Sunday, October 4, 2009

Week #2 Leaving Korea, on to Philippines

Friday, September 25, 2009
It was arranged that we would go to the 10th floor for a nice breakfast buffet and we were amused to hear 60s music playing...

The 10 am BQM training went well and included a demonstration round for these participants.  John Kim may have worked harder than Dan during these times, having to translate and contextualize all Dan's teaching.  We had noticed that many Korean words seemed to end in the sounds “mee-dah”, so we really got a good laugh when Dan said, “It's OK,” and John translated it to “It's OK-mee-dah!”

The staff took us out to lunch to a place in the country where we sat on cushions in an open-air room and got to have duck (thin-sliced, barbecued Korean style) and lots of side dishes, ending with soup.
More fruit was offered back at the Anjung church before our drive back to Seoul.  It's a long drive to the airport; John and Chung turned on a Christian radio station and sang to some of the tunes. Soon, there was a song that we all knew, so we drove along, singing hymns together in English and Korean at the same time – so sweet!  It was hard to say goodbye at the airport as they prayed for us, our ministry opportunities and safe travel.

Our flight to Manila arrived around 10 pm and we were met by Tata, the field office driver. With LOTS of traffic and the beginning rains of Typhoon Ketsana (the natives called it Ondoy), it took over an hour to get away from the airport, then another hour or so in heavy rain to Hotel Kabayan for about 3 hours of sleep...

Saturday, September 26, 2009
Got up at 3 to be ready at 4 am for the shuttle ride to the airport for 6 am flight to Legazpi.  It was a bumpy flight, but not bad.  We were picked up at the small airport by Rev Jun Detalo, DS and pastor of the Legazpi Church of the Nazarene.  He took us to the Alicia Hotel to check in, then right on to his home inside church grounds (they run a pre-school there too).  After meeting his wife Nancy and having a cup of coffee, Dan began BQM training to over 60 young people and youth leaders in the open air church.  It rained a dozen times or more during the day, just for short periods of time.  Nancy provided treats for our mid-morning break – pineapple juice and Sky Flake crackers.  When we broke for lunch, Nancy took us up to their dining room for a real (and really delicious) Filipino lunch of rice, meat w/cardomom & lime, and banana lumpia for dessert.  It always feels like family, eating with fellow Nazarenes in their homes.  It's one of the best parts of these events, meeting new people and spending time getting to know them...

Quizzing materials had been printed and shipped there, so Rev Jun decided that he'd pay for the whole box, then make sure the rest were distributed/sold to those who could not come (some people had a hard time traveling in the weather, especially from other islands).  Dan ran the training, with a demonstration round, until about 2 pm.  They had chosen a table runner and placemats (of native materials) as a thank-you gift for us – they'll look great in our home!  Nancy was willing to show us around the island, so we were able to see a Catholic church steeple (the rest had been buried under a volcano eruption) and Filipiana (Filipino goods) markets before going back to the hotel for a nap.  The Detalos met us there for dinner; they had ordered a variety of typical dishes for us, including pancit, an Asian favorite.  We didn't know until the next day that Typhoon Ondoy had stalled over Manila, drenching it with a month's worth of rain (about 13 inches) in 6 hours...

Sunday, September 27, 2009
An American breakfast had been arranged and prepaid by Jun and Nancy so we were able to take our time getting ready to travel in the morning. The hotel provided a shuttle to Legazpi's airport, where we waited an extra hour for a plane to show up to take us to Manila.  In Manila, we thought we had just 2 hours or less to get through the horrendously long lines but, with all flights delayed (or rescheduled from the previous day) from the typhoon, our 3 pm flight finally left at 6:30, getting us to Cebu at 7:30.

Julie Detalo (no relation to Jun), president of Visayan Nazarene Bible College (VNBC), met us warmly and took us out to Pizza Hut for dinner – Hawaiian pizza tasted pretty good!  We talked about the focus and benefits of the training and got to know her too.  We've been put up in the Mission House right on campus.

Monday, September 28, 2009
Freshly fried eggs were brought to us to go with our breakfast made from the already-stocked kitchen area of the Mission House (coffee, toast, raisin bran w/juices and jellies).  Since we had arrived in the dark, it was great to walk around the compact, but beautiful, campus in the morning.  We met a Pastor Dan B___, who teaches theology at the college, on our way to the circular, open-air chapel where students were finishing morning chapel service and where Dan would give his seminar.  Students dispersed, then returned and registered for the  seminar (attending were Gina with her hand-picked high school students, college students, high school and elementary teachers) while Harold and another student helped Dan set up a projector.  We brought a banner that Brian Woolery had commissioned and VNBC had another banner already up that included our photo (the photo also provided by Brian Woolery – from the Guam W&W group photo of 2005!).

We would have taken a mid-morning break, but rain was coming and some students left momentarily to get clothes off the line. Rain did come, but didn't drown out Dan’s talking and didn't last long. Soon the sun was out again.  The seminar managed to last until 1 pm, as it included a demo round of quizzing which they enjoyed very much even though it made their lunch quite late.

Julie took us to an expansive brunch at the restaurant at a large hotel; so many dishes to choose from! We took a little rest after, then were able to use the Internet in her office before dinner, which was a special outdoor potluck with the college staff in the garden on campus. Strings of twinkle lights had been added to the trees and we enjoyed lumpia, rice, fried chicken, Pepsi, and several flavors of ice cream!  One tasty ice cream flavor was ube – a purple root vegetable – so the ice cream is bright purple!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Up early again with a quick breakfast in the mission house, as we had to get to the airport for PAL Flight 844. Julie and her husband Joel drove us there so we could get back to Manila to spend a little time with David and Naomi Phillips before our afternoon bus to Baguio. With Tata driving, the Phillipses took us to the humongous Mall of Asia for window shopping.  They also decided that we really needed to try the dessert called Halo-halo (“mix-mix”) even before lunch!  It's a crazy bowl-ful of gelatin shapes, shaved ice, coconut milk sauce and fruit, topped with ube ice cream if you want!  We shared a bowl and it was quite enough and quite an experience!  Lunch was grilled meat and sides at a place called Holy Cow!
David bought our bus tickets and we took a couple of quick photos with them before boarding our deluxe bus (only 1 stop and bottled water provided!) for the nearly 6-hour ride to Baguio.  The drive went up into the mountains, but it got dark so we had to wait to see the view in the morning.

We were met by Luzon Nazarene Bible College (LNBC) President Jun (Wilfredo Junior) Detalo and his wife Jo (Josephine), who promptly drove us through narrow, winding streets to a mall for an Italian dinner that we shared while getting to know one another.  It was definitely cooler here and, knowing we'd been up early, they took us to the Mission House on their campus to get some sleep.  (Dan had stayed in this house 2 years ago during the NYC.)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009
We were invited to their home next door for breakfast.  Jo had set out cold cuts, cheese and bread for breakfast sandwiches (tomato and cucumber slices were good on these too), some tiny bananas and pineapple, and coffee.  Fortified, it was time to walk over to the chapel where some students were ready to help with set-up.  What was neat about this group of students was that they were from 5 different zones; Jun encouraged them to begin in those groups for Bible study and quiz teams.  Also, these groups would have each other for support as they lead new Bible quizzing teams.  After eating lunch in their cafeteria (where the grade school and high school students also eat) and enjoying more new dishes along with the quintessential rice, we returned to the chapel and held a couple of demonstration rounds so more could participate. They were so enthusiastic and Jun was so encouraged that he is ready to schedule the studies and tournaments in the next semester's activities right away.  We were given lovely gifts too – a necklace, a ceramic plate (“As for me and my house...”), and 2 gorgeous woven table runners in fall colors.  The students called for pictures, so there were group photos taken and they're already on Facebook, where we've encouraged them to connect with us and with the Quizzing group.

We returned to the same mall for dinner, sharing Chinese dishes at Henry’s Tea House, and talking constantly with our new friends.

Thursday, October 1, 2009
Up early to shower and pack, we were prepared when Jun and Jo picked us up to go out for breakfast at Jollibee, the Filipino equivalent of McDonald’s.  Having eaten way too much the evening before, I was happy with pancakes and coffee;  Dan had a breakfast sandwich, but we could have had spicy Filipino dishes if we’d wanted.  As Jun had to speak at chapel, we said our goodbyes and were driven to the bus station by a young man named Sean, who leads the computer lab at the college.  We had plenty of time to visit with him before our bus was announced and we got going again.  This bus was a “deluxe” bus with a restroom - no stops - which arrived back in Manila around 4:00 p.m.  Again Tata was waiting for us (he’s quite a reliable guy!)and drove us to Asia Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary (APNTS) to an apartment which was to be ours for the next 3 nights (in a row!).  Dan had stayed here (on a previous NYI training assignment) and we settled in and decided that we’d go to a Chow King for dinner; they‘re everywhere, kinda like a KFC. We walked there, just a couple of blocks, ate dinner and stopped at a drug store for some groceries before walking back.  Back at the apartment, Pastor Oni showed up, intending to take us out to eat!!  We needed to confer with him and his committee anyway about the next training, so we went with them to a great little coffee shop owned by a young Nazarene pastor.  We had decaf coffee drinks while the rest ate and we confirmed the details of the training for Saturday morning.

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