A Picture a Day [April Part I] - Tatalon and Manila
4/3 – 4/7 San Leon, Pangasinan. During Holy Week, a week when the students are off of school and the city nearly literally shuts down, my host family and I packed our bags and headed for the Province of my host mother, Pangasinan. This was a great cultural experience since many Filipino’s living in Manila grew up in the provinces and then migrated to the city for work or because of natural disaster like typhoons. During our time in the province, we were able to go to a few rivers nearby where there were hanging bridges, visit the farm that my host mom’s family still owns, go mountain hiking, swim in some hot spring pools and just hang out around the home where my host mother’s mom and many siblings and nieces/nephews live. It was a great chance to get away from the city, get some rest, and bond with my host family!
4/8/12 – Laguna Hot Springs. After returning on Sunday night to Tatalon, we were up early again on Monday for a day trip with other MMP Missionaries from MMP to another hot spring resort “Splash Mountain” in Laguna, another province near Metro-Manila. This provided another great time for bonding and swimming, though the pools were filled with naturally hot water on a 90+degree day. We had a blast none the less, and I even was able to teach a few of the youth how to swim while they taught me to open my eyes under water :)
4/9/12 – New Puppy Pictures. Well, in case you were wondering, the puppies at our house are getting bigger. Amazing how much they can grow in a week too. Here is a new picture!
4/11/12 – ARC and Downtown Manila Park. Another week at the store. Had a chance again to lead a clinic on cross training which was a lot of new information for some, and old news for others, but it was fun. My host brother and I stopped by this park on the way there just to do a little people watching before running. They have a whole dirt “court/field” if you will for croquet! And there were a few people playing. It was great. We have also met a few homeless men at this park who sleep next to this court that we have brought food down to on a few occasions. One of the men who was older actually just passed away a few weeks back. Needless to say, homeless rears its ugly head in many parts of our world, yet the people experiencing it continue to be some of the kindest, strongest people I know.
4/13/12 – ATS study and Banaaple with Brandon. Let the study race begin! With the first semester of classes here coming to a close, it is time to hit the books and write some papers. Amidst spending a few hours in the ATS (Asian Theological Seminary) library, Brandon and I took a lunch break at a local diner that called “Banaple” that had some good American cuisine. It has helped on occasion to do some things that remind me of home, especially recently as some of the home sickness and culture shock has begun setting in. Thankful for good friends like Brandon and my other classmates from APU/ATS as well!
4/14/12 – Guitars and music video from Daniel. So my host brother continues his artistic endeavors. I can’t post the music video, but my host brother took my camera to a local sports complex to shoot his first libdubed music video with a friend. Glad to help him pursue his creative bug. Here is a picture of their guitars. Rock stars I say!
4/15/12 – Meeting with Ate Corrie. Today I was able to have lunch at the house of two amazing people here in the Philippines. It is the couple that helped start MMP (Mission Ministries Philippines) and was directly behind the development of more than 500 pre-schools here in Metro-Manila. They are also very supportive of the church planting ministry that has emerged from MMP and continue to think about how to make it better. Both have numerous degrees in Ministry, Theology, Counseling, Organizational Development, and Business, and Dr. Stewart Deboer used to be the President and Dean of ATS (Asian Theological Seminary) where I’ll be starting classes this summer. The two, Ate Corrie and Dr. Deboer, helped me discern how to best use my time here in the Philippines, and encouraged me along on this journey. Praise God for couples like this.