Sunday, March 29, 2009

The promised pictures...

We're making friends of all kinds, and this goat is one of growing number we've met so far. He supervises our walks each morning from the top of the wall. As you can see, it isn't the most hospitable wall, what with all the barbed wire, but he doesn't seem to mind. Since meeting this fella we've met a number of other goats; in open fields, on ropes at the side of the road, being lead along by lovely Filipina goat keepers. I'd like a goat or two, you know. I'd name the Pierre and Sven.

This is the front porch of the mission home on the morning of Zone Leader Council. It's customary to remove your shoes at the door, no matter how grand or humble the abode. It seems like great good fortune to find YOUR shoes at the front door of a mission home. Note the stone flooring. It's very common here in outdoor settings. Our humble apartment has stone--travertine-like--on all the floors and countertops. Interesting to see what building materials are used. All construction is concrete, which is good in terms of price (lumber is $$$$$ here)and termite warfare, but not so good if you want to hang pictures!

This is a view of the valley from part way up the mountain. We drove up our first weekend here, and now we can say that we've walked up also. It wasn't as harrowing as we thought it would be from our drive up (motorcycles and jeepnys are many and fast, but not so bad in the up hill lane). It was early last Saturday morning (5:30) with a Chinese-Filipino fellow we met on one of our daily walks. We probably wouldn't have braved it on our own, but he apparently does it every weekend. We walked for about an hour, then stopped at a vegetable stand where they had cooked fresh corn on the cob, which we purchased and munched as we walked up further to another outdoor eating establishment which served fried bananas and boiled eggs. It was shady and a great place for a chat. Our guide's name is Kai Kai, pronounced like eye eye.

Kevin is behind the camera. We had a great time learning more about the Philippine culture from a Cebu native.

Another goat friend!

Speaking of friends, we've seen a few roaches but not many. Our office and apartment area is quite well maintained. I also saw my first rat over the weekend, a 12-incher skulking along the wall of our motel parking lot. Couldn't help but think of Templeton in "Charlotte's Web" when I saw it.

This view of the temple from our motel window is probably the best thing about staying there. Delivery of the granite slabs for the exterior are scheduled for the end of April. It's an easy walk --about a block--to the walled construction area. We walked around the corner and visited with the construction manager last week. It's awesome to be living in the shadow of a new temple!

There are very modern grocery stores here in Cebu, all located in malls. They are always busy, sort of like around the holidays, so shopping takes a dose of energy and courage. All the employees wear uniforms--girls in dresses (all the seafoam green behind Kevin) and guys in white uniform shirts. Kevin couldn't resist using the senior check out line!