Saturday, September 19, 2015

19 September 2015

Sister Missionaries for dinner on Sunday night.  They
tend to get left out because they are not around the office
very much like the office Elders.
I am calling this VACATION WEEK!  I mentioned last week that there is a celebration here called Penafrancia.  It started a week ago Friday.  We have heard all about this celebration since we arrived here.  President and Sister Reeder told us to not plan anything this week and to just stay home.  Not because it is unsafe but because there are thousands of people who come in from outside areas to participate in the celebration and traffic is terrible.

When the celebration started last week on Friday the main road in front of our building was shut down just past us where it crosses the river and goes into downtown Naga.  All roads in downtown Naga were closed.  There is a statue of someone (probably Penafrancia) which is taken from the old Catholic church and moved in a procession to a downtown area where it sits for over a week while other festivities go on.  Then tomorrow, the statue will be taken in another procession back to the church.

Wednesday morning waiting for parade to start.  In
front of our building.
 What goes on during the week?  There are parades nearly every day.  The first parade was on Wednesday and the road in front of us was completely shut down starting at 6:00 am.  People were already gathering at that time and the road was completely full by 7:00 but the parade didn't actually start until later - about 9 to 9:30.  Then it went until early afternoon.  Mostly younger kids from girl scounts and boy scouts; elementary schools, etc.  All of them wore uniforms of some kind and many played drums and a portable xylephone.  We heard many familiar tunes including the Hymns of the US Marine, US Navy, US Army, and US Air Force.
Waiting for parade to start.  The leader of these girls is a
member and she brought them to our parking
lot to have chairs and wait for the parade to start.
 We also heard Stars and Stripes Forever; When Johnny comes Marching Home Again and some song that we didn't recognize but it made us feel like we were in Disneyland on the "It's a Small World" ride for 8 hours.  That was all on Wednesday.  Our apartment overlooks the road below and so we could see quite well. We are somewhat obstructed by a large tree and the stairwell.  So, when it was too hot or wet, we could still watch and certainly hear from our apartment.  The parade on Thursday was not so eventful and didn't last as long but the Friday parade made up for everything. There were groups from High Schools, Colleges, Universities along with military, ROTC and anyone else who could get in. There were 750 groups which participated and it started at 7:00 am prompt and went until 2:30 in the afternoon without a break of any kind.  The only slowdown was a huge downpour mid day but all the groups kept going.   I will post more pictures of the parade further down.

Our Bishop and his family.  The tallest girl in between was
the one who got baptized.  
On Monday, the Bishops daughter, was baptized.  It was her birthday that day and another little girl from the other ward in our building was also baptized that night.  This is the little girl who Sister Hoopes started teaching piano lessons to when we first got here and who has done amazingly well. She and her sisters speak English as if they were Americans because that is their language at home.

Isa came to our home on Monday night after her baptism with her mother to bake some cupcakes for her birthday party the next day.  She was here without her sisters and just helped a little; chatted, smelled all the DoTerra bottles; and looked at all our pictures.  She had a lot of fun being here by herself.  At one point she kind of skipped into the kitchen and I heard her kind of sing or say outloud to herself, "I feel so good"!!!
Isa and her sisters with her mom behind.

We were invited to the birthday party on Tuesday night.  Sister Hoopes offered to help bring something and was asked to make some hot dog buns for the party.  She spent all day on Tuesday working on the "pigs in a blanket" style hot dogs for the party.  It was definitely different from our birthday parties.  There were a lot of her friends there but apparently when you invite a child, you also get his/her parents and all the family.  So there were lots of older people there.

The "pigs in a blanket" prepared by Sister Hoopes.  80 of them.

Besides a full spread of food in the other room, Sister Bigtas
made all these cupcakes and cookies.  Very nice!!!
Right at the beginning fo the parade on Friday.  They stretch back
a long way.

Parade watchers taking shelter under our awning to the office.
We were watching from the stairwell above.  

The Stake Presidents Family side business.  This is
called a Tricie (???) most cart people.  This one
is a cart for selling Shomai.  A chinese item with pork and vegies
in a pastry wrap.  I think they are boiled.  We bought them heated
and they are very tasty.

Stake President selling the Shomai to us.  You can see what
they look like.  You add soy sauce, or sweet, or HOTTTTT.

A picture of one of the brass bands.  Most were drums and Xylophones.

A lot of things happened last week but nothing that I really need to comment on.  I will point out that there was a 8.3 earthquake in Chili; Europe is being invaded by thousands of Muslims; continued weakness in our financial system; China's economy imploding and they have started "dumping" US Treasuries of which they hold or held 1.2 Trillion $.  Perhaps I should comment on what didn't happen.  While I was expecting a major market crash that didn't really occur on a given day, it is interesting to note that the Dow Jones Industrial Avg is down over 2000 points in 3 weeks. Interesting!!!  By my calculation that is over 10%.  So not a single day record drop but certainly huge over the course of a few weeks.

 Also, we are approaching Sept. 23 which is the Day of Atonement for Israel or Yom Kippur (the most holy of days for the Jews) and then on Sept. 28 is the Blood Moon which is the last of the 4 (2 from last year and 2 from this).  The last time this will happen for 500 years.

There is still a need for our country to repent and turn back to God and again be a support and strength to Israel.  Short of that, we will come under judgement.

Until next week.

No comments:

Post a Comment