Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hiking trip...written by Tyler

In April Dad, Ethan, and I, along with some missionary friends, hiked to a mountain called Batulao. The first part of our trip was packing our backpacks. We did not know what to bring so we brought lots of odds and ends that we ended up not needing. The extra odds and ends made our backpacks a lot heavier. Next time I will not bring so much stuff. 

Early Saturday morning we ate breakfast and finished packing our bags, Mr. Root and his son Noah picked us up at 7:00 o’clock. It took a little more than an hour to get to the place where we started hiking. We paid a local guy to take care of the car and then we started hiking. About 1/3 of the hiking trip was on a one lane dirt road; the rest of the trip was on a small one foot wide trail. Along the trail there were many little shacks which sold Mountain Dew and buko juice( juice from coconut). It took about two hours to get to the main campsite.  When we got to the main campsite we took off our backpacks and had a little snack before we started hiking up the mountain. Once we drank lots of water we started hiking up the mountain. 

The main camp was about 1,200 ft above sea level and the mountain was about 2,500 ft above sea level so the part we climbed about 1,300 ft. In the Philippines the middle morning heat is very hot and exhausting to climb 1,300 ft. The first part was a moderate climb where there were camp sites every 100 to 200 ft which were level. After about 700 ft then came the steep part where it was pretty much straight up; it was very hot because there were no trees or bushes, but the steady breeze kept the heat down.

 When we got to the top we drank more water took a few pictures and then went down part way on the other side of the summit. On that trail there were many places where it was 30 ft down on one side and 100 ft on the other and the trail was about 1 ft wide. After we explored that side of the mountain we went back on top of the summit. There we rested for a few minutes and then headed back down the mountain. When we got back to the main campsite we drank more water then started hiking to the camp site where we would stay the night. 

There were many campsites that the people maintained, but those had very few trees and bushes which made them very hot. When Mr. Root went there before he found a camp site that was more in the jungle which made it cooler. It was a little farther down the trail we had just hiked.
 Once we got there Mr. Root, Noah, and Ethan went down to a partially dried up river bed that had a spring that came straight out of the mountain. There they filled our water bottles and got some water for washing. Dad and I cleared a space to put our tent and set up the tent. We also started a fire to roast hot dogs for lunch for Dad, Ethan and I.  Noah and his dad already had eaten lunch. After we got everything set up and Noah and his dad got their tent set up, then we took a siesta for an hour. Later after we took our nap we all went down to the stream to explore the river bed and get some water. Down at the river we found that there were actually two small streams that met and made a little bit bigger stream.  After we got back to camp we each went down to the spring by ourselves to take a bucket shower. We were very sweaty and a cold shower felt good. When we were all done with showers, Mr. Root started the dinner which was ramen noodles and corn beef mixed in. It was really good because we were very hungry. We talked for a little while after we cleaned up and washed the dishes.  We were all very tired so we went to bed at around 8:30 P.M. 
The next morning we got up at 5:00 A.M.  Mr. Root had already been up for a few minutes and started to make breakfast which was oat meal, hardboiled eggs, and hot chocolate.  That was nice because it was pretty cool in the morning at the high elevation. When we had finished eating and cleaning up from breakfast we took down our tents and packed our bags. We wanted to get an early start so it would not get too hot, we started about at 8:30 A.M. The hike back was a little hotter than when we came because we started a little later and there was not as much wind. The hike took about two hours to get back to the car. 
It was a fun experience because I had never gone backpack camping before and I always wanted to and we had never been camping in the Philippines before.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Alyssum is 10!

Pink cupcakes and root beer floats were what Alyssum ordered for her birthday!  She couldn't wait to join the ranks of double-digit.  Can't believe she is 10!  They grow up so quickly.  Happy Birthday to our sweet Alyssum!

Happy Birthday Ann Marie

Ann Marie is 20! 
We celebrated Ann Marie's birthday with family and friends in Manila.  We took the bus to Manila and stayed with the Weissers for the weekend.  A fun trip to Eastwood Mall, a choir concert at Faith Academy, and a party by the pool at the Haunschild's house.  It was a fun weekend for all!  Happy Birthday to our oldest daughter...so excited to see how God will direct your life in the years to come!

New place and the garden grows!

In February we moved from Palawan to Luzon.  We are located in Dasmarinas, Cavite, just outside of Manila.  Until August we are helping Home of Joy Orphanage with their agriculture projects.  We are living on Jabez Christian Center grounds which not only has Home of Joy, but also Jabez Christian School, and Jabez Camp.  It is a busy place with 100 students in the school, almost 30 small children at the Home of Joy, and the comings and goings of groups at the camp.

Steve's job is to keep the garden growing and pass along what he has learned about sustainable agriculture and ways to improve the soil to make healthier plants and vegetables.  Within a week of our arrival over 200 volunteers planted the garden.  This plan was already set in motion before we ever arrived so Steve just sat back and watched as the garden took shape! 

Now the work began...hours and hours of watering to keep the garden growing...and it is the beginning of summer...the hot and dry season!  There are a couple guys who also help in the garden so the work is shared among them all.

Under Steve's care the garden has really taken off!  So wonderful to see so many vegetables growing for the Home of Joy to use to feed their children.  Anything extra is sold and at this point, the profit goes back into the garden.

Our kids have also been very helpful in the garden...weeding, watering, putting mulch on the rows, and just helping in whatever way is  needed.