Saturday, November 29, 2014

David In The Philippines - Highlights From Month #10 (November)

Managed to get one more photo in with this little guy before he left this morning to begin life with his adoptive family in Finland. This is the sixth international adoption we've had at Ruel this year, from five different countries - US, Canada, Spain, Ireland and Finland. We'll miss you Little Mr A! (Nov 1st)

At Ruel we've been blessed with a visit from Sarah Tibben for the last few days. Sarah currently works at another orphanage called Rehoboth, and decided to come down and check us out. I have to admit I've never thought of the song "Open, Shut Them" as wildly entertaining but as you can see from the picture, Little Miss R certainly did ) (Nov 2nd)
I know all kids love to be first, and Ruel kids are no different. No matter how much I try and discourage it, the race from upstairs to the schoolroom in the mornings often results in tears, grumpiness and someone falling over. Yesterday we tried to take a goodbye picture with Ate Sarah, and as soon as the button was pressed they raced to be first into the tricycle (Nov 3rd)
Such an amazing example of kids giving to kids! I want to thank Linda Soegiarto who is the mum of one of my students from 2013, as well as the crew from Melbourne Praise Centre, for their generosity in raising funds and gifts for Ruel Foundation. Closed-toed shoes are something we never seem to have enough of, and there sure are lots of them in that photo! God's love in action (Nov 8th)
Here's me with the Ruel kids enjoying our brand new Bamboo House! It was paid for by some of the proceeds of the Fun Run (Nov 13th)
Hanging out at the mall for Miss R's 11th birthday with our new friend Ate Bridget. Video games and blue PowerAde, what could be better? (Nov 18th)
Look who's back at Ruel after his cleft lip surgery! (thanks Melissa for fundraising). Man, this guy has just grabbed my heart and won't let go (Nov 21st)
Today was my last Sunday at United Evangelical Church (UEC). I am thankful for the way God has used me in this place; first facilitating a positive partnership between them and Ruel Foundation, and also providing the funds for this basketball court and paved surface. I know the kids will have lots of fun. I have also sponsored a child from their Compassion Project (PH268), so I will have a good reason to go back and visit (Nov 23rd)
Definitely one for the cuteness files. Little Miss J, S and R enjoying a tricycle ride and McDonalds treat. Thanks for your help Ate Gladz and Ate Charmzz. (Nov 26th)

So, this year I've completed 78 blogs for the Ruel Foundation and I'm currently figuring out how to get to 100 in the few weeks I've got left. This is one of my more creative efforts. A series of events and a couple of perfectly timed photos resulted in a funny "children's storybook" blog I've entitled "The Mysterious Saga of the Disappearing Balloons." Enjoy! (Nov 4th)    
You know you're living in a developing country when there's a nationally televised campaign, complete with models and celebrities, promoting handwashing. It's a different world. (Nov 15th)

One of my favourite things to do at Ruel is to go upstairs and spend time with the bubs. I generally escape unscathed but today was...messy, with about three different types of body fluids and I was coughed on a few times. I tip my hat to the caregivers who do it day-in and day-out for 8-hour shifts (Nov 15th)

I've just returned from a little ferry trip to the Bureau of Immigration in Batangas. Because I've been here longer than six months I had to fill out a few more forms and get fingerprinted (which has stained and left me with purple thumbs) before I can leave the country next week. You know, bureaucracy or "red tape." How amusing it was, then, to see a sign on the window that began "In accordance with the Anti Red-Tape Act 2007..." Well they're doing a great job of enforcing that. I also had a 60p ($1.50) pizza for lunch that possibly tasted just as good as the cardboard box it came in. I say "possibly" because I've never tried cardboard, so I wouldn't know. My final week here includes last trips to church and soccer, individual assessments for all the schoolkids and taking the kids out for a treat in four separate groups: the older kids voted to go to the mall to play some games, and I'll be taking the toddlers to McDonalds for some yummy stuff. (Nov 20th).

Tonight we had a brown-out (it's like a black-out in Australia, but only for a short time). When the power came on and I was settling into my drinkies and TV watching, three young people knocked at the gate. I went out, they handed me an envelope and started singing. I listened for about a minute before I noticed their glances; they were just too polite to mention "You're supposed to give us money." I finally got the hint, popped a couple of notes in the envelope and resumed my entertainment. Silly foreigner (Nov 22nd)

Man, the To-Do list for my last three days just keeps getting bigger: school assessments and reports, cleaning (lots), laundry, haircut, photos, bank, lawyer, junk shop, kids outings. Fortunately I managed to get through most of my packing today, and offloaded a few kgs by giving some of my clothes, books and meds to Ruel. (Nov 23rd)

A productive morning. I got my (5) school reports done, closed my bank account with no forms or paperwork, got 41p at the junk shop and scored my last $1.25 haircut with my favourite ladyman. I was also waiting patiently to turn left at a busy intersection and got yelled at repeatedly by a policeman to "GO!" even though there was lots of oncoming traffic. Think I should try that in Australia and see what happens? (Nov 25th)

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