Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"Bringing in the Sheaves"

Harvest time has come! It feels like just yesterday we were weeding the rice field, but now it is time to collect. We had never seen/helped with a rice harvest so we were very excited to help out. It took us 2 days to finish the entire harvesting process. Overall, Allison took about 500 pictures and 2 hours worth of video. So we're just going to give you a brief summary of how Rice Harvesting is done, here in the Philippines.

First of all, harvesting cannot be done by one person. It takes a hardworking, dedicated team to handle the process. 

Firstly, a group of people goes through and cuts the grains with a Sickle , this was difficult because you had to walk all through the fields hunched over. Also the knives were EXTREMELY sharp. One wrong move and you may lose a finger.

Then, close behind, another group of people come and gather the grain so that it doesn't get wet, and they lay it on the border of the field. This job was difficult because you had to walk back and forth in the deep, sticky mud.

Even Nini and Angela helped to gather the rice. Nini was so funny. Allison spent almost the whole day trying to take a picture of her without her knowing.

After that, people go to all the gathered rice and they tie it. Then it's brought to, in our case, a trailer. 

When the trailer and truck were full, we collected all the rice in one location where the thrasher would later be set.
We, of course, made sure to have fun while we worked. Andrey, our Ukrainian friend, showed us his interpretation of American Football. It was pretty close. lol.

Another highlight, was when Sam was pretending to be "a diva" with her sunglasses for a photo. Nini wanted to try as well. But the glasses were too big for her face. We took so many pictures because she wanted to get it just right but she never could. It was so cute.

Though Allison was busy documenting every moment of the harvest she still managed to help out by gathering rice. But by the second day, she started having an allergic reaction. Her arms looked like she was suicidal and her legs broke out in pustule welts. So she decided to continue documenting from outside the fields.

After the fields were empty. We had to hire a huge thrasher. The way this machine works is you put the rice stalks in and it shakes them. Then the rice falls off the stalk and into a bucket and the stalk is catapulted into the air. After the thrashing we had 17 (50 kilo) bags of rice. PTL!

Sowing in the sunshine, sowing in the shadows,
Fearing neither clouds nor winter’s chilling breeze;
By and by the harvest, and the labor ended,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

Till next time...

~Me and Her

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving from the Philippines!

The Philippines LOVE to take holidays. Our favorite, little, next door neighbor, Nini, is constantly home from school for "holiday". However, Thanksgiving is one holiday that they don't celebrate :/ (Which is understandable. Why would they need to celebrate pilgrims coming to the 'New World'?)
It wasn't until about noon, that we got on Facebook and everyone was wishing us "Happy Thanksgiving" that we realized, "Oh yeah, its Thanksgiving today". We were just gonna shrug our shoulders and say, "Oh well". But then Sam turned on some Christmas music and we started to get a little homesick. Then all of a sudden, Allison got up and said, "We're not gonna do this. We're gonna celebrate Thanksgiving." 
So we decided the first thing we should start on is the pie (I mean, whats Thanksgiving without Pumpkin Pie, right?) However, there are no pumpkins here. To some this would be a major downfall, but not to the Hanaway sisters. 
It didn't take long for the pie to
We had a Kalabasa (which is a squash-like vegetable as shown in the picture above) at our house so we pressure cooked that and ran it through the blender. Then we added evaporated milk, brown sugar, and of course, the cinnamon, nutmeg, and all spice. We whipped it all together and poured it over a graham cracker crust. (Another downfall was that we didn't have a pie plate. So we just used a regular baking pan) 
After we had put the pie in the oven, we realized that we didn't have any whipped cream for it. So we used this little box of all purpose cream that they sell here and added some condensed milk and then put it in the freezer. It came out more like a creamy frosting than whipped cream but it still tasted amazing. 

Then Allison went on a cooking rampage. Dirtying almost every dish in the house to put together a Thanksgiving Dinner. 
Nini poses next to our dinner.
We had mashed potatoes, green beans, corn,  vege-meat with a cashew gravy, rolls, and cashew cheese. It was AMAZING. 
Vege-Meat with Cashew Gravy

After the dinner, we were so full that we made ourselves go for a 2 mile walk around the block. We came back and cleaned up our mess, then sat down to try our Pumpkin pie "creation". It tasted like the real thing! We could barely tell the difference. 
Mashed potatoes are good in any

When we realized it was edible, we decided to see if our fellow missionaries wanted to try some. They really liked it….so much in fact, that it is now gone. Andrew had commented that " It didn't feel like Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie". So we were excited that we were able to bring a little Thanksgiving to the other missionaries. 
Though Nini wasn't around when
the meal was cooked...or eaten...

We made sure to wake up early this morning (6ish) to Skype our family back home and share their Thanksgiving holiday with them.
...she did stop by when we brought
the camera out. Which is her favorite
part anyways. ;)
We have SOO much to give thanks for this year. We're so thankful that we were able to come to the Philippines as missionaries. We are SOOO thankful for all the donations and support we've received from everyone back home. We are very thankful for the internet and Facebook and Skype, they definitely help make the 7,000 miles between us and our loved ones feel so much shorter. We are thankful for our AMAZING family and friends back home and for our new missionary family here. We are thankful for our health and for all the knowledge that we have to be shared with the people here. We have been very blessed this last year!
We hope everyone else enjoyed their holiday and was able to reflect on all the blessings they've received in the past year. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!! Till next time…

~Me and Her

Monday, November 22, 2010

Life's *Simple* Pleasures

A very giggly Din Din poses for a picture

Ahh....the simple pleasures in life. In America, things like air conditioning, cable, wireless internet, vehicles would come to mind. What about a running toliet? Last week, Sam had an eye opening experience when she had to teach a Palawano how to use a toilet. 

We have spent a lot of time with this family, and have countless pictures of the kids. They help us in the rice fields, and we take care of their sick children and give them medications when needed. In fact, their youngest, Mindy, was featured in our blog The Weekend Is Here. 

Well one day, while the men were in the fields, we were hanging out with the mom and kids. Then the mom started motioning that Din Din, one of her youngest sons, had to use the bathroom Sam said, "Oh ok. Come with me, I'll show you where it is." We walked into the house and she brought them to the bathroom and then closed the door for privacy. Soon the mom came out and was asking for "tubig" (which is Tagalog for water) So Sam figured it was so she could wash Din Din's hands. So she went in and turned the sink on and showed the mom that he could wash his hands in the sink. But the mom starting looking from the sink to the toilet with a puzzled look on her face. It was then that Sam noticed Din Din. He was standing on the toilet seat squatting over the toilet bowl. 
Din Din gets silly when his picture is taken.
The mom then started to motion that she needed a bucket to carry water to the toilet. "Ohhhh" Sam said realizing that she thought you had to flush the toilet with a bucket of water (which is EXTREMELY common in the Philippines. Even in our little pink house thats how we flush the toilet. But the toilets at the project are "high tech" and they actually flush. Anyways, back to story) "Oh, no here" Sam said. She motioned to the toilet "flusher" handle and pushed the lever down. The mom was surprised. Then Sam noticed she was looking for something to clean Din Din up. So Sam grabbed some toilet paper and motioned for her to wipe him with that. 
As the mom was wiping him, Sam began to wonder if she knew what to do with the toilet paper when finished. Sure enough when the mom was finished she was looking for a a place to put it. Sam told her "Just drop it in the toilet" The mom looked shocked. "No, really, its ok" Sam said. So she did. Afterwards, instead of washing Din Din's hands in the sink she took him to the water faucet out and back and had him wash his hands. (Perhaps too much of a culture shock for them?)  After that we went back to our usual day. However Sam was shocked that she just had to teach someone how to use a toilet.
Mindy is such a happy baby!

Its amazing, really, how much we take for granted. I know what you're all thinking, "Oh heres the big speech that all missionaries and world travelers bring back. How spoiled we are as a country and blah blah blah". But it's really true. Its almost like you can't fully appreciate life's simple pleasures until you see what they really are. We never thought that a flushing toilet would make our list of "Simple Pleasures". But it only took a mom and her 3 year old son to make us realize that it is. How many more of life's true pleasures will WE learn from these people....Till next time.

~Me and Her