Monday, October 25, 2010

Sunday, Sunday (Da, da. Da da-da da.)

This morning started with a bang…or to be more specific…a blood curdling scream. 
Allison woke up and went to the bathroom and as she was reaching for the toilet paper a GIANT, HUGE, HAIRY, GROSS, DISGUSTING, (did we mention GIANT?) spider popped out from behind the toilet paper roll. 

This is a picture we found on the
internet that best describes what the
spider looked like. Eew!!
Now, here in the Philippines we have gotten use to many disgusting creatures. Cockroaches use to send us running and screaming out the door. Now, we can squish them on sight. Geckos roam the house, there is no way to get rid of them, they'll pop out of anywhere and the mouse/rat that lives upstairs, we've come to terms that as long as they don't bother us we don't really care. However spiders, we've not yet gotten use to…and Massive spiders (like this one) we had never encountered till this morning. 
Allison said the spider was about
the size of her sprawled hand. This is an
illustration about how big the mutant
spider was. Again, Eew!!
Anywho, so Allison screamed the most terrifying scream and ran out of the bathroom and "safely" back into the house. 
Sam jumped from bed at the sound of the scream and ran to see if everything was okay. Allison, shaking and stuttering told her about the spider, which of course made Sam laugh. "No! This is no ordinary spider! You have to see it, its huge!" Allison said, trying to defend herself. Sam just continued to laugh, however she refused to go look at it (CHICKEN!)
Michiel and Andrew after they
saved our lives. lol.
The scream woke up our little neighborhood of missionaries and everyone came to see what had happened. Sam just laughed and told them to "Ally saw a bug" 
"Wrong! It was a Mutant spider, it was HUGE! And it jumped out at me!" Allison corrected. Since we both refused to go into the bathroom and look at it we had to beg Andrew and Michiel to come and kill the spider for us. It was disgusting. And now the-intensive-bathroom-checks-before-we-can-even-walk-inside begin again…*sigh*…
Lookin' a little pasty,

In the afternoon we headed to Imulnod for our children's program. Today, Andrew, Monica, Marcita, and Nini had nothing to do so they came along with us. On our way there we pick up a family of 12. Yesterday, they had invited some friends so there were 17 of them. So we had to fit 25 people in our Toyota Hilux. We decided  to give up our seats inside the cab of the trunk to the mothers with small children and road with the rest of the kids in the truck bed. This is a video from our ride:

The monkey. One of our favorite things to photograph...besides the kids
When we got there, we had way more kids than we had expected. Because tomorrow is Election day so everyone was coming in from the mountains to vote. So we were able to meet more kids. Hallelujah! We had a lot of fun with them. We sang songs, told our childrens story, colored pictures and played a game. Here is a video of them preparing for the game we played:

We couldn't get it to if you'd like to watch the video of the game just follow the link. Sorry for the inconvenience.

At the end, we rewarded them with ice candy (which is a Filipino FAVORITE! Its coconut, condensed milk, evaporated milk and water and then you put it into little baggies and freeze it. They LOVE it!)

Click on pictures to enlarge.

On our way back home, after dropping off the family, we decided to take a detour and walk around by the mountains to take some GORGEOUS sunset pictures. Maganda, maganda! Till next time…

~Me and Her

Sam's Birthday

It's a Filipino tradition to wear 'Red' on your birthday.

Sam's birthday surprises really started the day before her birthday. We were enjoying a nice 4 mile walk and ended up at the food store called Farmers. For the last 3 weeks we've been coming to Farmers almost Daily to see if they had Syrup. We have been craving pancakes like none other but really couldn't enjoy pancakes without Syrup. Anywho, we actually went to the store looking for graham crackers but as we walked in the people recognized us (not necessarily difficult seeing as to how we're the only 2 white girls that come to Farmers daily) and they were saying, "Hey! Syrup! Syrup here! Syrup!" We were SOOO excited! 80 pesos later (which is like $1.50) we got our syrup! Yay!
Anyways, the day of Sam's birthday, Allison woke up super early and made her a special American breakfast complete with American fries, pancakes, and egg whites. The last thing Allison did was toast some bread. She put the bread down into the toaster and about 15 seconds into the toasting the toaster begins to SHAKE  like crazy. Allisons first thought was, "Oh No! Its gonna blow up!" Then all of sudden, a Gecko flies out of the toaster, into the air and lands on the table right in front of her. They stare at each other for a second then the Gecko takes off. Thats when Allison realized, "Oh No! That poor thing was trapped and burning in the toaster." lol, well serves him right…a toaster is not a gecko home…but she still felt bad. 
Cake from Jam.
So after the toaster fiasco, Sam wakes up and enjoys her American breakfast. She also received her birthday present, A Nook (or electronic book) Our parents had bought it before we left and told Allison to hide it for the next 2 months. Allison bought some a bunch of American junk food consisting of M&M's, Cheesy pringles, and Snickers. It wasn't the most expensive gift in the world, but it was still Amazing and greatly appreciated.
Later on, Jam, a fellow missionary, had stopped by and brought Sam a cake and some flowers. He stayed to help Sam take care of a patient and then had to head back to a Mission school that he has been teaching at. It was really exciting that he had stopped by.
That night we celebrated Sam's birthday with our missionary family. Of course, we had to do it in the most American way possible. We made pizza from scratch. We made the crust ourselves and cooked it till it was just about ready. Then we took it out and covered it in marinara sauce and vegan cheese (which we make out of cashews, peppers, nutritional yeast flakes, and seasonings) and covered it in green and black olives on half and pineapple on the other. Then we put it back in the oven till the crust is fully cooked. It wasn't exactly Pizza Hut, but to 2 Americans who haven't had pizza in way seems like a LONG time, it was PERFECT!! Everyone else really enjoyed it as well. 
Click on pictures to enlarge.
Michiel made fresh mango shakes for us to drink and then afterwards we all sang "Happy Birthday" and ate a Carrot cake that Allison had made. They don't have cream cheese over here, so she had to improvise when it came to the frosting…so the cake looked really ugly, but it tasted DELICIOUS.
And thats how Sam spent her Golden birthday. Happy Birthday Sam!! Till next time…

~Me and Her

The Wonders of Charcoal

Earlier this week, after Typhoon Juan had come through, Michiel and Sam took the motorcycle out into the villages to look for a little boy who had an infected leg. About a week earlier a man had shown us pictures of the little boys leg.
Richards leg. November 2009
He said that it was infected badly and he needed help. We showed the pictures to a local Doctor and he said that the boy would need an x-ray.
These are the pictures we
received from the man.
After seeing them we knew
we needed to find this poor
Well yesterday we went looking for him. We drove to his village and finally we caught up with the boy at school. Turns out Richard, the boy we were looking for, has been doing all the things a 12 year old boy does except this whole year he's had to do it with a greatly swollen, severly infected leg. After getting some anitibotics at the Project, we rode the motorcycle back to where the boy lives and found his mother so we could convince her to bring the boy to the hospital on Friday, and also explain to her about him taking the antibotic and how to do charcoal poltices. ****side note: Charcoal is a wonder healer..and is also Very accessible to any person in the philippines (they need it to cook their food)****

Richards leg: October 2010

See the size difference in his legs? Poor baby....

Anyways...while we were there we met Richard's brother, Nomark, and we noticed his left foot was really swollen. Michiel said it was from stepping in Caribou pee or something like that. The poor boys' foot was so swollen his toes were spread apart from each other. It was red and around his pinky toe it was so swollen it was blackish. We decided, instead of telling the mother how to do a charcoal politice, we'd show her how to do one.

We told her how to smash the charcoal and to sift it and mix it with water and get it all paste like. Then we placed it on his foot. His foot had no open wounds, but as soon as the charcoal was placed on his foot some pus already started draining. I can't believe how fast charcoal works. It's a gift from God. Here is a video of it:

We used a coconut shell for a bowl to
mix our charcoal.

Oh....the wonders of charcoal astound me. So we left the mother in hopes that she will continue to make sure both of her sons are doing their charcoal treatments every day.
His leg has already gone
down in size.
     Finally, Friday came, Sam was excited to see how, 12 year old, Richard's leg would be doing. We met Richard and his mother at the hospital and took them back to the apartment. At glance you could tell his leg looked less swollen but, also it looked a little cleaner and healthier too. No pus was draining out, like before. His mother has been very diligent about doing the charcoal poltices on both of her son's infections before going to bed each night.
Sam and Jam clean the wound.
So Jam (a fellow nurse) and Sam cleaned Richard's leg with some alcohol and betadine and wrapped it up nicely. We didn't do an x-ray like we had planned, because we felt there was no point for one (We knew his leg wasn't broken). We prayed with Richard and his mother and sent them home where hopefully he will continue his charcoal treatments and his antibiotics. We shall go see them sometime this week. It is so wonderful, how God answers prayers. He is the best Healer. :) Till next time...

~Me and Her

Friday, October 22, 2010

22 on the 22nd!

Just want to take this time to wish a BIG Happy Birthday to Samantha! Today we are celebrating Sam's GOLDEN birthday. It's been a very exciting day. We promise to blog about it very soon! But just wanted to dedicate this Blog Post to my big sister and best friend without whom I would not be living in this exciting country. HAPPY BIRTHDAY SAM!! You're such an amazing person!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

We're Okay.

Just want all inquiring minds to know that, "We are OK" 

This morning we woke up to messages from friends and family wondering "If we were ok and if the monstrous typhoon had hit us hard." We looked out the window to a bright, sunny morning and were a bit confused. We were able to look it up on the internet and found that Typhoon Juan (as it is being called over here) is moving through the northern islands of the Philippines and is continuing on north. Palawan is located in the Southern portion. So we are merely on the outskirts of the storm. We have enjoyed some rain today, but that is all. A little rain never hurt nobody. lol. 
But yes, just want everyone to know, God has kept his watchful eye over us and we are perfectly fine. Please continue to pray for missionaries in the northern part of the Philippines as they may be experiencing some intense weather conditions. Thanks for your love and prayers!!

~Me and Her

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Muddy Bums...

Storm coming in from the mountains. Taking away our beautiful blue sky.

We spent the day at the hanger. The grass needed to be cut, which most people would think isn't too difficult of a job.....however, in the Philippines it is a different story. They don't own lawnmowers over here. Believe it or not, they walk up and down their yard using a weed wacker to cut their lawn.
Sam takes a swing at the grass.
Of course this is the general public of the Philippines, as missionaries it becomes a little more fun. Our group only owns 1 weed wacker and the amount of gasoline it requires is too much to fit into our missionary budget. So we use machetes. Its a very delicate process. A group of 4 or so people have machetes and sticks. They use the stick to get to the bottom of the grass and then swipe the machete acrossed it. Then another group of 4 or so collect the piles of grass and weeds that pile up. "John Deere, wherefore art thou?" lol, Needless to say, we spent most of the day cutting the grass.
It all went smootly, until one of the missionaries came upon....a snake. It was kinda funny. We were taking a quick water break and as we were walking out of the house we saw Michiel screaming and running backwards off of the grass area and Andrew repeatedly slamming his machete to the ground from where she came. Using his ninja powers Andrew was able to decapitate the snake. Suddenly the slow grass cutting process got even slower. lol.
The poor chicken :(
While cutting grass, Rannie was told to kill a chicken for Rovalyn's birthday party later. It was seriously the most horrible sight we had ever witnessed and/or made us want to become vegetarians...forever!

After 5 hours of cutting grass, it was lunch time. We had forgotten to bring a lunch with us, so we took the motorcycle back to our house. Which brings us to our **PRAISE GOD MOMENT** for today:
It is rainy season here in the Philippines, so as we rode we were dodging puddles left and right. Upon dodging a rather large puddle we moved to the side of the road. However, this particular part of the road was covered large, loose gravel. All of sudden the motorbike slipped from under us and we fell onto the gravel and slid about 1 ft and landed in a big, muddy puddle. After coming to, the conversation went a little like this:
Allison: Are you okay?!?!
Sam: Are you okay?!?!
Allison: Are you okay?!?
Sam: Are you okay?!?!
Allison: I'm fine. Are you okay?!?!
Sam: I'm fine too. Well, if you could just get the bike handle off of me, then I'd be fine.

Many Filipinos stopped to make sure we were okay....that or they just wanted to say the saw 2 silly Americans crash in the no, i'm sure it was sincere. After 5 minutes of making sure everything still worked, we went to check out the bike. Surprisingly there was no damage done to it, or us, at all. And like cowgirls that were just bucked off a horse, we got back on and road on.
Sam's bruise...
It was amazing really. We hit the ground pretty hard, at a pretty moderate speed, and we have nothing to show for it. No blood, no broken bones, no scrapes. All we have is a bruise on Sam's leg and Mud all over the back of our pants. It was kinda funny, as we were riding back, Allison asked, "Why didn't we just ride through the puddle?" to which Sam replied, "I didn't want to get our feet wet." Allison just laughed and said, "Well, my muddy bum thanks you for that."and that has been your **Praise God Moment** for today.

After eating, we headed back to the project to start building a fence. This, like cutting grass, is a very delicate process. First, we used the trunks of bamboo and tie them together. And then we intertwine bamboo stick with them. It wasn't as difficult as we thought it would be.
Gurdie brings the bamboo sticks
Jam helps put bamboo sticks in the fence.

Happy Birthday Rovalyn!!
The birthday present we made for
Rovalyn (thanks for the inspiration
Afterwards we celebrated Rovalyn's birthday. Rovalyn is a fellow missionary and mother to 1 year old Haddie whom we love to take pictures of. So we thought it would be perfect to put together a 8 x 10 photo of all the different pictures we've taken of her. So we had it printed and hiding in Allison's bag. But as we were out of the room, Haddie went into our bag and found the photo. She, obviously, liked it and then ran to show her mother what she found. Lol, and that is the story of how Rovalyn got her birthday present. Lol. Till next time...

~Me & Her

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Girls in the Little Pink House &hearts

Another good day here in the Philippines, but nothing seemed to be blog-worthy. And as we sat in our house trying to think of something to blog about we realized, "Helllloooo! We're in the Philippines!!!" Everything is blog-worthy! The culture, the nature, the people, the FOOD! It's all a new and interesting adventure! So we have decided that if the events of our day are not necessarily blog worthy, we will share with you some interesting things we've learned about this place and some of the things we've had to adapt to while living here.

We have received alot of questions regarding where we live here in the Philippines. So we have decided to make this post about our house. The house will live in is completely Pink, inside and out. It consists of a small kitchen and a bedroom. There is also an upstairs attic area which is currently occupied by a rat or mouse of some sort (eek! lol) Wendy told us to treat this house like our own personal dollhouse. lol. Its quite small but it is the perfect size for us and we have enjoyed making it feel like home. 

Our self-made shelf unit  of suitcases.
Our dresser/bathroom cabinet/shelf

To get to the bathroom you have to step out the back door and its a separate room. Here is a video we recorded describing how showering is done here in the Philippines (don't worry it is completely modest, lol)

Our kitchen in very small, so cooking is always an adventure. We have a limited supply of dishes. So elaborate cooking usually involves having to dirty every dish in the house. We also have to keep our small house VERY tidy because a dirty dish left out for more than 45 min. will attract ants, lizards, and other indescribable insects. So we keep a very clean house :)

Our kitchen table.

We live in a very "colorful" neighborhood. The cool part is this entire apartment complex (which btw is owned by the chief of police, Bing Barroma. So this area is pretty popular and fairly safe) is occupied by missionaries. Fellow missionaries Michiel and Andrew live in the Blue and Yellow house. So whenever we feel lonely (or hungry for that matter, lol) we can always go hang out at Michiel's.

If there is anything you want to know about our lives in the Philippines just let us know and we will try and do a blog about it. But otherwise we will keep you posted with our many adventures as God unfolds them. Till then...

~Me and Her