So I have been keeping notes all last week about things that I can write about. Most of them aren’t stories or anything they are just funny little things that I found interesting. Ok so #1 People in America are obsessed with being tan and people in the Philippines are obsessed with being white. The woman all carry umbrellas pretty much all the time to keep the sun off of them. And many of the people here use a lotion that is supposed to whiten their skin. I have decided that I am just going to be happy with myself the way I am, tan in the summer, kind of tan in the winter, and I’m not going to worry about it anymore. I am just going to take care of what I have been given.

#2 There is this concept of "American Time/Filipino time". When some one says they want to you be somewhere "American Time" it means they want you to be right on time and to not be late. However, Filipino time is just the opposite, if someone tells you to be there at a certain time but does not say "american time" it gives you about a six hour window with three hours in either direction. Crazy right?!

#3 To flush the toilet you have to dump water down it. Sometimes the toilet consists of a little porcelain bowl that stands less than a foot above the ground so you have to quite literally pop a squat and go. It’s not to terrible.

#4 This last week I had Zits galore. The worst break out of my life. And people were still calling me "Maganda" (beautiful). I didn’t understand it so I just went with it. I’m really ok with being called beautiful all the time. It’s gonna be hard to come back to America and not have that boost. haha.

#5 the modes of transportation around here are called Jeepneys and Tricycles. The Jeepneys are supposed to fit about 20 people, and that’s when people are squished in pretty tight, but they will fit as many people as possible and it can get a little claustrophobic. Tricycles are motorcycles with a side car attached. The side car is pretty small and sometimes they will fit up to four adults in it. Two on the seat, one on a seat by the drivers leg, and one person sitting on the feet of all the other people. When they do this to me I am basically sitting in a fetal position and if its a long drive I start to lose feeling in my legs. I prefer to sit outside with the driver. We sit "side saddle" and its much more comfortable. Although sometimes I am afraid I am going to loose my Kneecaps when we go around a tight corner or come to close to another vehicle because my legs stick out so much.

#6 Ok one funny story. One of our investigators is an older gentleman. He is the Barangay Captain…. and as I’m saying that I realize I have said nothing about Barangays…. ok I will talk about that next week. So anyway he is basically a leader of a little community. We call him Brother Mel. So this week Brother Mel asked if he could read my palms. I said ok. And he proceeded to tell me "my life story". He told me I came from a broken family and that I had dealt with difficult problems at a very young age. He said that I gave up a big dream when I was very young. He also said that there was a time in my life when I chose to turn to God and it saved me from much misery. He said that I have loved two men, the first when I was 16 and the second more recently. He said that I will travel to a new country within a year of my return home. And I will return to the Philippines in less that five years of my return. He said that I have not yet met my spouse but I will meet him in or before 2015. He says I have a lot of dreams and I am going to make a name for myself and become very successful. He also said I have a strong heart.

I was pretty impressed with his accuracy of my past. I’m not so sure about the "giving up a dream" but everything else was spot on. And I’m not so sure about the future, I guess we will see. Oh happy thought! Brother Mel is getting baptized this Saturday. We are so excited for him. 🙂

Love you all!!!

Sister Mary Christina Cox


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