Thursday, March 25, 2010

Back to School

Hey all. Toti and I had a goofy day of presenting the Biosand Water Filter to school children yesterday. Read all about it here.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Catching up...

We're having a lazy day. There was no church today, so we sat in bed and watched the hockey game instead. Well, truth be told, Promise had the other computer set up next to mine with a Dora DVD. But I could tell she was conflicted about what screen to fix her gaze upon. I think she'll turn into a good Canadian soon enough.

It was nice to have family time. I've been trying hard to set aside some special time for that each week. I always look forward to our evening routine of eating together (still no television shows during meals, if you were wondering), and then playing with Promise before her bedtime. Reading her favorite story to her is the highlight of my day (and no, Tiger still can't sleep).

The last two weeks, however, I've taken a morning off from work to go swimming with Bethany and Promise at the Marco Polo. A few weeks ago Mum & Dad got us a privilege club membership at the nicest hotel in Davao. Included in the membership is several free trips to the rooftop pool. Now, there are several pools around the city, but there is something about escaping to a place of luxury for a few hours. You might have to live here to understand it, but it really is an escape. We may be only four stories above the noisy, stinky streets of Davao, but lying there on the fancy poolside chairs, with a plush oversized towel, contemplating a fancy fruit just forget where you are for a little while.

Promise absolutely loves swimming and begins to squeal with delight as soon as we exit the elevator (even the elevator is a nice place to hang out) and approach the pool. Promise calls it "the bap", believing it to be her own personal oversized bath tub. I wish I had pictures to show you of our recent visits to the Marco Polo, but I keep forgetting to bring my camera. I'll remember next week. Maybe.

Work has kept me pretty busy these days. As you may know, we're working on a deal with the Province of Pampanga, which is on the opposite side of the country, a couple hours north of Manila. We're facing an excellent opportunity to reach a whole new population, but it's not without its challenges. The province has requested an initial order of 500 Biosand Water Filters and has agreed to help us partner with another NGO to fund a new manufacturing center.

At this point we are still trying to work out the details of how to cut through the bureaucratic red tape and get the job done. Further complicating matters is the approaching election (May 11) with rules that restrict spending. We've looked at delaying the project until after the election, but the rainy season is fast approaching which always leads to a spike in water related illnesses. Toti and I will be in Pampanga for a few days on Thursday. Please be praying that we find creative solutions and reach an agreement with the government that will bring safe drinking water to the province in a reasonable amount of time.

I realize I haven't blogged in forever. I could keep writing at you—there is lots to say—but that would make this the mother of all blog posts. I can tell you that I've been busy enough with work that I haven't taken a meaningful photo or written anything creatively for a very long time. I'm even ignoring Facebook, because Facebook without wit just feels like an empty exercise. It's not that I don't have any free time. It's just that when I get to the end of the day, I feel like I have no creative energy left. I miss Uncle Bob. He would have been on me this month to get outside and make some photographs.

My hard drive filled up recently too, which meant that there was no room on my computer for new photos anyways. In fact, I've had images sitting on my memory card, waiting to be offloaded, since February 20th. I put in a new hard drive this week, upgrading from 250GB to 500GB, so I've got 4 gigs worth of photos uploading right now. I'll share some with you here, though they'll be painfully out of date.

Okay, this was a pretty lame bit of writing, but we'll just call it a bout of knocking off the rust. I'll get back to you later this week with something a little more eloquent. For now, I'll leave you with a few photos that should have appeared here a very long time ago, including some from my parents' visit, our 4am gold medal hockey game party, the really cheap and lame potty that Bethany mentioned a couple weeks ago (we've had a lot of requests), and the new table and chair that Promise has been enjoying.

Peace out.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Somebody got a new rooster.

I think our neighbor got a new pet. This particular pet has very strong lungs and at 3:30 am every morning, he makes his presence known with a heartfelt macho "cock-a-doodle-doo-er". Yes, ever the "er" is at the end of his crow. In fact, the first time I heard him, I thought it was somebody outside being was almost musical!

However, since the morning he showed up, I haven't been able to get back to sleep once he starts his dirge. Doesn't he know that the sun doesn't come up until about 5 am?? I haven't been able to locate his whereabouts, but I know he is near.....sure, we've had many cocks around our neighborhood doodling all morning...but this one is particularly loud...the baby monitor in Promise's room on the other side of the apartment even picks up his morning call....he crows as though he is in my bathroom...stuck and can't get out. Poor cock. Dumb bird.

Okay....enough with my rooster tale. Tim has some great and awesome news for you all, but I don't think he will get around to blogging until the end of the week, so please stay tuned. For now, I will just give you an update on family life and getting back into the swing of things.

Tim's parents left on Saturday morning. We had a great time with them and felt encouraged to continue following the path God's been taking us on despite its sometimes invisibility....or so it seems. Although I was very tired during their visit and was still adjusting to being back here, I appreciated them coming and taking the time to just be with us.

Promise is adoring her "new" room. She is finally sleeping through the night without incident. :) This makes her mommy and daddy very happy. We bought her a $2 "potty" this week and hope to start the training process.....this little Chinese-made potty is hilarious and I am not sure exactly how Promise is going to make the switch between the potty being a mobile "comfy chair" that can also be a storage place for toys and it being a place for her excrement. So the journey begins. :)

I start working at this clinic next week. Because of Tim's work schedule, I will only be doing one day a week to start. I am looking forward to being back with the buntis. It feels a little funny to be going back to work no longer a student and not needing supervisor or preceptor signatures! This week I get to start home prenatals on a friend of mine from church. While she is planning on delivering her 5th baby in the US in October, she has asked me to be her midwife until her departure. I am honored to attend to her. :) She is my first "client" as Bethany, CPM.

I also get to visit May-May this week. Remember her? Her mother passed away in early February from complications of diabetes. She and her family have been continuing to struggle with the loss of her mother and new challenges. For example, after the big earthquake in Chile, parts of Davao were evacuated for fear of the tsunamis. May-May's family was just one of many evacuees. The tsunamis never came, but the fear and inconvenience to them was very hard. Tomorrow is the 40th-day anniversary of her mother's death and she has asked me to come and visit. In Filipino culture, death is mourned a long time....and days are counted. I look forward to the day when she has the freedom deep within to stop counting.

Sorry for the lack of pictures...I am finding it hard to remember to take them and Tim is just too busy to be working on photography....I will be sure to get back into taking some soon.
Thank you all again for the congrats, encouragement, support and prayers....the proof is in the pudding and the pudding seems good.....prayers are working.

Be blessed.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

NARM Exam results....

God is faithful.
Thank you oodles for the prayers. I am a certified midwife. :)
Be blessed.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Greetings! I am writing from my kitchen table in very hot, sunny Davao City....Promise and I made it back safely without any major issues. :)

After the incredible miracles God performed while Promise and I were in Oregon, I was certain that our flights home would be covered in the grace and mercies of God.....and they were. Despite all flights being insanely full, I managed to bargain my way into getting Promise her own seat....and her own meals. However, she screamed most of the way from Portland to Tokyo with 2 hours of interrupted sleep in between. After a wonderful sponge bath in the Tokyo handicap bathroom, Promise and I headed to our 5-6 hour flight out of Tokyo to Manila....we sat next to a little old lady who was gracious enough to let us out 3 times to pee and get diapered. :)

We were so blessed when we arrived in Manila because immigration was speedy and though it was after 10 pm, Promise was still coping. We managed to get out into the humid air 30 minutes earlier than expected and we were overwhelmingly blessed when we saw Christina (Tim's mom) in the distance looking around for us. :) We ran to her and got BIG hugs. She had ordered us a van from her hotel and put us up in a wonderful room for the night. We were greeted by the Philippines Impact Nations team and my dear friend, Danielle, even gave me some of her halo-halo. :) Exhausted, we lumbered up to our room and Christina watched the Bird while I showered. By midnight, I was almost in tears from exhaustion...I tried to get Promise to go to sleep....she wasn't taking the bait. By 2 am, I was crying and Promise was wailing...I was sure everyone in the hotel was thinking that I was beating my child or something. I put on some soft worship music from my computer, gave Promise some infant Motrin and rocked her until she dozed off...only to wake up again at 5 am. Poor baby.

But Friday morning held a wonderful reunion. Steve, Christina, Promise and I boarded a plane bound for Davao to see Tim. They let me run ahead while they got the luggage from the baggage claim....I ran outside to see Tim in tears and Promise very sleepily say, "Daddy!". She leaned into his chest and rested. It was sweet. I cried, too.

While I was so grateful to have my hubby back, I couldn't help but feel an aching sense of doom. I didn't want to be in Davao. I wanted to be in Oregon still. Feeling my purpose for this season unclear and daunted by the overwhelming feelings of exhaustion and the responsibility to "DO" again, I started to withdraw.

This week has been very hard. We've had several earthquakes, power outages, water shortages, extreme heat and that doesn't include my questionable attitude and sheer exhaustion. I am sure that being pregnant is not helping...though I am so thankful to be healthy and strong for this little baby boy.

Promise is adjusting okay to all the changes again. She is finally in her own room (PRAISE GOD!) and is no longer breastfeeding! YEAH!!! During the day, the heat gets to her and she is getting eaten again by mosquitoes. She struggles with jetlag still, but is doing great at sleeping through the night. The many Dora the Explorer dolls help. :) She and her daddy are two peas in a pod and are enjoying every moment together despite her terrible crabbiness. In all honesty, this little girl has been through a lot and for what she has endured, I'd say she is pretty amazing and fantastic. She is handling it better than I could ever ask....and she is cute, too.

This week has been filled with visits, trips out and about with Steve and Christina and bacon. Yes, I have bought bacon nearly everyday this week. It's hard to come by here because it's pretty expensive....but my preggo body is craving it like water.

Tim and I were also blessed this week as Steve and Christina bought us a package deal at a very beautiful hotel here in town....they have a pool, several restaurants, air con and gorgeous rooms! This week, they are watching the Bird for a FULL 24 hours, so Tim and I can enjoy a day of rest together away from the stressors of home....and from water shortages, heat, and power outages. :) I am TERRIBLY excited. I wish it were Thursday right more day and Tim and I get to be in "honeymoon" mode for 24 hours. LOVE IT. The last time we did something like this was Valentines' Day 5 years ago!

So, I suppose that's the quick update news on the results of the NARM exam. My ultrasound results came back showing a perfect little baby boy situated in a perfectly healthy womb. God is so good. His little kicks remind me of my Father's faithfulness again and again.

My parents in Oregon have been so encouraging as I have been transitioning back here...their prayers are certainly making a difference. I miss them.

Tim will update soon on all the crazy and awesome goings-on here. Cool stuff. I am so proud of him.
Be blessed.