Saturday, September 6, 2014

Wait, I've been here how long?!

My reaction today when I looked at the calendar and realized it is September....

Hello friends,

My wonderful front porch. 

This time I am writing from Santiago City. My New home for the foreseeable future! I have a wonderful house on the compound of the Diocesan Office here in Santiago.I have friendly neighbors who all have young children that like to hang out in my hammock. I attend Sunday Services and am now a member of the St. Marks Cathedral.

I spent about 2 weeks in Manila before heading to Santiago. I got to meet some incredible people and learn about the organization I'll be serving this year. I am working with the Episcopal Care foundation, an Asset Based Development Program focused on helping communities become self sustaining. For a week while I was in Manila I worked with Jenny Ong who runs the E-shop at the National Office of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines. The E-shop sells organic locally grown fruits and vegetables, locally processed snacks, and other goods. I worked for a few days in the store learning about the products and where they come from. I also attended a four day conference for the E-Care foundation. We talked about the Asset Based Community Development Program run by Episcopal Relief & Development as well as some workshops on how to monitor and evaluate the programs that are being set into place in the communities here.
Photo: Goat for lunch!
At the end of the conference myself and four others rode together to Santiago, I think I enjoyed the scenery and the people too much to even realize we'd been in the truck for about 12 hours by the time we reached our destination. One of the stops we made along the way was for lunch at a little place we found called saGoat Kita Though I've had goat before, this was my first experience with goat intestine soup. I rather enjoyed it, and would probably eat it again.

Photo: St. Mark's Cathedral where I am now a member.
St. Marks Cathedral EDS
My first week here in Santiago, I spent touring the offices of the Diocese (Christian education, Finance, Development etc...) and attending another conference for the Episcopal Diocese of Santiago. I had the opportunity to have some meeting and fellowship time with priests from around the diocese as well as other diocesan employees who are working towards implementing Asset Based Development Programs in their own communities. I have visited one of the SRI Farms(System of Rice Intensification) near the Cathedral and I have started working in Dap-Ayan, the E-shop here in Santiago.

I also visited a neighboring Diocese (EDNL or Episcopal Diocese of Northern Luzon) I met with the Bishop there who is retiring as bishop of EDNL in October and will become the Prime Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of the Philippines.  

Tomorrow is Sunday and the only thing on my schedule is mass and rest! Then more busy, wonderful, and exciting things to come.