Yes, they call Ketchup “Katsup” here… how amusing. You get get Heinz Tomato Ketchup here though, although only in the old-stylee glass bottles… how quaint.
We’ve been using a new phrase a lot recently – “Only in the Philippines”. Usage is thus: “Only in the Philippines would there be proper loos but never any loo paper” (apparently they just use their hands… nice). “Only in the Philippines can people turn up hours late to a meeting and no-one really mind”. Maybe it’s not ONLY in the Philippines, but it feels like it to us 🙂
Anyway, Katsup, Ketchup, Katchup, Catch up…
Friday (the day after the last entry) I went to experience classes in the Uni. I went with Chuckie (I share a room with him and his brother, JayArre) to an English class and a maths class. Chuckie is a freshman, and is hence 16… so I coped with both lessons… just! Remembering three-variabled three-equation solving stuff from A-Level maths was quite hard! Didn’t really get to know any of his classmates because they were all off to other classes, but was still good to experience the class atmosphere – felt much more like school than uni to me. In the evening went to Chocolate Kiss (yes, again Grant) with Heather and Esther to talk through some stuff and to chill… was good.
Saturday, Ram and I got up early to head over to PUP campus (Polytechnic University of Philippines) to talk to some classes (once again, more like school than uni). We did 3 classes in which I shared a bit about student life in the UK, my thoughts and my involvement with Navs through it. Ram and Bobot also shared different things (mainly in tagalog, so I dunno what it was all about!) Apparently 35 people said they were interested in getting involved with Navs (out of about 90), so that was good. Heather and Esther went jogging whilst we were there and then met us for lunch. Then we headed back in time for the Saturday afternoon Bible Study on Romans with some of the established Navs guys. Was good and after we chatted to Jaime briefly about how we were doing, but not very thoroughly.
Sunday morning was another early start – we met the girls at 6.30am at Philcoa – and for once we actually arrive before them! Only about 4 minutes before, but it was a new experience. had breakfast in Jolibee (the Filipino version of McDonalds, although they have that too – and they seve rice and spagetti with things… how bizarre). And then we got a bus to Cubao and then to Los Baños which took about 2 hours, getting us there just too late to go to church, contrary to our hopes. You may ask why we went to Los Baños – that’s where some of the American “short-termers” went to work like we’re working here. We met them and got on well with them on the whole. They took us to visit Riceworld (not quite as glamourous as Disneyworld), but alas it was closed, so we fed the weird goldfish and were surprised to see a freaky cross-breed of a turtle and mole… or that’s what it looked like! Went for lunch at a lovely place overlooking a big lake with houses on stilts on it and everything.
In the afternoon we had a discuss/talk by the Philippines National Director (Wensey? Wency? something like that) with all the LB Navs people on “what is church”. Basically saying that Navs does everything that “church” should… interesting – definite food for thought. Then we went to “Splash Mountain” for a few hours. Sounds tacky, but wasn’t really – it’s hot springs up in the mountain that are open well late (we got there about 9 and left about midnight)… was really good chillout time.
Monday… wow I’m writing a lot, this has taken ages and still have 3 more days to go… speeding up. Heather and Ram came back to Manila early. We did some belief surveys at LB, mine didn’t go too well but Esther had some great chats. Met a guy with Jordan (one of the Americans) and chatted about his thoughts about God at the moment and also about his thoughts about the Devil. Got me thinking at least. “Koffee Addicts” for a frappe. Met Heather and Ram at SM Megamall (SM = Shoe Mart = big chain of malls) and had dinner and a lovely “SBC Javanilla Shake” from Seattle’s Best Coffee… would recommend to everyone! Home to bed – Esther and I started feeling ill.
Tuesday – Esther too unwell to come to our appartment for fry-up and team time in the morning with me and Ram, so Heather came alone. Had started raining overnight and hadn’t stopped really… was the beginning of a typhoon – fun! Classes were suspended about 1pm as were most other activities. Ram and I caught up on some sleep in the afternoon whilst the girls ate and emailed. I started to feel better, Ram started to feel worse. Ram and I went to see Jackass the movie at SM City North whilst Esther slept and Heather went out for dinner with some freshmen girls.
Today both Ram an Esther not very well at all, both spent most of day in bed. Both taking various medication after Esther was confirmed to have flu by the doc. Most plans went to pot because of illness – we had planned surveys and I’d planned to meet some of Chuckie’s friends, but had to stay in to make sure Ram didn’t die.
Then this evening had dinner with the girls and then headed over here.
I’m not feeling 100%, but I’m better than Ram and Esther, poor guys 🙁
Oh well, must dash, have been here for aaaages.