Normalcy Begins

Trip Start Jun 28, 2013
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Trip End Aug 25, 2014


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Flag of Philippines  , Eastern Visayas,
Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Hello All,

I am happy to announce that this Saturday our first Build-A-Home Project in Cangumbang was completed! And we finally secured the land needed for the second home, which began construction this morning. Building homes is such an incredible process, and the rewards for the family (and my heart) are immensely visible.

On Saturday I let the kids watch a movie again while my friend Rachel and I prepared peanut butter sandwiches with bananas. The kids chose Tangled and intently watched the movie til its end. Since it is summer break for the kids technically, I think it is the perfect time to treat them to lazy Saturday afternoon movies and snacks, not to mention their summer break is almost up! School is due to start in early June, though the elementary school in Cangumbang still lacks the needed repairs and the other children's schools as well. This school year will be different than the last, but the children have proved they can adapt to any circumstance and are dedicated to their education, which I am so grateful for. For the time being the majority of the kids will have their classes held in temporary classrooms, while the Department of Education continues to debate the final regulation updates for school buildings.

After the movie Rachel and I went on an adventure with the kids to visit Ate Corazon, who has temporarily relocated to her husband's friends coconut tree farm, living in a small hut literally in the middle of what used to be a prosperous forest. It took us about 15 minutes and lots of weaving through fields to get to the hut, where Ate Corazon happily sat with four of her children. She is such a bubbly, happy person despite any challenge she is faced with, it is truly incredible. When she heard we had finally secured the land for her house, her eyes sparkled. I can't wait to give her something she deserves so greatly.

On Sunday I visited late in the afternoon, after the relentless sun began its descent, though the rays still exuded blistering temperatures. We made Chicken Adobo for the kids, one of the most popular dishes in the Philippines. I'm still searching for the right device to attach the stove to the gas tank, (my ignorance in these matters make some of the older kids in Cangumbang amused by the way) which is proving to be more difficult than I would have though. But I do have the stove and gas tank ready, and we are all very eager to utilize it instead of the open fire below the center. I really enjoy the giggles that slowly grow as the food is nearly ready and the kids begin to line up on either side of the put with their bowls and plates of rice. I am so grateful to have the resources to be able to provide the Sunday meals for them, and I thank each of you who have supported the feeding program (some of you without even knowing it!).

The Summer weather continues to slow down the pace of life it seems, though I spend most of my days in our office building in the A/C safe haven. When it is time to venture outside it is like there is a blizzard outside, my body is now confronted with the opposite end of the temperature spectrum but the same hesitation to endure the outside. Despite the sweat the pours from my body as I sweep the center, or carry a bucket of water up the steps, or hoist Jon-Jon onto my hip as we walk down the road, or stir the pot of chicken for the kids, or search through the market for an item needed at the center, each droplet is worth it. I love my time in Cangumbang, it is my escape from the complications of modern crises, technology, expectations, and even disappointments.  Even after everything we have been through in the past 6 months, my relationships with the children and the community continue to grow, and I can never express enough how blessed I feel to have them all in my life each day.

Elsa 
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Comments

Sawa on

It's so easy to get caught up in every day life here in the states, and I'm so grateful that I have your stories and experiences to center myself again. Know that we are sweating with you too!

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