Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Carabou's, families and some good eats!!

Have you ever wondered what a carabou does to cool off?  That probably wasn't on the top of my 'info to find out' list until a month ago...in fact, I had NEVER even seen a carabou until we came to the Philippines in August.  We studied about different countries, cultures, foods, geography, weather, etc. in World Geography in the 11th grade but people, THAT WAS CENTURIES AGO!!!  The carabou is the tractor of the Philippines.  We are constantly amazed at their size and strength.  Every family [at least in this part of the country] own or have access to a carabou.  One sweet sister we were teaching asked me in broken English, 'Sister...you have carabou's in America?'  When I responded no, she was visibly shocked and said 'then how do you get your work done?'  You see, here in this farming area of the Philippines, everyone and I mean EVERYONE uses carabou's.  They pull carts filled with rice bags, carts filled with building parts, carts filled with car parts, carts filled with people and plows just to name a few.  Randy is fascinated to watch the 'handler' drive the carabou-there is a wire threaded through it's nostrils and it is 'steered' similar to a horse in America.  His contention is 'I would turn my head also if someone put a wire in MY nose'...they are really interesting creatures and today as we were teaching in 'the bukid', Randy took this little video showing how they cool themselves in this heat.

     This has been a great week and it is only Tuesday!!  Last night we had a family home evening at a home that has a 'bahay kubo' which is, in our language, a gazebo!  These are not as grand as ours in America but instead are made from bamboo.  In this one, we are sitting elevated about 3 feet.  It was a great evening and ended with chocolate chip cookies [thanks to Annalee for the chips]!!!  Everything is better with cookies...
Family Home Evening in the Bahay Kubo
Out in the bukid today, we had a referral that took us to a new investigator.  I am pretty brave and have done many new things in the past month [cue the toilet flush] but walking the plank was not one I had ever planned!!  To access this woman's home, we needed to cross over the canal that runs between the road and her property.  Their family has built a plank that made me think I should have paid better attention in high school gymnastics-I felt like I was on the beam!  It was a little wider but I handed Randy the camera just in case I ended up in the canal with the carabou!!!  Hence, the picture...thanks, hon!  This home also had an outside seating area called a 'terrace'...not pronounced like you just read it but rather 'tear-ass' with the emphasis on the second syllable.  It also had bamboo seating and thatched roof.  The air was cool and there was a breeze so we were quite comfortable.
Walking the plank!!

Sister Janette Ortega in her terrace
After our District Training today [which Randy and I did by the way] the brother from the family home evening came by with his ice cream truck and we had 'dirty ice cream'.  I know, I know...YOU ATE WHAT??  It is really quite delicious.  He get's up every morning at 3 a.m. and makes two freezers of ice cream-today's flavors were strawberry and something that he called peanut.  You can have it one of three ways..in a cone, in a cup or with bread.  It is called dirty when you choose the bread...not sure why.  He purchases rolls individually wrapped in cellophane and slices them, opens and fills the bread with little scoops of ice cream.  When I first heard about dirty ice cream, it sounded gross but if you think about it, a cone is a bread product so this is just like having a big cone.  Anyway, he came to the church after our training and I bought all 20 of us dirty ice cream.  He gets up, makes the ice cream, purchases the bread and sells them for 10 peso's each...that is the equivalent of 20 cents apiece!   Living in a third world country does have its advantages!

Randy enjoying his dirty ice cream

Brother DeGuzman and his ice cream truck
Chow King is a popular eating place here in the Philippines-they are one of the few 'fast food' places around and serve Asian cuisine.  They popular dessert is called Halo Halo which translated means 'mix it up good'.  The first time we went there was with Elder Naylor and Elder Lucernes in August and I really enjoyed the eats-their Orange Chicken is pretty good and I loved the Halo Halo-it is made with cream, ice, sugar, jello, custard, ube ice cream, corn, beans and anything else the chef decides to throw in.  It sounds awful but it was surprisingly tasty.  I guess I am more adventurous than some of the other senior couples because I don't think Brenda or Gloria have tried some of the stuff I have...I figure, I will probably only be in this country once in my life and I want ALL the experiences, EXCEPT BALUT!!!   That is one thing I will pass on...

Halo Halo before it is mixed up

When Sister Carlos called today to ask me if I needed anything from Manila, anything I just am wanting [she had a friend going who was willing to bring things back for us] I honestly thought and thought about it...there is not really anything I can't find here or haven't learned how to do without except maybe fresh mushrooms...I did request some cheese however if there was room.  We cannot buy cheese here and I do miss that.  She found a gold mine last week...walked into a local store and found three packages which, when she called me, I promptly purchased and have enjoyed with crackers and a Coke Zero.  Yes, I can get my Coke Zero so what else could I want????  Oh and incidently, Rob...our toilet flushes counter clockwise!!


  1. Nathan had the balut while he was there and said it wasn't bad. I recommend you not completely close your mind off to it before you leave. We are so happy for you guys having such a great experience. Funny you should mention the toilet thing. I have wondered about that before. Have a great week! WE LOVE YOU MOM AND DAD!!!

  2. Hey hey hey! The video did not work for me. Email it if you can. We love and miss both of you.

  3. So fun to follow you thru all you experiences - thank you for sharing.

  4. Great post! What a great mission!