Monday, May 29, 2017

Wednesday, June 17th

Wednesday, June 17th
We all woke up early, at about 5:00 am.  Probably a mix of jet lag and excitement.  There was also a lizard or bird outside of our window making a really loud noise, that was annoying the heck out of my mom and dad.  Finally, they could get a little taste of the circumstances I lived in for a year and a half.  Since we woke up so early, we went for a little walk, explored the area a little bit, and bought some pineapple juice and mangos from a fruit stand.

They brought us a classic filipino breakfast: hot dog, rice, and a fried egg.  It was actually delicious, and we had them cut up our mangoes to go with it.

Then a tour guide took us down to the Pagsanjan river to start our river-rafting to the Pagsanjan falls.  We sat on a narrow canoe and a young man on the front and an old man in the back paddled us up stream.  

We felt sorry for these tiny little men who would lift up and pull the canoe (with three big americans in it) over rocks and up little rapids.
But it was a beautiful ride and very peaceful.  

Finally we got to the top of the river to the actual falls.  They had us get off the canoe to walk to the base of the falls and get on a big flat boat, made of bamboo shoots.  They had all three of us lay on our stomachs as they took us under the falls.  I think they were intending to give us a sort of massage, but the pressure was REALLY strong.  It almost hurt, but all of us were laughing at how it felt and how ridiculous the whole situation was.

Once we were under the falls in this little cave, we could get off and explore a tiny bit, but I was the only one to do so.  We went back, took lots of pictures, and went back down stream.  They made a stop at a place where they were selling food and drinks at a steep price that we didn’t want to pay.  I think that the boaters were hoping we would buy something for them and were annoyed at our stinginess.  But at the end, we did give them a generous tip.  It was a really fun experience.

We went back to the hotel, showered and prepared to go to Tagaytay.  We had a little bit of time before, so we went and visited Conching and 4 families, who I taught, that live in the middle of a rice field.  I had taught most of them in it was only Charmain, Regina, and Willy who got baptized.

Conching was so honored to meet my parents.  I have a really special relationship with her.  We talked for a while and laughed and then we gave her and her grandchildren chocolate and gifts and she was so very grateful.  We left with a prayer, and she thanked my parents for sending me there so that she might have the gospel.  

When we went to visit the other four families, I think my Mom and Dad were shocked by the poverty - they are literally living in one-room shacks, using water that comes out of a well, and cooking their food over fires.  All of the little children were so grateful for the chocolates and frozen themed gifts that they brought them.  I miss those people.

We took a drive to Tagaytay and stayed at the Taal Vista Hotel.  It was big, and gorgeous, and much different than anything I had experienced in the past year and a half.  We were a little stressed out when we got there because we found out that we had accidentally booked the wrong hotel for the next night.  And then my mom was showing me some stuff on Facebook and it sort of stressed me out and I started crying not wanting to go home.  But I probably just felt that way because I was not yet released and I shouldn’t have been looking at that anyway.  I took a hot bath in their beautiful bath and it felt incredible.  My mom and dad went to sleep pretty quickly and got ready for the next morning.

Crazy Traffic

I did a lot of traveling in a jeepney like this

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