Monday, March 17, 2014
JET-LAG, THE WOES OF "PO", DRINKING WATER & WHAT ABOUT THAT TOILET PAPER!
How long did you have jet-lag?
At least three days. I crashed every night when I got back to the apartment, haha.
So, is your apartment in Baguio or Tuding?
I am serving in Baguio City, in the the Tuding area. Kind of like Las Vegas and Summerlin, Tuding is a subdivision of Baguio.
Do you share an apartment with just you and your companion, or are there more elder's like in Jay' mission?
It's unusual, but the apartment is just me and Elder Wilson, haha. It gets interesting when two different personalities are cooped up with each other all day, every day, but I love him to death. He's super obedient and a really good trainer.
How big, geographically, is your mission? Your area?
It's HUGE. I didn't realize that. The Philippines looks small on a map, but it is huge in real life. My area is mostly just a road named Itogon, with purok's and barangays (neighborhoods and communities) on either side. There's actually no end of my area until the Kawain Mission, according to the myth, so if we wanted we could go teach like cannibal tribes out in the mountains of Banguet.
Are there any members in Tuding?
There are, but very few. The bishop, a single sister and her son, and a small family. But the ward missionaries in my ward are soooo awesome. They travel from all over the place to help us out!
Do they have dogs as pets? Or are they literally just considered another animal?
Some people do, usually the richer ones, but mostly they are just kind of a nuisance. They breed and live all on their own throughout the Philippines.
Any cultural adjustments that have been interesting?
When to and when to not use "po". Po is an interesting word that doesn't have an English translation, but you throw it in to be polite to whoever you are talking to. It can also change pronouns, especially "you". You are supposed to use it with people older than you or strangers. It's hard for me to get it right, though! If you use po with a kid younger than you, especially little kids, they'll laugh at you, and if you forget to use it with strangers or older people, they think you are a punk, haha.
If they don't have much toilet paper... what exactly do they use to clean themselves after using the restroom?
They have kind of a ladle deal. You're supposed to basically pour it down your lower back to the desired areas and wipe with your left hand, then wash your hands afterwards. In a lot of ways, it's a lot cleaner than using toilet paper, but I won't discuss it in great detail, haha.
Do members have you over for dinner like they do here in America?
Not every night. Food is expensive and there are not a lot of members in my area. At most, once every two weeks or so.
Do you cook a lot of meals?
We do, but it's my companion because he's a much better cook than I am, haha. My job is cleaning up afterwards.
What are their grocery stores like?
Depends where you are in the city. If you have enough money, you can go to the Baguio SM which is a giant super mall, with a full American style grocery store in the bottom, but it ain't cheap. Or you can go to the tiny stores and vendors on the streets, but where your food came from and it's quality is a little more questionable.
Are you allowed to drink the water?
Nope! Even Filipinos don't drink out of the tap. It's a sure way to get VERY sick. They buy filtered water in big jugs from water stations. I use the tap water but with my filtered water bottle.
I hope that was illuminating! And as for my report, two young families that I have been teaching have baptismal dates!!!!!!! I'm so very very very excited! The Lord has blessed me and Elder Wilson very thoroughly. Other than that, I'm just keepin' on! I love everyone back home!