Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Cutting fabric

I have yet to see a cutting table for fabric to be cut from a bolt in the Philippines. Most fabric is 60 inches wide and is measured with a meter stick (in yards or meters) then folded over at the measure and cut down the fold.
Each yard is measured from the bolt sitting on the floor

In this case when he got to the measured length he snipped a cut and tore the fabric off

The next piece he measured, folded it over the measured place and cut down the fold

In these big warehouses, they get to the material any way possible

Everywhere I've gone to buy material, the method of cutting is the same

No table, just eye it down the fold and cut away

Sunday, January 14, 2018

My closest friend know how much I like shopping

A bumper sticker or t-shirt that says, "I survived shopping in Taytay."
Taytay (pronounced tie-tie) is a town that has many blocks wide series of shops that sell goods. I do not know if food is involved as we only went to the clothing and material shops. Lots and lots of buildings with alley after alley with hundreds of shops to wander through material and any notion item you would want.
Sister Henry fingering some material.  Fancy, plain, fuzzy, stiff, knit, suiting, lining, dress, shirt....every type of material available if you can find the right shop

Shops that sold every kind of clothing items or towels, pillowcases, aprons, etc. etc. I didn't even check to see if they had large clothing sizes as I've never found them yet. I did buy some sneakers in a men's size.
Sister Nido checking out how much can be added to her kilo

Stacks and stacks and bolt after bolt of material. Lots of the material is sold in kilos. The remnants of the same pattern are stacked up and sold in a deal. Some are three yards, two and a half, maybe smaller. About 10 yards equals a kilo - for about 750 pesos or just a little over 10 dollars. Some material can be cut off the bolt in yards or meters and 15 yards cost just under 20 dollars. Amazing! Though I must admit I didn't see any dress patterns. That doesn't mean they aren't there, it is just that we didn't go look for them. Zippers, elastic, thread, buttons, bangles, pom-poms, snaps.......it is all there.
Only the early morning hours does the traffic look this good

We left in the early morning and traffic was not bad. Construction with deep excavation signs lined one side of the street that we walked around.
Honks, toots, whistles and lots of patience, though at this intersection there was a man directing traffic

Later in the day the traffic jammed the street and we walked down the other side dodging sewer and oil in the gutters, loads of pedestrians, motor bikes and trikes.
Gutter and sidewalks can be treacherous
Coming around one alley was a lady cleaning and taking care of her fish.
Sister Nido talks with the lady with the fish

I noted on the other side she had the vegetables already cut up - for stew?

We refreshed ourselves with coconut juice and the meat of the coconut.
This young man used a machete to slice open the coconut, drained the juice into the bag in the plastic container and then scooped the meat out and added it to the sack

The coconut juice was not sweet, mildly refreshing - Ice cold would have been awesome.

After walking, looking, listening, buying and simply  tagging along, I think I was a little shell-shocked. I'm still processing the experience. The companionship, laughter, sharing of stories and encouragement made the day truly enjoyable!

Rewards of Visiting Teaching

On Thursday we visited some ladies in a "Visiting Teaching" role and acquired more ladies as we went along. Soon there were five ladies at the Bishop's house talking and watching kids. I was asked if I had ever been to Taytay and a trip was planned for Saturday morning to go. It turned out to be only three of us as the others had commitments elsewhere.
Sister Henry, I, and Sister Nido in a fabric shop. The stacks behind are sold in kilo lots even though the material comes in remnants of 2 to 3 and a half yards

Sister Nida Nido has lived in Antioch just 10 miles away from my home in Concord. She met her husband there and they have homes in both countries. Sister June Henry is a widow, she met her husband in California in the San Diego area and had a son. After her husband died she came back to the Philippines and her son joined the church and got her activated again. He will be coming home from his mission in March and she can tell us the day and hour she will see him again.
I had phun using a taxi to find Sister Nido's house in the pre-dawn but everything worked out fine. We had a quick trip to Taytay as the traffic was light and so much fun talking, laughing and sharing the day!
Sister Nido and I. She has let me tag along in all her visiting teaching and received a warm welcome from many ladies because of her friendship

All of us bought something and encouraged the others to 'get' what they were looking for. The very essence of sisterhood. They negotiated all the prices for me, Sister Henry got my shoes down to 750 pesos in the right size and Sister Nido dickered the price to 960 pesos for 15 yards of fabric. I encouraged Sister Nido to get her blouse and we went back for a dress for her mom, I told Sister Henry to 'go for it' on a dress she was looking at.  We estimated and figured out how much material the shopping bags Sister Nido wanted to make would take to sew up. I did warn her that math is not my strong suit. I'm hoping that 10 yards is not too much. If it is, I'll buy three yards off of her and make it into pillowcases.
Sister Henry and I hit it off big time. I still can't tell how old she is as she has that ageless Asian face. I think we are around the same age - but who knows?
The trip back was long as traffic was at it's regular high point. Chatting and sharing stories and ideas made the time pass quickly. I can't wait to see them again.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Watch for the little things

A month or so ago, Sister Stewart got a little cut on her hand. But twenty-four hours later it looked bad!
I was amazed at our Christmas dinner party when she played songs without complaint. I wonder if our hosts even noticed her hands.

Care has to be taken because there are more microbes here than what we are not used to in California.
Now her hands are both the same size and the cut is completely healed.

It is Friday

I have heard that advertising is everything. In regards to Activity Days I have to say that is true. I'm sitting at the church catching up on my emails, facebook, blog and lesson ideas because no one turned up. No previous notice on facebook, no people. I can't say am not a little glad to unwind and relax after Intake today.
A whole nice new batch of missionaries, some nervous, some zealous, some exited and most of them are tired. We had a few who are still in route and will arrive "soon".
Typical Intake day -
Sister Whitehead (Maryanne) waits to assist missionaries to find their way to the Clinic and to the next building
Sister Van W__ working as a radiologist taking x rays

Sister Tucker inputs the computer data then waits while the panoramic picture is taken

Sister Tucker at work
We are very lucky to get translation and assistance from one of the teachers at the MTC
Sister Whitehead going over the consent forms

Doctor Whitehead screening a missionary
Elder Stewart screening missionary while Sister Stewart records

I cannot resist taking a photo when a missionary doesn't quite hit 5 foot next to Sister Stewart who is almost 6 foot
Missionaries lined up waiting to have a panoramic shot of their teeth

Sister Stinchfield going over the consent form with a missionary

Elder Stinchfield screening a missionary
After the missionaries are screened they are given an x ray for a more in-depth screening. Many who look good have problems below what can be seen on the surface.
Elder Stewart helping an Elder finish his orientation

Elder Stewart waiting to round up some more "lost sheep"
Sister Hoem's last intake and last lunch. This lunch always has an apple, a packaged drink, crackers, and a type of roll that has ham and cheese in the middle. A interesting skinny quarter slice of ham with a cube of cheese usually not melted.

Elder Stinchfield invents a way to see behind him. OK not so funny now, you had to be there - after a long day. 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

No camera

Words can't describe feelings and pictures can only help. So when I leave home without my camera I'm really stuck on how to explain what I'm feeling.
I got lost in Cubao, I know it is because I went without Jonah again. After sitting for about 50 minutes going almost 5 blocks, I slipped down a side street and - yup - got lost in twisty narrow lanes. But I did remember the main streets Jonah pointed out and looked for anything that resembled one. The twin orange buildings let me know I was close, so I only back-tracked a little bit and found a parking garage I've never been in before. Phun, phun , phun.
I walked through mall halls I don't remember and across a skyway that I do remember and found exactly what I was looking for. Since I pray over about everything, I felt my prayers were answered that I didn't have an accident or cause an accident (close - but still), found what I was looking for, and got back home in one piece. Thank you Lord.
Going on a visiting teaching trip today was really magical. I still don't understand the language and Lady Q doesn't understand me but she usually asks me to pray when I go with the other ladies. She laughs because I always bring something. Today it was a rug. A backhoe was pulling up one side of her street (lane? bigger than an alley, smaller than a road),  and men were putting down large cement pipe sections that will drain the water and sewer away. It is really too bad I didn't have a camera. The process is amazing, but the really interesting part is the fact that anyone can go right up to the trench being dug. I don't think OSHA has any counterpart in Quezon City or probably anywhere in the Philippines.
We visited three ladies and I have to tell you I really love going to Sister Henry's home. Her son will be coming home in 50 odd days (She knows the exact time and hour).  She is very smart, funny and compassionate. She is the one to ask me about Jonah and wanted to know if she was coming back.
We also visited with the Bishop's wife and saw their children too. I really had a lot of fun but can't remember all the things we talked about. I can remember the feeling.....but how to describe the warmth, joy, love and peace.........ah that is a conundrum.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018


It takes 16 signatures from different officials in various government offices in the Philippines to set up a doctor to practice in a charity dental clinic. Then it is only good for a year when the papers (and fees) need to be submitted again.
The taxes here are amazing. Taxes on a rental unit, car, leases, charity donations, imports, exports, there is a tax or fee for everything.
Doctor Stinchfield and his paperwork