Editor's Note: The tragic flooding in the Philippines over the weekend took place in Mindanao, about 400 miles south of Eli. Eli is safe. Your prayers for the people of the Philippines are always appreciated.
First I would like to say that for the longest time, whenever I was asked where I wanted to go on my mission I would reply, "Jurassic Park," as would Noah. A few days ago as we were trudging through the huge, muddy, green forest, I realized I was in Jurassic Park. When I get home I will tell people I learned Tagalog on my Mission in Jurassic Park.
There is a Karaoke bar right across the street from our house. And it seems like most Philippinos are tone deaf, at least the ones that go to this bar are. It’s funny because in this tiny town of Aritao is a tiny little Karaoke bar that has the loudest speakers I have ever heard. It’s right in the middle of a huge field. It’s very funny to fall asleep to.
Water is not clean here. The water here is deadly and infectious. There are special water purification centers all around that will refill our big tubs of water. Each missionary house is supposed to have a water filter, but ours doesn't.
I bathe with a ladel and very cold water.
Washing clothes by hand is a pain but actually surprisingly effective if done right.
'Tricycles' are these Motorcycles that have buggies attached to the side. I really want a motorcycle when I get home now.
Pisos to dollars: It’s about 43 pisos to an American dollar and you can get a pretty decent meal around here for mabye 50 pisos if you know where to go.
The fruit here is delicious.
|Banaue is a World Heritage Site, the rice terraces |
on the side of the mountain are 2,000 years old.
Because there is a lack of clean water, its almost easier to just get soda. Coke-Cola, Sprite, Royal: tru-orange (orange soda), and Sparkle (kinda like sprite but better).
Wala milk sa pilipinas. (“No milk in the Philippines.”) There is only nasty imported stuff or really rare and expensive fresh creamy milk.
I am the youngest in my district, both in being here the shortest time, and being the only 19-year-old. Everyone else is between 21 and 25. I am the only white person in my district besides Elder Lien who is one of the Zone Leaders and doesn’t have time to spend with the district.
On Sunday I was handed a note. I am speaking on Christmas Day. I will not have even been in the Phillippines a month when I speak. On our way home Elder Deriada laughed at me because he’s been there for 4 months and they haven’t asked him to speak. Oh boy.
It’s tough, very tough.
I’m not learning Tagalog as fast as I would like to and it is getting very frustrating being unable to listen or speak. I need all the help I can get right now. On the bright side, I have learned how to keep my mouth shut ;)
I should also mention that I started a list called :”Things I have learned on my mission (that I had not previously figured out) thus far”
so far, it consists of:
1 Pray... a lot... don't think about it, just do it.
2 The Book of Mormon is Awesome. Everyone should read it, its why I'm out here.
3 No matter how much you love rain, sometimes its nice to have an umbrella.
I will add more and try to remember to tell you what they are.
A small group of missionaries and I went to Banaue today for P-day. A beautiful place. The best part though was sitting to the top of a jeepney for the three hour ride up, over, around, and through mountains and bukids (rice terraces) back to Salano. This truly is a one of a kind place. Also, everyone stares at the white person going by on top of the Jeepney. Smile and wave and they'll laugh. It’s funny.
I love you all very, very much and wish you good tidings of great joy. (My fingers are frozen because no one here knows how to regulate air conditioning or as they all call it "the aircon.")
Ingot Kayo, magandang mga tao. until next week :)