Sunday, October 4, 2009

Let's Prepare

It was a bit of an exciting week for us.  Manila is still trying to recover from last week’s typhoon and here comes another one.  Typhoon Pepeng was supposed to be much larger than the last one.  It did make land here but was north of us.  Seventeen are reported dead with lots of flood damage.  It has already moved away from the Philippines but the weather is very unsettled.  It is still overcast, windy and raining off and on here in Naic.  We were without power for several hours on Saturday but that was the worst of it for us.  Typhoon season is winding down so that’s a good thing.

Because of the after-effects of the last typhoon things were a bit slower this week.  We did have meetings and choir rehearsals with the Elders and went to Makati to the Mission Home for a meeting on Wednesday.  It was good to visit with the other senior couples and to get the latest news updates.  When we arrived, Pres. Howard was excited to tell us that we had another missionary coming from the Vegas valley.  I said, “Oh, you must mean Jill Hales”.  He wanted to know how in the world I knew about it before he did!  Hey, Henderson is still a small town in some ways.  He had us write a quick note to include with his letter to our new Sister Missionary.  Our choir will be singing at a multi-zone conference this coming Thursday.  We have 5 new Elders from the last transfer so they are working hard to get up to speed.

Our Zone t-shirts front and back....yes we are E and S Smith.

Thursday we had a treat.  Elder Smith was napping and I heard all sorts of noise outside.  The music was blearing and I could hear people laughing and talking.  I looked out the window, and what did I see?  Wrong, no popcorn!  It was Fiesta time for our brangay and the parade went in front of the apartment.  Big loud speakers were booming and folks were dancing and having a great time.  There were three saints being carried with floral decorations.  The fiestas are a tradition from the early Spanish domination days and every little town and village holds its own.  It is totally Catholic oriented and so crazy.  Everyone parties and there were lots of fireworks all day and into the evening.  Here’s the amazing part, the noise woke up Elder Smith!

This isn’t mission news but we wanted to share a fascinating part of the lifestyle here.  Rice!  We’ve posted a picture or two of rice fields in the past.  Here in the provinces there are rice fields everywhere.  A crop of rice takes 120 days from seed to harvest.  (There are other faster varieties but the majority is 120 day stuff.)  So, guess what?  We’ve watched a full season since we got here.  Some of the areas that were being planted when we first arrived are harvesting now.  Most of the grains go to mills or processing plants but some is kept out for personal use.  It is crazy when you have to drive around the rice drying on the highway.  There will be a big tarp or piece of sheeting laying out with rice drying on it.  It is raked regularly to keep it drying evenly.  Once the rice is cut and harvested, the chafe is piled together and burned.  It’s a stinky, cloudy mess.  Within days the fields will be turned, flooded and replanted.   There is some rotation of fields but not sure about the frequency.  The rice is harvested by hand with the ever popular machete.  We really enjoy watching the process and are amazed at how quickly it happens. 

Because of all the weather problems we haven’t had a baptism for a couple of weeks.  However, there will be pictures soon!  Have a bunch scheduled for the next three Saturday’s.  Gosh, there probably won’t be a baptism picture next week, I just remembered, we will be at the Mission Home for 3 or 4 days through the weekend.  The senior couples meet and have a couple of nights sleep-over while watching the General Conference sessions.  We get it a week late.  Should be a fun and spiritual conference.

1 comment:

jillhales said...

Hey!! Brother and Sister Smith! Thanks for putting me in your post. I'm honored :) I've been stalking your blog regularly to see what's going on down there! I'm SO excited to join you in this great missionary experience! I'm excited to hear from you and the president. Keep up the posts! I've learned a lot from them :) Thanks for all you do!