Friday, October 30, 2009

Good afternoon! I should be packing, but I'd much rather post a quick update:). Garry is out buying our tickets to return to Mindanao on Sunday. We plan to meet up with our car in Cagayan, which is pretty exciting. We'll be able to drive ourselves home after we pick up the car from the ferry!

Kevin has been sick again-- in fact, he has been sick a lot for the past couple of weeks. Two nights ago he got a high fever and started throwing up, which made us take him to the clinic. The doctor did some bloodwork and says he has a virus. She expected the fever to leave either today or tomorrow, and he is quite a bit better today. He does still have a low-grade fever so I guess we'll watch it and see if we have to continue with doctors or if he gets better on his own.

Our time here in Manila has been really busy. We really enjoyed dinner and a meeting with the NTMA families who are studying language and Brian and Bailey, who are also here. It was so good to get an update on where the other couples are at and just spend time together.

Garry has also been to the aviation offices several times. I've spent the majority of my week in the finance office working through a change of bookkeeping systems. Thankfully it's nearly done now!

On another topic, the man who was caught in a pig trap is currently missing. He got scared while in town and headed off through the jungle. However, he hasn't arrived where any of his family lives yet. Please pray that he will be found and for his safety as his leg isn't really up to hiking in the mountains.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

We did it--we rented a house! The owner accepted our offer and we are now proud renters as of November 1! We are very excited to know where we will live. We're also very thankful that the house doesn't need repairs beyond fencing in the yard.

Tomorrow we head to Manila for 5-7 days to finish up business there. When we get back we'll get moved in. Soon after that Garry will head to Palawan to ferry the airplane here, then we'll be flying again. Amazing.

The boys and I aren't feeling very good today, so tomorrow's trip sounds a bit long. The drive to Cagayan takes 2-3 hours, then another hour and half flight. We should be in Manila by supper time if all goes as planned.

It's raining again here today-- it seems to quite normal for afternoons at this time of year. The good side is that it keeps things cool. The downside is sour towels and wet laundry.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

So, the house-hunting and waiting go on. We looked at one of the houses again yesterday (this one!) and it is really nice. We're about ready to start negotiations on it, maybe. We're just not quite sure what God is leading us to do. There is another possible option, but we haven't been able to see it yet. Maybe today?

We've been sick this week-- Kevin and I the worst, though all of us have had slow days. I think it's a flu, but it may be changing water every couple of weeks-- it can make you feel pretty awful!

Garry has been busy in the office and has accomplished a lot of things. In fact, his inbox is looking remarkably well. He's also been checking through the NTMA stuff and getting things a bit organized here.

I think we're feeling what we call cultural fatigue-- not shock, just fatigue. It's basically the desire for something, anything, to be "normal". It's being tired of not understanding the conversations around you (the language here is different than in Palawan), wearied of figuring out where to get what you need. So, what do I miss? Friends/family that are far away just now, a kitchen of my own, being able to find my way around (Ok, so that's never been one of my strong points!), double-roll toilet paper, a walk-around phone, routine, grocery sales-- silly things, all of them. On the other hand, there are a million things I'm thankful for-- guesthomes (which are a million times better than hotels!), new friends, decent grocery stores, badminton courts, airplanes (the boat could be miserable!), and so many more.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Well, we saw 5 houses yesterday, and we don't feel ready to sign on the dotted line on any of them. One was really nice, but we're not sure about the price. There is also another possible option, but we are waiting to hear back from the owners whether they want to rent it out or not. So, the house hunting will continue-- or at least the waiting!

Garry spent the day with his maps spread all over the desk and his GPS out to program in different locations. He's getting a good idea about flying the airplane here from Palawan as well as the flights on the island here.

In between he took me grocery shopping-- well, it was really snack-shopping as we didn't buy any serious groceries since we're not cooking for ourselves yet. However, with a hungry 14-year-old in the house we were in need of some serious snack food.

The boys have been busy with table tennis. There's a table here and they've been enjoying practicing together. I even tried my hand at it this afternoon, but I don't think I'm very competitive at the moment.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Good morning! We woke up to the sound of roosters here in Mindanao-- wow, it's good to be here! We arrived on the island Saturday afternoon and spent the night at a hotel in the city. Then yesterday we headed here by road-- only a bit over 2 hours of driving, but the roads are full of curves.

It's house-hunting day #1... we'll see how many of these there are, but for now we're excited to get started. A friend here has been looking around for us and has several lined up to show us. We are looking forward to God's clear direction. We know we won't find a perfect house, but we want God's perfect will for us.

The pig-trap victim got to the hospital and seems to be doing well. No doubt the wound will take time to heal, but he is getting good medical attention now.

Garry took a picture when they were finished loading our shipping container, so I thought I'd include it today. He was able to go to our friends' house where our stuff is stored for now, and get his motorcycle this morning!

Also, I just checked on our boxes again, the ones we shipped from Canada. There has been some sort of confusion, because they are supposedly in Manila now! We are thrilled to see that! Now they just have to make a short trip to Mindanao, though we're not sure when they will be shipped to here.

Well, I need to get moving, so I'll close for now, but wanted to let you know that we are safely in Mindanao and doing well. Thanks for your prayers!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Garry's off on an emergency flight today. (Actually, Ben is doing the flight. Garry is riding along to do some recurrency checks with Ben.) A man was caught in a pig trap in one of our remote locations and needs medical attention. The traps have a spring-loaded bamboo blade, which had goen right through one of his calves and into the other calf. The happened yesterday morning and it was 3 pm before he was able to crawl to the nearst people for help.

When the guys got the call for the flight they were working on an annual on the airplane and had it taken apart. So last evening they got it back together and left pretty early this morning to pick up this man. As far as we know, the victim has not had a chance to hear the Good News of Jesus-- pray with us that he and his people survive to hear it and that they are ready to believe when they hear the Truth.

Yesterday I spent a good bit of time getting taxis and a hotel arranged for Saturday. Today I need to get ourselves arranged. It will be an easy move out becuase everything has to go with us. However, we have kitchenette here and have been cooking, so I have a little food that needs taken care of as well as wiping out the fridge and stove. We've actually eaten quite well here-- a mix of egg sandwhiches, chili con carne, and chicken burritos. I figured the fewer the meals the fewer ingredients I'd need to buy, and it has worked out that way!

Kevin was sick yesterday, and we're praying he feels better today. He seems to have a stomach bug, one which I'm also praying we don't all catch!

I also tracked the boxes we shipped from Canada. Unfortunately, they have not yet left Vancouver! It seems that they'll take a while-- the agent told us when we shipped them to expect 6-8 weeks for delivery in Mindanao. However, 7 weeks later they don't appear to be on a ship yet.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Yup, you're right. I still haven't taken any pictures. I really should, you know. And when I'm home sitting at my computer I feel rather guilty about not having done it. Then I go out and promptly forget again!

We're having a great time here in Puerto. Most days:). It has been so good to spend time with Brian and Bailey and Ben and Suzy. The guys have been working on airplanes and doing lots of talking-- sharing ideas and thoughts and options. We ladies have not had as much time together, but I've had good times with both of them sitting and talking, doing a little cooking, and chasing kids.

Several other friends have been here at the guesthome also, and it's been wonderful to connect. It has been particularly neat to hear about the teaching up north among the Agutayen. Though the missionaries are not sure of the response of the people to the Gospel, they continue to teach the Word of God. God Himself knows how many responded in faith: yet is is hard to teach for months and come to the Gospel and receive basically no outward response. What a privilege to know that the Gospel has been clearly shared with these people!

We did ship our container last Friday and it should be arriving in Mindanao this weekend! We also purchased a car that will be shipped soon. God is working out so many details of our move that it is hard to keep track of all that has happened!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Hi from Palawan! We've had a couple of busy days here already. We enjoyed our trip down. While t the airport in Manila we realized that much of our "family time" over the past 5 weeks has been spent in airports. I really should add up the hours... maybe next time!

When we were landing in Puerto Princesa Kevin exclaimed, "Look, everybody is over there by the hangar!" Sure enough, our co-workers were welcoming us from the open hangar. Once we got our luggage we were excited to actually talk to them! They brought us to the guesthouse and we dragged our suitcases into our room before going out for supper with another friend from Palawan. She was leaving early Monday morning so were thrilled to share supper and catch up a bit.

Monday morning Garry and went out for breakfast due to my poor planning-- I didn't pick up anything to eat. then we headed to the grocery store and got some stuff for the boys for breakfast. Lunch we shared with Ben and Suzy and Brian and Bailey. We had intended to purchase roasted chicken from our favorite place, but they were out of birds. Oh, well.

Last evening we went to play badminton with one of our groups. We took our candy to share-- pasalubong. We enjoyed greeting everyone as they came in the door and laughed when one after another commented on how tall Kevin is (Kaleb actually grew as much as Kevin while we were gone!). Then I had to use the restroom, and in that little room I realized I am back in the Philippines, back to fitting in and doing things I once found odd. You see, there isn't running water in the bathroom, so I got my little bucket of water on the way in. Then, when I was finished I carefully doused the toilet and floor-- yup, I can do this!

This morning I decided to do a little cooking. I started by frying some hamburger. It smelled awful, which reminded me that I had forgotten to rinse it. Oh, well. It will still be Ok... sort of:).

And one of these days I'm going to take some pictures-- really and truly! (These are from Arizona, which is crazy!)

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Good afternoon. The sun is peeking through the clouds this afternoon and we are thankful that it seems the Super Typhoon has missed us. We have seen some flooding in the news, but it appears that it is much less than last time. Our friends went back to their houses and checked this morning and everything looks fine. We are praying for others who were affected by the typhoon.

This week has been amazing. There have been so many times when we thought we were facing major delays and God worked it out better than we could have imagined. It's Sunday noon here now and we're packed and ready to head to the airport. (Yeah, miracles still happen-- things are packed and I'm sitting here with time to blog!)

We've enjoyed a fair amount of badminton in between business this week. The boys found another place to play, a court that is much closer to our guestroom. Our friends from Palawan have also worked it out for us to enter a tournament there without meeting the "normal" requirements to do so. We're looking forward to that.

I'll write next time from Palawan and let you know how things are going on the airplane:).

Friday, October 02, 2009

Friday already! I have been sending out some updates, but for those of you who do not get news elsewhere... Manila was hit by heavy rain and severe flooding last weekend. Garry helped drive for a rescue and clean up for some of our national friends. He could not believe the devastation. And no, he did not take any photos. I did post a link to a video of one drive on facebook:). And I will see if I can get copies of photos from anyone, though maybe the news is doing a great job of keeping you all informed!

Both families he helped are OK now. They will have to replace everything they lost, which will take time. One family has to rebuild part of their house. We are amazed at the way people are just rebuilding and moving on.

On a more personal note, Garry got his temporary pilot license today! He has to fly 10 hours then get an inspector before he gets his 2-year license. He was also able to get permission for some maintenance stuff. In between he has been in meetings:).

The boys and I have been doing our best to do some school. So far I think we have done remarkably well! Kevin is quite interested in atomic structure these days and Kaleb is working hard at writing and art.

Sunday we hope to head to Palawan if the typhoon is not too bad. We are looking forward to seeing our 2 other NTMA families there and working together for a couple of weeks before we head on to Mindanao. We also scheduled a container to ship our stuff next weekend. We will see how that goes!