Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Conference Sunday

These beautiful girls are in my Primary class. Last Sunday they sang with the rest of the Primary in Sacrament meeting for ward conference. They all did a really great job. The boys wore white shirts with grey ties and it was a lot of fun to watch them.
The boys in the class seem to change every week so I'm not sure which boys are actually in my class besides Anya because he is always there.
Anya has the most contagious smile though I have never heard him speak. He is in a world of his own that is happy.
I'm not sure if the children change classes when they have a birthday or if they just put different kids into different classes that work for them.
I'm having a lot of fun being a teacher again.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Jeffrey Told me but Living with it is different

Living near the equator is different than living north of it. Jeffrey did explain how the days would work, but really.......I feel like I'm not getting enough daylight.
Going to work at 5:30 min the morning, the sun is just coming up - this was in October 
5:45 am in February the light is about the same

The Elders often are up at 5:30 am for their 6 am gym time
Around 6 am it is almost light and 6:30 is full light

But working at the bottom of the MTC without windows, how would we know what it looks like?
At 5:45 pm it is sunset and at 6:30 pm it is full dark
Whenever we leave at 5:30 or 5:45 pm it is sunset
It feels odd that the time is not changing, we are not getting longer days. It was just fine to have a slightly longer day when we arrived in October.......but this not getting any longer days in February is.........different.

I've Decided that Tomorrow I'll Be All Better

After fitful sleeping, I woke up late with a stiff neck and the usual cold yucky stuff. I decided that this is the last day I'm going to be sick. When I turn my head quickly the world swirls, despite that I'm going to be all better tomorrow.
I just know you want to know more about my fascinating world!
The markets are located just outside of the fields the plants grow in.
We traveled for hours in a van or car and most of these shots are taken out of the window - sorry if they are a tad fuzzy
Lush growth is everywhere. It rains a lot but I don't know if it is like that all the time or if that is just this season.
Beautiful plantations and homes were near Cavite or was this Taytay?
Lots of rolling hills with growing things - speculation in the van went to all extremes - we don't know what is growing there.
I am told the fruit cut up, yellow in the middle is very delicious but smells terrible. The flower nurseries would have Norma, Laura, and Rosanne  salivating - they were so beautiful and lush
These are banana trees, my shots of the bananas were blurry. Most of the bananas are smaller than what we get in California but so much more delicious!
These markets line the streets out of the plantations and farms and probably have all the freshest produce

Rumors and more rumors

When is the second half of the Philippine MTC going to open?
Ever since I've been here there has been the rumor that the MTC extra buildings are going to open and more missionaries are going to be here. December went by as a final date, February has gone by, I don't think even April will be final. The current rumor is June.
I don't ask any woman when her baby is due and I don't ask when the MTC will open. I just note the changes that happen.......and I really can't figure these out.
The scaffolding next to the dental clinic was up until Elder Cook came to visit, it came down and then up again until around the first of February when it seems to have come down for good. Now the windows that you can see was the gym that is being turned into a new chapel for the second phase  of the MTC- of course that is the rumor. Work is happening in there. The missionaries are playing in the parking lot - basketball, badminton, volleyball, jump rope, mats come out for exercise and some run.
IT was hard to figure out what was being done as one set of men would do work for weeks on one part and then another set would chisel out by hand - a wood handle with a long nail out the side and hammer, then they would bring small buckets up by hand of wet cement to cover it over. Sometimes I would notice men hammering up old cement into little pieces to mix it in with the cement. 
I thought it was all done, but then they started over on different parts chipping away and adding new cement
Another thing that happens is deep lines chiseled away in the walls or ceilings and then wires on metal tubing put in through the holes and lines and then the line is cemented back over and smoothed. Why weren't the electrical, water, or such lines made in the first instance? No architectural drawing or guidelines followed?

This entrance had been poured at the end of January, last week they chipped the top of it off by hand and then smoothed it back over with small buckets of cement

Then another man painstakingly drew lines with a ruler in the wet cement exactly so far apart - why?
Each set of workers wear the same color shirts. There are red, green and yellow shirts. I noted the grounds crew all wear the same costume too. Why?  All the maintenance men in the whole MTC wherever they work wear a grey overall - Why? Is it culture or Church required?
Lots of rooms, sidewalks, and walls in the new buildings seem to be done and then are done over.....and over. Why? Beds and toilets are carried in and then wiring? Why?
I have seen the meticulous care that has gone on in parts of the building - but then someone else will cover it over or do it again. I'm still trying to figure out why things are not passing inspection. Why else would they do work over and over? Maybe it is different work done over the already done parts?

Monday, February 20, 2017

Almost feel guilty for eating the chocolate

After a nap today I feel better, but not enough to sweep all the floors and scrub the bathrooms. There was salad in the fridge but the chocolate tasted better. I like Kelsi's idea of a homecation and I'm doing my best to be true to those principles today. Though I never did get undressed from work and my lipsence is still looking good. The bags under my eyes are from mascara not sleep deprivation - though I'm not taking a picture of me to show you.
Speaking of pictures -----
Quezon City is always building something.
Note the building on the right that is not finished at the top. The dark yellow/coral at the bottom of that tower is next to a building in progress. This picture was taken in December
There is a fine layer of concrete dust that settles on everything that isn't dusted weekly.
Note this building going up. The yellow bars are across a street the comes into the mall and has netting to catch anything falling from the building in construction. Sometimes lines of cement trucks take up the whole street and we go around a different way to get in or our of mall.
Even on the street construction or repair of cement is going on. Sidewalks and curbs are chiseled away with hammer and a long nail on a stick and then new cement is mixed and smoothed on. New buildings are going up and old buildings are being changed.
I can't see work being done to finish this building and to me it looks the same as when we moved in. I could be wrong. This is the building above the coral building.
The sign on the side of the new building going up says Mega Mall. Mega Mall is in evidence in many places around here. I can't figure out if each of these building are owned independently or if there is an overall plan and owners that others buy into. I do know that many floors are empty even as the new buildings or going up.  Some businesses have been "coming" for months. I'm curious how it all works.
Some buildings look the same way after many months. Two buildings have been in construction since October and I can't see any workers or evidence of working done at all. Like I say I'm curious of the how and why.

Home Sick Today

My head feels to heavy to keep up, yet when I lay down I can't breathe very well. I really hate head colds.
Watching people is so much more fun.
Mall life has some really interesting things that I don't know the "why" about. For instance in the later part of the day on about the fourth level - I'm guessing, but I know that the 5 level has a walking place that intersects with other apartments in a walking/pool/children's play yard level and this place looks like it is a little below.
This appears to be a place that people rest - employees of some kind?
I am not often here in the early part of the day and have not been able to observe if people are here or not, today I don't see anybody........10:30 and I still don't see anybody.  These photo were taken a few weeks ago during the afternoon.
I think they are sleeping. Not a whole lot of people but some. Why?
No one during the rain squall. This place is higher than the store roofs, lower than the swimming pools. Where does it come off from? Is it part of a company or part of the mall? Who sleeps here?
Ah, maybe I'll go take a nap and get better...........maybe someone will show up later.

Friday, February 17, 2017


I like to watch people.
It is really nice when I can watch people, take pictures, speculate and not recognise them if I passed them on the street. Being on the 26th floor lets me do all those things.
The neighbourhoods and mall life around me is endless in its variety and I've taken hundreds of pictures. Why, just because. So I'm going to show you something I noticed over the last two months.

I took a picture (well quite a few actually) out of my east window and noted the repellant coloured water and the interesting neighbors and especially their homes. I didn't notice the life on the river until a few weeks later. I'm not really sure it is a river or what it is, but it winds around the city and has cement walls on both sides.
Taken the last few weeks in December 2016
I didn't notice the farming life on the river for about 2 weeks.  I watched the basketball games and Christmas lights from different areas. I wondered what life was like there.
Early January 2017
One day I noted a farmer busy in and out of the water.
A few days later his 'farm' had grown
Now I always take note if I get home before dark
I wondered how shallow the water was and why these 'vegetables'? grew so fast
Then another day the lines of vegetation were further apart - what?
I asked Ernesto at work about what would be grown in the water. He explained about these vegetables that grow only in the water. He said this man probably sells his vegetables at a market to earn money.
He is a hard worker. I noted the lines when he pulled the rows further apart.
The water color has not changed but my perception of the river has. It can sustain life just like the earth dirt.
I don't know how many seasons  plants grow here - maybe year round
I can tell they grow very quickly- why is he moving them out into the middle of the river?
Pretty cool!
One of these days I'll find this vegetable and take a picture of it up close. As to eating it - well, I can handle the mud coloured water now, but the debris in the water collecting around the vegetables - that is very off-putting. I've eaten many things I never have before - so maybe. But not yet.