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 smoothie...you 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.