Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Beginning in the Philippines Sept. 18, 2013

So we boarded the plane in Houston and had the entire middle row (5 seats) and 2 by the window all on the same row! the seats had lots of space in front so the kids napped on the floor and laid out on the seats. it was an 8 hr flight to Honolulu and we changed planes there then headed out to guam. the kids slept for around 3 hrs on the first flight and for about 4 hours on the next one. the flight from Hawaii to guam was 8 hrs. in guam we changed to another plane and flew for 4 hours to manila. by the time we landed we were so exhausted. we met up with james and he had a van and a hired driver waiting for us. we had ourselves plus 11 suitcases and 15 carry ons in a very small 8 person van (it was a sight) we went to a cargo place to send our big bags via cargo style and we went on to the hotel while james finished that.

I was kinda nervous to be there without him but the driver was great and we got there quickly. while I got our kids bathed my mom, dad, and shel walked to get pizza hut ;) it was a sweet tasting sauce and very very thin crust, I loved it.  after we ate we went straight to bed because it was 12am and we had to leave out by 5am.

the next morning our same driver was there at 5 and we headed back to the airport. going through customs was so easy. I think they were scared of james ;) before we boarded in manila I saw a big sign that said MASSAGE and almost ran for the door. I only had 30min, but a 30min massage was $10. I could've used 6 hours of a massage but 30 min was better than nothing. so we boarded the plane which was 6 seats on each isle. we were sort of split up but people were so kind to move so we could sit together.

once we got to kalibo I really felt like I was finally in a foreign country. and it was HOT and HUMID. we had to walk on the tarmat. there we had another driver in a smaller van but we still fit all of us and all of our luggage and headed out on the 2 hr drive to malay.

when we arrived at the house, I'm pretty sure I was in shock. I looked at james a few times and asked to go home. he assured me I would get used to it. I'm still trusting God to help me with all this. I was shocked because this in nothing like I excpected. we live in a sort of gated community thing, like a burrow called dumlog. there are houses all around us. mostly bamboo with leaf roofs but some homes like ours (cement walls and tin roof) there are people everywhere and lots of kids. woman with the children and men stick to themselves. they dry the rice on the side of the road then have it processed. they dry coconut shells for coconut oil on the road too.

so once we got here we had chicken Joy (fried chicken) and rice along with this vegetable mix that's spicy but awesome! we have a five gallon water cooler that we have drinking water in and james had sweet tea made!! after lunch we made beds to rest but I was not able to rest, just ready to go!!james and Lydia took a trike (motorcycle with a side car that can hold 6 people) to kim's house to borrow the truck. when they got back dad, james, and I went into Caticlan (10min away) to exchange our money so we could buy our car. well the pawn place didn't have enough so we had to go back today. before heading back we got some cookies(chocolate), biscuits (sweet), and cheese rolls which taste like a cinnamon croissant.once we got back the local kids were through with their school day and Daniel was out playing football and basketball with them.  kim and robyn came over that evening to say hi but we all actually went to their house to go walk on the beach. there I had a few seconds of wifi. that night we ate leftovers and passed out on our 6 inch memory foam (stiff) mattresses.

the next morning, which is today, we got up and I made scrambled eggs with we ate with our cheese rolls. after that we went to the mustard seed school where all the kids say HI UNCLE JAMES!! they light up when they see him. they were pretty shy but I hope to get to know them quickly. after that we saw the church and upstairs where some girls(about 15-20) ages 4-15 sleep. they have either cardboard or a thin rug to sleep on. it made my heart just melt. I wish I could bring them all here. we met some of the moms who cook for the kids in what they call a kitchen. its an outdoor fire and a table. they were so friendly and everyone calls Lydia a doll. they say she looks like Barbie dolls (which I think is awesome because they say she looks like me). after that we went to caticlan to exchange our money. $5,000 is 215,000 pesos. we were rich for 10 minutes, then we bought our van! it seats 5 people but the back is open but closed in and tonight after church we fit 10 kids in the back. im pretty sure we can fit 25 people in our five seater van!!! Daniel is the size of the 11 yr olds and Lydia is the size of the 8 year olds and sam is the size of the 4 year olds. they call them dan dan, lydi, and sam sam. I'm auntie Ashley, which I love! after we bought our van we also bought our sectional and a water cooler which we had deliverd. when we got home mercy (our amazing God sent!!) had pork steak with onions and fried rice. OH MY it was so good!!! not sure im going to lose any weight but who cares! after lunch we napped a little and mom and I unpacked a little. we all share one wardrobe it has 5 shelves (we each get one shelf) and a place to hang a few things. I am going to give so much of what we brought away. we don't need near what we brought and they need way more than I can give. sister anna came over to visit and we sat on the front porch where she played my guitar and we sang praise music. this is about the time the kids get out of school so they began to trickle over. before I knew it there were like 10 kids in here with Lydia, coloring and playing barbies as well as about 20 kids playing ball with Daniel. well you know where I headed!! baseball was sure to break the ice and it did. before we had to get cleaned up for church I bought 3 kilos of rombaton (a sweet fruit) for 60 pesos and gave all the kids some for a snack. (40 pesos = $1) oh did I mention it rains off and on all day??? it does!!!

then we went to church at 6pm. there is where we finally met the ati. oh my goodness. they are the most beautiful, skinny, dark haired kids you've ever seen and they were singing praise songs and giving God praise for everything He has given them, which is nothing material at all. the boys got to go with uncle james for their message and i'll start with the girls next week. after the message we had a circle prayer time. I can only understand a little of what they say. sometimes they translate themselves but not much. after the service was over mom and shel helped hand out these corn muffin things. I could only think that that was all they had for dinner and we had a huge pot of food on the stove. I want to give all I have away. I see things so differently already, and they are so grateful. once we left there and drove some kids home we headed back here for dinner, supas (like chicken noodle soup) but made with pork. then we bathed, sam and Lydia took a warm bath in a basin. james boiled some water to make it warm because there Is no hot water. then we put them down and james and I visited about some stuff and now im headed to bed.

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