No matter where I am I have friends who are half a world away. I want to stay connected and keep my supporters informed. Some times I will be very busy and only update once in a while. Other times I might bore you with how much I have to say :) Just check back once in a while when you are thinking of me and see what I'm up to!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Happy 2019!

December was so crazy as you can see I forgot to post the update I did write!

As said, the pageant went good.  Travel to Negros was good as well.  It was their annual conference, but this year was a special celebration of their 50th year.  All the pastors and wives were recognized as well as the missionaries.  I even received an official certificate of ordination as a missionary in their denomination.  It was exciting and exhausting all at the same time.

The last two weeks have now been focused on two major things:
#1. Official 9G missionary visa application
#2. Planning the first classes

Neither of these tasks are without frustration or complication, but the Lord is in control.

The 9G application has been submitted, return trip for interview is done, and now I wait for my name to show on the approved list.  In the mean time I just need to keep my tourist visa up to date.

Planning classes doesn't require the travel that visa does, but I'm still anxious. I ask that you be in prayer with me over this.  I think I am almost ready which is good because they start in 24 hours!  My big concerns are their high expectation of me and the potential mixed level of students within any one class.  Both are expected and I can handle it, I'm just nervous about getting things started.  I'm hopeful it is just that "first day of class" jitters.  I'm sure come Monday I will be even more exhausted than normal, but it's what I'm here for 😀

Hopefully next month I will have photo updates from all these events and joys to share about these first days of teaching and learning.  Be blessed and thank you for your support!

December Update

Hello Friends!  This is an update I wrote in December, but failed to post.  New one coming in the next week or so!

Life is always interestinteresting here.  I find plans change quickly and without notice. Also they seem to usually run later than expected except on rare occasions when it is an early morning activity such as 6 am departures ;) The sun is already at full brightness by 6:00 so it's actually not that hard to be up and ready to go.  I'm already naturally waking up before then most days since I'm usually so exhausted and heading to bed by 8 or 8:30pm. I have found that December is just as busy here as it is back in the US.  Ate Jess (one of the other local missionaries) leads the Sunday school program and decided to try a Christmas Pagaent for the first time ever.  It was a lot of work but so worth it!
I also had a visitor this month which was a blast experiencing some new sight with her.  This is such a beautiful island and has so much to offer despite its small size. We saw white sand beaches, rocky beaches, the Chocolate Hills, and tarsiers.  We held a python, a baby aligator, a bearcat, and a Philippine eagle.  We rode ATVs and ferries.  I think my highlight was warm showers as we don't I water heaters here in Juagdan. :)
Next week is yet a new adventure as we will be traveling all day on Christmas.  The local church denomination is having their annual conference two islands over and it's their jubilee year.  I've been to one of these conferences in the past, but I've been promised this will be more celebration than business!  It will be an overwhelming experience for me due to many things: a new location, multiple addtional languages, large crowds, lots of people I've met before but don't necessarily remember, and it sounds like I will be introduced with all the pastors and the other missionary family.
I can honestly say that sometimes I pray for a boring day to come.  It hasn't happened yet!
Thanks for your prayers, love, and financial support.  Blessings,
Christine Davenport
Juagdan, Bohol, Philippines

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Another month half gone.

Well, in the day to day stuff it seems like I haven't been here that long and things aren't moving forward.  Then I look at the calendar and I'm amazed!  This week marks 2 months in Juagdan.  I can't say I have loved EVERY moment, but I haven't hated any either :)

It turns out visa is a little more complex than I first thought.  I had the initial 29 day and was easily able to renew for an additional 30 in Cebu.  Kuya Jonah had found out I could do one more 30 day, then 60 days, then another 60 days, and finally 6 months.  Well, it turns out they want me to apply for the missionary visa instead, but they extended for 60 days instead of just 30!  I have the next 60 days to gather a few letters and some official SEC paperwork from the church, but once I get that accomplished I will be valid for a full year.  It's great news, just a little more complex than I expected.

Work on the mission house is moving forward, but in small steps.  This week I have started moving some things into the cabinets and trying to clean and organize some stuff.  The hope is this week the new flooring can get laid out as well as the plumbing and lighting getting finished.  I will hopefully move in next week or at the latest next weekend!

Language studies are moving just as slowly if not slower.  I'm thinking once I'm in my own space I should designate a certain space and time for regular study.

On another note I'm going to try to use kalabasa (Filipino squash) to make "pumpkin" pie for our American Thanksgiving.  If I understand correctly the main dish is going to be pork kabobs.  We will also have mashed potatoes and a couple Filipino dishes.  I'll try to remember to take pictures 😉

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Amigo, Amiga, Ug Mga Amigas

Amigo, amiga, ug mga amigas.  Until about a month ago I would have said they are all friends.  Dili na lang! Not any more! Friend, friend, and enemy. Okay, so not exactly.

Just like Espanol, amigo or amiga express the singular form of friend depending on the person's gender.  Mga amigas on the other hand does not mean multiple female friends. It means multiple ants. Normally ants wouldn't be a big deal, except it turns out I'm allergic to the red ant bites and there are daghan kaayo mga amigas (a lot of ants!).  Thankfully it is not anaphylactic shock bad, but puffy for hours and "I want to scratch my skin off" for days bad. I thankfully have access to antihistamines so the itch doesn't last so long but most days I still end up with at least 2 new bites.

I've been here enough times and long enough this time that I can say I have daghan kaayo mga amigo, pero I hope mga amigas go away!  I just don't think that is happening any time soon.

Six weeks and two Visayan lessons complete.  I'm feeling more confident, but there is still a long way to go yet.  Here's to living the life!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Photo Bomb Part Two!

Take two!

Here are some photos of where I am staying.  And in no particular order...

This is the pump area.  I wash my laundry here.  In the mornings the kids take their baths here.  The building is the pump house that has the electric pump that fills the two tanks which supplies four (hopefully soon to be 5) buildings with their running water.  At least it is a shaded area on the side of the house so it is sort of private and blocked by from the sun. 
This is the Cajigas' kitchen.  The sink has running water, but no hot available.  The stove/oven is propane gas run.  It is difficult to really get it low, but high works great!

This is the rice container.  I asked Ate Jess and we determined they use 50 kilos about every 6 weeks.  No wonder it's such a bit bin!  That also helps feed the dogs too though.

These two are lovers... for real.  On the right is Lexi and she has had puppies a couple of times.  Here most recent batch was fathered by Big Jake on the left.  Pretty sure he is full German Shepard that they acquired from some Americans in a neighboring area.

This is Ollie.  He is one of Lexi's babies from a previous brood of pups.  He is a year old now.  Both he and mommy love this chair on the front porch.

This should look familiar.  It is the orphanage as see from the Cajigas's balcony.  Mommy Jean is growing vegetables out front to help supplement the food budget.  If you look closely on the top-ish left is the end of the basketball court.
This is the back of the church as seen from the Cajigas's balcony.  The big shoe shape in the middle is a slide on the playground.  Here you can also see more of the basketball court from this vantage point.

In case you can't tell this balcony is a good place to see a lot of the area.  On the far left is Papa Oman and Ate Amy's house.  They are just outside the gate.  The black truck is the Cajigas family vehicle.  The white truck is the water delivery truck.  The little bit of building on the far right is the church.