I said that I would make a blog of cultural experiences, and I will fulfill that commitment in this post.
So where better to start, than the beginning?
Beginning the 16-hour flight from Dallas to Tokyo!
In Japan, they are really into their toilets. Bedits, flushing sounds, music, etc. You name it.
Here, Taylor and I are enjoying our robes, slippers, and complimentary green tea in mini chairs of our hotel room! All the furniture is fun-sized in Japan.
A little sight-seeing
In this picture, the man grabs a live eel from the tank, stabs its head, and chops it up right there, then the chef takes it straight to the kitchen! Pretty cool, although I can’t say that I tried any. Too American for that, I guess. 🙂
However, I was not too American for the chopsticks and the food that looked JUST like the pictures! Unlike in America, there were no disappointments in the presentation of food at mall food courts.
This is the before picture of the Shibuya Crossing (basically like a giant crosswalk in the middle of the Times Square of Japan) before the signal to walk.
The beautiful view from Grace Harbor Church
Me lookin’ ultra cute, and Alyssa stylin’ on the way to Manila.
On the way to Maria Aurora from Manila!
After a day of rest….
The real fun began!
Such as showering.
Our Filipino friends loved pictures! This is Alyssa and Taylor at a home visit.
Trikes are the main mode of transportation in rural Philippines. It’s basically a motorcycle with a side-car.
These are some sweet children we met during a school visit! They love pictures, duck-duck-goose, and toothpaste!
Filipinos are also pretty darn smart with cameras.
Conner, Taylor, myself, and Alyssa in a giant tree-vine-mob
A friend from the local missionary school with Baby Isaiah.
Our friends and hosts served a traditional Filipino meal—– no dishes required, just banana leaves and hands 🙂
At the market—- sting ray or squid, anyone?
There were some children that Taylor and I became friends with. They gave us these beautiful gifts of a folded leaf. They were precious.
Two of the church buildings in the area.
Our team with some students and a teacher from a school visit
Taylor reading a Bible story to students
Kindergarteners color the story of Saul to Paul
Sweet and silly boys
Lots of fun and cool fruit! A catmoon or mooncat, yellow watermelon, coconut, and pineapple!
“fun” animals as well! (also, everything is poisonous there, from the caterpillars to the frogs)
When riding through Maria Aurora, there are always children walking here and there! They always turn and wave. Alyssa took this adorable picture.
Josh, Isaiah, Alyssa, and Autumn enjoying a birthday celebration!
Trekking through the wilderness because there was no trike! It was pretty fun 🙂
At this site, I felt like I was back in the Delta.
Caribou! (Pronounced: care-a-ba-oww, and different from the North American reindeer) Basically like a filipino ox. Alyssa and Conner got to ride one!
A school visit 🙂
Last but certainly not least, a picture with the team we worked closely with during our time there. I was really sad to leave, and these missionaries and friends will constantly stay in my prayers and thoughts. I cannot thank them enough for their gracious help and time!
Thank you to everyone who supported our team with finances, prayer, words of encouragement, etc.
And thank Jesus for the time in the Philippines. You continually reveal Your people, and I am so grateful to be a small part in Your plan.
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever!
– Mary Madeline
(PS: I am headed to Math and Science school today. Prayers are appreciated! Thank you. 🙂 )