Monday, January 3, 2011

Michel Villan

As we mentioned in our Off to Manila!! post, we had to say goodbye to some very close friends. Andrew, Michel, and Nini left for the island of Mindanao. Coming back to our little pink house was very lonely without the rest of the missionaries on "Missionary Row". So we've decided to dedicate our next 3 posts to Andrew, Michel and Nini, so that everyone else can miss them as much as we do ;).

We'll start with Michel. I don't believe we've well communicated in our posts, just how AMAZING this woman is. Let's start with her amazing language skills. It is still unknown to us, exactly, how many languages Michel speaks. I think we stopped counting around 5. In fact, it only took Michel like 2 months to learn Palawan (native language of Palawan). Now, comparing that to us, we've been here for almost 4 months and we're still struggling to grasp Tagalog (common language of the Philippines). When asked what the hardest language to learn was Michel said, "The hardest language to learn is always the one you're trying to learn. Because after you get them down, they're all easy" So Wise! If nothing else, we would greatly miss Michel for her language skills. Communicating with patients, telling Bible stories to children, and asking directions is always much easier when someone speaks the language fluently.
Now, her numerous, amazing talents. Now we don't have enough space to describe the MANY talents of this incredible woman. So we'll just list a couple. Michel is actually a teacher, with an emphasis in Home Ec. So, this woman can cook and sew like its nobody's business. One of our favorite things to do on a slow day was to watch Michel sew. This may sound lame to some, but she is SOO good.
No measurements, no patterns, and all while keeping on conversation she would make clothes for children. One time, we were just sitting in her apartment and she said to Sam, "You want a pair of work shorts?" "Um, sure" Sam replied. Then Michel would just start cutting some fabric and put it through the sewing machine. Ta-da! A pair of work shorts. While Michel was getting ready to leave, we walked into her house and we noticed that her table cloth was gone and we asked, "Michel, where's your tablecloth?" She just smiled and said "I needed a duffel bag". (Explanation: the airlines here are extremely strict, and each check in bag can ONLY be 15kg or you pay greatly for over charges.) Michel explained that suitcases alone weigh quite a bit and without even filling one you can easily go over the weight limit. So she would make duffel bags out of very light fabric, so the bag would end up weighing close to nothing and you could put 15 kg of contents inside. Sooo smart.
Now Michel can save money on a plane ticket. Lol, jk!
Michel is such an awesome cook. At one point, we ran out of Gasul (which we use to light our stove) and the whole city of Brookes Point was out of Gasul. So we had to cook all our meals at Michel's house. Allison loved this because as she would cook, Michel would give her pointers on how to make a recipe simpler or how to cook it without burning it (which Allison seems to have a problem with, lol) When it comes to making Pancakes, Allison is still bummed that hers never turn out as fluffy as Michels. One time, we had just run out of whole wheat bread (which you can only buy in Puerto) and we didn't want to buy white bread in Brooke's because its really sugary (which isn't bad for french toast...but for everyday use...pretty sure bread isn't suppose to be that sweet) So, the next morning we were sitting in our kitchen, debating what to eat for breakfast. When Michel comes in and says, "Hey, you guys want some bread?"

Michel had some whole wheat flour and had woken up early and baked us the most amazing bread. Needless to say, we had this continue for the remainder of her time here. :) As we had mentioned in an earlier post, Sam attempted to bake some bread. It was good...but not nearly as good as Michels. We'll just have to keep practicing.

Michel also had a talent for singing. You can always hear her singing a tune while she's hard a work. We always really enjoyed singing with her because she could harmonize at the drop of a hat and without even trying we would sound like a chorus.

However, one talent Michel does not possess is the ability to remember our names. She knew what they were but could never put the right name with the right person. One time, Sam was gone visiting a patient and Allison was sitting on a bench at the project. Michel comes walking out with Haddie in hand.

Michel: "Sam! Sam!" (notices Al sitting on the bench) "Oh, Sam! There you are! Can you watch Haddie while Rovelyn's in the shower." (to Haddie) "Now, Haddie. You're going to stay here with Sam" (hands Haddie to Allison)
Allison: "Oh, the way, my name is Allison."
Michel: "Oh, psh, thats what I meant."
We always loved it when she would introduce us to people too.
Michel: "These are 2 of our missionaries, this is...............Allison?"
Sam: "Sam."
Michel: "Oh! Thats right. I always mix them up."
Michel would always try to justify herself saying, "Your parents must have given you the wrong names at birth." Lol, who knew this problem went all the way back to our birth. Lol, jk.

Finally, Michel's amazing character. Michel is a friend to all, and is extremely patient (especially when it comes to teaching Allison how to cook, lol jk). She is also an extremely hard worker. No matter the task, Michel can handle it. She is definitely a tough cookie. Another favorite memory was when the 3 of us were riding the motorcycle through the jungle (which was a hilarious experience all in itself) and we had already fallen once and managed to escaped without any injuries. However, Allison was scared because she didn't want to get hurt. Michel's word of advice to her, "Close your eyes, feel the pain" lol, yeah...that didn't make her feel any better. But it did give us something to laugh about for the next hour.
She is also a good 'Mama Bear' (which is the term we use for our own mother, meaning she doesn't stand for wrong. If she or one of her cubs is wrongly accused, she's not afraid to fight for whats right) She exhibits a very Christ-like character that impresses us to be more like Him as well. These are some of our most favorite things about Michel and the things that we will miss SOO much!

~Me and Her


Post a Comment