Monday, January 31, 2005

Back to Reality

So a quick break from the philippines blogging....
we had all of david's family over for Filipino food and picture showing and story telling about our trip. we invited them all over to our little humble house and i cooked some traditional filipino food and mary made delicious desserts and everyone seemed to have an awesome time. (lol i said awesome) just in case you don't already know david has a big family and almost everyone came to our house and our house isnt very big at all. though it is bigger then our apt in california. so what did she cook...thats the question everyone is asking. I made a filipino food called Lumpia which is like a small egg roll, but it hass meat only in the center with a delicious flavoring of garlic, onion and soy sauce. Then you fry them up and dip them into duck sauce as Uncle John called it...i like to call it sweet and sour sauce. The main dish was served over rice and it was something we had for breakfast in the philippines, except here they dont have ground pork so i made it with ground beef...a blend of savory seasons and carrots, corn, potatoes, zucchinni, raisins and water chestnuts. (i actually forgot the water chestnuts) I am very excited that i could make a meal for 25 people and not run out of food...and even have enough drinks too thanks to Aunt Sheri. All in all a great time was had by all.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Manila 03

i kept a journal of sorts while in Manila because i didnt want to forget anything...so today is dedicated to public transportation. The most interesting thing to me about the transportation system in Manila was the lack of traffic lights and stop signs and the complete ignoring of road lines. The intersections are constantly sights of gridlock and if you look at the corner there is usually a cop standing there reading the paper or enjoying a refreshing cola out of a plastic bag. (they give you your soda in a plastic bag with a straw so they can get the $$ back for the bottle or can) So the gridlock...the mentality is BIGGER CAR goes first..but usually some small ones fit in. Back to public transportation...supposedly the US left a ton of jeeps after WWII and the took these and turned them into bus type vehicles...they made the backs longer and added 2 bench seats...but the best part is they run from one point to another but the "JEEPNIES" are owned by the drivers...so each driver can decorate the outside how ever they want...let me tell you i saw some of the ugliest air brushing and the tackiest designs ever. The best one was a really bad airbrush of the Lord of the Rings characters...Schmegal was still scary. The other form of public transportation is trikes...these are small motorcylces i think 180cc's with side car tupe contraptions attached to them. The new big thing there is to add sport pipes to their Trikes...and all the vehicles are diesel...just imagine the smog. I got to ride on a trike and so did David. (at different times) My experience was good, except i kept hitting my head while i was riding side saddle behind the driver. David rode on a trike with his dad in the side car, him on the seat the driver on the gas tank and a filipino guy named Chris on the back behind david...imagine it if you can. i didnt get to see them but i bet they looked funny. The most people we counted on a trike was 12, but the filipino people are much smaller then us americans. And we saw one jeepnie with people on the top and a bass drum. Til' later.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Manila 02

The Dump "Arenda"
So we stayed in Antipolo but the church we built was in Arenda which is an area where the government said, "lets take this garbage or basura (its the same as in spanish) and cover it with some dirt and then sell 9x7 properties to the poor squatters to try to get them off of the water ways and into more organized living. This is a good thing because they now have to option of electricity and the area has a few fresh water wells that the people can use. But it is still a "dump" and the roads have yet to be paved and we were the first "light skinned" large group to come into this area to build or work. Actually the area is just over 2 years old and the closest church is in Tay Tay which is about 25 minutes away and Arenda has grown in the past 2 years so much that the Tay Tay church has not been able to start enough home groups to keep up...they have their work set for them for a while. Sorry about the rambling...there is just so much to say. Back to being the first "light" people to come as a large group, since this was so we were asked to go and meet the governor this meant walking through the area like a parade and it really did feel like we were on parade...all of the Filipinos we saw waved and smiled and seemed very happy to see us there. (the chucrch is a good thing for Arenda) So we met the Mayor or Governor and he told us through a translator that there would be police forces under cover at all times keeping watch over us, which was good but scary all at the same time. So that is how we began our first week and after the meeting we began the cement bucket brigade to fill the footers...lucky for me i got on the empty bucket brigade....later in the week i did carry some full buckets but the filipino workers only filled my buckets half full...thank goodness. To answer Tim's question the philippines is a very interesting land of either Rich or Poor there really isnt a middle class. We did get to see some of the rich side mostly because the missionary didnt want us to have a one sided view of the philippines...i will share more on the rich side later.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Manila 01

So I decided to write about my trip in sections or stories rather then in one big long block…this will allow for me to keep you coming back for more stories.
Las Brisas – this is where we stayed in Anitpolo which is up on top of a hill overlooking Metro-Manila and it was very nice. The rooms each had their own bathroom and two twin beds and windows with views and best of all air conditioning!! So we pushed our twin beds together and David cranked up the air conditioning…since it was 95 with about 90% humidity!! Las Brisas had hot water most days which was nice…but once in awhile it would run out and while I was showering the water pressure would go away and I would hope for just enough water to drizzle out and get the rest of the shampoo out of my hair. This usually wasn’t the case so I would have to turn on the freezing cold water to get the shampoo out of my hair and I decided conditioner was an amenity I no longer needed. About half way into our trip we got back to Las Brisas and our bus couldn’t pull into the parking lot it looked like a very expensive wedding was going on with the biggest film crew ever. We found out that it wasn’t a real wedding but a staged one for the tv show “love to love” and it was crazy all over the hotel…since we had been working hard all day we pretty much trucked up the 6 flights of stairs and fell into bed. Well at 2:30am we were reminded that they were filming a tv show downstairs by a few very loud booms and then the sparkle of fireworks right next to our bedroom window. A lot of the other work and witness people thought we were under attack but lucky for us we had our shades pulled up so the sun could come in. The first thing David said was, “I hope they got that on the first take.” At about 2:58am we knew that they didn’t get it because the second round of fireworks went off and they were even more spectacular then the other ones. The weird part was they were only as high as our window and we were on the 6th floor….i guess they make fireworks different in the Philippines. The other part of Las Brisa’s was our breakfast!! We ate breakfast there and it was cooked by 2 Filipino women who didn’t know much about our lifestyle or how to keep food warm…but they did the best they could. The first morning we had oatmeal and French toast which was pretty good!! Then the next day we had some weird concoction of ground pork, mango, potatoe, and corn over rice. It didn’t seem like breakfast food but it was still delicious!! I think after the second day we had mostly rice for breakfast with other dishes including eggs (which I don’t eat) and the best part was everyday they had little rolls that they toasted in a toaster oven and then put jam and butter on….yum! To tell you the truth I woke up this morning and I was craving rice. Weird how your tastebuds change!!

Saturday, January 08, 2005

see you soon...

so this is my last blog for the next 2 weeks...unless we happen upon an internet cafe or place to check mail and update blogs!! keep checking back just in case...otherwise if that plan falls through i will be back JAN 24th around 2pm Eastern time and i will try to get on a computer asap to give all the details of our trip. David is going to call home and give his mom updates if possible...so be sure to keep checking out our homepage site. keep on writing. -melissa (cant wait for the warm weather..except for that humidity is killer)

Friday, January 07, 2005

i feel so blessed

so i could be counting the hours until we leave or i could be counting the things i have to do before we go..but i was just figuring out our finances and i thought i had to pay david's cell phone bill which i had right in front of me that had come in the mail...well i was so on top of things that when i signed onto Verizon Wireless to pay it the balance was $0 so i paid it online before the bill even arrived...this is a blessing because that means we have $100 more then i thought we had and since neither of us will be working for the next two weeks..and neither of us have vacation pay coming to us...the extra money is so cool..i sure am glad i pay our bills ontime and sometimes early...all of the money for our trip is accounted for we are still waiting for one client to pay but they are paying directly to the church so that is good we dont have to worry about cahsing their check and then getting a check to the church/// ok i know i am babbling. i am looking forward to going shopping tomorrow for the necessities...SUNSCREEN and BUG SPRAY...i think i might buy a fly swatter too if i can find one...but it isnt a necessity....but i hate flies so i think it might be helpful for me...of course i can always use a rolled up magazine or the center of a roll of paper towels....it will be ok....if i had a vaccum i would just vaccum them up. oh yea i have to forward or put a hold on art & soul's mail tomorrow...better add it to my list.

me
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Thursday, January 06, 2005

Squirrel

Squirrel's have found my birdhouse...that was the whole point...i got a birdhouse for christmas and it was for my yard to attract the squirrel's because i love watching them play in the yard...so today there were 2 squirrel's playing out there and eating the yummy food. and last night when i got home there was a bunny eating some of the food that had dropped from the feeder. so just a quick update so everyone can know what i do with my spare time...or atleast what i get to see in my backyard. it is super cool!!

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

19 hours on a plane!!

so as we prepare for our trip God has brought people into our path....check out our web site for the full story.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005


a moment after
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Check out David, Brad & Jim's new music at myspace music...
A Moment After

i love dance dance revolution (DDR MAX)

so i know i have posted about DDR MAX but i cant even begin to explain how much fun it is!! i played last night with my sister in-law and a friend for 4 hours. my legs hurt today...but it is worth it....no pain no gain!!

Monday, January 03, 2005

Plans...

So i have been trying to make plans for Art & Soul for this new year...and it is a little overwhelming.
To do:
-Go over all inventory
-Clean and Organize all Stock
-Decide what "NEW" items to order
-Design Art & Soul line for pre-painted pieces
-Clean Floors
-Add pictures to the walls for SALE (David Mac Originals)
-Paint samples of all colors for each table
-Fix chairs that are broken
-Paint new cups for table centers
-Get new lights (track lighting)

that is all i can think of for now...i know there is a lot more. this is what you do when you have your own business. or atleast its what i do make lists of what i need to do and try to complete in some sort of a time frame. wish me luck.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

pink pants

so i got these super cute fuschia corduroy pants for christmas from david's grandmom! they are really cute..so today i wore them to church with a black off the shoulder top and i really liked my outfit. sometimes jeans are great but the break from jeans is welcomed...i really do love these pants!! way to go Grandmom!! (she got me 2 super cute outfits) 9 days to the Phillipines!!!

Saturday, January 01, 2005

i love itunes!

so today is the first day i have had a chance to sign up for itunes and begin to redeem my $50 itunes gift card!! i love itunes..it is super cool.