The past few days the song “Have You Ever Seen The Rain” has been stuck in my head-the CCR version. Not that terrible Rod Stewart cover, I hate Rod Stewart. But I digress. The reason, as you may figure, is because the rainy season has reappeared with a vengeance. I think I had forgotten just how hard it rains here, in the Philippines. It’s actually painful if you get caught out in it. And the thunder, the thunder is astounding. I don’t know if its because I’m in the mountains, which means we are up here closer to the heavens- or if its because there isn’t anything unnatural to take away from the sound-but the thunder is startlingly powerful. Some claps roll on for upwards of fifteen seconds. I can feel their strength. But enough about the weather; I have so much to tell!
I recently returned home from a trip to Myanmar, which was unbelievable. I was part of a joint delegation of staff from Episcopal Relief and Development, the Anglican Board of Mission(Australian) and the Episcopal Church in the Philippines. We facilitated an Asset Based Community Development training and visited a few of their diocesan project sites. I also had the pleasure of getting to know the CPM’s(Church of the Province of Myanmar) Bishops and development staff. This was/is important because they will be arriving in the Philippines in just a few days, and they will be staying in Tadian for the majority of their time in country.
I want to continue on, about Myanmar, but I don’t want to elongate this anymore than it already will be. Maybe I’ll write another blog soon…..
In other news, the farm is in fantastic shape. We currently have 10 summer job workers, which are students, here to help us. They are a godsend. I was leery, at first;the majority of the work we do here is labor intensive; so, I was concerned with the amount of work I would be able to get out of these kids. But, much to my pleasant surprise, they are incredibly hard working. We are now ahead of schedule, in all areas. We have chicken dung stocked and ready for sale, Mahogany seedlings have been planted, Coffee seedlings have been planted, both greenhouses have been planted, what feels like 47 miles of barbed wire has been put down, new water pipes have been installed and we’ll begin preparing our rice fields tomorrow! Oh, and our open garden has been fertilized and planted.
I’m also going to be in a wedding next month. Cherry Ngislawan, a former Engineer for the EDNP (Episcopal Diocese of the Northern Philippines), has asked to me to be the candle bearer for her wedding. Metaphorically speaking, from what I’ve been told, it’s symbolic of someone lighting the soon to be betrothed’s path, along the way of love and life. Usually, it’s an older sibling-but this time it’s me! I’m deeply honored and very excited.
Ah, I almost forgot. Chalikis Alawas, Bishop Brent’s (my diocesan Bishop here) eldest son, has asked me to be a groomsman in his wedding. I’m pretty stoked about that, too. What up bachelor party!
I have also been working really, really hard, on a curriculum plan for the Tadian Demonstration and Learning Center. Ill elaborate. The Tadian Center is a small scale model of ARI (Asian Rural Institute). At ARI, people of all ages and backgrounds go for numerous different trainings and skills development. Some of these trainings last for up to a year-and some are just a few days. The goal, in Tadian, is to eventually have the capability to accept students for a year at at time. But, we take it one step at a time. I am but a few days work away from having what I hope to be a final draft of the programs which we can offer now. The longest of which being two months-the shortest two days.
I feel like this clarification is needed: Both ARI and the Tadian Center’s emphasis is on promoting healthy communities, organic agriculture and creating sustainable livelihood programs and opportunities. So, that being said, the courses offered range from organic pesticide production and forest management to strategic planning and financial literacy.
I want to give a big shout out to my Uncle Mike. I recently received a box full of sporting equipment. The kids at school absolutely lost it when I showed it to them; they appreciate it so much. As do I. Thanks, Mike.
On a completely unrelated note-I saw Coors Light for sale, which surprised me. What didn’t surprise me was that one can was only 27 peso. That’s roughly 60 cents. Coors Light-disappointing men and women all over the world and riding that bottom shelf.
Lastly, we have a new puppy. However I’m not super in love with the name-Gringo. Hilarious, I know. But not liking the name will just make it that much easier to butcher him when he gets big!
Be good, y’all!