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}

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Bambanti Festival

When someone says the word scarecrow my mind always conjures up the scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz. It’s the quintessential image of a scarecrow. Well, last Thursday, January 29, that classic image was blown away when I attended the Bambanti (Bum-bahn-tee) Festival of the Province of Isabela. 

Bambanti is the Ilocano word for scarecrow. Each year at the end of January, the Province of Isabela pays homage to the loyal duty of the scarecrow, keeping away birds from the fields and providing them with a plentiful harvest. The festival lasts for about a week. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

House Blessing

When I think of house blessing I think of a group gathered with candles, a priest present to spread Holy Water around, and everyone chiming in for a prayer. As simple as that. I don’t imagine walking up to the front door to find blood spread across the front stoop, pig’s blood that is, or crossing the threshold to see kilos of fresh butchered pig meat piled in the living room.