reliant spiritually and temporally.  It is an incredible program that teaches everything from time and money management to job searching, getting a higher degree of education and starting a business.  The courses are run by facilitators that are very dedicated to helping people improve their situations.  After graduating from the Perpetual Education course students can apply for loans, through the church, to continue their education in a degree program or technical course, greatly increasing their chance of finding a good job.  It is expected that they will do what they can to pay back the loan so others can then benefit.  We are excited to be involved with the Self Reliance Program throughout our mission.  This picture is from a graduation that happened a week ago.  It was the first batch in our district, to graduate.  This young woman finished the Perpetual Education training and is enrolled in college.

Here are some other random pictures that don't really have much of a story to go with them.  The captions will tell the stories:

Picture of some of the "enjoyable" everyday driving.

Every time I see this little boy I think about our
grandson Edmund.  They are the same age.  He
is so cute!  He was up front in primary, getting
a little bit of help in reciting an Article of Faith.

We went to the mission home to drop off some departing

Just had to stop and walk into the ocean in Morong.
We hope to go back!

This monkey and it's entire family were on the road and
along the side of the road.  I got a good picture of this one
looking at me too, but I think this picture is cool!

This was taken while walking out to someone's
house to go teach them.  It was way back in a field.
Seems to be an appropriate picture to close with!


Until next time!  Stay well and know that we are thinking of you!  Kita kits tayo!