I made it to the Philippines after becoming very familiar with my seat on the plane. I'm convinced I know every way possible to get comfortable on an airplane seat after flying over the Pacific ocean over two dozen times in my lifetime!
Things kind of got off to a rather slow start as the entire country ground to a halt for the funeral for Cory Aquino, a national hero and former president. It was quite poetic for me to be here as I was on the streets as a little toddler, much to my mother's chagrin, when she peacefully overthrew the corrupt dictator (Ferdinand Marcos for you history buffs). It took about 8 hours for her funeral procession to go 11 miles because the crowds were so thick! Everybody was out to pay their respects to this lady.
Today I went to a very good language school for missionaries to be assessed. One of the qualifications for the position to hope to take is intermediate-advanced language skills. I was kind of nervous just because I hate tests. I do a pretty good job of fooling people with my Tagalog. I have definite gaps in the language that come from having learned it on the streets and not in a formal setting. However, I was thrilled when they told me I was between a high-intermediate level to a low-advanced level. Just about where I need to be! I was given the materials I need to learn medical lingo and was told which books I needed to buy in order to fill in the language gaps. Praise God!
Tomorrow I hope to head out to the birthing clinic and tag-along with two of the midwives into the community to find 20 malnourished former patients. Unfortunately, this isn't all that hard to do as many of these families are very poor and can't afford to buy the nutritious food these kiddos need. The rest of my time here is going to FLY by. It's going to be busy with trips to a large open air market (Divisoria) to buy the rest of baby items, meetings with mission leadership, etc.
But it's SO good to be back, to be home. I was reading a book at the language center about Filipino cultural dos and don'ts. A couple of times I thought, "That's why I do such-and-such!" It's the Filipino part of me. It amazing how much this culture really is ingrained into me.
Thanks again for your prayers. It's exciting to be here and be making headway towards eventually coming back. I know I wouldn't be here without you and thank you so much for your prayerful support!