Saturday, May 13, 2006

Going to the Philippines to stay

The trip here...7/05

The trip here was pleasant enough, the flight attendants fed us two meals and an additional mid flight snack (ice cream sandwich!) and gave us hot face towels to clean up with. It is amazing how something so small can make such a big difference in "feeling like a human again".

When we arrived in Manila, there was a glitch in the baggage handling system and one of our bags came up onto the baggage carousel quite quickly, soon things were straightened out though and the auto-sorting-put-the-Americans-luggage-last-system kicked back in and we waited 20-25 minutes for our others bags to

We drove to Angeles city and stayed up talking about the Philippines and fellowshipping.

It is rainy season here, and I think this may be the place where they coined the phrase "When it rains it pours!" Streets flood quickly and the smells are not too pleasant, perhaps something with the septic drain fields being saturated.

We hired our first house help. She lasted a week. She was 42 years old and her husband had worked for 23 years at an oil company until he got a cyst under his arm and had to retire. He will not receive any sort of pension till he turns 65, so his wife, Bibing left her home island with her 18 year old daughter
and moved to Manila. Someone found out we were looking for help and went and got her after only three days in the city. It was obvious she was lonely and wasn't too happy. Today, (Sunday) she got a call that her husband saying her son hasn't eaten since she left and the husband sent some money for her to come home. We paid her what we owed for the week and wished her well. I am sure she will be happier.

We live in a nice house with 4 bedrooms and 3 baths. It is in one of the nicer subdivisions here. We have guards that let you into the subdivision and hopefully keep the bad guys out. Yet theft is a normal state of affairs here and the fence surrounding this beautiful house in this very nice subdivision is topped with constantina wire (circular barbed wire) and there are seven, (Yes Seven!) dogs that help protect the property.

I had my first experience riding through traffic on the back of a motorcycle and am alive to tell about it, no small feat!. The missionaries here have become Philippino in their driving mentality. It is absolutely cutthroat. Motorcycles weave between lanes and pass on both sides with or without the assistance of a lane. Cars and jeepneys are no better. It is not for the faint of heart, small children, or pregnant women! As you might imagine, I am taller than most folks here, including the missionary that I am replacing. So, when I am on the back of the motorcycle, my knees jut out farther than the drivers are used to. Several times I thought I might get plucked off the back of that thing! Perhaps driving it myself would be better you think, well my experience there didn't fare so well. I, through the miracle of the Philippino drivers license bureau, was presented with a drivers license that is qualified to drive motorcycles. The fact that I have only rarely ridden them in my lifetime didn't prevent me from getting the "Class 1" (motorcycles) on my license. I promptly proved why America's licensing system is
superior in that they actually require you to be able to drive the thing, by crashing into a pole at a slow speed. Everything but my pride survived! A total of about $20 of damage.

I think that I will get a car until I can safely drive the cycles.

The people here all seem to be fairly friendly. I practice my Tagalog (their native language) with the children. It is easier to get laughed at by them. They use a lot of facial expressions to communicate. You may ask a question and get no verbal response, only raised eyebrows, which means yes. Pointing is done with your lips or elbow and eyes.

What do I miss? Hot showers! We have no hot water in the house, not even a hot water heater. The first few showers were shockers, but I seem to be getting used to it and I hope to get hot water installed sometime this week.

Coffee! You know it is a third world country if...most folks drink instant! Arrrgh!
We found some ground coffee and am working on locating a grinder and some beans.

We are eating good, too good, it does help my waistline to have sardines and rice on the table for breakfast..No Temptation!!! Yet we have had lots of good stuff too.

We have already had two experience of our 110 volt electronics being plugged into our 220 volt receptacles and being blown. We found a electronics shop that no one in America would even trust a calculator with, who ably fixed both items, $6 for one and $9 for the other (We also had him convert it to 220!)

Gas here is the equivalent of $2.25 a gallon (Note: that was then, now $2.95 (5/14/06)

A haircut costs a little more than a dollar.

Two yard men mowed and raked and worked for about 3 hours each and their pay was about $5.

Well, that is "The Taste of the Philippines" that we have experienced so far. I look forward to hearing back from you soon.

1 comment:

Buster Jowels said...

Rev. D,
What a great blog! I find life in the Philippines interesting.
God bless you in your labor for Him. I'm looking forward to the updates there.
Take Care, Gary L. Freeman.