Friday, June 27, 2014

Weekend Reading

This past week I've been in Tacloban, the hardest hit area of Super Typhoon Haiyan. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to visit the communities receiving relief and rehabilitation efforts from E-CARE. I cannot wait to share more about my adventures there. 

Also, I turned 24 this past week. For some reason since I was a child, I've always had the idea in my head that 24 was going to be an amazing year for me. I can't really complain about year 23, though. But can't wait to see what life has in store for me!

Check out what other YASCers have been up to especially as some of their years come to a close.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Little Things

I've been to just about every diocese within the Episcopal Church in the Philippines. There were just two left to check off. The first was the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Luzon which neighbors EDS. I had no excuse not to take the two hour trip to visit with Bishop Abibico, who was recently elected the next Prime Bishop of ECP.

{St. Thomas' Parish, Tabuk where we attended mass}

Friday, June 20, 2014

Weekend Reading

The weeks have been flying by! I can't believe it's already the middle of June. I can count down the weeks now until I come home - 9 weeks! And next week is my 24th Birthday- CRAZY!

This weekend the Diocesan Staff is taking a short retreat to the beach of Dinadiawan, only a couple hours away. Then on Sunday I'm headed to Manila to fly to Tacloban, the area where Super Typhoon Haiyan hit the hardest. I've been wanting to visit ever since the storm hit and excited to give a firsthand report on the relief efforts.

A majority of YASCers are leaving in July, only a few short weeks away. Check out what they've been up to and how they're closing out their years.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

We are Gathered Here...

We are gathered here today, April 25, to celebrate the joining of Challikes and Ayree in Holy Matrimony. And, boy, many were gathered in Bontoc for the wedding of the year. As I said in Monday's post, April began and ended with a Bishop's son's wedding.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Little Things

During the first week of June, St. Mark's and the Diocese of Santiago welcomed nine members of the SE Asian Anglican Communion who are here in the Philippines for six weeks of intensive Church and Community Development Leadership training. St. Mark's felt honored to host them for only a couple of days. They trained them on cooperative financial management, bookkeeping, and governance and management. In addition, the trainees, who are mostly from Myanmar and one from Papua New Guinea, visited an SRI field and the Processing Center.

{The group at dinner on the first night/}

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Let me Tell you About the ECP

Let me tell you about the Episcopal Church in the Philippines...

I’ve realized over the past couple of years that even though I’ve been an Episcopalian basically my whole life, I don’t know much about the actual history of The Episcopal Church. Maybe you feel the same way?

After meeting with the ECP National Office staff with Buck and Emily in late March and then again with the JCPC (Joint Committee on Provincial Companionship) in early April, I’ve been awed and inspired by the journey and history of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines. Unfortunately, I cannot tell the same story with as much passion and gumption as Attorney Floyd, the Provincial Secretary of ECP and National Development Officer of E-CARE, who lived through and had an influential hand in the process. However, I’m going to do my best.

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Big Affair

This post is way overdue, like months past its prime, but I'm still posting it. April began with a Bishop's son's wedding and ended with a Bishop's son's wedding. First up was my bishop, Bishop Wandag's, son's wedding in Santiago. It was a big affair with Bishop's wife and son flying in from Canada!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Weekend Reading

While I'm enjoying the sun, sea, and sand, catch up on what other YASC volunteers have been up to lately!

Paul shares a sermon he beautifully wrote for Palm Sunday Evensong.

Alan traveled to Les Cayes to view another unique version of Haiti.

Sean started teaching English classes at ARI in Japan.

Spring has sprung in South Korea, Carlin enjoys the new season and cherry blossoms!

Watch this fun video of Julie snorkeling off the cost of Haiti!

Nina is settling in to her new placement in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Rachel showed visitors around her school and tried out her green thumb with local farmers.

Joseph shares his Holy Week in Panama.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Little Things

I'm in Palawan with my cousin, Lindsay! I'm super psyched to have family here and be on vacation! The two weeks prior, I was catching up on things around the office and cleaning my house - nothing too exciting. I don't even have many little things to share with you. But there will be plenty of fun stories and adventures to share upon my return!

{Please Welcome the new members of the neighborhood}

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Weekend Reading

Happy Saturday!

As I mentioned in my last Weekend Reading post, I'm in Manila picking up my cousin, Lindsay! We will be heading to the island of Palawan for one week. I'm taking a true vacation and becoming a beach bum. But we'll also be doing some island hopping and snorkeling. I can't wait to share our adventures!

I'm still trying to catch up on my lack of Weekend Reading posts. The YASCers are doing many great things - too many to share all at once!

Friday, May 9, 2014

"Philippines: Mission in the midst of crisis"

You could call this another "guest post." Emily wrote another wonderful article about the ECP and the Diocese of Davao after our visit. Everyone knows about Typhoon Haiyan or Yolanda which hit back in November. While it may have left the thoughts of many, it is still the present for a number of Filipinos. Even though it's been six months since the storm struck, the Episcopal Church has not stopped relief efforts. Please read on to learn more!

This article was posted on Episcopal News Service blog on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 and written by Emily Cherry, Communications Director for the Diocese of Virginia:

Philippines: Mission in the midst of crisis

Global partnerships deepen as typhoon response continues 

The island of Bantayan counts children in its team of volunteers. The Diocese of Davao
 supports a continuing relief and economic redevelopment project in Bantayan. 
Photo: Gideon Bustamante

Just over a week after the bishop of the newest diocese in the Philippines was consecrated on Nov. 23, 2012, Super Typhoon Bopha hit, killing more than 1,000 people and destroying homes and land. Almost 12 months later, in November 2013, came Super Typhoon Haiyan, killing as many as 10,000 people, making it one of the deadliest storms in the Philippines to date. As the Rt. Rev. Jonathan L. Casimina, bishop, put it, “We began our diocese with a typhoon, and we ended our first year with a typhoon.”

Thursday, May 8, 2014

BE in the Philippines - Down South

The Diocese of Davao, the last stop on our Philippine whirlwind, or better known as the “Battle with the Durian.”

Durian is Davao’s pride and joy. A fruit they say that “tastes like heaven, smells like hell.” Well, it definitely smells like Dante’s inferno and I’d go as far to say it takes like it to. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

{Me and Bishop Casimina with the Durian}

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

BE in the Philippines - Longest Drive

As the road trip continued, Monday, March 24, was our longest on the road. We made the 13-hour trek from Tadian to Manila with a stop in between.

The stop over worked perfectly as it was six hours between our two endpoints and was the location of another YASC placement. Yup, you guessed it – Baguio!

Before arriving there, the Philippines’ beauty continued to impress as we glided through rolling countryside and climbed towering cliffs where we skirted along the tops of the mountains through the clouds. I’d never driven this route before.  We made two stops to take in the fresh, cool air and the impressive views. One stop was marked the “Highest Point in the Philippines Highway System.”

Monday, May 5, 2014

Be a Shepherd of God's Flock

Every Monday morning the diocesan staff starts the week of with Morning Prayer. Two people are assigned to read the lessons, one old testament and one new testament, and share on them. It works out to everybody sharing once a quarter. Somehow every time I was scheduled to share, something came up and it got cancelled.

This Monday, Cinco de Mayo, I (finally) got my chance to deliver a sharing on 1 Peter 5:1-14.

1 Peter 5:1-14:

"To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ's suffereings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers - no because you must, but because you are willing to and wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Weekend Reading

Sunday Funday!

Not really, unless you count fun as reading in the warm sunshine and watching a movie you can barely hear as a summer thunderstorm pounds down on the roof. It may not necessarily be "fun" but it's exactly what I needed.

To show how much I've been on the go, last week was my first five day work week in three months. Maybe three and half months? I'd grown accustomed to it, that by Thursday it felt like Friday and I was ready for the weekend. At the same time, it's nice not to be go-go-go. I have two weeks to catch up on things in the office.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

BE in the Philippines - On the Farm

"Go ahead, take a whiff," encouraged Erwin Alawas referring to smelling the fermenting organic fertilizer. 

{It actually smelled a little like bourbon - not bad}

One of the main reasons we were scheduled to visit the Tadian Training Center and Demonstration Farm was to see Andrew and the work of another YASCer. Unfortunately, Andrew got called away to the United States at the last minute. However, we still stopped by the farm, about an hour drive from Sagada, to check out his placement. His partner-in-crime, Erwin Alawas, was a wonderful host and guide.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

BE in the Philippines - On a Rock

“It’s called St. Simon Peter because the church literally sits on top of a rock,” explained Bishop Brent.

He wasn’t kidding. When we drove up it was exactly as he said. The Sagada part of the trip wasn’t planned, but flexibility is always called for during trips like these.  

Monday, April 28, 2014

Little Things

Last week I attended a baptism, a wedding, and a funeral. Now that's celebrating the true circle of life.

{Funeral of Fr. William Codpayas celebrated by Bp. Wandag}

Friday, April 25, 2014

The YASCers of the Philippines

You could call today a "guest post." I'm cheating a little bit! I'm at Bishop Brent's son's wedding in Bontoc and didn't have time to put together a post. I shared the link a few weeks back via Facebook, but if you missed it here is the ENS article written by Emily Cherry about the three YASCers in the Philippines!

This article was posted on Episcopal News Service blog on Friday, April 4, 2014 and written by Emily Cherry, Communications Director for the Diocese of Virginia:

Young adults form faith through service in the Philippines

As part of her work with the Episcopal Development Foundation of St. Mark’s in the Diocese of Santiago, YASCer Ashley Cameron visits with market shop owners who receive small business loans from the church foundation. Photo: Emily Cherry

Almost everywhere you travel in the Philippines, you see rice: steamed and served in heaping bowls on every table; unhusked and drying in the sun alongside roads; bagged and ready to be milled; packed into trucks along the highway; and growing in fields and towering terraces across the landscape of 7,000-plus islands.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

BE in the Philippines - Take It Easy

Take It easy, take it easy 
Don't let the sound of your own wheels 
drive you crazy 
Lighten up while you still can 
don't even try to understand 
Just find a place to make your stand 
and take it easy 

If you are planning a road trip in the near future, I highly recommend creating a CD or mixtape (#oldschool) of 94 Eagles' songs with some live versions mixed in.

{Buck, me, and Emily at Banaue Rice Terraces}

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

BE in the Philippines - Preschool Graduation

When I asked about the time of St. Mark’s Graduation on Saturday, March 22, I received a “it starts at 8:30am, but come at 9am.”

“So does that mean it starts at 9am.”

“No, it starts at 8:30am, but come at 9am.”

Oh, the beauty of Filipino time. Well, we got there a little after 8:30am and it didn’t even start at 9am. But no worries, Buck loves being the ultimate jungle gym, while I became a model. I thought my smile was going to permanently plastered onto my face after how many pictures.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Holy Week

One of perks of working for the Church is a nice long weekend for Easter. The offices closed on Thursday and Friday. All I did was sleep, watch movies, read, and attend church services. Most of the people on the compound visited their families, so it was pretty quiet.

Below is a short photo diary of my Holy Week. I actually missed Good Friday service because a local priest died that day and they moved the time of the service without telling me. While, I had all intentions of going, it didn't work out.

It was a quieter, simpler Easter than I'm used to but I greatly enjoyed the break after all the traveling I've been doing. And it was simply TOO HOT to do anything at all.

{Bishop washed my feet on Maundy Thursday} 

Monday, April 21, 2014

BE in the Philippines - My Place

I apologize (again) for going on a blogging hiatus. You could (almost) say I gave up blogging for lent. The case is I’ve been traveling then recovering from traveling and then getting sick that I simply found no time or desire to blog. However, I’m back (for now)!

As I promised weeks ago, I would share the tale of Buck Blanchard and Emily Cherry’s visit. When planning the trip, I grew tired of constantly typing “Buck and Emily” so I shortened it to “BE.” Hence the title of this post and posts to come – “BE in the Philippines.” I think it’s also symbolic to how (hopefully) when reading these posts you will “be in the Philippines” with us!

There is something about being able to share your little part of the world with friends that makes it more real.

Maybe it’s because they can verify it exists. When I go back and share my experience, I can have someone say, “it’s true. I say it.” Not that I think you all think this is made up. I hope you’re getting my drift.

What I’m trying to say is it was a wonderful experience being able to share my little house, dog, office space, and co-workers with Buck and Emily!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lent Reflection: Do Not Be Afraid

It is Holy Week! The last week of Lent and the last week of the YASC Lenten Reflection Blog. I hope you all have been reading and enjoying it!

Tuesday, April 15, today, is my third reflection. Here it is in case you missed it on the YASC Lenten Blog.

"And when the chief priests and the scribes heard it, they kept looking for a way to kill him; for they were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was spellbound by his teaching." 
-Mark 11:18

“For they were afraid of him.”

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Lent Reflection: Worthy of Love

The Lenten Reflection Blog is still going strong! I hope you all are enjoying reading it!

Thursday, April 3, today, is my second reflection. Here it is in case you missed it on the YASC Lenten Blog.

"The LORD said to Moses, ‘Go down at once! Your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have acted perversely; they have been quick to turn aside from the way that I commanded them; they have cast for themselves an image of a calf, and have worshipped it and sacrificed to it, and said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” ’But Moses implored the LORD his God, and said, ‘O LORD, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, “It was with evil intent that he brought them out to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth”? Turn from your fierce wrath; change your mind and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, how you swore to them by your own self, saying to them, “I will multiply your descendants like the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it for ever.” ’ And the LORD changed his mind about the disaster that he planned to bring on his people." 
-Exodus 32:7-8, 11-14

We all have a desire to make connections. We all have a desire to belong. We all have a desire to be loved. It’s part of being human. We are hardwired for it.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Little Things

There's something about a visit from friends that recharges you, gives you a new surge of energy.

As some of you may have seen on Facebook, Buck Blanchard and Emily Cherry from the Diocese of Virginia came to visit me for 10 days. Not only are they former co-workers but also friends. So while it was a work trip for them, it felt like a mini vacation for me.

{Buck, Me and Emily at my placement}

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Church Feast Day

Did someone say "Feast"?

In the Diocese of Virginia, it's an uphill battle to get a bishop to come on the day you would like them to come confirm, baptize, and/or receive members of the church. With so many churches and a limited number of Sundays, bishops are in high demand.

Here in the Diocese of Santiago instead of picking a random Sunday, the church chooses it's patron saint's feast day to have the bishop confirm, baptize, and/or receive congregation members. Yesterday, happened to be St. Joseph's Feast Day, where I spent Christmas Day. The Bishop invited me to come along with him, Penny, and Ma'am Sandra.

{Padi Aura, Fr. Ralph, Bishop Alex, Fr. Eric, and Marina}

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Puppy Love

It’s been about two and half months now since I received Zoe. It feels like I’ve had her this whole time. She’s grown so much, not only physically but also personality wise. It’s been quite entertaining to watch her come into her own. I feel quite fortunate to have her! She’s great company and a great friend!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Little Things

It's funny how you can stumble on something that brings back a rush of happy memories. Last week, I was shopping around a local grocery store or mart. This place's skinny aisles are packed with product and sometimes if you get lucky, you can stumble upon hidden gems imported from the USA. I happened to be wandering the aisles for nothing in particular when I saw it - Kirkland Chocolate Covered Raisins!

{The infamous chocolate covered raisins}

Friday, March 14, 2014

Weekend Reading

Today, the Social Entrepreneurship Training went off without a hitch! It's such a relief for an event you've been planning for months to happen without any major issues. We have 36 participants who are eager to learn and use their new knowledge towards developing the cooperatives and churches they work with.

Now that the training is happening and almost done, I can get super excited and count down the days until Buck and Emily arrive! I've finalized the itinerary and it's going to be a whirlwind 10 days. I go down to Manila on Wednesday to pick them up from airport to bring them back up to see my place and meet my people in Santiago. I cannot wait to share a piece of my experience with someone from home.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Little Things

I don't know what happened to February and now March is quickly going by in a flash. This Friday and Saturday we're hosting a Social Entrepreneurship Training at the Diocesan Center. You may remember when I attended it back in October at the National Office. I recommended to my manager that the Foundation and Diocesan staff should attend it. He jumped on the idea. So since December, I've been working hard to plan, organize, and implement the training. I can't believe it's finally happening!

{Sunday Afternoon chillin' and trip planning}

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

School Pictures

Graduation is fast approaching for the Kinder 2 students of St. Mark's Learning Center I've been teaching once a week for the past few months. Unlike in the states, school runs from June to March with summer being half of March and all of April and May. Next Saturday, March 22 is their graduation from preschool to kindergarten, the big leagues! 

{The adorable Kinder 2 class I've been teaching}

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tree Planting

As part of a carbon monoxide reduction program, if one plants 2,000 trees than you get a grant towards parish hood development. When my manager, Patrick, heard about this he jumped on the idea. And now, the Foundation is setting out to plant 2,000 trees.

During the first tree planting activity, it was a horrid rainy Saturday this past Fall so I skipped out. But there was no missing out this time. It was all hands on deck.  Therefore, this past Saturday morning the staff of the Foundation headed out to its farm.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Lent Reflection: Little Acts of Love

In case you missed the announcement on Ash Wednesday, the YASC volunteers have come together to share their own mediations. Every day for the season of Lent, one of us will reflect on the readings by sharing our insights and experiences. Please check out the blog!

Monday, March 10 was my first day for reflecting. Here it is in case you missed it on the YASC Lenten Blog.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Weekend Reading

{image via}

It's not every day that work includes following a man through thick woods with a machete in hand hacking away the path as we went. I have a few battle scrapes on my feet to prove it! Honestly, I don't even know where this week went. I was falling asleep last night thinking, ok tomorrow is Wednesday so I need to.... no, tomorrow's Friday.

Read on for posts from other volunteers...

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Little Things

This week has been filled with catching up on paperwork, loan releases, interviews, inspections, and everything in between since the office was officially closed for a week due to convention. It has been so busy, I don't even know where the week has gone! On top of regular office work, I've been finalizing all preparations for the Social Entrepreneurship happening here next week and Buck and Emily's visit, which is happening the week after that. Many exciting things coming up but it's busy, busy, busy!

{Rice fields are almost ready to be harvested, again}

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ash Wednesday

Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

I don't think I've ever truly understood the meaning of lent until this year. It's about self-reflection and opening up your heart to God. I feel like lent has been happening for the past six months. Self-reflection, prayer and accepting God's relationship have helped me immensely throughout this journey. For lent this year, I believe I'll keep doing what I've been doing for the next 40 days.

{The cutest kids sporting their ashes at preschool}

Monday, March 3, 2014


Early on in my year here, I proposed that the Foundation work on making a promotional video or a vide report instead of their normal powerpoint presentations. I was charged with the task of making this happen for the Diocesan Convention report.

I started collecting interviews and video content in September, but then al of sudden Diocesan Convention snuck up on me and I had to put together our report! Sir Patrick was very impressed. And the Convention delegates appreciated a change. I think there are audio issues, but there is always something to improve.

Watch the report below to learn more about the organization I've been working with and to hear from some people I work closely with on a day to day basis.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Weekend Reading

{image via}


On top of recovering from my quick trip to Baguio and the frenzy of Diocesan Convention, I got sick this week. Like on-the-flat-of my-back-in-bed-sleeping-for-18-hours-of-the-day sick. No. Fun. But I've recovered and am on the upswing. I'm ready to have an easy, relaxing weekend to recover all my strength for another work week ahead.

Also, this past week marked 6 months! Crazy. Who can believe it's March?!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Little Things

After my whirlwind trip to Baguio, I had to come back to help finalize preparations and reports for the Annual Diocesan Convention, which started Tuesday, February 25. The worst thing during a busy, stressful time is to get sick but that's what happened. I got an awful cold/headache thing on Monday after arriving from Baguio. I think the quick turn around, two night bus trips, and stress were too much on my body. But after some rest on Monday, I was ready to tackle convention.

{Lining up for the procession to the Cathedral}

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Flower Festival

“You must see the Flower Festival in Baguio in February,” many told me when I first arrived.

Flower + Festival, oh yes, I’m there!

It worked out that when Margaret wanted to come speak to a couple of her classes, the big events of the Panagbenga Festival (aka Flower Festival) were that weekend. Unfortunately due to convention, I had to leave Saturday so I missed one the parades. There are two, one on Saturday morning, which consists of music and street dancing. The second is on Sunday morning, which consists of the flower floats. I really wanted to see the second one but you take what you get and I wasn’t disappointed by the street dancing.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


My whirlwind 48 hours in Baguio was a wonderful mini-vacay away from the heat of Santiago. While I was there to support Margaret and lecture a couple of her classes, Margaret and I took the opportunity to tour around, relax and have fun!

{Me and Margaret at the top of Mines View Park}

Monday, February 24, 2014

Easter School

Back in January, Margaret asked if I would come talk to a couple of her classes about the work the development work of the Episcopal Church. I’m no expert, but I’ve seen and worked a little bit more with these programs than Margaret. I said, I would be happy to! And it gave me an excuse to see Baguio, again, hopefully this time when it wasn’t raining.

Therefore on Thursday night on February 20, I boarded an 8 hour night trip bus for a whirlwind tour of Baguio. I saw and did many amazing things this weekend that I’m going to break it down into a couple of posts. First, the main reason I was there.

Margaret as a volunteer teaches at Easter School, an Episcopal school that spans from elementary to high school. There’s also a small college on the grounds. With a background in science and religion, Easter School assigned Margaret to assist in the Christian Education classes for high school seniors and a few English language classes. In addition, she teaches one of the small seminars at the newly formed Theological College.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Weekend Reading

{image via}

Happy Friday!

Today I'm in Baguio with Margaret! I travelled on the night bus from Santiago last night leaving at 8am and arriving at 4am. Quite a trip but you miss the traffic and can simply sleep the whole time. Now, I have the whole day in Baguio. I'm guest lecturing two of Margaret's classes on development work of the church.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Little Things

I had a nice little surprise this past Sunday afternoon. Two of my co-worker's children, Roxanne (11) and Sikh Fi (5), stopped by my new place. We enjoyed some coloring and then Sikh Fi demanded asked to watch a movie. The only kid-friendly movie I have is Harry Potter. I figured even if it was in English there is enough magic in the first movie they don't really need to understand what's going on. I popped some popcorn in the microwave which they were astounded by, got a couple cans of coke, and we were ready for an afternoon flick. Of course, after an hour Sikh Fi was over it but I was proud he stuck it out for 1/3 of the movie!

{Sikh Fi and Roxanne having fun taking selfies}

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Morning's Glory

Living on this side of the compound has its perks! There is a baker who rides around on a motorcycle every morning honking a classic old bike horn announcing he's selling his freshly baked pandesal. Pandesal is basically a yeast roll but sold still fresh and warm. He comes between 6 and 6:30am. If my alarm hasn't gotten me out of bed yet, his horn sure does. I grab my sweater, slip on my flip flops, snatch my 5 peso coin, to get my new morning treat of 3 pieces of pandesal.

This particular morning I noticed the sun was coming up beautifully behind the trees. I've been wanting to capture the sunset for a long time but I've either not gotten up early enough or it's cloudy. Today it was perfect - morning's glory at its finest!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Bless this House

On Friday, Valentine's Day, after work the staff came over for a quick House Blessing. Since Fr. Clarence was away, the Bishop resided over it. The whole thing was quite lovely but a little more involved than I thought. I figured it'd be a simple prayer, make the sign of the cross, and poof! it's blessed. Not so much. In addition, we blessed Charity, my 8-month pregnant co-worker, and a recently purchased motorcycle by the Foundation.

Afterwards, we had a feast! The kitchen must've thought we were feeding 50 people, not 20. So. Much. Food. It meant leftovers for me!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Weekend Reading

Happy Valentine's Day!

This afternoon we're having my house blessing done by the Bishop with a dinner to follow. Should be a nice time. The rest of the weekend doesn't have any big plans. I'll continue settling into my new place. Next weekend I'll be traveling to Baguio and then it's convention so a calm before the storm should be good.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Little Things

This week is seemingly normal and low-key compared to last week and the upcoming weeks. It's like the calm before the storm. We were supposed to have a scheduled brown-out from 8am to 6pm today but it never occurred. We'll see tomorrow if it was rescheduled. 

In the meantime, I love this quote:"Every day may not be good, but there's something good in every day." I think it goes perfectly with the theme of this series. Remember to enjoy the little things!

{Another glorious day in the Philippines!}

Monday, February 10, 2014

I've Moved!

I've been posting little previews on Instagram (here and here) but it's finally happened! I've moved! And today I'm giving you the full tour and how the move went down yesterday, February 9th.

First let me say, this was no easy feat. I couldn’t have made the move without the help of my co-workers and neighbors. Basically without the help of strong men to carry my fridge, armoire, and heavy desk, it wouldn’t have happened. I'm greatly appreciative of everyone taking time out their weekend to help me out.

{Entering through the front door}

Friday, February 7, 2014

Weekend Reading

Happy Weekend!

Everyone warned that February was going to be crazy busy filled with Diocesan Convention, assemblies, board meetings, and many other events. Well they weren't joking and we only finished week one! And it's not done yet. Tomorrow, yes, Saturday, the Foundation staff is meeting to review 2013 and prepare our presentation for convention.

But the exciting news is I finally got the keys to my new place! I'm officially moving in on Sunday! Stay tuned for a blog post this week all about it. To give a quick preview though, I moved from that one room in the guest house where my bathroom doubled as a kitchen to a two bedroom, one bath duplex with a real kitchen!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

We Are All Missionaries

I still struggle to call myself a missionary, especially to those who don't have a religious background. In December when I was caving in Sagada, I was waiting to climb through a small hole surrounded by a bunch of other cavers. I began talking to a couple from Michigan and I told them I was a missionary. When it came out I thought, what? you always say volunteer. Their response was, "oh aren't most people in the Philippines already Christian?"

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Little Things

It's only Wednesday and I'm already exhausted. Monday initiated the craziness of February with the Brotherhood of St. Andrew's (BSA) District Assembly. I consider it the men's version of the ECW for the church. Andrew and his new partner in crime at the farm, Nayoden, came down from Tadian to present not only to the Brotherhood of St. Andrew's but also the Clericus, which immediately followed the BSA. So there has been about an additional 50 people on the compound this week.

In addition, visitors, Sean McConnell and Sara Delaney from Episcopal Relief & Development, are visiting today and tomorrow. Talk about a packed schedule but a lot of free, delicious dinners!

{Engineer Rebecca putting final touches on my new place}