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‘Writer’s Mess’

March 24, 2012

You know that thing called ‘writer’s block’… that thing that happens when a writer can’t think of what happens next or just plain doesn’t have anything to write about at all… well… I don’t have that problem. I have… ‘writer’s mess,’ and if that’s not already a term, I’m claiming it. I have so many things to write about that I cannot even think of where or how to begin. It’s kind of like when your house is so messy, and you just look around in a daze. You fiddle with things here and there… and do anything and everything you could possibly do except for clean your house. That’s how writing is for me these days… a messy house… sometimes I just don’t have the energy to get it done. But there comes a time when you just have to do it. And that time for me is now… I must warn you, once I get in a cleaning mood, there’s no stopping me. I would also like to apologize in advance if this ends up making no sense whatsoever because my fingers might not be able to keep up with my brain. But once I get all this out, I might be able to release my writer’s mess.

We received a blessing from back home for us to buy something for transportation. I think we may have been a little too excited to get our own wheels and jumped into it too fast. We bought a 15 passenger van so all 7 of us could fit nicely, plus we could fit a lot more in with us for youth trips or visits to town. It was so nice at first… we felt free, not that we didn’t have a way of getting into town before but now we just didn’t feel like a burden. Then, we had to go to Dagupan to reapply for our visas, which we have to do every two months, and Dagupan is two hours away. We got everything taken care of and it was just our family. So afterward, we went to a mall located there and got a much needed printer. Angel was in awe of everything. Everywhere we went she pointed her finger and said “Maganda!” (beautiful)… 🙂 There was even an escalator and she was terrified to go on it at first, but she finally did while holding my hand. After that, she wanted to do it over and over again. On our way home, just outside of Dagupan, we heard a loud noise, the engine died, and there was no getting it started again… It was blazing hot and we were by a cement wall with houses on the other side. A kind family opened their gate and let us sit in their alley where it was much cooler… Thank God! They didn’t speak hardly any English and my Tagalog was not as good as I had thought… 🙂 John tried calling the place where we had bought the van, but they didn’t want anything to do with us. And the mechanic we knew was 2 hours away… willing to help but not really knowing how. And the church group we are with had made a trip to Manilla on this day which was 5 hours away. So we sat and tried to communicate with this nice family. They let us park the van in the alley and got a tricycle to take us to the bus station. Riley and Kendall sat behind the driver, John, me, Liam, Neely, and Angel were all in the side car. When we made it to the bus station, we waited with a crowd of people around us either trying to sell stuff, or try out their English on us. The bus arrived and we asked, “Alaminos?” That is the large city nearest to our home. They nodded yes and we boarded. We all had to sit dispersed but in the same general area while the bus made several stops to unload or pick up more passengers. With each stop, we would move until we eventually were all together. John and I looked at each other and mouthed, “How do we pay?” Neither of us knew so we just sat and prayed that it was headed the right direction. I kept turning around to ask John if he was positive we were going the right way and he kept saying yes but I was not seeing anything familiar. When I finally did, I was sooooo relieved. Then the guy came around to collect the fair from people and we made it to Alaminos. Once there, we caught another tricycle to a trail along the beach. Just another 20 minute walk and we were home, only to discover that we left the keys to the house in the van!! After checking all the windows, we discovered the we were very thorough in locking up the house properly. So John took some tweezers and picked the lock. What a handy man 🙂 I was just so happy to plop down on my bed! John went the next day with a friend who towed him back to our friend mechanic. It was the timing belt, and they had to take the engine apart to put another one on. John had them do some other stuff while they were in there, but I don’t remember what, not that I ever really knew, or understood. All I knew is that our van was running again… Yay! That same night we were invited to eat at a lady’s house with some other friends about a 30 minute drive away. On the way back, in the dark, a familiar loud noise rang in our ears and we were stranded again. We were following our friends in their tricycle, who swung back around to see where we were. He happened to have family near by and we pushed the van to their gate and locked it in. Then we split up on 2 different tricycles and rode back home. This time the mechanics couldn’t get something to work and we need a new cylinder head, apparently very expensive unless you can find it in a used parts place. And that’s where the van is now, sitting and waiting for parts…

Also we moved… Now we are about a 20 minute walk from the village. Our running water is a water hose, and the toilet is a bowl you have to dump water into for it to flush. But on the bright side there is a nice breeze from the ocean, although if we leave the windows open at night, we have cat visitors. John shooed three if them out the other night when we woke up to the sound of them fighting.

We did end up all getting lice, well except for Riley and John. I considered shaving my head a one point, and everyone else’s too!! 🙂 I used what I had brought and awaited the lice shampoo I knew I had coming from the states, which was supposed to have arrived on valentines day. In the meantime I went to the pharmacy and asked for lice shampoo. They didn’t have it in bottle size but packet size… like a ketchup packet size. Now, if you know me, you are probably laughing at this point, because you probably know my hair is abnormally thick… Kendall’s too! So… ketchup size packages… not going to cut it… But I took what I could get. I went back another time and asked for lice shampoo and, lo and behold, …bottles. 🙂 I was so excited and we had a shampooing party that night. The shampoo was very potent smelling and the fumes made my eyes water, but I was thankful because I knew it was some lice killing stuff. We have been lice free for about 2 weeks now. 🙂

The boxes finally arrived on the 16th of this month and it was like Christmas here… 🙂 I smiled at the lice shampoo, thankful I didn’t need it again just yet… I smiled at so many things… at my cross decorations I once had hanging on my wall, at the notes written by my sister-in-law all over the boxes, beef jerky, and all the stuff donated by the churches; eye glasses, flip-flops, hygiene products, waterproof flashlights, batteries, tennis balls… 🙂 I love how giving people are back home. We are praying on how to go about dispersing all the donated items. We found a Tagalog plan of salvation that we’d like to give along with them.

When I was teaching one day at Neely and Angel’s school, I noticed the face of sweet little Jonahrie was swollen on one side. It was so big that it went all the way up into her eye. I asked what happened and was told that it was a tooth infection… completely normal for here, with all the rotten teeth. I felt so horrible for her. One night, about 2 weeks ago, Liam was up all night with a toothache. The next morning, when I saw his face, it was swollen… This has never ever happened to my kids! What on earth!?!?… was the sum of my thoughts. A few of the ladies from the village told me to give him 250mg of dolpenal. I asked if it was an antibiotic and everyone I asked said yes and agreed that it was what they give their kids for a toothache, which is easy to find. So we got some and I was giving it to him 3 times a day, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It took about 3 days for the swelling to completely go down and we caught a ride into town to see a dentist. Yes… a dentist, the place I said I would never willingly enter here. It was literally down an ally, but for the most part, I liked the dentist. She said it was abscessed and asked if I had been giving him anything. When I told her, she said, “Mam, dolpenal is a pain reliever not an antibiotic. In that moment I felt 2 inches small as a mother. I was mad at myself for giving him the wrong thing. I gave him 10 of those on a regular schedule. I wouldn’t have given him so many if I had known it was a pain reliever. She gave him amoxicillin and pulled his tooth 3 days later. She was awesome. He didn’t feel a thing and never needed a single dose of pain reliever afterward. I am so thankful to God. I think the worst thing ever is to watch your child be in pain. On another day at school, I walked up to hear a kid screaming and did not know what to expect. When I walked in, I saw one of the boys being held down while the teacher was sticking a needle in his knee to drain a wound that was horrible looking. He had fallen from a tree and he had a sore on his knee that was golf ball size. They were worried that there may have been something still inside that they needed to get out. He kept yelling “Momma,Momma!” I rubbed his head and asked, shouldn’t I go get his mom. They said she’s outside. She couldn’t handle it. So I went out there to hug her. I kept going in and out. Not knowing if I should stay and rub his head or stay and comfort her. They finally finished and she carried him home. His knee is just fine now, thank you Lord!

All in all, we are good, but I have been drained lately. We were told, before we left, that things would get hard and there would come times that we would have to look back on the feeling in that moment we were called to go. I never thought that I would need to pull from that so soon, but I find myself reaching for that a lot lately. I know that I shouldn’t feel inadequate, but often times I do. John and I got in a conversation with an older man from the village who knew so much about the Bible. And I thought, man I need to study more! But what he was saying was that we can only enter Heaven if we’re righteous and we can never be righteous. That’s when I told him that that is why Jesus came, to shed His blood so that we may enter the kingdom of Heaven, being covered by His blood. John asked him… if someone asked you what religion are, what would you say? And he said that he didn’t know, that he was still seeking the truth. We talked to him for a very long time and again another day. Hopefully, one day soon, he will call himself a Christian. 🙂

I also have to go back on that moment that I felt called to pursue adopting Angel. Someone asked if we were sure we would be coming home with her. I wanted to say yes, I have full faith and confidence that she will be coming back with us within a few years. But the truth is I worry about that daily. I go back to, ‘God is this what you wanted us to do?’ And when I think back on that feeling, the answer is always yes. “Oh ye of little faith,” I say to myself, “Why do you doubt Me?”

Okay… so I knew I had a lot to say and I’m still not done but my body is so I will be heading to bed now… But first… I will shut the windows! 😉

Goodnight and God bless!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 26, 2012 3:25 am

    Love and miss y’all! Cannot believe how big everyone’s getting. We enjoy reading your blogs! Cannot wait for y’all to come home and we get to meet Angel! We love y’all!

  2. March 27, 2012 2:48 am

    Thanks for the Newsletter: I found myself having ” visionary moments” as you wrote about your trials and triumphs, so good to hear from you and John….COME UNTO ME, ALL YE THAT LABOUR AND ARE HEAVY LADEN, AND I WILL GIVE YOU REST…TAKE MY YOKE UPON YOU, AND LEARN OF ME; FOR I AM MEEK AND LOWLY IN HEART; AND YE SHALL FIND REST UNTO YOUR SOULS…FOR MY YOKE IS EASY, AND MY BURDEN IS LIGHT….
    MATT; 11; 28-30……Blessings and Love …Don and Beverly

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