Today was BIG. We spent the morning down at “Camp J”, a pretty empty block of land (at least at the moment) – save for a number of foundational holes – that Pastor Victor and his church intend to turn into a drug rehabilitation and ministry centre. Our job was to dig two holes with chisels and crowbars (really it was just chipping away at hard rock!). I don’t know about the others, but the combination of the sun, the manual labour, and the lack of strength to begin with made the morning absolutely exhausting. Thank you, Pastor Victor, for the half-time snack – that fried banana kept me going.
After lunch (fish & rice, as well as a fresh coconut), we had a couple of hours to rest and recharge. A few of us decided to explore the rockpools along the road to where we are staying, before diving, splashing, and singing underwater back at the pool.
In the afternoon, we joined the evangelism team at the local church again to invite children to the feeding program, going from house to house. All of the people we came across were so friendly and welcoming. I was half-expecting to be treated how door-knocking Jehovah’s Witnesses are in Australia, but instead we were met with countless smiles and a few compliments on our “long noses”.
Tonight’s feeding program was SO MUCH FUN. The word for the burangay (village) the program was held in means “happy”, and happy it was. The skit and the songs went great – the kids were laughing and getting into it all. But as usual, it was the bubbles that really got them excited! We also got to learn dance moves from them as well as teach the kids a few (eg. the nutbush, the macarena, the sprinkler, etc.). One of my favourite moments was when, while a few of the boys were running around piggybacking each other and chasing us, two of us did the same and started chasing them.
Post-dinner challenge: balut (fertilised hard-boiled duck eggs – not just yolk & white). Yeah, that wasn’t great, but quite the experience. Not even all of the locals enjoy it or will even give it a try, so kudos to us – especially to those who actually swallowed! We decided to give Edwin’s daughters some vegemite – the Australian balut. Although, I have to say, they had it waaaaaaay easier than us because the worst part about vegemite is that it’s really really salty, whereas the worst part about a balut is that there is a duck foetus. Fun times.
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