Today, we took a tricycle ride. Doesn't that sound tame? This is a tricycle:
It's a motorcycle, pulling a little car that seats 2 Filipinos (or 1 American) in the front, 2 Filipinos in the back, and one on the back of the motorcycle. Here's a short video of our ride:
Rick somehow got stuck on the motorcycle. I got to ride in the front the way there, and the back on the way back. We took it up a hill into the jungle to visit a home. It could barely get up the hill with 2 of us Americans and 4 Filipinos on it! I guess I had too many fried hot dogs for breakfast (fried hot dogs are what Edwin cooks for his family for breakfast on Sundays. Yum.)
After this, we had lunch. And I had my first fresh mangoes! The Filipinos seem to have picked up our penchant for processed foods, so this was the first fresh mango I encountered (though I have had mango shakes and juice). Cebu Island is known for having the best mangoes in the world, and they were delicious. We had roast pork with the mangoes for lunch. (OK, the adults ate things other than this, like squid fried rice, but I just focused on what was important.)
We took the plane back to Manila tonight. Rick and I had mango shakes for dinner. Then I bought some preserved durian just to try. Have you heard of durian? It's notorious for being vile. It's illegal to have in some places because it smells so bad. It reminded me of a medicine I took when I was a child, but I can't put my finger on what. It also reminded me of vomiting. Now the taste is in my mouth and nothing will get rid of it. I'm eating dried mangoes, but they aren't helping yet. Blech! Edwin loves Durian, so I'll be bringing the extra to him and his family tomorrow.
As a treat, I thought you might like to see my non-motorized tricycle ride from Thursday on Lapu Lapu. Rick is sitting next to me in the "car," and Edwin is on the back.
And as an extra, extra treat, I thought you might want to see some photos from today. We were in the town of Talisay today, which was a beautiful tropical island setting. I loaded this pic, so my dear husband could see me, but I'm afraid I'm blocking the slum homes in the background.
Here is Rick "working." Actually, he walks away a lot from the interviews, most likely because there are breasts coming out right and left with no warning. At this particular visit, there were about 6 nursing mothers sitting around.
Here is one of the mothers who has been in the CSP for 3 months. When the baby was first registered, he didn't lift his head or do anything other than lie there. Now he can lift his head and move around, though he's still very malnourished. He's 1 year and 2 months old. I thought this was a mistake when I heard it first. He's the size of a very frail 6 month old.
Here's another little baby in the CSP, happily chubby. I think this is his father. So nice to see fathers. This one seemed very loving and attentive.
This little girl is also in the CSP. There is a home leaning against hers, because it has fallen onto it (the home of the malnourished baby). Then between the two homes is a treacherous drop off into the river/garbage heap. The older kids seem pretty adept at climbing around it, but it's scary with the babies.
I love to see all their sweet faces. There is so much need. It's very hard to mentally or emotionally even take in. I have no idea how Edwin does this week in and week out with such tender care and without hardening himself. But though the needs are staggering, there are stories of babies being helped and getting healthy and fathers committing to marry the mothers and families coming to know God. And that is worth it all.