Thursday, April 19, 2012

Philippines Day 2 - Toledo/Moal Boal

The next morning we woke up early, as in 4:30ish. We did that the whole trip. Most nights we were in bed around 7:30 and up by 5:00. They have so many roosters that it would have been hard to sleep in! Seriously in the morning there are hundreds of roosters crowing all together. We ate our leftover chicken and rice for breakfast. It was Sunday so we headed out to go to church.

We were pretty early so we did a lot of walking around. John was excited when he saw these:

At first he thought they were banigs - a picnic mat. When he asked them if they were they told him no, these were walls. Sure enough when I started looking around a lot of homes were made of these.

We got to church and found an empty lot. They had built a new chapel since John was there.

The old church site.
Here is the new church! It was SO nice! They were broadcasting General Conference even though it was Easter.

We were still early so we hopped in a trike to go find the former Branch Presidents family. John rode on the back of the motorcycle of the trike.

Such a great strong family!

The girl on the very left in the gray dress was staying with this family. John had been trying to track her and her Mom down and he knew the Mom was in Kuwait He didn't know her daughter was in Toledo. He was so shocked and so happy to see her. He baptized her and her Mom when she was 8. She is done with college now, the YW President, and submitting her mission papers! AWESOME!

John and Ramile.

We had all of our stuff loaded up and were heading down to Moal Boal, a resort town on the coast south of where we were. In order to get there we had to take a bus back over the mountains to Naga and then take another bus to Moal Boal. Well, they pack people into the buses - I mean PACK! They had 5 people across the front seat. Then they filled in the aisle seats with boxes to make more seating. I was put in the front and center of the second row. There were 7 of us in my "row" which was made for 4.

The picture just doesn't do it justice. I was right in the middle looking straight out the windshield without a real seat or seat belt while the bus driver drove 50+ miles an hour through curvy mountains while playing chicken with other vehicles. I didn't have anything to hold onto or anywhere to actually put my feet. I was scrunched up just trying not to fall over :) It was an experience!

Some of the beautiful country on the way down. There are coconut and banana trees everywhere! We also saw lots of jack fruit and mango trees but they were not in season - bummer!

We stopped in Moal Boal and bought some produce from the mercado before heading to the resorts on the coast. Luckily we were still able to still get mango's and they were SO good!

Our hotel - Tipolo Resort

Our room.

Our view. The washed out part is the water.

Looking out over our beach.

This was at low tide. That's part of the coral reef you see. When the tide went out it created a bunch of tide pools.

John was obsessed with finding cool shells. Most of them still had crabs in them though.  We would bring shells in at night and put them in the corner. We knew the ones that had moved in the night still had occupants so we would go throw them back out to sea the next day.

At first we were kind of disillusioned with Moal Boal. There were a lot of foreigners and we felt kind of protective of the locals that in many ways are used and treated poorly by foreigners. But we warmed up to it. It helped so much that John could speak their language. This is also where I started riding on motorcycles. In order to get back into town you had to ride in on a trike or a motorcycle. The motorcycles were cheaper so I would hop on behind the driver and then John would hop on behind me :)

Once again we went to bed at 7:00! We were still really beat and I was just starting to get over being sick.

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