August 31, 2012

She Learns...

Ok, I know, this is several days behind...but sometimes, things just don't go as planned here.  HA!  Like for instance, last night we were supposed to be picked up at 5 or 6 to preach an OMSIFY meeting for Section 3.  (OMSIFY= One Million Souls In Five Years)  However, our driver never showed.  So, we had the evening off.  

Today, I am sitting here waiting patiently, yet expectantly for the washer repair people to show up between 10 am and 12 noon.  We shall see.  They have an hour and 15 minutes left to get here or I will be on the phone...  If you learn ANYTHING in life, learn this:  Persistence pays.  HA!  Besides, I do not want to repeat 3+ hrs of handwashing laundry.  Worse case scenario, I will find a drop-off laundry facility and let someone else take a turn sweating.  Hehehe!!

So, what is this mysterious C.R.?  Some of you may have already guessed or have heard of it before.  C.R. stands for Comfort Room or bathroom, or restroom.  Here, it is C.R.  If you ask for the bathroom, they will think you want to take a bath.  The public C.R.s sometimes do not have tissue, so it's a good idea to carry yours around with you.  This is an "old trick" I learned on one of my first missions trip to Russia.  You also might have to pay to use the C.R.  It's usually P10 ($.02 US).  In Russia, I remember it being about $.10 US, but you were paying for toilet paper...not necessarily for the use of the C.R.  Now, SOME of the C.R.s do not look like what you are used to.  Some of them look like this:  
This toilet is roughly 10 inches off the ground.  No lid.  No handle. 

Ella is standing next to the "flush bucket".
The "flush bucket" (my terminology) is used to flush to toilet.  You scoop water out of the flush bucket and dump it into toilet until everything goes down.  Easy, breezy, right?  I took a wild guess when I was first faced with this situation and then in a panic texted Sis. Dibble to ask how to flush.  I am a good guesser and did it right.  :)  Admittedly, I was slightly horrified when I faced my first filipino toilet as I had never seen one so close to the ground and the lack of a seat and flush handle had me a little confused.  But, now I am an old pro.  This girl can be toilet trained!!!

Something we should have in EVERY restaurant in the states?  Wifi and charging stations!!  This is at the local Burger King:  
I've had LOTS of questions regarding the kids.  I feel like they are adjusting very well here.  It is a little overwhelming for Jon, as he is used to a little more freedom and we do not allow him to wander out of our site on his own.  Ella seems oblivious to being in a foreign country.  HAHA!!  They are pretty much show-stoppers everywhere we go.  American kids here are pretty rare.  Ella gets lots of looks and pats, even from strangers.  Normally, she takes it in stride, but sometimes she has reacted more stand-offish.  Their favorite place to go is Toy Kingdom.  I suppose it is the Filipino equivalent of Toys R Us.  

Thursday, we took a little detour in our day to get a souvenir for a friend.  Police patches.  This put us right next door to Camp Crame which is where they house and train the PNP (Philippine National Police).  From what I understand, all the security guards (and there are HUNDREDS) are trained here, as well as traffic enforcers (not so many of those seen....) and other police are all trained here.  Most every store or restaurant, including the malls and some stores inside the malls have a security guard that will open the door and sometimes search your bag or use a wand to search for weapons.  The police carry guns and sometimes rifles.  A little intimidating, but somehow it just makes me feel safer.

So, that's a little recap about what we've been up to.  Anyone want to learn some Tagalog?

I am fairly certain this is the entire list of words I have learned so far.  We have been here 13 days. 

Tagalog (tuh-gawh-log) is the Filipino language, other than English.  There are many other dialects, but Tagalog and English are most common.

Mabuhay (muh-boo-hi) means welcome.  Mabuhay to my Tagalog lesson!

Salamat or Salamat po (suh-lah-mott poh) means Thank you.  The "t" is a soft "t" and you add po to say "thank you very much".

Mas Sarap (mas suh-rahp) means very good or very sweet.  This phrase can be referring to food or if someone does a good job. 

Petso (pay-cho) is my most favorite filipino dish (so far).  It is served with Calamansi (cal-uh-mahn-see) tiny little limes that are very flavorful and with chili seeds and soy sauce make a most excellent "dip"! 

Walang (wah-lahng) means without.  Sis. Dibble told me she was able to use a running app walang 3G, which is good news for me, as I want to start running but don't have wi-fi unless I am in the house.

Kuya (coo-yah) means big brother.  Jon is Ella's kuya and she is learning to call him kuya.  :)

Inday (in-die) means little sister.  Ella is Jon's inday.  Some people refer to the waitress as inday or day (die).  This is a little term to use if want to get a stranger's attention without saying: "Hey you!".  There is a Filipino restaurant at our mall in Milpitas that is called Inday.  Now we know what that means!!

Dodong (doo-dong) means little brother.  The missionaries here, Bro & Sis Flowers have a driver.  His name is Sam, but has been referred to as Dodong his whole life.  So, we all call him Dodong.  He is a great driver and an excellent source of information.  This term is also used to get a stranger's attention (a waiter).   

Yaya (yah-yah) means nanny or babysitter.  Annie (Ahn-knee) is our kid's yaya while we are here in the Philippines.  Normally, the yaya lives with the family, but Annie just comes when we need her.  She is a super sweet gal.  She helps me at the National Children's Hospital also.  

Guapo (gwah-poh) means handsome.  Yes.  Just like Spanish!!  This is used in a masculine tense.

Maganda (mah-gahn-dah) means beautiful.  Sis. Dibble told me a story about a little picnic she took with a family and their little boy.  She laid out a paper towel for them to eat off of, and the little boy had never seen such a thing!  He whispered: "maganda" in awe over this little paper towel.  When they were finished eating, she wrapped his leftovers in a fresh paper towel.  He again whispered "maganda" as he clutched his little lunch to his chest.  How many maganda things do you see very day that you take for granted?  Hmm...

Another super wordy post from me, but I just can't help myself!  I hope you all enjoyed the little Tagalog lesson!  I am having a great time learning the language and trying to be brave and use it whenever possible.  Perhaps in 2 months, I will be able to add a 3rd language to my repertoire!!