Sunday, October 2, 2016

GPS Not Required

Imagine driving in the Philippines in an unfamiliar area with no map, no GPS and only the vaguest of ideas on how to get where you need to be.
Do you:
  a. Panic
  b. Cry
  c. Swear Feel like swearing
  d. Act like nothing is wrong and drive in ever widening circles.
  e. All of the above.

Actually this is a trick question because the answer is all of the above unless Sister Maughan is in the car in which case she will roll down the window and do what may be called a 'Mobile Shout Out' to a passing motorcycle asking something along the lines of  "Can you help us find ICM?"or "Which way is the port?".

It turned out that two Mobile Shout Outs were required last weekend on Bohol. The first to these two young men. They were more that happy to help us find our way. If you look closely at the picture you will see that pesos were offered for their help which they would not accept.
Our guides to Island City Mall
The second time was when two young ladies on a pink motorbike led us to the port where we caught the ferry back to Cebu. They also helped without hesitation and did not want to accept money for doing it.
Our guides to Tagbilaran Port
The trick when looking for help from a motorbike is to find one with two riders so that the passenger can keep an eye on your vehicle so that you don't get left behind. They are much more mobile than a car or truck.

This week was preparation for transfers next week. There are 12 leaving and 18 coming in so there is quite a bit of preparation needed. Some missionaries came in on Saturday to take an English test.
Sister Lappy talking to Ava the Avatar
Hi Ava, this is Elder MIna. The weather today is hot.
We can't remember if we've mentioned English testing already but if we have this will be a refresher. If not then you can ignore the previous sentence.

All missionaries have time allocated in their daily schedule for language study. Those who come from an English speaking background study Cebuano, those who come from a Cebuano speaking background study English and those from a non-Cebuano, non-English speaking background study both.

As they approach the end of their mission we administer a computer based English comprehension and speaking test to those who are not native English speakers. They are graded on how well they do and receive a certificate showing their skill level that can be helpful when applying for school or jobs.

After doing an introduction and practice test the actual graded test takes about 30-40 minutes. Ava the avatar will ask somewhat individualized questions based on background information provided by the one being tested and their responses are recorded and evaluated later by a real live person.

This is the entire staff of the local Post Office minus one. They are always helpful and very friendly. We go there at least once a week to pick up packages and drop off letters to mail. This week there were letters going to the US, Australia, Brazil, Samoa and inside the Philippines. We literally send out letters all over the world.
Lilo-an Post Office Staff
Watching this man work in the coconut tree, maybe 30 feet off the ground, was one of the coolest things we've seen here. He was using the machete to trim off dead branches while supporting himself with his legs so that both hands were free to work. It was impressive.
Look closely for the machete.
Sister Osumo wants her family to know all is well and thanks for the package.
Sister Osumo came by to pick up a package.
Last but not least.
The countdown continues.

Thought for the Week

"Our days will be happier when we give people a bit of our heart rather than a piece of our mind."
(Thank you Debbie)


  1. I like that thought! Is the test you give then the Michigan test? We used that I'm Mongolia.

  2. I like that thought! Is the test you give then the Michigan test? We used that I'm Mongolia.

  3. Ours is the Oral Proficiency Interview by computer (OPIc). It is administered by Language Testing International (LTI) and is backed by the ACTFL organization and is recognized internationally (This is from their web site). There is a short practice test and then the actual test takes about 30-40 minutes. We usually have the results back in about 2 or 3 days.