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A Few Stories… Written Dec. 14th…

December 23, 2011

Okay I am ready to write again. I know it has been a while. I have been… I wouldn’t say depressed but withdrawn, maybe. I can’t really put my finger on exactly what I’ve been feeling but I am better now. 🙂 I know so many of you are praying for us and everyone here and I thank you so much. I can feel your prayers. We have been busy. We are in our home now and it is a closer walk to everything. It’s one room, 285 square feet, with a small kitchen/bathroom attached. It’s cozy, but it has everything we need.

We had the opportunity to take a family trip to a place in the mountains called Baguio. It was a very pretty drive, sort of reminded me of Colorado, only with a lot more vegetation, and no snow. But we actually got chilly enough to put a sweater on, at night time, well John didn’t, but I did. 🙂 Riley got sick along the way and threw-up in a bag. He said it was from all the fumes. Then, when we got to the house that we were staying the night in, there was no running water, so the water had to be bucketed in. I had to show the kids how to dump the water into the toilet so it would flush. I was glad to only stay there the one night. The next day the kids got to play in the park and we rented bikes to ride for 30 pisos (70 cents) per 30 minutes per bike. Then we rented roller blades for 100 pisos ($2.33) per 30 minutes. It feels strange to spend so much in pisos, like when I bought groceries for the first time and my bill was 1,600. 🙂 That is 37 dollars and 26 cents. After roller blading, we got to play in the park. It was hard to have fun and spend money on the kids to play when there were kids that followed us around begging for money. John couldn’t help it and gave them some. But they kept coming and asking for more. Then, we went to McDonanlds to have an ice cream sundae, and there was a young girl who had something wrong with her eyes. She was cross-eyed and possibly blind. She came to our table and softly sang while cupping her hands and rubbing them together. John gave her money too, when I nudged him. I couldn’t just sit there and enjoy my ice cream without feeling complete sorrow inside. And then there was the bathroom issue, or CR (comfort room), as they call it here. If you need to go, you follow the signs saying clean comfort room –>. I thought oh good, a clean one. Then, when we got there, we – being me and Neely, had to pay 5 pisos each. They even asked, “Pee only?” They charge more for the other. After paying, we each got a ticket and a sliver of toilet paper. When we got in the stall, there was no toilet. It was a like a sink in the ground and Neely said, “Momma?” And of all the days I picked to have coffee in the morning! It was good for the kids to get out and have fun but I was ready to head back. John drove part of the way in the dark. The streets are crazy at night. They’re crazy during the day too, but at night they are full of people. Many of the houses are maybe 2 feet from the road, so it’s like the kids front yard. Kids are everywhere! Young kids, that are no bigger than Neely, walking down the road. I saw a young boy with a baby on one hip and a stick with some fruit on the end on his other shoulder. It really is a sight to go for a drive here, period.

Today, I had the women’s Bible study and there were 17, as opposed to only 8 last week, so that is good. I spoke in Tagalog, “Pwede bang isulat ang pongalangmo.” “Can you please write your name.” And all the ladies clapped and laughed. They were so excited for me to speak in their native tongue. I know a lot of words now but I just have to figure out how to put them together. 🙂 After the Bible study, we went to the village to deliver invitations to the children’s Christmas play, put on by the school children. We also brought donated baby items to the newborns, two girls, two boys, and one on the way. One of the baby boy’s was named after John and the other was named Yhuri by his mom, but nicknamed Riley by the family. Ha!

I can hardly hold my eyes open but I wanted to tell you a couple more stories, one involves a frog and a kitten. I’ll tell you about that one soon. First, I have to tell you about Neely. Everyone loves her here, which has its downfalls… The people spoil her, always giving her candy, hair things, and tons of attention, always wanting to sit by her, telling her she is so beautiful… Well, she started to think she was just too cute to mind her momma. She flat told me no when I told her to do something… I may have embarrassed myself but I snatched her up and marched her straight to the house with her screaming the whole way and everyone looking. She screamed because she knew she was headed for a spanking and I quietly told her, the more you cry the more spankings you’re gonna get. Then I started counting… That’s One… That’s two… The walk to the house never seemed so long! Anyway, she has been wonderful ever since. Let’s just hope it lasts. Love to all and good night!

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