Friday, August 27, 2010

A Quick Trip to the Village

After we spent a few days getting our house back in order, it was time for me to fulfil some commitments I had made regarding the Isnag work. Among other things, I needed to make sure the clinic was stocked with medicine, pay the clinic workers, distribute some of the new translations, and see if any more could be done regarding rice. Robert Smith, one of the new missionaries here, very kindly volunteered to come along on the trip.

We flew from Manila to a city up north. When we arrived there we found out that my language helper, Malana, was there. His wife had an attack of appendicitis and had to be carried downstream until they got to a place where a vehicle could take her to a hospital. Fortunately they arrived in time and she had a successful operation and was already recovering. We went to visit them and Malana was excited to be one of the first recipients of the newly translated chapters from Genesis and Exodus.

The NTM missionaries up north took good care of us and the next morning they dropped us off in a lot where people catch the bus going into the mountains. The bus didn't arrive for a long time, but several Isnag friends came by to visit us while we waited. These three girls have spent some of their lives in our village. Robert bought a round of ice cream sandwiches. Note the ice cream is served on a hamburger bun. You might want to try that at home some time.
We also spent a lot of time telling sellers of various things that we really couldn't buy what they wanted to sell.

After a couple of hours, the trip began. This section of road was also being used to dry corn.

The bus made several stops. This stop was for those that wanted to buy meat.

We also stopped for lunch. I must say the prices were very reasonable.

When we arrived at our destination, we were invited to stay in a friend's house. Chicken was on the menu and Robert helped with the preparations.

This is Warren. I haven't seen him in four years, so I was thrilled he came by to say hi. As a young teenager he fell from a tree and broke his leg. Heidi and Vicky put him in traction and worked on his leg for more than a month. Praise the Lord! he is a strong construction worker today. He came by to say thank you.

The next day was to be our hike into the village. Fortunately we were able to arrange for a truck to take us part way. It saved us around three hours of hiking.

It was a beautiful morning and it was great to be back in northern Luzon.

We finally got to a place where the truck kept spinning out and couldn't climb any further. That is where our hike began.

Along the trail we came to places where we could re-fill our water bottles.

There were quite a few Isnag who hiked with us. They were pretty thrilled that I had arranged a truck to take all of us part way.

This is the lunch spot. It is about half way from town to our village. On the way back, I opened my can of pork and beans and my can of sardines to go with my rice and when I turned around a dog was eating my beans. That is a very sad story and I hope you are not all depressed for the rest of the day. At least I did have sardines left to go with my rice.

This is the lunch Robert and I shared on the way in.

I also had time for a quick rest before we started the second part of the hike.

When we arrived in the village I didn't take very many pictures because we were so busy. We had to repair part of our roof that had blown down, fix the generator, tie up the radio antenna, stock the clinic, pay workers, and visit with many Isnag friends. It was very nice to be home again. I am really hoping that our family will get to spend some time in the village during the coming year.

We asked the people if anyone would hike with us when we hiked out and they said that there was a guy going on the day we wanted to go, but when the day arrived, the guy changed his mind. Robert and I started out on our own. I know the trail fairly well for the first one and a half hours. Then we ran into a guy that showed us the next section of trail. A few crossings down, we heard some yelling and it was a bunch of my friends who live way upstream. They were on their way to town and when they heard that I was ahead of them they rushed to catch up with us so that they could keep us from getting lost. It was a real blessing and they did help us a lot.
Another blessing was that it didn't rain on us and the river was running low and clear.

The hike out took us more than nine hours and we enjoyed visiting with the Isnag guys the whole way. At rest stops we shared our snacks with them.

About three hours before we reached town again I tripped and fell flat on my face. I sprained my toe and had to limp the rest of the way to town. In town we washed up, had chicken and rice for dinner, and re-packed our bags. We laid down for a short rest, but that didn't last long. The ride out of the mountains left at 2:30 am. We made it to the city just after sunrise and were on the plane back to Manila that afternoon. Just before dark I made it home.
Thank you for praying for me. I was pleased with all that we were able to accomplish. I forgot to mention that we were able to arrange for 120 pounds of rice to be distributed to the elementary school children before we left the village. God is good!


Zoe said...

Wow, what an adventure - but I have a feeling that is just life-as-usual there! You folks are amazing.

Does traffic just drive over the corn drying on the road?

homefront said...

Thank you so much for sharing your recent travel stories. We so love your pictures! I can almost hear the shouts of joy coming from your Isneg friends when you return 'home'. God gets the glory at hearts so knit together! Thanks so much for sharing!!

The Røsviks said...

Oh dear, so sorry to hear about your beans but we're glad you got to keep your sardines! (And I bet those beans were the best meal that dog has ever had in his life!) :-) Thanks so much for sharing your adventures and for posting all the pictures. Wow, what a trip you had! We miss you guys very very much and pray for your family each day.
Love, the Røsviks

mark said...

I can read your bloggage! That is so cool. Thanks for letting us all in on that. Amid all that giving glory to God I must say that I envy the relationships you have made there and I hope you can keep up with them (without Facebook). The pic.s are filled with wonderful detail too. I sometimes wonder why God placed this love for your work in me. We love you folks.

The B's said...

You have such an amazing life! I am truly thankful for all the incredible luxuries we enjoy here. (Although, the ice cream hamburgers actually sound tasty!) Thank you for all you do!