PLAYING CATCH UP ...........
ANOTHER SENIOR OUTING
25 of us got into vans early on Saturday and went out to Clark AFB, which is huge but no longer belongs to the US. When Mount Pinatubo covered it in ash, 1991, the hangers were destroyed and the US just abandoned it to the Philippines. Now it is an airport, and also the sight of many new large international businesses.
But, there is also a cultural center there, Nayong Pilipino, which is still under construction, and which is along the lines of the Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii.
We drove a couple of hours out of the city and through bright green rice fields and scenery to get up there. OUR first trip north since we arrived. It was lovely.
Elder Schlager in front of the rock "mountain" in the center of the area. It is a big, empty, cave inside. And, typical of the Philippines, a good place for them to dump their trash! But picturesque from the outside, at least.
Here is one of the wood carving businesses. They sit here all day and carve, and then you go into their little shop and purchase whatever you fall in love with. Note, they live above in the Bahay Kubo. They really are artists, however.This one was lovely, a show place, designed to show off the artistic talent here. Again, above the ground because the rains are so heavy.
There are less beautiful places for them to live as well.
Then we went into a big theater, which was restored after the volcano, I guess, because it is original. Sister Clements, 74, was here with the USO during the Viet Nam War, and she performed in this theater! She couldn't believe it when she saw it.
They put on a really fun cultural show for us, with music and dancing.
On the way home, we stopped at Blessy's. Her family has several businesses. We had a very nice lunch prepared for us at their restaurant, and then toured her quilt shop. Everyone is having at least one quilt made for them by Blessy while we are here. Mine will be ready next month!
Helping those in need:
The house for the Lana Family is nearly finished. We went out to see it again today. They need to finish the windows, and paint it,. But a week or so ago it was still in the construction phase.
Here is the "family pet", who will be, most likely, the Lechon (roast pig) served at the Branch Christmas party in Dec.
Back yard. Pretty, yes? And quiet, and all theirs. Just FYI, when we saw them today they told us the last steps of the house will probably be delayed a little bit. He told us that there is another lot in Teresa that he owns, but after he decided to use this one in Binangonan for his own family, he they decided to give the second one to the church for other people to build on. Well, there is a family in need there, so he has told Jhun to take care of that, first, if he can. They will all work on it. Lots of projects for them.
They are still finishing the one for Sister Josie, in Maligaya, they need to get the Lana's into theirs, and now the new project in Teresa.
This is JayCee, their youngest. on his "street".
These are the 12 new ones who arrived. Wide-eyed, exhausted, and ready? They came from the US, from the Islands of Samoa and Tonga, and from the Philippines.
And, here are the 10 we lost this time. Confident, capable, leaders already. Of course, they too feel some anxiety. They have to go home and build their lives, now. But I think they will find that the Lord will do that for them, as they continue in their faith and service. He has prepared them well, and He has a work for them to do. They returned to the US, Canada, and all over this country. We love them VERY much!
One of my jobs is to arrange for the travel departments (church in Salt Lake and the local one, here) to purchase their tickets to go home. We begin with asking them how they need to go home, and where. They tell me where they are flying, busing, etc, to. Many, many times, that is "Greek to me". Poor things, they try to make it clear, but I spend a LOT of HOURS on Google, trying to figure out which airport will take them closest, what the international code is for that airport, whether they can get someone to meet them there, or will need additional flights or ground transportation, what it is going to cost them, so we can make sure they have what they need, etc. We fly them to places I never heard of. Vanuatu? Apparently EVERY young person in Kiribati comes here on a mission.Ceylon? Guam?
And, the bus riders are even worse! I have to try to find the right bus line, the right depor, the cost, and the schedule.
THAT CAN BE A LOT OF FUN,
IN THE PHILIPPINES!