Sunday, August 26, 2012

Captured Frames : Philippines


A whole new continent, filled with bright lights, spicy food, crazy traffic and transportation, and what appears to be chaos all around. But in the brief moments between the noise of bustling cities and behind the flashing lights and looming malls, are beautiful people. You pause, breathe in. You smile at the beauty of life around you, the variety, the spice, the flare of life.

The Philippines was an incredible introduction to Asia. I ended up spending six weeks in the Philippines, instead of the normal four, due to flooding in Thailand (our original month 4 destination). So from the beginning of November to the middle of December, our teams lived, breathed, worked, and loved in the Philippines.

I was lucky enough to spend three weeks in the southern island of Mindanao, in a quiet city called Malaybalay. We got to love on kids there, then headed back up to Manila for our remaining time in the Philippines.

This month was the one time I really experienced heavy culture shock. And it wasn't in the way you would think it would happen. Our teams arrived to Manila the first time from Africa, there were Christmas lights everywhere, Christmas music (which, for those of you who do not know, I love Christmas). Manila was a bustling city filled with millions of people, (what seemed like) thousands of malls and shops, and more jeepneys (public transportation) than you ever thought were possible to exist.

We left to go to quiet, peaceful Malaybalay for ministry, and returned back to Manila three weeks later. I remember very vividly coming back to the rest of our squad who had stayed in Manila. Everyone was wearing new clothes (which is a big deal when you only have four outfits and you know most everyone's clothes by heart), had new things, and here we were, exactly the same. The city was suddenly ten times louder and more overwhelming. The five story malls seemed impossible, and the traffic horrendous. I wanted to crawl into a cave.

But God filled me with His grace and love, and He drew me back into Manila and helped me adjust and acclimate. But the Philippines was definitely where I experienced the most culture shock, but culture shock within the country itself. Quite interesting!

Take a look at our time in Malaybalay, plus there will be one more Philippines video to come, so keep your eyes peeled!

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