I arrived in the capital of the Philippines, Manila, late Saturday night.  Surprisingly, the long flights weren’t too terribly awful and I got to my hotel without incident.  Despite having a 12 hour time difference to contend with, I was ready for bed and slept (relatively) soundly.  On Sunday morning I took a short run in the park outside the hotel and then waited for Chris and Colette to pick me up.

As the previous week progressed, plans changed a bit and the adoption placement moved to Saturday.  Which meant that I would not be there since I would still be en route.  So when Chris and Colette arrived on Sunday morning, they had Asia AND Rex with them…BOTH of their children!  What a beautiful thing to see!  They also had their friend, Pat with them (who also had two children with her)…and we picked up another friend, Pastor Roy and traveled through Manila to his church where Chris, Colette, Asia and Rex had their first Sunday church service together as a family.  Chris was given the opportunity to preach the sermon while Pastor Roy translated into Tagalo, the native language of the Philippines.  When we entered and left the church, the warmth that we were given from the church members was really quite heartwarming – – a welcome that I can’t imagine ever receiving in the US.  So many smiling faces – – and everyone extending a hand to thank us for coming.  After the church service, we traveled back to the hotel where we had lunch with Pastor Roy and his family, which was an adventure given the 7 children!  Rex fit right in with everyone and it was incredible to watch the connections being made with his new family.  After lunch we started the trek to the Institute for Foundational Learning (IFL – – more about that later) which was a 2 hour drive…not because of distance, but because of traffic and narrow roads.  And that 2 hours doesn’t include our little side trip to SM – – a Super Mall…that really makes the Nittany Mall look small!  When we arrived at IFL, where will be staying for the remainder of our stay, we were greeted by many volunteers who showed us to our cottages.  My cottage had previously been the preschooler room, so I had lots of little kids interested in me, what I was doing…and primarily, wondering if they could play in my room.  The novelty wore off for them quickly (no toys!) and after dinner, I went to bed early (pure and utter exhaustion!)  But before that, I began my intimate relationship with the amphibious and entymological world of the Philippines.  Yes, there were many creatures to contend with in my room, but now that I’ve spent two nights here…I’m ‘over it’.  We are, after all, perched in the middle of a rice field…what do I expect?  Cockroaches, frogs and ants are just part of the environment and are simply an annoyance with which a big can of Raid can help 🙂

It is now Tuesday here and I’m only posting photos from Sunday – – a variety of issues have put me behind on my blogging, but I hope to write about our Monday experiences later on today…

On the other side of the world – – Part I

Travel

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  1. Sheila Miller says:

    Priceless! Looking forward to reading more.

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