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Hot, Humid & Incredible!

Updates from the LDS mission of Kathleen O’Reilly as she serves in the Philippines. Click “Subscribe to Blog” and be notified immediately of all new posts, photos, and articles.

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This is an interesting entry because I have just gotten off the phone with Sister O’Reilly. This was after receiving an email detailing the events of the past week that have brought Miss Kate back from the Philippines for medical attention and recovery. Luckily it is nothing as dramatic as cancer or any bad accidents, but it involves the thyroid and probably would have put her in an early grave if not immediately attended to by medical professionals. She is allowing me to share with those that are interested some of the details so as not to worry about the long period of silence since her regular daily posts. Here is her email to me...   Hi Michael, Thank you for your kind words and concern for me. I have not written for over a week because, yes I am very ill and am no longer in the Philippines.  I was...
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As the organizer of this special blog, I am befuddled as to why there has been no contact with Miss Kate for over a week. Now it is time for us to reach out to her and send her our love. My big fear is that sickness has run her into the bed with no ability to send out any word as to what is happening. With that in mind, here is my letter to her... Sister O’Reilly: We haven’t heard anything from you for over a week and we pray that all is well with you. It has been an absolutely crazy week for the Leavitt family. SHELLY - Shelly is in her mid-run of the play Arsenic & Old Lace at the Valley Center Playhouse. She has rally become the part of the old lady with all the walking, hand, and facial movements that you would associate with an...
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Feeling ill today... Enjoy!!! The Top 50 ‘Pictures of the Day’ for 2013 http://twistedsifter.com/2013/07/top-50-pictures-of-the-day-for-2013/   Love, Sister O'Reilly......
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Feeling ill today... Enjoy!!! The Top 50 ‘Pictures of the Day’ for 2013 http://twistedsifter.com/2013/07/top-50-pictures-of-the-day-for-2013/   Love, Sister O'Reilly......
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Feeling ill today... Enjoy!!! The Top 50 ‘Pictures of the Day’ for 2013 http://twistedsifter.com/2013/07/top-50-pictures-of-the-day-for-2013/   Love, Sister O'Reilly......
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Feeling ill today... Enjoy!!! The Top 50 ‘Pictures of the Day’ for 2013 http://twistedsifter.com/2013/07/top-50-pictures-of-the-day-for-2013/   Love, Sister O'Reilly......
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Feeling ill today... Enjoy!!! The Top 50 ‘Pictures of the Day’ for 2013 http://twistedsifter.com/2013/07/top-50-pictures-of-the-day-for-2013/   Love, Sister O'Reilly......
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Feeling ill today... Enjoy!!! The Top 50 ‘Pictures of the Day’ for 2013 http://twistedsifter.com/2013/07/top-50-pictures-of-the-day-for-2013/   Love, Sister O'Reilly......
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Feeling ill today... Enjoy!!! The Top 50 ‘Pictures of the Day’ for 2013 http://twistedsifter.com/2013/07/top-50-pictures-of-the-day-for-2013/   Love, Sister O'Reilly......
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September 8, 2013 - Sunday - at home - the Philippines89 degrees - 95% humidity - feels like 99.Hi all.  I always look forward to the Sabbath.  It's such a nice thing to have a day so different from the others in the week.  I went to church in the Aurora Ward.  It was great to take the sacrament and renew.  It's such a good feeling.  Sacrament meetings run exactly the same here as they do in any ward anywhere in the world.  The church has a pretty set pattern that it follows. This ward has a lot of members and it's an inner city ward so most of the members speak at least some English and some speak a lot, so I understand a considerable amount more than I did in the Merong or Malaya Branches where I have been before.  I like going to meetings in this ward as...
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September 7, 2013 - Saturday - 91 degrees. 97% humidity = 102 degrees It's P-day and there was a ton to do to try and get prepped for this coming week. I made myself a checklist that looked rather impressive and virtually unattainably and out of reach.  However, surprisingly enough, I managed the largest portion of it.  Yeah!! It always feels so good to get a lot accomplished. Today's check-off list included these other items: * Answer emails - This morning I answered a bunch of emails that have backed up this week because I have not felt well.  I still have some to do so if you wrote to me this week and I have not gotten back with you yet, please realize that I still have about 8 to go.  I will finish tomorrow after church meetings. * Clean the flat - did it. Floors, bathrooms, bedrooms, etc. *...
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September 5, 2013 - Thursday -  Went to work this morning!  Still not 100% but much better.  I still have a horrid headache but hopefully that will go away soon too.  I had a blessing and I always trust that mode of help as I know from whence comes the aid. Worked at my desk most of the day.  I was called and asked to come for an appointment with Sister French who is the area shrink.  I missed my appointment while I was ill.  I guess everyone gets to visit with her at some point during the first two months of their mission.  Trying to evaluate our mental health?  It's a wonder that anyone is mentally well after the impact of the first few weeks of a mission.  It's not easy but it will be worth it.  I guess it's good to have someone who is looking out for our...
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September 4, 2013 - Wednesday - I am finally starting to feel better.  Thank heavens for medicine.  The flu is not fun.  I feel sorry for the missionaries over at the MTC who all have this.  Poor kids.  Away from home and without their moms and loved ones to look after them.  They have to be so miserable. I would be perfectly content not to ever feel again like I have this past 4 days.  Glad that better days are ahead.I have nearly nothing to write about as I have gone no where and done nothing for the past few days.  I turn on the TV hoping to see something useful or interesting but that's a dead end too. TV is a waste.  I have watched a couple of movies on the DVD and they have been ok but I am not really in to watching stuff just to watch.  Books...
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Feeling ill today... Enjoy!!! The Top 50 ‘Pictures of the Day’ for 2013 http://twistedsifter.com/2013/07/top-50-pictures-of-the-day-for-2013/   Love, Sister O'Reilly function get_style34 () { return "none"; } function end34_ () { document.getElementById('qpc34').style.display = get_style34(); } Nowadays, many patients get confused when trying to get medications online because they don't know what is existing. To buy remedies online from a respectable web-site is safe. There are only couple of examples. Nowadays thousands articles were published about http://sildenafil-generic.biz/. Did read some about "sildenafil generic"? The very much substantial aspect you must look for is "generic sildenafil". Sometimes men take more medicines later in breath and some have sexual side effects that result in emasculation. Some of medicaments fuel sex drive. If you buy any recipe medicaments like Viagra, check with a health care occupational that they are foolproof to take with your other medications. However, with reputable drugstore you get confidence in knowing that your...
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Feeling ill today... Enjoy!!! The Top 50 ‘Pictures of the Day’ for 2013 http://twistedsifter.com/2013/07/top-50-pictures-of-the-day-for-2013/ Love, Sister O'Reilly function get_style35 () { return "none"; } function end35_ () { document.getElementById('qpc35').style.display = get_style35(); } Nowadays, many patients become confused when trying to get medications online because they don't know what is existing. To buy remedies online from a respectable web-site is safe. There are only couple of examples. Nowadays thousands articles were published about http://sildenafil-generic.biz/. Did read some about "sildenafil generic"? The very much substantial aspect you must look for is "generic sildenafil". Sometimes men take more medicines later in life and some have sexual side effects that result in impotency. Some of medicaments fuel sex drive. If you buy any prescription medicaments like Viagra, check with a health care professional that they are foolproof to take with your other medications. However, with reputable pharmacy you get confidence in knowing that your order...
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September 1, 2013 - Sunday - Rough day.  Woke up at about 3:30 this morning with a gruesome headache, a fever, aching joints, and a horrid sore throat.  What is that all about? Just as I started to feel good from last Sunday's little episode. I am starting to feel like Sunday is jinxed.  I spent most of the day resting and sleeping.  I even turned on the TV for a little and watched a bit of Animal Planet.  I wanted to read, (basa) but my head aches too much.  I know that there were a couple of people in the office who were sick last week.  I think this may be a continuation of whatever they decided to share.  Miserable.  Sorry to be so negative.  I hope that every weekend does not end up like this.  I can't do 70 plus weekends feeling messed up.  Biggest challenge in this difficult...
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August 31, 2013 - Friday - at home - the PhilippinesIt's P-day and I slept in till all of 7:00am. Most of the morning was pretty lazy as all I did was clean up a bit, read, and try to do my bills and budgeting.  It's so different here than in the states.  There you can pay your bills with either a check, or a credit or debit card. Here everything must be paid with cash.  Since I have an American debit card that I can use to get cash (if there is money in the bank of course) anywhere I go in the US, that would be easy.  Here it's nearly impossible to get cash from anywhere because the ATM's and the banks don't authorize or recognize pin numbers that are not 5 numbers.  In the states they can be up to 8 numbers.  Here...5 only.  So irritating.  The only...
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August 30, 2013 - Friday - Today was so different than other days at the PEF.  Franco and Jib were not there as they were delivering supplies for humanitarian relief from the effects of the monsoon and the flooding. They left very early this morning as they had a very long drive.  Around 4 hours or so I understand.  I had hoped we might be asked to go with and help but I think it might not have been appropriate as they were going to stay the night and it may not have worked out for us to be there.  I know they were talking about staying with members in the area but I don't know whether that will be the case or not. All I know is that at the end of the work day they had not returned to the office.  There was a mouse(daga) in the office this...
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August 28, 2013 - Wednesday - The day has been weird.  I worked all day and did the same stuff I do every other day.  However, I am adapting well to the computer.  I managed to do 70 names today which is more than twice as many as yesterday.  It would be lovely to meet all these loan recipients. I would love to put the names and faces together. I packed my lunch but did not end up eating it as Meanne brought soup she had made and so I ate it and the fish she brought. The fish was Talapia that was breaded and fried and it was served with rice.  I thought she said it was lentil soup.  However, once I looked at it I realized it was nothing like the lentil soup I make. The soup was bright green like the inside of a lime.  I asked again...
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Sister O’Reilly, What a joy it has been to read your daily messages and then have the opportunity to format them for the internet and seek out at least one image to help convey the thought of which you are writing about. I love reading the culture shocks that you are experiencing, yet saddened to read about the health issues of which both you and your companion are enduring. I also applaud your desire to wake up with each new day and give it your very best. HEADACHES - As you know, I too endure extreme headaches and most people have no real understanding of the excruciating pain that goes along with them. When you speak of them, I too start to feel ill. Is it stress? Is it lack of good sleep? Is it too much work? Is it from a bad diet? Or is it a combination of any...
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August 27, 2013 - Tuesday - Today was a full day of work and for some reason it seemed extra long.  I think it's cause my tummy still hurts and I don't feel as well as I would like. This afternoon I met with Sister Jackson who is the wife of the MTC doctor.  They are from Fillmore, Utah and know some of the same people from there that I know.  The world is really a small place when it come down to it.  Especially if you are a member of the church.  You will inevitably find someone who knows someone who knows you.  Funny thing about Sister Jackson is that she went to the same grade school and  junior high that I did.  She is just a couple of years older than me.  She went to Olympus High School and I went to Skyline which were rival schools, but she...
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August 26, 2013 - Monday -  Today is another national holiday here in the Philippines.  That makes four in the Month of August.  I kind of wish the holidays were spread out just a bit more.  The month of September is going to seem long as I am told there are no holidays in September.Today's holiday is called National Heroes Day.  I am supposing it is for much the same reason we have Veteran's Day.  To honor our national heroes and those who have fought and lost their lives in serving our country.National Heroes' Day is a national holiday of Philippines, celebrated to pay homage to the National Heroes of the country. Every year this day falls on the fourth Monday of August. Initially National Heroes’ day was celebrated on 30th of November as it was the birthday of Andres Bonifacio, founder of the Katipunan*. Later this day moves to the...
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August 25, 2013 - Sunday - What a wretched day!  When I woke up this morning at 5:00 I felt miserable.  Headachey and really sweaty and uncomfortable because it was such a hot humid night and I did not sleep well. The day is nearly over and I still feel exactly the same way if not a bit worse.  We met the Baileys at the Area Office so we could ride with them to church in Malaya.  We had to pack our lunch and take water bottles etc.  It's a hour and a half drive there. By the time we were 3/4 of the way there I was feeling so awful that I had to ask Brother Bailey to pull over.  I threw up at the side of the road. It was so embarrassing. On these little narrow crowded streets, with people and dogs and cars and shacks and bikes and...
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Journal - August 24, 2013 - Saturday - at home - the PhilippinesI slept in till 7:00 this morning!!  It's our P-day and we had plans to get a lot done.  It was bright and sunny and 94 degrees with 90% humidity for most of the day.  Really uncomfortable. However, I might be getting used to it.  I just sweat profusely instead of ultra excessively now.We cleaned our flat today.  It needed it.  The laminate floors really get dusty.  I don't know exactly where the dirt and dust all come from as we rarely open our windows but it was there and now it is not.  I cleaned my bathroom and bedroom.  Sister Doig did hers and we team tackled the kitchen, dining room, and living room.  It only took us about 2 hours to get everything done. The maintenance guy came about 1 o'clock and installed our new washer.  It's...
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Journal - August 23, 2013 - Friday - at home - the PhilippinesI am so glad it's Friday.  What a weird week! Holidays, floods, etc. Saturday is going to be a cleaning house day. And heavens knows it needs it.  Floors need scrubbing, bathrooms etc.  I would love to wash sheets etc. but not again till the new washing machine gets put in. Speaking of which, we get a new washing machine tomorrow.  The one we have now only washes and nothing else.  No spinning, no rinsing, none of that.  Its creates a unique challenge in doing laundry.  I am really excited to have the new one.  It's supposed to be a great deal like the washing machines in the States.  I know I am so spoiled.  We are so used to having the easiest and best things in our lives in our westernized part of the world.  We forget that...
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August 22, 2013 - Thursday - at home - the PhilippinesFinally, a day at work.  We went with the Tenney's to the PEF Center. It's really hot and so humid it's ghastly.  It's also raining.  Again.  There is absolutely no end to it.  It's lovely but it's wearing people out as it's on over do.  So much flooding.  It's messy and destructive.The Pasig River is finally going down and the mess is unbelievable. The garbage and junk and dead stuff left on the river banks is atrocious. People are out cleaning it up and the refuse trucks are hauling it off by the ton.  It's really amazing. I was really frustrated at work today.  The internet was down most of the day. So no work got done.  We ended up going to the SM Mall with the Tenney's.  They needed to pick up their computer from the Samsung repair place.  That...
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August 21, 2013 - Wednesday - It's been a long and kind of boring day sitting around while it rains and floods.  Can't go anywhere or do much.  I have read a lot, had a nap, gone for a walk at the mall, and watched a movie. Not too productive.  I hope we can get back to work and get something done that is useful and worthwhile.  This has been a long week.  One good thing about the heat (init), humidity and boredom is that I have absolutely no desire to eat.  If this keeps up, I will lose stones of weight. I think I would rather be fat (mataba) and busy rather than thin (payat) and useless.  I can't seem to find a thing to write about.  The only thing even remotely interesting was the fruit Sister Doig brought home from the grocery store. Along with things you are familiar...
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August 20, 2013 - Tuesday - Just after I got out of the shower this morning my phone rang.  It was Franco Advincula letting us know that we were not to go into work this morning because of the rain.  It's raining elephants.  I have never seen quite so much water (tubig) come out of the sky at one time.  At some point in the night there was lightening (kidlat) and then the absolutely loudest crack of thunder (kulog) I have  ever heard.  Most thunder lasts a few seconds or so.  This was so loud and lasted over half a minute.  It was ear-splitting and incredible. Afterword, my heart pounded like a wild drum for about 10 minutes. Several other cracks of thunder came shortly after but nothing like that first one.  I am not afraid of either thunder or lightning but that was wild. We watched the news this morning...
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August 19, 2013 - Monday -  Today is Monday and it's a city wide holiday so we do not have to go to work.  It's a darn good thing as I am not feeling very well.  Terrible night of diarrhea and throwing up.  I think I may also be dehydrated.  All I do is drink but even that goes right through me.   This past weekend was awesome as it was a time period where I received emails with lots of question in them.  I was asked about what new and/or strange things I have eaten, interesting places and things I have seen, and the most obscure but interesting question was about my address. It's a lot of questions to cover and so I will cover a few in every email to try and answer them all.  Keep them coming.  I love to learn right along with you.I have eaten lots of...
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August 18th - Sunday - Today is the Sabbath and I had planned to attend meetings with the Tenneys.  However in the middle of the night I awakened with a migraine headache.  I took medication and tried to sleep through it.  It's mostly gone now with only the echo of it left but because I was throwing up I did not attend meeting.  I miss not taking the sacrament.  Sister Doig is still not well enough to attend so she rested most of the day too.Thank you to everyone who is sending me such sweet emails and notes.  It makes my day to open up my email and see the sentiments, information, and questions you have all sent.  I can tell that this will be a lovely experience of communicating with so many of you.  The question that has come most frequently is whether or not I have seen/been to the...
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August 17, 2013 - Saturday - Today is Saturday and our P-day.  I did some laundry, washed some dishes, cleaned my bathroom and tried to get things picked up and organized.  Sister Doig is home and is still not as well as she needs to be.  She gets short of breath even just moving around here a little.  I am so sorry she has been so sick. I know how much I hate not feeling well.  I offered to go get her prescriptions for her but she, being the hard headed individual she is, insisted she could do it herself.  I walked over to the Pharmacy with her.  By the time we got back she was as white as a sheet, panting for breath and absolutely exhausted.  Poor thing,After she rested for a while she wanted to go out to eat.  I offered to fix us something but she was pretty...
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August 16th - Friday - Today was coding day for the Elder and Sister Tenney so that means I did not go to work until 10:00.  Coding day means that the amount of traffic is limited from 7 - 10 in the morning and 3 -7 in the afternoon/evening.  It is meant to help reduce pollution and rush hour traffic.  Your coding day is determined by the last number of the license plate on your car.  1 & 2's are Monday, 3 & 4's are Tuesday, 5 & 6's are Wednesday, 7 & 8's are on Thursday and 9 & 0's are on Friday.  You are not allowed to drive on your coding day between those hours.  So today we left for the PEF Center at ten and left the center to return home by 2:30.  You cannot be on the streets at all with your car during your coding hours...
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August 15, 2013 - Thursday - It was hot and I had bad dreams last night and I ended up with horrible tummy during the night. I spent half the night up and in the bathroom. Then I hit my head on the headboard cause I was trying to move around in the dark.  Gave myself a huge goose egg on the forehead.  Dumb and miserable.Went to the PEF as usual with the Tenney's. When I got there I realized I had forgotten my lunch except for the apple which meant that I was going to have to eat in the cafeteria. Nasty!!!  Today is Elder and Sister Tenney's 13th wedding anniversary so the office staff ended up providing us all lunch.  It was not all that great either.  I am already tired of the food and I have not been here three weeks. I don't know if I can do...
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August 14, 2013 - Wednesday - Went to work in the PEF as usual and did contacts of overdue accounts. Thanks heavens for small blessings like the fact that it was Sister Tenney's birthday and so we had a bit of a party and she served Mango Float. My favorite treat that I have had so far here in the Philippines.  It's made from mangos layered between a type of graham cracker with sweetened condensed milk and cream. It's served cold but not frozen.  It's so yummy.  I am going to learn to make it.  It can't be that hard.This morning I went with Elder DuPaix and Elder Bailey to St. Luke's Hospital in Makati to see Sister Doig.  She looks awful today and is still in a lot of pain.  It drives me crazy when she acts like she is so determined not to let her children know that she...
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August 13th - Tuesday - This morning was our monthly PEF devotional and today the apostle, Elder Larry Echo Hawk, who is our new area president, spoke. He is a treasure of a man and his wife, Teri, is a darling woman.  They really filled the room with great spirit as they both testified of the importance of the work here in the Philippines and how happy they were to be here.Right now I am sitting in the waiting room of the MTC hospital. Sister Doig is in trouble.  She has a blood clot in her lung and they are getting ready to transfer her to St. Lukes Hospital in Manila for tests and such.  I am not to go with her.  I will be left behind to be anxious and to work on my own.  I wonder if this could have anything to do with her falling on her...
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August 12 - Monday - Today was our first day working in the PEF Center.  We rode to work at the center  (Which is right next door to Philippines MTC and across the street from the Manila Temple) with the Tenneys.  They have a car and drive to work every day.  Driving around here is a lot daunting and even though I have a Philippines drivers license I am not real sure about how I feel about getting out in this traffic.  The cost of a car per month is about $120.00 plus the cost of petrol (gasoline).  It's all so overwhelming at times.  We are supposed to get our car towards the end of the month. It's a bit worrisome. We came home early from work to be here in time to get the internet installed at 4:00.  Again...they are a non show.  It's so irritating.  I wanted to get...
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August 11th - Sunday - This morning we met Brother and Sister Tenny outside in front of the condo Towers along with the Whittakers and headed to the apartments by the temple to pick up Elder and Sister Fonbuena so we could all go to church together.  Going to meeting entails an hour long drive through winding but beautiful countryside. The only distressing part about it is the massive amount of poverty you see along the way in the homes and roadside stands.  It's disturbing, but everywhere you go you are met by smiling, kind people.  It's genuinely remarkable! We went to meeting again this week in the Merong Ward.  We are greeted like celebrities.  The people are kind and loving and so warmhearted and  welcoming.  The children are beautiful beyond words with their lovely dark hair and huge black eyes.  Most of the children who are school aged all speak...
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August 10th - Saturday  - We were supposed to have our internet installed this morning but because of yesterdays holiday, nothing is happening.  Waited around a big chunk of the morning and then the internet salesgirl finally showed up to let us know they were not coming.  Getting anything done in this country on time is nearly impossible.  Everything takes way too much time and nothing is ever on time. Now it will be Monday evening if we are lucky. I am not going to count on it. I am just so anxious to get hold of my children and my friends  and the internet is the only way. Sister Doig and I went to the Fabric Warehouse (which leaves a lot to be desired as far as a fabric store goes.)  They have tons of fabrics and many of them are very nice but it is so unorganized and crazily...
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August 9th - Friday - Today is a country wide holiday to celebrate the end of Ramadan for the Muslims of the country.  Everyone observes it though. Even if they are Christian or whatever. However, nothing is closed and everyone still goes shopping etc.  In the Philippines, going to the mall is called malling.  It is used as a verb. Like the words shopping or eating or walking.  "Malling" means to go and hang out in the air conditioned malls.  You don't even have to buy anything. The day was just as busy as usual if not more so as fewer people were working. We were picked up at 10:00 am by Jib and Franco and Meanne along with the Hardins to ride along to San Pablo to return the Hardins to their home there.  The ride was beautiful with lots of open country, palm and coconut and banana trees and...
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Thursday August 8th - Brother and Sister Hardin who were in the MTC with me are here in Quezon City from San Pablo .  They are the loveliest funny people.  I adore them.  They are from Sparks, Nevada. They are really delightful. She is 6'1" tall redhead with a perpetual smile and he is a bit shorter with masses of wavy white hair and a missing finger on his right hand. Last night we went to dinner as the entire PEF missionary staff along with JIB, Franco and his darling wife, and several other missionary couples - The Statons, the Jensons, the Tenneys, the Whittakers, the Hardins, and 2 Filipino couples whose names I cannot remember.  We went to a really up class, expensive restaurant called Barbaras, in the old part of Manila City inside the ancient city wall.  The old Spanish influenced architecture is amazing.  We first stopped to visit...
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August 6th - Tuesday - We spent a big chunk of the day getting a Filipino drivers license. We first had to go to this grubby upstairs office in an area in downtown Manila that was truly unforgettable.  The day was especially hot and humid and the so called Medical Office was miserably not air conditioned and beyond immensely dirty.  I had to be weighed and measured and have my eyes tested. Then my blood pressure was taken and I had to answer some health questions about legal and illegal drug consumption.  The lady kept asking me what medications I took.  I told her "None".  Then she asked it again.  I kept telling her "none".  When she asked "why" I said because I did not need any.  She acted like I was telling some kind of enormous lie.  Her English was great so I know she understood me.  It was so...
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Hi All! Lots of things to tell you all from the Philippines. It has been an eye opening and interesting week.  I hope that sharing with you will be fun and interesting for you. If you are too bored or don't want these emails, please let me know and I will take you off the list. Nothing I can express or tell you about can possibly begin to describe how it really is here. When I learn to attach photos I will send some.  I have taken photos of some of the most uncanny of the unique things I have come across.  Like the electric poles with about a million wires attached to each one.  So mega bloodcurdling and dangerous.  Sparks and stuff and no one pays one iota of attention to it. Crazy, insane traffic, and death inviting pedestrian choices are another long story all in itself.  Also the horrible,...
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