Monday, May 29, 2017

Thursday, June 18

The view off of our balcony

Taal Vista Hotel

Thursday, June 18th

We woke up pretty early and had breakfast at the hotel (included).  It was so delicious.  They had all sorts of fruit and bread, salad, and drinks.  After eating we had another driver pick us up from the hotel and take us to a place where we could go hike the volcano there.  

We bargained a little bit with the people who would take us on a boat to the volcano and provide a hiking guide.  We went on a ride on a rickety boat to the island, and of course people were trying to sell snacks and drinks to us immediately.

We met up with our guide and started hiking up to the top.

.  He was a very old man who had hiked up many a time.  He gave us a lot of cool facts about the history and our surroundings.

We could have rented these skinny horses to take us up the trail

 It was hot and humid but definitel worth the view when we got to the top.  In the middle of the volcano was a lake that is only 3 miles above sea level.
Yay, we got to the top!

The Lake at the top in the crater
Enjoying some fresh coconut water

People were hitting golf balls from the top into it… Now that I think about it, probably not the best environmental move.  We took our time getting down.

We rode back to the main island, and met up with a driver to get back up to the hotel and packed up and ready to go.
While driving back up to the hotel, we were on a very skinny windy road going up the mountain.  I saw a monkey on the side of the road and I really wanted to get a picture with him, so I made our driver pull over even for a second.  I jumped out of the car so excited.  There were a bunch of old men sitting and drinking by where I saw him.  I ran over so excitedly to hurry and take a picture, and all of a sudden I rolled my ankle.  I stopped and started crying because of the pain.  All of the men started laughing and making fun of me.  I was so embarrassed.  I limped back to the car in shame because I didn’t even get a picture.  But later on, I got some ice and a bandage and it felt better.  However, it made for a pretty funny story.
Yeah...A shower with hot water
Our hotel room

We went back to the hotel, packed up, and got on the road.  

We ate lunch at Mang Inasal - One Filipino restaurant that my parents did like.  Probably my favorite as well - delicious BBQ chicken and rice.  Simple, clean, and delicious.

We shared Halo-halo

Then we headed to Rosario, my first area, where we had planned an FHE with all of the members and everyone at the church.  I couldn’t believe all of the people who came.  I was so honored.  We had a little program, where they had me, my mom, and my dad speak.  It was touching and all of us cried.  They also had some of the members sing.  

They had brought and made all of this food and we just partied afterward.  They gave huge plates of food to me, my mom, and my dad that we would never be able to finish.  They also served us homemade strawberry drinks, which I knew not to drink but I was too distracted and busy to warn my parents.  Unfortunately, my dad would get sick from drinking his.  They had me sign pictures and cards and things while they were playing with my hair and fanning me.  It was actually hilarious.  I felt like a celebrity.  I was able to give the rest of my clothes and things to a recent convert there who was going on a mission.  She was so grateful and happy.  I was really sad to say goodbye to all of those good people.  I was also happy to see that a few of the people that I taught were there, even when I felt I had no success, had been baptized.  This truly is the Lord’s work.
We went back to the Lipa hotel and went to bed pretty quickly.  It was a fast-paced almost tiring trip.  But it was good to see so much and introduce my parents to the people I had been working with the past 18 months.

The Toll Road

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