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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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First Entry - Culture Shock

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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, poverty stricken parts of the city and the haphazard and unplanned way they entire city is put together.  Not much of it makes sense and there are no street signs or street lights. It's just an entirely foreign experience for us overindulged and spoiled Westerners. 

I have eaten foods I have never heard of, seen more unique and creepy buildings than I realized even existed, and have observed the mangiest dogs and most heartrending people eating together from the trash piles at the side of the roads.  It's horrible and hideous combined with wild and wonderful in its own most charming and outrageous way.  I am so glad that I have had the chance to be a part of it all.

I have been well taken care of by the PEF people ever since I got here.  They are wonderful people and I already adore  them.  They are still trying to figure me out.  I don't seem to be anything like anyone who has served here before.  I guess I am stranger and more peculiar and unique than I thought I was.  No.  You don't need to reconfirm that.  Please just let me go along in my state of happy oblivion thinking I am normal.

Franco Advincula is the area director of the PEF in Quezon City. He is a lovely, kind man.  His English is very good and so he is really fun to talk to and easy to communicate with. Plus that he is funny and has a great sense of humor. He is slim and tall (by Filipino standards) with distinguished graying hair and gorgeous teeth.  He is married and has two children. A daughter who is 16 named Alea, and a son, Gion, who is twelve and was just ordained to the priesthood. Franco served his mission in the Phillipines. Franco's wife is called Minnie.  She is a super smart, beautiful girl who is an editor working for an international newspaper.  She speaks about 6 languages fluently. (including Mandarin Chinese and some remote Arabic language whose name I cannot pronounce or spell.) She is pretty amazing.  I am assigned to Franco as his aide. What is that? Me? An Aide? The Computer? I don't have any idea yet what that will entail.  I just know he will be super fun to work with.

Jib (Said Jeeb) Escuejo is the Office Manager.  He is 31 and single and thoroughly nice looking with lots of wiry dark hair and especially attractive eyes.  He takes a lot of ribbing around the center about being good -looking and single.  He is waiting for a girl who is currently serving a mission in Mindanao. Jib served his mission here in the Philippines also. He is the computer super genius here in this office.  He understands all this stuff about Perpetual Education that is programmed into our computers. I hope I will be able to soak up some his smarts.  He is cheerful and warm and all in all a very amenable and endearing person. One of the best things about Jib is his humility.  He has this voice to die for.  He is a bari-tenor with the purest clear tone and perfect pitch.  To listen to him is just thrilling.  However, if you mention to him how lovely it sounds, he stops.  He sings like crazy and because we all love it so much, no one comments so that he won't stop. 

Meanne Vicedo is the office secretary.  She is a adorable girl with buckets of personality.  Her English is really good and she is so friendly and loving.  She hugs me so much. Every time I walk in or out of the office, she jumps up and hugs me.  I love it.  I feel more welcome than you can imagine. Everyone in this office is kind and friendly and fantastically loving. It will make my time here so remarkable and memorable.

Sister O'Reilly

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

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Guest Thursday, 15 November 2018