Sunday, April 27, 2014

Our week in review:

We had a call from a Dr. in the U.S. on Wed.  He is the founder of a children’s charity called the  Liahona Children’s Foundation.  It’s a private, non-profit LDS group of people who have a desire to help eradicate malnutrition among children 6 mo. to 5-years of age.  They have run projects all around the world.  He said that the Philippines have the worst children’s malnutrition rate of any LDS population WW.  In a nutshell, he said he wanted to send a team of people out to our mission in less than 2-weeks to do screening in the wards/branches.  If they find children below the malnutrition level, they put them on a free milk product based and vitamins enhanced diet and track their progress.

There is more to the story, but to net it out—we took this to President Lopez.  He asked Karen to coordinate for the mission.  We are very impressed with the organization and believe it will be a great blessing for the members and they allow a 1:1 participation for non-members—so a great missionary opportunity as well. 

We are excited to participate in this extracurricular activity, although we’re both very busy with our healthcare and office work.  Karen has been running solo with medical for almost a month. George went solo with mission finance this week—closing out the books for April.  (I’ll probably get put in jail, I’m sure I messed something up!)

George: I got my first haircut in the Philippines.  We went to a ‘barber shop’ in a nice mall that was close by and had been recommended.  It looked pretty busy—every worker was busy, but we walked in and asked for a haircut.  They receptionist said, we have a person available now.  So the door opens and out walks a young man—I’m wondering, ‘did I get the second string here?’  Mom happened to look in the room where he came from.  She said it was packed with workers waiting for a client to come in. 

Anyway, it was an interesting experience.  Expecting a trim (the guy didn’t speak English), the guy pulls out kung-fu scissor moves and cuts my hair by hand—with amazingly fast moves.  I was afraid he was going to cut a finger—or worse, something on my head besides hair!  I ended up with close to 1/8” of hair on my head!  And when finished, the barber gave me an amazing neck mabbssage.  It’s definitely the closest cut I’ve ever had and the best price performer.  It cost an amazing $3.40!  WOW.

Mom was so scared, that she vows never to get her hair cut there.

This bus beat us to Church and was full, charted by a local unit.  We waited for passengers to disembark before driving through the gate into the parking lot.  Note the sign on the gate

Today we went to Cadiz to attend stake conference.  We arrived there a little early and buses, c-cats, and tricyles were dropping off members and investigators coming to conference.  One c-cat had 9 people on it (this is a motorcycle with a sidecar).   We shook many hands and were greeted warmly.  We also got to bring mail and supplies to the many missionaries serving in the surrounding areas.  They love to hear from loved ones and friends!  They are great examples to us and buoy our spirits.  The meeting included testimonies from eight missionaries getting ready to depart.  The Cadiz stake also has twenty two missionaries serving in the field.  This stake had 167 baptisms during the last year.  Since the conference was mostly in Ilonggo (the music in English), a Sister missionary who sat by us took notes for us which we would read after each speaker finished (that helped!).

Some pictures from our drive today:   
On the way for work

Men going to work.  There are no rules about riding in the back of trucks.  People seem to be very industrious and hard workers.

Food for sale

On our way we came across many people selling food items along the side of the road.  Today they were selling some sort of bread.  We have also seen other items including fish products.  We were traveling on the National Highway which goes around the island.  Traffic in the outlying areas was pretty good today.  My heart still skips a beat still, when someone is traveling down the wrong side of the road.


This is an above ground cemetery.  Today we passed two funeral processions.  One procession had a hearse that was very small and old.  The van had written on the side, “funeral” (the side and rear doors weren’t able to be closed).  Behind the vehicle were many people following on motorcycles.  Two to three people on each of the motorcycles.  The next procession had a larger hearse and big trucks filled with people following their loved one’s remains.

Friendly neighbors

The last picture was taken behind the mission home.  These children come from squatter families.  I think the Church area is a safe haven for them.  They were excited to have their pictures taken and liked seeing themselves in the picture.  When we were done talking, they all held out their hands, and asked for food.

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