Be warned... this is long.
So, its a little hard to be out of the country and want to celebrate the 4th of July. I'll just celebrate the fact that I'm in another country for a month and I'm sharing the best message anyone could ever hear.
Here's whats up so far...
This week was ABSOLUTELY NUTS!!! And the best part is, its only half-way over. I have no idea what all I wrote about, so if this a repeat...just read on until it stops being repeated information. On Monday, Ate Jean (pronounced like ah-teh, and is a title of respect for anyone woman who is older than you are), Ate Los, Laura and I prayed together from 8:00-11:00. It was one of the most encouraging times for me. We prayed for the leaders of the Philippines and America, all the students we were going to meet with, all the short-term missionaries and finally ourselves. To watch these women pray in a language that is not their primary language was absolutely beautiful. They have a passion about Christ that I don't think I could explain. Their faith is amazing. Anyway, after our prayer session, we got ready and rode the JEEPNEY to the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (P.U.P) campus. Being at P.U.P was eye opening. This is a school where the tuition is extremely low so that all who pass entrance exams will be able to afford it. The campus does not compare to anything in the US. There is only one class building, and it holds 16 majors!! It is 6 stories high and has 4 different wings. I'll post pics later. Anyway, we felt like celebs as we walked around on campus. Since we obviously look different, we are definitely noticed. And as I've mentioned before, people will stop what they are doing to take note of our presence. Everyone watched as we walked by. Kuyo (a respectful term for any man who is older than you, it means brother) Bobot brought us to a group of information technology students and introduced us. Then we sat down, began talking with them and Kuyo Bobot left us hanging! We had to bridge the language barrier and converse with these students who were incredibly shy. Apparently, whenever someone forgets their English or simply cannot speak in English very well, they call it a "nose bleed". Gross, I know. Anyway, these student kept having "nose bleeds" and would giggle because they couldn't talk to us. Throughout our time with them,we were able to share the Bridge illustration and have a deep spiritual conversation. Things went very well. If it impacted anyone's life... I'm sure I'll find out later. The rest of our time at P.U.P was spent sitting with groups of students, having a little conversation, taking pictures and getting email addresses. All the students we met were really happy to talk with us. I'm excited to keep going to campus.
Tuesday was pretty similar to Monday. We went out to campus early in the morning and spent a good part of the day there. We met large groups of students and toured the campus. The first group of students we met were so excited about us, they took Laura, Lisa and I to class. They wanted to show off their "new American friends" to the rest of their class. It was awesome.
Today, we went down the high school where Ate Jean and Kuyo Bobot's daughter attends. High school goes from age 12-16. College age is 16-20. Again, very different from the US. Anyway, I thought being at the college was crazy... then I went to high school. I always wondered when I was going to be popular in high school... I guess it takes growing up and going to a country where you look completely different. Wish I had known that when I was 15... I probably would have saved myself from doing a lot of stupid things. Anyway, we had 13 year olds SWARMING us. We walked into the cafeteria (known as a canteen) and the place erupted. The few high school students we had previously met went crazy introducing us to their friends. After we ate lunch, they toured (rather grabbed us by the hand and dragged) us from classroom to classroom showing us off to their classmates. We would stop here and there to take random but amazing pictures around the campus. I guess all schools are built the same. They take a building and add around 4-5 stories on top, then cram 4,0000-6.000 students into one school. So we ran around and met plenty of people. It was great.
Thank goodness for days of rest. Thursdays are our day off. So hopefully it'll be restful and fun. A few of the other short-timers will hopefully come back to Quezon City and hang out with us for our day off. I think a trip to the mall and probably the movies will happen. BTW, movies cost under 3 bucks. Thats an evening show. I doubt they have matnees here. Anyway, I apologize for how long this was. I have so much to share and not really a lot of Americans to share it with. If you read this entire thing, you're a champ... and you probably don't have much else to do. :) Thanks for reading and thanks for praying.