Friday, July 20, 2007
"Welcome to the Philippines!"
Greetings! Well, an eventful day it was today.....
First I must start with yesterday....my Thursday, your Wednesday (depending on where you are).
You see, we were supposed to get our cargo at noon yesterday, but went to the airport to retrieve it and they said that our pieces were not on the supposed plane. "Great." They told us it would arrive Friday for pick up. So we decided to head out instead of staying home sulking because pieces of our lives were stuck in Manila.
We headed to "Jack's Ridge" and "Shrine Hill" at the prompting of our director, Matt. He's been so helpful...he, too, is waiting for our cargo as his northwest smoked salmon and pistachio nuts are in there.
So we took a non-aircon taxi all the way up the hill to a beautiful look-out where they do not charge you money for toilet paper. :) This is a plus. Here are some of the things we saw....Tim has more photos, but you know him, he wants to fix them up before posting them....I just don't care.
Needless to say, the beauty was breathtaking. Then we made it home before the rain hit.
Then today, I worked my first clinic day at Mercy Maternity. I hung out with my new friends Jenny and Lois, who taught me so much about prenatal exams, baby check-ups, and communicating with the native ladies. They were sooooo beautiful....and very pregnant. When a Filipina gets pregnant, it is impossible to hide it because they are so small and their bellies just stick out so far! It is such a lovely sight. The ladies really do glow (yeah, maybe it's the sweat, but they still glow!). Some are happy to be there at the clinic, while others seems as though they can't wait to get out of there.
Lois and Jenny helped me hear the fetal heart tones (FHT) and taught me to take blood pressure....I learned "vagina" and "bleeding" and "swollen" in Cebuano. That was entertaining....I also learned "good-bye" and "thank you". That was pretty helpful, too. Lois even let me pray for one of the ladies. They are all pretty willing to let you pray for them as they get a check-up. Lois shared the many difficulties the women endure to get to birth at Mercy....apparently many women get turned away as there are just not enough hours in a day or enough workers to handle all the births....everywhere you go, there is no shortage of pregnant ladies. They all look about 16 years old, too. Many are older, but there are many young girls, too. I learned so much today.
After my shift, I went home to discover that our cargo was ready for pick-up, but after orientation pictured here at our house (Matt is explaining that guys show friendship by touching each others' legs and being physically affectionate...you know how Tim is with that!!! Tee hee! The other pic is of our class laughing at poor Tim), Matt and Tim went to the airport to pick up our belongings and it was a no-go. The Customs department was being a booger and wanted Tim to come back on Monday to claim his stuff because there was too much paperwork to fill out and it was too close to closing...and the customs guards wanted to get as much as they could in duty....ARGH!
So here we are again...without our cargo....waiting, waiting...."Welcome to the Philippines" they say. I get it now. So please pray we get our stuff on Monday.....I have my first birth room shift starting at 10pm on Monday, so I would really love to get our stuff BEFORE I start work. Mmmm. God has been gracious so far....oh how we need His mercies....good thing that they are new every morning! Tee hee.
We are trying to keep our spirits high as we are really adjusting to the culture shock now. Honeymoon has worn off...we are trying to accept and not push our culture....we are aliens and guests in this beautiful land filled with beautiful people....who do things different. The tension grows at times, though. He is faithful and He has called us here for a reason much bigger than to teach me midwifery, meet pregnant ladies, deal with customs and try interesting food...we are to be Christ everywhere we go in order to win the hearts of those around us for His sake. I am feeling rather convicted right now. Can you tell?
Thank you for all your prayers and we will keep you posted on all the goings on.....be blessed!