Wednesday, February 26, 2014

February 25, 2014 - Talisay City

I'm too large for this nation!
So it finally actually got hot over here!

But it's not that bad, actually. It hasn't been much different than a June day after the marine layer's burned off, a bit hot, a bit sunny, and a little humid. But we also finally got rain this last week, and it was more just like a sporadic drizzle. So I've come to the conclusion that Cebu is not very different from home, except for that fact that anything you need a permit for in America is done here freely and with reckless abandon.
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The river and Corazon Village, from the Biasong bridge

But it's been a lot of walking! Our area isn't very large, and it's not very hilly, but there are plenty of places to walk to! Mostly what we have been doing the last weeks is teaching the investigators, as well as some less active families in our Area Book, who the sisters before us were teaching. So, we mainly just go and walk around to different neighborhoods and villages and barangays and teach different people. We usually have a kuyog (another word for companion, but meaning ward missionary) with us who knows where all these people live and can take us there, but we've gotten to know the area pretty well ourselves. We've been able to contact some people, too, and teach them some lessons, but we've mainly been teaching through our pool so far.

Elder Gama and our ward mission leader

We've got planned this week to do some proper tracting of our own, though, to try to open up our options. That'll be really interesting and fun, since we haven't really done much of that yet. But apparently we're also going to try to go to a nicer subdivision where we can tract in english! I will be looking forward to that opportunity though I don't really know what to really make of the idea yet. I have started to be able to really take more part in lessons, as I've gotten more comfortable with using Cebuano. Though it's still really hard. I got to the point this week where I know enough of the language to really understand how little I actually know when people are talking. But I've been improving still, and it is a continuing goal to make me bisdak (Bisaya Dako, or big in Cebuano, or native-sounding) by the end of the transfer. I've been able to really talk to some of the members and really have a decent, proper conversation in Cebuano, which has been really nice. Still, it can be hard because the streets are loud and the people are quiet, talk fast, and their mouths are far from my ears when we stand next to each other. But I'm ever learning. 

The last few days we've been able to meet and really talk to some of the members, too. On Monday, we went to the Vertos family's house, and we talked for a long time. They gave us coconuts to drink. And it turns out, those have a ton of water (tubig sa lubi) in them, and if you try to drink it really fast, you don't feel very good! But I was okay. But we then went up to the house of a member in the ward who lives up in Corella Homes, way up on the hill, for Family Home Evening, which we also did last Monday. I really want to go up there during the day, because there was a big lookout point that would be really neat if it weren't dark. But anyways, we had to ride a habal-habal up there. Last week, I lost my name tag on the way up, and we walked all the way back down to look for it, but to no avail, and when we got back up almost to the family's house, this girl passing by said "Pangita mo para ni? (You looking for this?)" and had found it on the road, so my nametag has some good scratches on it now. But This week, we got up to the house and I realized I didn't have my camera. (!) So when we left we had to look for it all the way down, but no luck. But Brother Dante remembered I took the picture of the coconut at the Vertos' house, and may have left it there. So yesterday, after we had already walked all over creation in the sun, we all walked all the way back down to their house which is nearly in Pooc, to find that I had left it there.

We had bulad!  It's dried fish!

But the walk to there house was really cool, because we walked through these huge green fields full of goats and cows, surrounded by the mountains of Cebu, while the sun sunk behind the island. And the sky was a great bright red, with big puffy clouds and all. It was a great time to not have a camera, but even still, it was nice to take that moment to walk through the fields, with this beautiful place just happening around us. It was a lot like what Grandma shared to me in her email this week, of just taking moments to take in the world around us and appreciate the beauty of it all.

But things are going well here! One point I forgot to say: the water situation is: everyone just drinks from 5 gallon jug mineral water things. It seems to be a booming business here, the water purifying business. Every stand on the side of the street has an ATM (Automatic Tubig [Water] Machine), which is just a stand that dispenses water from the big blue jugs. But yeah, that's that situation.
Lawaan 3 Barangay

Driving through Mohon
But yeah, other than that, through the dust and sun and smells and chickens and jeepneys, things are going good! Just another week of sun in the Philippines!

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