Thursday, December 16, 2010

Traveling to Tyler

On the sixth of December we started our trip to Puerto.  The first transportation thing we went on was a little boat to get to Townsite.  It was not Uncle Dennis'  boat, but it was a boat that a guy owns who lives in the same village that we do.  It was a boat like Dad and Grandpa rode in the first time here, but a little bigger...but not big enough!  Mom had to ride on the motorbike with Uncle Dennis.  The boat was still a little low in the water.(note from Mom-the boat was so low and the swells were large enough that they disappeared in the swells...scared this Mom!)  When we got to Townsite we unloaded all of us and our cargo.  It was a little cramped sitting in the same position for one hour.  After we unloaded our stuff into a tricy-cab we started to walk to where we would sleep that night.  We were sleeping over top a karaoke bar and it is kind of loud, but I can sleep through it!  For dinner we went to a restaurant and you have to remember that we are still in Townsite so we have to walk everywhere.  We had chicken and rice for dinner.  After we were done we went back to Sing and Swing (that's the name of the bar).  We sleep there because it is easier to travel in the day rather than at four o'clock in the morning!  When we got back we went straight to bed.

The next day we got up at five o'clock in the morning to get on the boat to Rio Tuba.  Johnny said he would come with his truck between 5:30 and 6:00am.  So were were ready by 5:30, but he did not come until after 6:00.  Before he came Dad got worried that we would be late for the boat so he went to sign us in.  Right after Dad left, Johnny came to pick us up.  He took us to a place called BCI (I don't know what it stands for).  We went there because it was wavy and they don't want the boats to hit the cement dock.  So they put they where it is not wavy.  We did not have to wait very long before the boat was on its way.  Dad said it sounded like it had a turbo in in (most of them don't), so were were going at a fare speed for about one hour.  At the next stop a lot of people got on.  There were about 15 people on the top and it was packed down below.  So the rest of the trip was a little slower.

When the boat got to Rio Tuba all the guys wanted to carry our stuff (as usual), so we let them.  They set all of our stuff down on the street.  We rented a van so we thought it would come down to where we were, but it did not so we rode on tricy-cabs to get to where the van was parked.  It is always a bumpy ride.  Once we got there we all took a bathroom break before we got on the van.  The van ride was nice, nothing abnormal happened.

When we got to Simon's, we unloaded our stuff and some of the workers carried our stuff into the house.  We ate dinner and went to bed.  The next day we learned about the soil and how to get the nutrients back into the soil.  They have four kinds of animals at their place, goats, pigs, ducks, and chickens.  The mother pig had two week old piglets; they were cute.  On the second day we learned about goats and chickens.  We also mixed bokashi.  Bokashi is a Japanese word but I don't know the meaning of it.  We mixed it up and put it in the soil to make the plants grow better.  On the third day we learned about different types of plants and other things, and on the fourth day we went to the New Tribes guest house.

Since we have been at the guest house we have been shopping for Christmas gits and food.  We drew names and I got mom so I had to look a little harder.

Oh, I almost forgot, I bought a boat down on the island.  Our neighbor's son made it.  It is made out of wood and fiberglass.  It is about two and a half feet long and ten inches wide.  It is made to go in the water and it is a model of a launch.  A launch is a boat that carries big cargo from one island to another. 

I enjoyed Tyler's description of our trip to Puerto and our agricultural training last week that I thought I would share it!  Traveling to and from our island is always an adventure, but it sure is a beautiful ride!  We have enjoyed our two weeks in the city, but we are also ready to go our quiet, slow paced village life!  The agricultural training we participated in last week was excellent.  We have learned so much about soil fertility and how much the soil here is lacking in nutrients and organic material.  Now we just need to take some of these techniques back to the island and help the people understand the importance of improving the soil.  The second week we have spent the time buying supplies, everything from food to Christmas presents and gardening supplies.  Not much to buy once we get to our island so we have to get all we need while we are in the city!  We are anxiously awaiting returning home and getting ready for Christmas!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


American style on a remote island in the Philippines!  Who would have ever thought??  We had a fun Thanksgiving! We were all sure looking forward to a day set aside as a holiday, the only problem is that it didn't last near long enough!  The turkey turned out great in the oven.  Dennis figured out how to put a larger log toward the back of the oven and let it slowly burn to maintain the temperature.  Jeanie made mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes, jello salad, a corn dish, and a relish dish.  I made rolls, pies, and the gravy.  I was going to make a fruit salad, but decided we had plenty to eat!  It was quite the feast, especially compared to what we normally eat which is something over and rice and hopefully a fruit or vegetable on the side, but not always!

The other day Kailee asked if we were going to be eating rice for our Thanksgiving meal.  I told her no, we were going to have potatoes instead.  She said, "Oh good, we are going to eat civilized food!"  We laughed and laughed!!  Apparently rice is not civilized food for her, but potatoes are!  We explained what civilized meant and she realized maybe that is not really what she meant!   But it was funny anyway!

The ants had found our pumpkin pies before we got to eat them, so we had to pick the ants out...but despite that they were good!  Oh, and I had to sift the bugs out of the wheat flour before I made the rolls. ( I haven't seen that many bugs in our flour yet, but it was an older bag that was already open, so that is probably the reason for the bugs!)

The kids played games, built Legos, did sewing projects, and read books while the rain was falling  in the morning, but after our meal in the afternoon the kids went out to play with their friends on the airstrip.  Amazingly they never seem to tire of playing with the kids! 

We got to talk to Steve's parents in the morning.  We hadn't scheduled Skyping time with them, but Steve happened to catch them on Skype.  It was good to be able to visit with them. 

We had a good Thanksgiving Day and certainly a different sort of day in the tropics!  Instead of driving through snow, ice, or cold, we slogged through mud under our umbrellas to get to Dennis and Jeanie's for Thanksgiving.  We listened to the thunder and lightening as we walked and watched the rain fall even harder once we got to their house.  Making memories...