Monday, March 25, 2013

Field Trips

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This morning, Leron, & I had the privilege of meeting the founder of Our Lady Of Victory.  Sister Cecilia Wood, an MD, started Our Lady of Victory in 1981.  Cecilia started by caring for just a few handicapped children that she saw in the street. Since then, Our Lady of Victory has become quite a community. Cecilia is originally from Seattle and is in her 90’s.

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We met Rico, the PT. He has been at OLV for about 5 years but has been helping people through physio therapy for about 18! He gave us a tour of the grounds. It was spacious, lush & beautiful.

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Here is the PT area.

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It is a unique community that currently has 44 residents. We checked out the dining hall and kitchen area. Ladies were just hanging out and having some sweet fellowship. Of course, I needed to check out what the delicious smell was coming from the kitchen.

Fish fry!

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Aside from physical needs being addressed, this is a training center for practical skills.  Literacy, handicrafts, wood & metal working as well as a bakery. The baker wakes everyday at 4 to start the day’s baking process. He told us that  he bakes a variety of rolls…mung, cheese & cinnamon to name a few. Rolls are bought by a nearby school & are a favorite at the neighboring Catholic church. Some of the rolls are taken unto the city to be sold as well. It generate income!

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It was great to see the pride that each resident took in their work. Very diligent. Some of them were even working  while laying on their stomachs! The man in the first picture was making learning materials for a school. He is a graduate of a local art school. They are very detailed and also have a nice big shop at their disposal.

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Here is a sample of the wheelchairs that they make. They also do repair jobs for local hospitals as well as make walkers and crutches. I loved the trike, reminded me of Niger.

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There are separate quarters for the men & woman. We visited both and residents greeted us warmly. This young lady was crocheting. Can’t tell, but she was also laying on her belly.

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So nice to visit a place so full of hope. Building a better future for those who have been physically challenged but are rising above. I also caught some men playing chess (handmade by the man on the left)…..seriously, such light hearted & cheerful people!

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Of course, we are in the Philippines and any morning is not complete without merienda time….today, decadent chocolate cake & a sampling of  the mung rolls. What gracious hospitality!

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Leron said that the rolls were like sweet fresh bread with a filling of refried beans.

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I love wonderful field trips & can’t wait to visit again! They will be relocating to Samal Island mid April….even more incentive! Truly an inspiring place!

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Friday, March 8, 2013

To Kimchi or NOT to Kimchi??

Since arriving here in the Philippines, one thing that I have been told over and over…”you need to try this… is sooooooo good for you”. Yep, I am going to write about food again ( I think it may be an inexhaustible subject). I am told about the wonderful anti oxidants, the vitamins, fiber, minerals…how it will keep me young and stave off disease. Many times I have been pleasantly surprised. A few times, just the smell of something (like the durian) makes it very hard to eat. I thought that this would be the case with the kimchi. I was actually surprised.

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Drew and I did our taste test together. Our faces show the bit of uncertainty of what we put in the mouth. But it was not too bad. I do not want to eat it every day, but I think I gets a bad wrap due to it’s stinky fermented smell.

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Some of the foods here are just a weird combination. I have a hard time thinking about eating sweet corn on or in my ice cream. The brightly colored purple ice cream is Ube, a purple yam…. Magnolia is a brand of Philippine ice cream.

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I have also seen cheese flavored ice cream. Hmmmmm? Maybe it is just my western palate?? The ingredients on this Halo Halo ice cream include garbanzo beans, corn, white kidney beans, mungo beans,  sweet potato, cheese, rice krispies, jelly cubes, a variety of candied fruits, coconut.  It is modeled after a favorite dessert here, the Halo Halo. That actually means mix mix… decide. Mix Mix is right!  Just look at what goes into one of these!

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It is very interesting to go to the grocery store. Leron was with me  today and I caught him tucking this jar in among the groceries. It is  Nata de COCO. Hmmmm, very interesting in the mouth to say the least. Pretty good flavor though.

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Today, I started asking the fruit guy about some of the things that were unfamiliar to me. I came home with lanzones .

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and macopa.

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Well, those are my eating adventures as of late. I included links to most of these, so feel free to click away if you would like. I learned A LOT myself just searching the web. Even though my friend Josh says Wikipedia is unreliable…I think for this purpose, it was helpful. So to Kimchi or NOT…well, we did and I may look about 16 when I come back to the states this summer.

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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Finger Licking Good

There are so many choices when going “out to eat” here in Davao. This list is long and this well not include them all…… fast food chains (yes KFC is one), nice gourmet restaurants, Italian, Australian steakhouses, Swiss delis, French bakeries,  Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Pancake Houses, Spanish as well as many Filipino family style places. There is even a restaurant chain exclusively built around Ramen!!

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Last night, we decided to take the kids to the DimSum Diner.

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This was their first dimsum.  The kids are pretty good sports when trying new foods This is the proof…….CHICKEN FEET.

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They all said that the chicken feet did not taste like really anything…just the sauce. They said that they felt sort of gross in t heir mouths……gelatinous.sticky.fatty. L wanted me to mention that the toenails had been pulled! Thank goodness, right?

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We decided to head to the mall in search of some ice-cream. Leron found some Japanese ice-cream called Mochi ice cream. They were interesting flavors like green tea, sesame, durian, coconut milk and orange cream, which was Leron’s choice. It was very frozen and wrapped in a rice dough.

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The kids opted for Krispy Kreme. Those things are EVERYWHERE!! The have added all sorts of thongs  to the menu. Or maybe not, I can’t remember the last time I went to KK, probably 5 years ago? Becca’s donut was actually a Kit Kat bar with a cream donut wrapped around it!!

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SO, we ended on a “sweet” note…but I just wanted to remind you, that when you come to visit, it will not be all Krispy Kreme and ice cream….Drew has something for you. Bwhahahahaha (that was for my Dad).

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