We went to breakfast this morning at Mcdonald’s and then on to the church for the preschool parent’s day. Jenny and Eric put on a skit about David and Goliath, but about halfway through the craft time Tracey, Matthew, Daryl, Chris, Bernie, Joebert, and I left to run into town to pick up a few last minute shopping things and gifts.
We were so honored today by the people of the church. After shopping, we picked up our
luggage and checked out of the hotel. Then we ate lunch at the church and they presented us each with plaques with our names on them and special gifts. It was so overwhelmingly sweet. It was hard to say goodbye and there were tears involved. I got one last Ijon hug and kiss (with frosting) and we loaded up to head to Naga City. I wish I could leave every single one here a parting gift and special note. Please help us pray that we can assist with some of their needs. I will be posting soon about urgent needs and would love for you all to help pray and donate if you feel led.
My favorite thought/phrase from the drive home: “We gonna die!!!!” No joke. These people are crazy drivers. New York ain’t got nothing on them. We had rented air conditioned vans, which was such a luxury after traveling in to Daet in the hot, cramped Jeepnies. Chona,
Jun, and Melody and Avel’s youngest son, Amniel, traveled with us in our van, along with Chris, Sean, and I. The others rode in the second van. Our driver apparently was Bernie’s brother. But, man, was it nerve-wracking. We passed three, four, and five cars at a time in blind curves. Played chicken with at least two Greyhound-size buses. Tested the laws of physics and center of gravity on windy curves at high speeds. And slammed on the brakes so many times I lost count. The funniest part was probably the man we surprised standing on the side of the road. As we flew by, our driver honked the horn and the man literally raised his hands and jumped back into his car to avoid being hit by our van. I laugh only so I won’t cry. Tracey was texting me from the other vehicle scared half to death. These people use their horns like turn signals. And no one texts and drives. They can’t, because if they take their eyes off the daredevil, no-holds-barred driving they will die. I wish I had thought to video it, but I was too scared to even think about documenting everything. Chona assured me it was all normal and nothing to worry about. But I wasn’t so convinced! Daryl literally climbed out of their van upon arrival and kissed the ground. Ha! (Note added today–We love you guys! Crazy drivers or not, we miss you)
We arrived at the Cam Sur Watersports Complex in Naga around 3:30 in the afternoon. After a snafu with the rooms was sorted out, we dropped our things and I went with Daryl, Tracey, and Matthew to watch the guys wakeboard in the manmade lake with a pulley handle system. It was fun. There were a lot of people there doing some awesome tricks and for never having experienced this exact type of wakeboarding, Matthew and Daryl did really well. (Don’t forget to click on the photos and/or hover over them for the captions).
After this we ate dinner at the restaurant in the park, shared by no less than two dozen wall-dwelling green/brown lizards (yes, inside the restaurant and, no, it isn’t considered strange here. Weird, huh?). Dinner was delicious. And dessert was even better. I had fried ibos (rice stuck together in a long piece and battered) with coconut sauce and chocolate ice cream. Yum!
It’s been a wonderful, bittersweet day. It’s so hard to leave the family we now have here. I couldn’t even begin to name all the people that have been blessings to me here. I will miss their children and their open, smiling faces. I will miss how they make me feel about myself and the love they’ve shown me. I’m ready to go home, though. The anticipation of seeing my husband and children is killing me!
I learned that they have cotton trees here, whose white, fluffy stuffing is used inside pillows. Oh, and there is a pitiful little bobtailed, orange tabby kitten that I wish I could stuff into my carry-on and take home. I really would consider it if I thought I could get away with it. When we got back to our room I had no less than a dozen frogs and toads on the front porch of my little cabin. Some of the toads are as big as the palm of my hands!
Matthew fed the little orange kitten a can of Vienna sausages and his sister showed up and another cat. The two kittens apparently slept on his porch all night too. They were so pitiful!