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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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Sep. 7, 2013 - P-day, To Do List, Pedicures & Hot, Hot, Hot!!!

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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.
  • * Have the maintenance man come and clean the silver box - He came. He cleaned. I nearly threw up. He left.  I would not have his job for nearly all the money in this kingdom.  I rarely remember smelling anything so revolting. The silver box is a sort of  garbage and grease catch all under the sink. We have lived here only 4 weeks and have put no grease or garbage down the sink drain. So that means what was in there has been there for a while.  We have noticed the most ghastly smell in our kitchen but did not know what it was.  We kept cleaning etc. and nothing made any difference.  No one ever told us that we needed to have this silver box under the kitchen sink cleaned out monthly.  If Sister Doig hadn't listened to Brother Bailey talking about them having theirs done we would have never figured out what to do.  Thank heavens that is over.  
  • *Do laundry - washed, hung to dry, folded, and put away.
  • * Go to the bank - did it.  Money is always a hassle no matter where you live or who you are.  Unbearable when you don't have it and almost as awful when you do.  All around a tough subject.
  • * Get a haircut - did it.  It's brutally short.  Almost painfully so.  Oh well.  It will grow.  And fairly quickly here it seems.  The best parts of the haircut experience were:  1. The shoulder and neck massage that happened between the shampooing and the actual haircut.  It was fabulous.  The young man who did the massage was kind and very thorough and totally mute.  He never said one word.  I know he can talk, he just didn't. 2. The stylist. His name on his business card said Michael Dariano.  Everyone in the shop called him "Sir Rusty"  I hoped that had nothing to do with the condition of his scissors (gunting). He was a really nice looking gentleman.  Small, like most all Filipinos are, but nicely toned and  muscled.  I would bet he is a weight lifter.  You know.  6-pack plus, thick neck, major bi-ceps. He also  has tattoos all over his arms and hands. Colorful ones with more than just the usual blue or black.  They had red and orange and green in them.  Real works of art.   Too bad they were on his body. Seems so disfiguring and unattractive to me.  I tried to explain to him my usual short spiky hair cut.  Language limits can really mess things up.  It's definitely short and oddly spiked but not my norm.  It's all good though.  I just look like I caught my head in a threshing machine.  He loved it when he was done.  He clapped his hands and wanted everyone to come and look at it.  I felt a little silly.  He obviously rules the roost at that place.  
  • * Start Prep for this week - We are starting to teach the PEF workshops called "Planning for Success" starting this Wednesday (Miyerkules ).  It's hard to be completely prepared when not all of the materials that are needed are available. It should be interesting to try to get things across.  It will be a situation of trying to make it up to make it do.  I am going to make some charts etc. to pin up to help make up for the visual aids that are not there. 
  • * Grocery shopping - Groceries are so expensive here.  It makes me crazy.  There is no rhyme or reason to it. It costs about twice as much per month in groceries here as it does in the states.  It's all backwards. No wonder the senior couple missionaries eat out so frequently.  It's cheaper to eat out that to buy groceries.  You can have a salad, a 7" personal pizza and a soda at Pizza Hut for 99p plus tax.  So about 117p.  That is the ridiculous amount of $2.60 in the states. You can't begin to make a meal for that amount. Totally incongruous.

Lucky me! A darling lady named Es, who is about my age, works in the salon right across the mezzanine from the salon where I had my hair cut.  She saw me getting my hair cut and came and said hello because of my badge.  She has talked to missionaries before she said.  She is a manicurist.  I got to have a pedicure from her. I paid 100p.  That is about $2.25. Isn't that outrageous! The pedicures in Utah County cost at least $25.00 and up. A pedicure wasn't part of my plans for today, but it was nice because my feet (paa) looked and felt terrible.  So dried out and gross from the heat etc. They look and feel much better now thanks to her. She is such a lovely person.  I hope she will embrace the gospel.  She has lots of questions and it was good to talk to her and try and teach her a little.  She has a diamond set into one of her teeth.  I never even looked twice.  It used to be that I would have been totally weirded out by that. Nothing here surprises me much anymore.  Strange dental practices, or the lack of any dental practices at all, seem prevalent in 3rd world countries. The interesting thing is that dental care here is readily available and the costs are ridiculously low.  A crown in the states costs anywhere from $700.00 to a $1,000.00.  Here about 4500p - 6000p. ($100.00 - $135.00) To top it off, the quality is far superior to most westernized dentistry.  It's just not a priority here to any degree.

Today it rained as though a dam had broken. It is unbelievable the amount of water that falls out of the sky at one time.  I am always so thrilled when it starts to rain as I think, "Oh, good.  Now it will cool off a bit."  Then I remember.  Unlike the rain in Utah, the rain here does NOT make it cooler.  It  just makes it hotter.  It raises the humidity level which makes it hotter and sweatier than before it rained.  Although the heat is miserable, the rain is what keeps everything here so green (berde) and beautiful. It's real eye candy when everything is so lush and picturesque. Like a storybook.  I wish it could be this humid and green without being so horrendously hot. There are places in the world like that but not the same foliage etc.  This look is totally tropical and equatorial. Lovely to look at - wretched to live in.  People say, "Give it time, you'll adjust."  But the natives I have spoken to here say, No, you don't adjust.  It's just plain hot!  Right now at 10:00 pm it is 91 degrees with 97% humidity which makes it feel 102.  The weather forecast says that it will be like that the entire week with rain every day. I think i am going to start including the weather of the day in my emails.  Look for that by the date on each email.

New Tagolog words for today.

  • Wednesday  = Miyerkules
  • Green = berde
  • scissors = gunting
  • feet = paa

I hope you are well and happy.  It's an important choice.  Have a lovely Sunday and be good, safe and smart.  Keep the Sabbath day special. (Holy and unique). I will continue to pray for you.
I love you and miss you dreadfully.  Please write as soon as you can.  I would love to hear from you more than you realize.   You are always in my heart.
Hugs and love, Sister (Miss Kate) O'Reilly

Sister O'Reilly

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

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