Hayyy Family! Wow there are weddings happening left and right. My own sister, some of my best friends, my life at home is moving on without me! Totally happy for everyone though. All my friends that are left without spouses, I want to hook ya all up with Philippinos. They are the funniest people, and they LOVE americans. I gotta tell ya, my future husband better be real gooood at complimenting. I go out of the house with no makeup, hair in a tight bun, and in a never ending sweat, shaving? pshh, yet every where I go people are like "wow maganda!" I just have to laugh everytime. They think every American is like a goddess. Im feelin pretty good by the end of the day, until I actually look in the mirror. Ha! The children always follow me around and giggle, some get daring enough, and stroke my skin. They think white skin is so neat. Such a flipside in America, just goes to show that people want what they cant have, Americans want to be Philippinos and Philippinos want to be Americans. I wonder if Satan has anything to do this polluting the beauty industry? hmmm....
Anyways...sorry for the worldly thought..speak of the devil, as I write this, there is a Bakla (Gay) parade going on right behind me. Being Gay is totally accepted here, and some little children cross dress just to be apart of the popular scene, without really knowing or understanding 'gay'. My companion asked one of our investigators if they were a boy or a girl. I was shocked they didn't get offended, turned out she was a he. Pretty sad to see the influence here. Just one of the ways Satan can corrupt the formation of a family. Families are ordained from God and given to us to support one another, and help teach one another Christs gospel. Parents help show a firm faith and how to follow Christs example. Satan knows this, so whatever he can do to tear a family foundation apart, he'll try.
So I'll have deemed myself a worthy Marry Poppins. Like ligitimately I feel like a junglized Poppins. I just had to laugh at myself, actually I laugh at myself a lot, and cant really explain it to my companion. So I found this oversized umbrella, that I carry around even when its not raining, and I have a ginormous bag thats all the missionaries make fun of me for. But hey, that bag has been known to carry everything from Pancid noodles, to handsanitizer. So who has the last laugh now huh? To complete my Mary Poppins character even more, its helps that Im always wearing a dress and talking in a funny accent.
I want to tell you about the Canaria Family just because they popped into my mind right now. The first time I met Nanay Canaria she definetely took me off guard. She was eating something that stained her teeth a deep orange color (that I pray to God hoping i'll never accidentally eat) she's old always stares at me and lets out a deep full bellied chuckle similar to santa claus. I cant understand her because she can only speak bicol, and shes always hollerin something at me. It was an odd first impression, and we continue to stare at one another and just laugh, we both laugh because we both know how strange I look here in the jungle. Im just glad I have someone to share my humor with. We have become really close with this elderly couple, and they call us "Barcada" Meaning close friends. The other day when we went out to visit them, they were in the rice fields planting away, so we ran out, took off our shoes, hiked up our skirts and jumped into the muddy rice field to help them out. We took some grassy seeds, and started shoving them into the watery mud. Nanay was real quick with her planting, while I took my sweet time making sure my row was all orderly. She kepts slurring and yelling Bicol at me, and I'd just laugh. Then my companion told me she was telling me to move fast or the leaches would get me. Sure enough I looked down and I had little leaches all over my feet. It supplied a good laugh, and caught the attention of some of the neighbors. I wiped all the leaches off, I dont really know if they did some damage to my feet, It didnt really matter because my feet are pretty trashed as it is. I probably have thirty bug bites on each foot! and scabs from former bites. My companion says they bite me, because her feet blend in with the ground. haha. One of the neighbors saw my feet and she came back with some herbal ointment, that made my feet go numb. If I knew Bicol I could probably know why they were laughing at the ointment or why it made my feet numb. But as for now im enjoying not knowing and just supplying a good time. I do need to learn some bicol though, but it changes in every province you go to, so i'll hold off until I perfect tagalog more.
Tagalog is coming. Slowly but surely. The more I try to understand the culture the more I understand the language. Its really interesting how much culture effects language. Because each culture views life in a different way, and I have enjoyed putting on philippino goggles, and understood their way of living. Sometimes its hard, because english does not translate straight into tagalog, and it doesnt make sense to them. for example you wouldn't say "is anyone home?" you would say "have people here" and if you answered yes or no, that doesn't make sense. You either Have people or none. Thats a basic example, others take me more time to understand. I love it though. They have words that I wish were american words. Like "daw". Its a word you use when you dont really want to be specific on who said it. like "masirap daw" means someone said its delicious. But you can use it to repeat what someone just said, and you dont have to repeat their name. Learning this language I just feel like im a teenager finding new "popular" words to use. Like how in English you find new words like, rad, sweet, hip, neat, cool, in Tagalog all those mean- Astig so sometimes I just feel like im expanding my englsh vocabulary. Its me secretly deceiving my brain into learning a new language.
Sorry I ahve to go now, I just kept typing, about random things and boy oh boy look at the time. Sorry! I'll catch ya all up on more spiritual matters next time! Chow for now! Much love! Remember God loves you, and has given SO much to us. All he asks for in return is to love him by keeping the commandments!