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Acts of Kindness

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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Aug. 8, 2013 - Tininkling, Eating Ritzy Amidst the Poverty

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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 St Augustine's Church which is one of the few church's which remained standing and undamaged after WWll.  I took some pictures.  The inside is, of course, very Catholic, with the typical shrines etc.  Beautiful but so not workable in todays world.  There were plenty of tourist's and a few devotees.  The part I was miserable about was the little children standing outside the church in their ragged clothes..... begging. They are starving, filthy, and lice ridden. We have been instructed to give them nothing.  No pesos, no food, no candy, no attention.  It's a nightmare.  Then we go and eat in a ritzy, expensive restaurant.  I felt ill. I detested most of the evening as it felt so shameful and wrong.  I can't even imagine what the bill was for that many people to dine in a place like that.  I am glad I did not have to pay it. I kept imagining how many people that much money could have feed in the streets.

The best part of the evening was the restaurant's  floor show which displayed authentic Filipino dancing in traditional costumes. (Which were beautiful and elaborate.)  At the end of the show they did a dance called Tininkling, which is done with 2 long bamboo poles with dancers between  them.  I learned Tininkling in my 4th grade class from my teacher, Miss Lamberty, who served a mission in the Philippines.  The dancers did some elaborate dances then pulled people out of the audience to participate. I did not think they would involve any of the missionaries but when they came to our table they looked us all over and asked JIB to try.  He did really well. A few minutes later they came to our table again to collect another victim. I just hoped it would not be poor Sister Whittaker.  She is struggling so badly with all this new Filipino culture.  I was really glad for her when they passed her by.  I was surprised when a young man stopped by me and said, "Pretty lady, will you dance?  I was pleased to participate and I am happy to brag and say I am still as coordinated and capable as ever.  I danced and had a great time.  Biggest problem... bouncing body.  A little embarrassing and massively unattractive.  But everyone clapped for me and I just did my best to be a show-off and enjoy myself and give the others something to laugh at and remark over.  I am glad I participated. I think I will try to get Collette to incorporate some Tininkling into some choreography in some show in the future.

Love,
Sister O'Reilly

"Blessed is the influence of one true, loving, human soul on another." -- George Eliot

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