Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Philippines Mission trip - April 30-May 1

I am keeping a journal for my wife of each days activities while I am in the Philippines for two weeks. She encouraged me to share my journal here so anyone interested can read it. Below is the account of the beginning of my trip...

We arrived at the Cincinnati airport at around 8:30 am in order for Michelle to catch her flight to Rapid City S.D. We said goodbye as she went through security with the hopes that I would be able to go get my ticket and then go sit with her until her flight left. So after saying goodbye to her (just in case I was unable to go through security at her terminal) I went to the terminal for my flight and got my ticket and checked my luggage. Then I went back to her terminal where they allowed me to go through security to sit with her. We enjoyed breakfast together, bought travel neck pillows (which came in VERY handy) and I surprised her by purchasing her an iPod Touch for her birthday. I synced as many songs as possible on her iPod while she waited to board her plane. The time came to say goodbye (for the second time) and Michelle and Kayla boarded their plane. I headed back to my terminal where I decided to check a second bag and went through security.

I waited for an hour or so and worked on sermon preparation. Tim and Derron called and I met them at Chick-fil-a. We then boarded our plane for the first flight of our long journey. Our plane was a 747 with three seats on the side aisles and five in the middle for a total of 11 seats across. The three of us guys were crammed into three seats with little room to move. Our flight was delayed taking off for around 30 minutes and was overbooked by 50 passengers! It was an older plane without video screens in the back of the seats. Instead it had large video screens for each section of the plane. Unfortunately several of the movies shown on the flight weren't really worth watching. Although they did show the new Chronicles of Narnia movie.

The flight seemed to take forever. My knees were jammed against the seat in front of me so much so that I have a sore on my right knee from it being so cramped. I got up and moved around every so often. The flight was packed and so there wasn't a whole lot of moving around possible. We finally landed in Tokyo where they had held all connecting flights due to our flight being late arriving. We ran to the bathroom and then waited as long as possible to board. The Tokyo airport was interesting. It was very nice. I noticed that it had an Oxygen Bar (whatever that is), massage rooms, etc. We finally loaded our plane and sat on the opposite side of the airplane which was the same type as the previous plane. This flight was also packed. However, it was a little bit more comfortable as I had a little bit more room beside me. I sat on the window seat for both flights. I fell to sleep a couple of times on this flight which I think took around five hours. I must have fallen into a deep sleep because both times I had a very difficult time waking up.

On our first flight we were served two meals along with a couple of snacks. The first meal was chicken and rice and the second was an egg omelet. Both meals were surprising decent. On the flight from Tokyo to Manila we were also served a meal which was Beef and rice. It was not very good though. We were always offered two options to eat with every meal.

We finally landed in Manila and had to wait in a huge crowd of several long lines in order to go through Immigration. It probably took an hour or so to get through Immigration. Finally we were able to get through Immigration and get our baggage and then go through Customs. R.G. and a Filipino named Stephen (age 19) met us at the airport. We caught a Taxi van which took us to catch a bus. My first impression as we drove through Manila was to wonder if the Filipinos ever sleep (they don't)! We got to the bus station and unloaded and boarded a bus. We had to wait around a half hour for the bus to leave so R.G. and Stephen went to get us some drinks and a snack.

Thankfully the bus was air conditioned as it is very hot in the Philippines right now. The buses here are known for showing violent movies while you travel and the bus we rode was no exception. The drive took around 4-5 hours. We stopped every so often to pick up people who would flag us down and at a couple of bus stops. We finally arrived in Villasis where we unloaded and then took three Tricycles (motorcycles with side cars) to the Bible Methodist campus. Finally after a 28 1/2 hour trip we had arrived at our destination!

We are staying in what used to be the Black's home. It is a nice house that has "air con" as the air conditioning here is called. Thank the Lord for the air con! We talked for a short time, took showers and finally went to bed! It was Monday morning in the Philippines but we were ready to sleep!

For pictures from my trip click here to view my Facebook album. I will try to keep updating this album throughout the trip

1 comment:

  1. Glad you listened to your wife and are journaling your trip. It sounds like that culture shares some similarities with our Colombian culture including the violent movies on the bus trips. Ugh!
    Enjoy yourself,