Scenes from Bogo...
Basketball and cock-fighting in Uncle's backyard
Fried Filipino Banana's....Filipino bananas are not like any banana I've ever tasted.
They're delicious. I didn't realize something so simple as a banana could be so satisfying.
But now I do, and I don't think I'll ever look at a banana the same way again.
Strolling downtown Bogo
Sweet, sticky rice with mango and "local chocolate" for breakfast...
...and a beautiful Lechon for dinner...
My trip to the Philippines was not what I expected at all.
I'm still reeling from it, actually.
It blew all my expectations, pulled me outside every comfort zone, and shaped my perspective irreparably.
I'm not even quite sure I have words to yet.
I'm sure they'll organize themselves at some point, and I'll have something profound to say.
But for now, I'm just stammering in disbelief and gratitude.
So, here's to the trip that left me speechless...to the country that touched my heart.
Here's to 48 hour stomach bugs, healing Filipino rice porridge, and "sick bananas".
Here's to feeling better.
Here's to 3 hour road trips over mountains, along cliffs, and through sugar-cane fields to Bogo....
and Mama Lola's beautiful blue house in the middle of the Province.
Here's to new born chicks, and to askals...to carabao and to frogs in the water tank.
Here's to fried banana's behind Uncle's house and to Lechon...to chicharones and fresh coconuts. Here's to Filipino food, period. Forever and ever, amen.
Here's to the little homeless boy - WakoWako - and his righteous dance moves on the wharf.
Because his joy and energy taught me so much.
And to the sugar cane fields and palm trees...for lighting up the earth with such vibrant greens, and for making everything feel alive.
Here's to the Philippine Sea...for the clearest, most beautiful, most blue water I've ever laid my eyes on.
I cried, it made me so happy.
Here's to the beautiful, strong familial bonds among the Filipino people, and the amazing way we were adopted while we visited. I'm humbled at how kindly we were treated, and how warmly we were brought into the fold. It's overwhelming, really. And I've got adopted Tita's and Uncles to show for it:)
Here's to wrinkles that tell stories and smiles that transcend words.
Here's to God's faithfulness.
And for His never ceasing to amaze me with constant provision.
He knew I needed the Philippines. He knew it would capture my heart and he provided it at the perfect time.
I learned so much. And I was humbled on so many levels.
It's not something I will soon forget.
Thank you, Philippines.
Thank you for leaving me this way -
awestruck and overwhelmed.
I could not have placed it together more perfectly had I tried.
And I'm so happy about it.
(Philippines Part II and Bohol coming soon :) )