be careful what you wish for!
I didn’t post last week because, as we are settling into our new jobs/surroundings, I was beginning to feel like we weren’t having many new experiences to share. Then this happened … twice!
Some of our Polynesian Elders bought a pig and brought it home to cook for a meeting we were having on Tuesday and then they did it again for a conference they were having on Friday. I felt so badly for the sweet little pig and said I didn’t know if I’d be able to eat it. One of the Elders said, “Don’t you like pork?” and I laughed and replied that I loved pork … I’d just never gotten to know it first! #notafarmgirl. I have to say, I’m so grateful for the anonymity of the grocery store meat counter! We watched most of the process of ‘preparing’ it and although it seemed awful to me, I really came to understand that this is how much of the world eats. When I said it seemed like so much work (they dug a pit and gathered rocks, firewood and banana leaves) they said “it’s not work, it’s lunch!” I was careful not to appear judgmental because I am part of this culture now; and I have to say it was delicious! Although after seeing the entire pig laying on the table and watching them carve my portion, I may not be as eager to eat as much pork as I once did! Although I’m sure Costa Vida sweet pork will be calling my name when I get home!
We’ve been able to drive around some of the outlying areas a little this week and each town looks very much like the last. Some have nicer homes than others but the overall feel is the same. They are very poor but seem so happy. People are smiling everywhere we go. We have yet to meet a stranger. The people are so loving and welcoming … and I LOVE the children! They are so beautiful! And so happy to meet us! They just run up and shake our hands and have smiles as big as the South China Sea (which Filipinos call the Filipino Sea!).
We’ve begun to have evening thunderstorms which are fantastic. I’m really looking forward to rainy season coming soon (this may fall under the category of 'be careful what you wish for'!). The island is already green by any standard but they say right now, it’s the brownest we’ll ever see it. I’m anxious to see everything come to life! Brown-outs continue to be part of our life. They happen every few days but usually don’t last long. Today we had another issue with no power and now know it knocks out the pump on the water well so were without water again for most of the day. We’ll get more and more prepared for these occasions as we go. Right now they catch us off-guard and are a nuisance!
I’m so grateful for the opportunity to serve God’s children in this part of the world. It has been unlike anything I’ve ever experienced or probably ever will again. I’m anxious to meet more of the people and be an instrument in His hands in anyway I’m needed. We’ve made some fast friends that I hope to keep in touch with long after this experience is over. We hope you are well and happy and think of you often. love, donna