Monday, August 4, 2008

July 21st

Hey Dad...sorry about the lack of information. It's true, last week there was just the one email from you. If you wait until Sunday night you might miss me because it's always different when we check here Monday. Tomorrow is Zone conference so hopefully I will be getting real mail again :) That will make it easier to write back to all of you. I really do apologize my letters this last transfer so far haven't been so fabulous but it's been a kind of hard transfer for me and it's hard to come up with things to write all the time. I guess that's how life goes, up and down and you take it all the best you can even if you're on a down. Being transferred quickly was difficult and not normal but we had some problems that made it necessary, my new companion doesn't know much English and had a bad experience with her other American companions, and this area is also struggling so just some different things have been my "refiners fire" experience lately. Sounds fun to live in and remodel a cabin. I'm kind of confused...what does the missionary do? We report to the high council in our home wards or were you just talking about the talk they'll have you give in sacrament meeting? I finally finished my letter to President Griffin and have the address so I will be sending that as soon as we get back from Zone conference. Where would you keep a horse if you did decide that? Maybe I just don't remember the back yard but it didn't really seem like there was a place for a horse? Just a swamp right? So, I was thinking about what kind of work everyone does in this area. There are three male leaders, bishop, ward mission leader and another who all sew for a living.They make uniforms (everyone who attends school at any level here wears a uniform) or they sew special pants for men...the Elders all love them, they have Filipino style dress pants of every color and pant width. My umbrella (yes that really expensive one) had some issues and died but we took it to this man who sits on the side of the road all day and fixes umbrellas...and in about two minutes he had fixed it for only 5 pesos. A few days later it died again for a different reason and I was rather annoyed, it topped off a really good day :) haha, it got rusted or something I don't know but now it's snapped and I'm just going to buy another one. The thing was, that man makes a living all day fixing umbrellas. Umbrella's are very important to people here, rain and shine because they hate the sun, they don't want to be dark...they really want to be white, they advertise that all their soap and lotions will make you white that will get rid of melanin etc. andthus everyone has an umbrella and there is a man who makes a living fixing them for very cheap. I figured that i wouldn't have even known where to go to get it fixed in America and it would have been expensive so i would have bought a new one straight off! Lots of people have little shops in front of their house where they sell personal single use size of everything...shampoo, toothpaste, detergent etc. and also little bags of crackers and soda, very popular here. There are ladies that sit and make pancakes in the morning and wrap them in banana leaves and sell them for 5 pesos each and others who fry banana's in sugar etc. and sell those on a stick. If you walk by people and they are eating they will announce it to you, "kain na" which means eating now, kind of. Kain is the root for the word pagkain which is food and the root for kumain or kinain etc. which are verb forms, eating, ate, will eat etc. Na means a lot of things and in this case refers to how it's happening now but wasn't before and won't be again once they're done. A greeting for all of them is to ask where you came from or where you are going, they don't always expect an answer or at least not a specific one. I told you that they graduate really early right? High school is over around 15 or 16 years old and many people graduate from college by 19 or earlier if they can afford it. Being able to afford it is very important because they all seem to understand thatgetting an education will be their way to get a job and make money and live a better life than their family did, but it's all a big struggle here -- I don't think I ever appreciated my education like I should have though. Time is nearly up so I'm going to switch over to Mom's email now, love you. Brit