We are getting settled in Philippines. We are living in a city called Malaybalay, Budkidnon, and no, this picture is NOT where we live, but it is close by. As I travel, even stateside I like to have a compass and I like to get my bearings. In St. Lucia I drew a map of Castries, the city where we lived and began to learn where all the necessary stores were. Unlike our time in St. Lucia where we did not have access to a vehicle, the Romero family (the FMC missionaries who have been here for 9 months) were donated a vehicle. Now as they prepare to return home for a time they are graciously allowing us and the other missionaries to use it. So we have access to a SUV of sorts. It reminds me of an Isuzu Trooper. It’s a diesel, which is nice as diesel is 10 pesos a liter cheaper than gasoline. (Roughly 1$ a gallon) It is a vehicle designed just for the Philippines as it is named after a local animal, a sort of cow called Tamaraw. So why I am writing about the vehicle is to say that while having studied a map of Malaybalay and riding around the city a bunch, it took being unable to find our house to help me get my bearings a little better. The night Lora and I spent at a “Mother and Baby, Lay in clinic” with a first time mother, her sister and 4 other laboring women and their family’s sent me on plenty of errands to help me get a good feel for the city. This experience, I hope, Lora will blog about later.
So back to getting my bearings, I also like to walk around, find the little stores, try to meet the neighbors, observe. While doing this I stopped at a house that is being remodeled right next to the house we are living in now. Here I met my new Visayan language tutor, Rey. He’s great, we have coffee in the morning and we study anything from tools to animals to local birds. It is a huge blessing and is really helping to me to understand the language. I am starting to pick out Visayan words. Rey is very generous with his time. He is the watchman for the project, though the house is in total remodel mode he stays there and guards. I am not sure what could be stolen.
In our training we are taught that when we arrive one of the most important things to do is it to “make a life that works.” After just a little over one week here, we feel we are well on our way. The Lord has blessed us with many friends that are making us feel welcome. A couple days ago a friend from the ABP community came over and gave us 150 eggs!