Thursday, September 30, 2010

Road Trip to Puerto!!

Yesterday we drove up to Puerto Princesa. Puerto Princesa is the capital of Palawan and is also the biggest city. Our main objective for the trip was to Renew our Visas (which is SOOO hard for us to believe that we have already been here long enough to have to RENEW our Visas...time flys...) We also had to do Major food shopping. Here is our schedule of how the day went:

4am: Wake up in Brookes Point, get dressed.
4:30am: Get in truck to begin 4 hour drive to Puerto
4:31am: Andrew (our driver) tells us there is no way we can sleep because the roads are way too rough. We try to assure him that we can sleep anywhere, to which he replies "Thats what everyone says but there is NO way anyone can sleep on the road to Puerto."
8:30am: Wake up and find out we are already in Puerto.
         Allison: Wow, that trip went really fast.
          Sam: Yeah it did.
         Andrew: Well yeah, when you're COMATOSE in the backseat I guess it would!! (LOL!)
Breakfast time!

8:45am: Eat breakfast at Hospital cafeteria.

This store literally has EVERYTHING
9:30am: Begin the Visa renewal process.
11:45am: Finally finish the Visa renewal process. (Blah!)

Loading up our goodies.
Noon: Arrive at the NCCC to begin our shopping. Note: The NCCC is like a huge grocery store, a Sam's Club, a Mall, a Fabric Store, a Walgreens, a Dick's Sporting Goods, Music store and a School House all in one. We could've spent hours in there!

Saying goodbye. :(
1pm: Say goodbye to Wendy, as she heads to Manila to start a new project in Luzon. :( We learned so much from her but now it is time for us to fly solo....

Goodbye package! Have fun in the USA
2pm: Mail our first package to the States. (Yay! We feel Sooo accomplished!)

I believe this dish was called Kung Po
2:30pm: Go to the Vegetarian Haus for lunch.

Lol. Sam trying to copy the Baker's
face. Silly Sam!
3:30pm: Hang out in the truck while Andrews shops for Auto Parts.

There are SOO many photo opportunities
in the Baker's Hill Park. It will take a
couple trips to get them all!
6:00pm: Go up to Baker's Hill to buy some UBE!! (oo-bee) Yum!  Note: Baker's Hill is a REALLY good bakery that looks over the city of Puerto. It also has a little park that you can walk through. It's alot of fun and definitely a highlight when you go to Puerto.

6:30pm: Begin the 4 hour drive back to Brookes Point.

10:30pm: Wake up and realize we're already back home. Unload the truck and go to bed.

Moral of the story: We can truly sleep ANYWHERE.

Lol, jk. It was a good day! We had alot of fun and we were blessed with safe travels there and back.  Anywho, till next time...

~Me and Her

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hmm...where do we begin...

Nini, our little helper, gives us some pointers as we write todays blog.
Wow. Sorry it's been SOOOO long. We have no idea where the week went! Where, oh where, do we begin....

The remainder of our week was fairly basic (or what we're learning as a basic week) Thursday Sam and Wendy met with some of the Health workers to talk to them about their patients and to distribute medications to them.
Click on pictures to enlarge.
 Friday morning we picked weeds again and then the remainder of the day, for Allison anyways, was spent cooking. We are suppose to have our meals planned and pretty well prepared for the weekend because we are so busy during these days that we don't have time to prepare meals. One of the recipes Allison cooked was a Vegetable Quiche. Pretty basic, right? WRONG! The crust was actually made of Brown Rice and the filling was not egg, but a blend of cashews, seasonings, and water to form a cheese-like substance. The vegetables inside were also quite out of the ordinary. (It turned out amazing btw) After trying it, Michiel, one of our fellow missionaries, told Allison that she could now get, if only it were that simple ;)
Saturday was a very busy day. It was Fellowship Sabbath which is where all the surrounding villages come together to enjoy a church service. But since the villages are all about 20 miles apart and most of the people don't have vehicles, it is up to us to go and pick everybody up. So we drove to the different meeting locations and picked people up and they loaded into the back of the Toyota Hilux.
Since they put us on the spot so many
times we only thought it fair to put
them on the spot for a quick picture.

Singing up front. Thank goodness
grade school prepared us for this!
     The church service was nice. But we were constantly put on the spot to either sing songs or share testimonies. And by on the spot, I literally mean the elder stands up front and says (in Tagalog, mind you) and now the missionaries from America will perform a song. Wow! But thankfully we were able to pull a couple songs and stories from our sleeves.
Hungry Filipinos go around to see if
anyone has leftovers to share.

We find a nice shaded spot to sit
and eat.
Afterwards we have a Filipino version of potluck, which is basically where everyone brings food for their own families and if they have leftovers they share with one another. Our mission group, of course, brings PLENTY of food to share with everyone because alot of the people can't afford to feed their families, let alone bring enough to share.
The kids started coming by in small
groups and then began to swarm us.
Playing some sort of handslapping
game with Sam.
All day long the little children in the church were watching our every move and smiling at us. So after lunch Sam began to use the Tagalog that she knows to ask the children "What is your name?" (Ano ang pangalan mo?) and "How old are you?" (Ilan ang idad mo?) The kids, of course, thought this was the coolest thing since sliced bread and then began to follow her around like little ducklings. Sam Po! Sam Po! lol. (Po is a sign of respect. It's like saying Mam or Sir) They were amazed with the fact that we were sisters and when they asked what Allison's name was it was immensely difficult. They have a hard time saying/remembering her full name. So she started introducing herself as Ally. But, as we found out from the constant giggles, Ally means 'Uncle' in Tagalog. So we decided on Al. But Al is a common boys name in the Philippines. So we tried to get creative and chose Allis but that means "GET AWAY!" in Tagalog. So it looks like the poor kids of Palawan will just have to suffer through her full name. lol. But they loooovvvveee Sam. lol During the afternoon they hold a AY program for all the youth in the church.
Wendy asked Allison to drive the Hilux to
the village....God help us all! lol, jk.
Click on pictures to enlarge.
Kids LOVE being able to help put
the felts on the board.
Allison passes out crayons.
Sam gives a health lecture on Germs.
Sunday we held our very own children's program in Imunolod. Last week there were about 13 kids, so Allison planned her children's story and activity accordingly. However, this week we get there and there were over 30 kids there! But we sang a couple songs, and taught them a couple songs in English and then Allison did the story of Creation with Felts. The kids were SOOO into the story and were always very excited when we would select one of them to put a felt on the board. We had printed off coloring sheets for them to use afterwards, but since we weren't expecting so many they all had to share papers and crayons. They were still very excited. After the program, one of the adults told us that twice as many kids were planning to come next week......So it looks like we have to plan alot more for next weeks program. Sam did a health lecture for the adults after and the kids all stayed and paid close attention to everything she had to say. At the end of program Sam made even more friends with her Tagalog questions. It is alot of fun being able to meet everyone. We drove a family of 10 home and the mother told us that they had left at 6am to get to the program (which is at 2 in the afternoon) CRAZYNESS!! But we were touched by the extreme dedication of this family, so we offered to pick them up every Sunday.
Kids had to share color sheets :(
However, they still got really into their pictures
Kid gets a lice check from
the village pet monkey. lol
They had a pet monkey in this village!
But he was a mean monkey....
Did you know that monkeys are scared
of chickens?? And cats?? Who'da thunk?

Wow, sorry this post is Supppeeerrr long. I guess that'll teach us to skip so many days between blogs, eh? Thanks for reading!! Till next time...

~Me and Her

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A picture is worth 1,000 words...

Today we met a man. This is how the conversation went:
Allison: Hi, my name is Allison.
Man: Hi, my name is Joking.
Allison: Are you kidding???
Man: No, that is my brother.

lol. That is our Filipino joke, told to us by a real Filipino. We don't have alot to we will let some pictures do the talking.

We never thought we could go without cheese.
This, my friends, is a FULLY vegan pizza.
Sam and Baby Haddie, she is the daughter of one of the fellow missionaries.
Click on pictures to enlarge
Click on pictures to enlarge
Allison gets her first experience riding a caribou. We see kids as young as 5 riding and driving these things.
To the naked eye this would seem like a very sad picture.
The little girls crowd around the computer.

Us on our way to the market with Nini, our favorite!
~Me and Her

Monday, September 20, 2010

Toes in the Mud!

While everyone on the other side of the world was celebrating another Packer victory (2-0!!), we were waking up. This morning we woke up at 5am to go and weed a rice field. This wasn't one of our usual tasks but the fields were so behind on their weeding that it needed alot of helpful hands. And come on, its every kids dream to just wake up and go play in the mud! It was hard work, but the view of the sunrise over the mountains made it all worth it.
Walking out to the rice fields at 5 am!
As the morning went on and the locals started heading to their own fields they kept stopping and staring into our field. When Michiel (one of our fellow missionaries) would ask them why they were standing there staring they would reply, "This is the first time I have ever seen an American in the rice field." lol. So atleast we were able to make the day memorable for everyone else. And now the rice can breathe! Yay! Till next time...

This looks like a scene from "Pride and Prejudice" Gorgeous!
Click on pictures to enlarge.
Sam working hard.
Fellow missionary and good friend,
Toes in the mudd!! Love it!
Sam showing off her dirt.
~Me and Her

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ohhh to be a kid again....

School boys go crazy to have their
picture taken!
Screaming, laughing, and striking a

The weekend is over...and it was our first successful weekend in Brookes point. On Friday, we watched a parade of high schoolers, all dressed in their nice uniforms and marching in such nice formations....until of course they saw Allison with a camera, then they were all grouped up and posing. It was hilarious but we felt bad. That night, we were able to do something out of the ordinary. We went to the Hot Springs. It's a beautiful waterfall and then some pools that collect hot water from a natural hot spring (aka Sulfur galore!) Sam was the only one brave enough to swim.
Should I do it?
So close, yet so far away.
Sam chilling in the Hot Spring pool.
Then cooling off in the river.
Then came Saturday. Church was great. We were in the project van on our way to a village...Literally in the 20 min drive the 6.5 of us planned out a church service. It went over very well. ...We call it "Church in a can".
Click on pictures to enlarge.
"I've got love like an ocean..."
Sam teaches the kids about Diarrhea.
These little boys were trying to play
"tag" with Allison's camera.
These girls giggle at some of the
illustrations in Sam's presentation.
They would run up and wait for her
to try and take a picture and then
they would run, giggling and screaming
along the way.
After Sabbath lunch we went to another village to do a childrens program...(another "winging it" opportunity) In every village the children are always the same, AMAZED by us...I dont know if its our blue eyes or white skin or our long American noses, but whenever we step out of the van the children just stop...teehee...We're getting use to it now... We were brought back to the good ole grade school and VBS days as we sang Do Lord and Peace Like a River. After the children story, Sam gave a health lecture. While Sam was busy with that Allison wanted to take pictures..Another thing with the Palawano children is if they see a camera then they are HOOKED to you. So while Sam was trying to teach the people about Diarrhea, Allison was causing a nuisance outside with some children who were trying SOoo desperately to get her attention. We feel it is our one way to really get on the kids good side.
The mountains on the island ARE SOOooo BIG and Gorgeous, they make you feel so small...Everyday we exclaim praises on the beauty that God has provided for us.
Click on pictures to enlarge.
Things we've learned:
1. We get to act like toddlers again, With learning this new language we find ourselves being proud at showing people we are learning the language. ANG ASO! (Sam points at dog) Everybody else just gives a supportive "Good job" when all Sam has done was say The Dog....
2. The horn on the truck is another language in itself here.
3. Philippines is the texting capital of the world. (people will have no electricity, running water, transportation, lives up in the boondocks....But they still will have a cellphone and can text faster than i can talk
4. Boondocks is a filipino word
5. DONT ride a motorcycle with a skirt...People look at us enough as it is....geesh...
6. Filipino's can't say the letter "F" (he, he)

We are loving it here...We are working with other great missionaries and we've had many laughs and memories in these first 2 weeks...We miss our great friends/family at home. God is great.

~Me and Her