There are many benefits from living in a third world country that is located within 1000 miles of the equator, has a tropical climate and is home to the most WONDERFUL produce I have ever seen, tasted or cooked with in my entire life!! People here take it for granted [probably like the beautiful mountains in Utah, the glorious beaches in Southern California, the brilliantly colored trees in Nebraska in the fall...etc.] but I am here to tell you there is NOWHERE on this earth that can compete with the quality and prices we find here every day! I have never tasted such sweet bananas, delicious mangoes, mouth-watering [with NO acidity] pineapple, crisp apples, juicy oranges, or exquisite grapes anywhere in the world. Most of our produce is grown locally but some is shipped in from Baguio. The vegetables are also delicious and some of the best salads I have ever made were created here in my home. My garden is producing some nice tomatoes [thanks Chip] as well as eggplant, okra, roma tomatoes, beans, radishes and squash. Most varieties we have in the US don't do well here because of the extreme heat and humidity but they have created their own 'breeds' who survive and actually flourish in this climate. We are semi-retired former middle class Americans who could live here like Kings and Queens with our current income...however, I don't think I could convince my children and their families to join us so I guess we will go home next summer after all!!
It is getting much cooler the past month and that is a welcome treat. Growing up in the midwest, I am accustomed to the heat and humidity but I am also used to having a six month break every year...not so here. Randy says we have two seasons...hot and hotter, wet and wetter and he is right! For the next 4 months, we will experience a cooler climate, cool mornings and not so stifling during the days. By March, things will begin to become more uncomfortable and April and May...LOOK OUT!
|I purchased this all for about $10 US. I especially love the mangoes and|
the Romaine lettuce [from Baguio].
|We saved one for Elder Dagal and Elder Rostedt and they were so happy.|
By the time we went to deliver the pineapples, the rain had stopped and the air was so clean and clear. I loved this view of the mountains with the clouds still hovering at the top...just breathless scenery.
For those of you readers who might not know, I am married to an engineer by education. Now engineers are a different breed of human...they are not 'wired' like normal people, don't see life through the same eyes normal people do and instead, are constantly trying to find ways to reinvent the wheel when it comes to simple tasks. I have always wondered what they dream about...my hubby has spent many nights flipping and thrashing around and I always thought he was fighting dragons but I have changed my mind...HE IS TRYING TO BUILD NEW WAYS TO ACCOMPLISH RELATIVELY SIMPLE TASKS!
This past week, we 'opened' a new apartment. You all know we are in charge of the missionary apartments in our mission and that responsibility gives us many miles of travel, association with all of the missionaries and a working relationship with vendors and sales personnel in various stores. We really love the job-it give us such variety to our mission. Opening a new apartment means delivering everything they will need from beds to dressers to a fridge, stove, tables, etc. to a new bare apartment. The Assistants to the President are assigned a truck like ours (theirs is blue however and has had the topper removed) so we often borrow their truck, both Randy and I drive and we can take everything to 'open' in one trip. This past week we needed to take many things and were unsure how it would all fit. One of the bulkiest things we needed to take were two clothes racks. They would fit in the open bed truck but it had a fridge already loaded so my engineer 'had a dream' about how to work it so they would ride on top of our truck-he used two 6' long bamboo poles tied across the luggage rack then rested the two clothes racks on that. I do have to admit that it was clever and allowed us to take them the hour drive away without any problems. My smart engineer...
|Tying the poles and clothes racks securely..|
|Farewell to a faithful missionary and a great servant of our Heavenly Father.|
|Sister Morales and Sister Klein|
|Elder Rostedt and Elder Sarcauga|