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Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Did the Pigmys Get You?

GREETINGS EARTHLINGS! After a short trip to my home planet, I have now returned to your little blue planet until the mother ship comes for me again.

That is for those of you who thought I had dropped off the face of the earth. We are still alive and well here in the Philippines. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for our website, so I am returning to the old fashioned general update. Internet access has been difficult over the past month.

Let me catch you all up. I'll start from the beginning of March. Once upon a time...

March 6th
We left San Pablo for Davao in the southern part of the Philippines. Our mode of transportation was Superferry 15, which was a 55-hour ride! We had a great time and enjoyed air-conditioned cabins, cable TV, and a buffet for that time.

About a week before, the headlines of the papers read, "124 Missing from Superferry 14 Bombing." Much to our dismay, there were no bargain prices for Superferry 15 in light of the previous ship's mishap. We did arrive safe and sound in Davao though.

March 9th
Danny and I celebrated our 3rd year anniversary staying at the House of Jubilee in Davao. There we were involved in many school presentations, drama workshops, children's ministry, mall outreach, etc. We were very busy and the 3 weeks we spent there just flew by!

Originally we were going to be working on a building project and assisting in the Mercy Maternity Clinic. However, schools everywhere began opening their doors to us and we were in sometimes 2 or 3 a day! It was non-stop!

The building project was put on hold for a different team and us ladies only spent three days in the maternity clinic. However, it was still quite the experience! Though we did not see any babies being born, we had opportunity to do many things in the clinic. I took blood from women's fingers to test for - I don't know what actually. Frankly, I could have past out every time. They do not have the same equipment we do. Oh no. It was not some handy-dandy little pen that you click the top and the little blood-test-elves to the rest inside of the device. No. It was a sharp piece of metal called a lancet that I STABBED women in the finger with and then tried to catch the dripping blood into a thin glass tube about as long as my pinky finger. Yeah, let me just restate that I am positive that the good Lord has not called me to be a nurse or in any way, shape or form supposed to be in the medical field. You got a problem? I got a band-aid. If that doesn’t work, it was nice knowing you. Goodnight.

March 29th
Good-bye Davao – Hello Superferry 16! Yes, let us tempt fate twice. We crawled on that 55-hour boat ride once again and returned to Manila. We were only there for one night before we caught a small 50-seater plane to the island of Catanduanes in the Bicol province. There we were involved in 2 separate Vacation Bible Camps. I swear every kid in those villages and then some came out. I guess we shouldn’t have advertised, “FIRST EIGHT KIDS GET A FREE CANADIAN.” (Ha ha. A little humour from some one who has had too much sun today.) We spent 10 beautiful days running ourselves ragged, trying to understand the dialect, gluing paper crafts with water and flour paste, and learning the names of the animals on Noah’s Ark in Tagalog (the main language here). My group was the Elephants, which in Tagalog is Elephantes. Yes, it is tricky. We had a great time though.

April 13th
We are now in Manila, our final stop our on 4-month tour. It is hot here, averaging between 35-40 degrees! Right now we are staying at an orphanage until Monday. It is quite the place. We have 2 small rooms: one for boys and one for girls. The school season is finished so we will be helping out more with the odd jobs, local Bible studies, and just playing with kids. There are about 35 kids at the orphanage between the ages of 7 to 18 years.

We will be moving into a bigger place that belongs to a local Pastor’s sister. We will be working closely with their church groups doing services, Sunday schools, visitation, and outreach stuff, etc. There are 35-million people in Manila, so we can always find something to do.

Okay, now you are up to date! Internet is a billion times better here (even though the server has had to be rebooted 3 times while I have written this email) so hopefully I can get that crazy website happening again!

Thank you for your patience and understanding! Most of all, thank you for still emailing me! I love hearing from you all! Thank you for your prayers and constant support and encouragement! You know, since January we have seen around 350 people decide to follow Jesus for the first time in their lives! Bible studies, support groups, and youth activities have been started in homes, schools, offices, and communities all over the Philippines and you have a part in that! So God bless you!

Love,
~Alycia DeLong

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