I do no intend to post every day, but today being the first day in our new home, I need to share a few thoughts.
We were picked up at the airport and taken to a hotel for the first two nights. We needed to do some immigration stuff. We were told to be ready at 6:30 am. We were picked up at 8:30 am. I now understand a little bit about Phiippine time. While we were waiting, I walked outside to have a first look at Manila in daylight. The traffic was light this early in the morning. The following photos are what first caught my eye. My first look.
I know these are not the most glamorous shots in the world, but this is what I saw first and I know we were going to be OK.
Next, first breakfast.
It is some beef(?) on an egg with rice. It was great and it stuck with me. I was not hungry again for 7 or 8 hours.
We were taken to the Manila MTC were we signed imagration papers. We were told that it would take 2 or 3 hours before we were needed again. We were asked if we would like to go through the temple while we waited.
Well, is the grass green? Is the sky blue? Does Grandma like chocolate? Do we love our family? The answer was of course yes. We needed to rent cloths. My shirt was the Philippino style temple shirt. Very soft, very beautiful and no tie. That was wonderful. No tie. I love the Philippines.
Then we were asked if we would like to be the witness couple. Well, is the grass green? Is the sky blue? Does Grandma like chocolate? Do we love our family? Yes, yes, yes. What a wonderful experience.
OK, now it is time to go into down town Manila to the immigration office. No big deal right? We found out big time about Philippino traffic and Philippino driving styles. I should have taken a photo or two, but my hands were not free. I was hanging on for dear life. After an hour or so I started to get used to it. Even the cars driving down the wrong lanes started to be OK. I knew they would get over before the head on. Somehow they make it work. There seems to be an unspoken agreement amount all of these drivers. You don't run into me, and I won't run into you. You would expect a pile of mangeled cars and dead bodies, but there isn't.
I was expecting a big cement building for the immigration office. It was more like one of the old souvenir shops that used to be on Fremont Street. We met a worker from the MTC there. Glad for that. We did not have a clue what we needed to do. We were finger printed, had photos taken, front and side, and signed some papers. I couldn't read what is signed, but I will take the MTC workers word for it that it was not a confession.
Now back to our hotel. Another hour, or two, or three of Manila traffic. I am sort of used to it now. It is starting to become amusing. Even the vehicles coming head on at us in our lane seem ok now. Somehow they magically move over just in time. Our driver is calm and undaunted. And to his credit he stayed on our side of the road, most of the time. Oh yea, and then the pedestrians. They cross the street like there are no cars on the road. And we know from our drivers example that stopping for a pedestrian in the cross walk is not required. They can wait for us to pass or they can run.
Once back at the hotel, I told Sister Petersen that I wanted to take a nap. I woke up 10 hours later.
Now, onto the Cavite Mission ans home.