Wednesday, April 2, 2014

April 1, 2014 - Escalante City, Negros Occidental

New life in Negros!
Escalante. It's fun to say.

Our route from Cebu to San Carlos, a lot of people thought, was going to be to drive to the end of Cebu, take the ferry to Dumaguete, the drive back to the other end of Negros, which would be about a 12 hour drive total. Luckily, there's a ferry from Toledo to San Carlos, so our travel wasn't too long.  Driving through the interior of Cebu was amazing, this was one of the few good pictures I could get.
The booming metropolitan port of San Carlos
The center of Escalante City

This last week has flown by so fast, and yet Lawa-an seems so long ago. So I'll start with last Wednesday:

After we emailed, we met up at the Zone Leader's house and Elder Diamante, who is in Bonifacio, the only area further from Cebu than Escalante, and I got in my last taxi to Lahug probably for a long time, where we met up with the other 38 Elders and Sisters bound for Negros Occidental. I was able to suroy-suroy, chicka-chicka (Hang out, talk about, kind of a phrase) with some Cebu missionaries I hadn't met before, when finally, after being one of the only ones left without their companion, arrived Elder Cantago! Taga Cagayan de Oro siya (From Cagayan de Oro he), on the north shore of Mindanao, and as such, is full-on Visayan speaking, which I was a little bit nervous about, because he doesn't really speak English much. But It's been good, we are able to talk, and he's really a great guy. And he's also likely going to die here in Escalante with me. (He has just 3 months, two transfers left in the mission, before he goes home.)

Negros is super green
 Outside of Barangay Jonob Jonob, which is actually in our sister's area, unfortunately.

Walking out of Lopa, where there are a few members in this village by a river out on the outskirts of our area, a 20 minute tricycle ride across emerald waves of cane.

Again, it's actually in the sister's area, but I hope I'll be able to return there. It was truly just nice there. Also, Elder Cantago in the foreground!

So that night in Lahug, President Schmutz gave us all a mission briefing, in which he basically said: We are not entirely sure what the state of things is there, but we have complete faith in you. So the next morning we got on the bus across the Visayas!

I'm pretty sure Mt. Olympus is hiding over in Bacolod mission, but I'm not sure because it's always enshrouded in cloud.

We arrived in Escalante on Thursday afternoon, where we dropped our things off at our house in the Habitat (a kind of subdivision compound on the outskirts of town) and went on splits with the Bacolod Missionaries, who were still there to show us around to investigators and recent converts and members and such. I went with Elder V. (his name is long and hard to remember) and Brother Leonardo, a very helpful and nice branch missionary. But we just went around to some members houses and such in Escalante Proper. The members here are great, and apparently Escalante District is very near to becoming a stake!

 Barangay Washington "But it's not Washington D.C, Elder!" (cue laughter and repetition of joke every time Washington is mentioned.)

But just a little more word about Escalante! It's basically a Philippine version of Logan, just a little agricultural town center in the middle of rolling fields of sugar cane. But it is burning here! Apparently Negros down in Dumaguete is supposted to be much colder than Cebu, but not here!

There's a cafe in town that has pancakes and other delicious fare.
My first ridiculously-large-spider-in-the-bathroom of the mission!  none of the big spiders really bite and nothing here's too poisonous, is what I've been told. But this was a significant life force, I can tell you that. 

There were going to be other people in this picture, but they ran away.
Thank you for your support always, and I love you.

Elder Adam Dunford

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