Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Getting settled in at Tud-ol

While I had originally introduced you to the Healthcare teams as team A, B, C and D, we had a rearrangement of teams our first week here in Butuan. Therefore, I will simply refer to the teams by their village name and use that as a tag on the blog in case you want to follow your friend/son/daughter/etc. If they didn't tell you where they went then keep a sharp eye out and you'll see them here soon enough!


Coming from the Cebuano word meaning to 'point that way,' Tud-ol is the most remote of the healthcare team villages this year on Mindanao. The team, consisting of Nathan, Katie, Vonn and Elise, arrived Tuesday via habal habal. The trip was quite the adventure, and we had been forewarned we may have to walk the last two kilometers uphill due to the road conditions. Fortunately the roads were dry enough that we bumped, splashed, and sputtered our way through all sorts of muddy obstacles. 

The team was given a nice wooden house, two rooms, complete with kitchen and an outhouse accessible by walking a wooden plank. There is no electricity, and like all villages, we had to filter or boil all water we consumed. The pump for water is only 100 meters away, but the place we do laundry and take bucket baths at is about 400 meters away. 

We made fast friends with the villagers. This village had a team last summer too, so the villagers were quick to say hello and start getting to know us and tell us how we look like people they met before. The team began surveying houses to find out basic information about monthly income, household size, and common diseases encountered, as well as take the blood pressure of the residents. They also got to sit and chat with the residents and start building relationships. One thing you should know about the people in these villages - they know all their neighbors well. 

We have already had an amazing time the first few days getting to know everyone. Lots of kids come by the house before dinner and sing songs or just chat and learn English words while teaching us Cebuano words. At any time of the day a few might stop by just to watch us without saying anything.

The team hopes to hold Bible studies with individual households as well as have community studies. For the first three days there was also a survey team at the village from the government, and on two evenings we had Bible study with them too. 

God is opening doors and presenting opportunities. Be in prayer that God would give the team His words in the Bible studies and that they would continue to build relationships with the people and help both their physical and spiritual needs. Pray also for the team that they would be strengthened in body and soul to do the work the Lord has prepared for them. 

Surveying concerning health and income

"Pahina," or community service, when the whole village
comes together to clean up the public area. 

I was pretty good at cutting grass with a machete

Keep away

Drinking fresh coconut water