Elder Jordan Royal

Elder Jordan Royal
Jordan hugs big sister Kelli

Friday, October 25, 2013

Manila to Puerta Princesa, Sabang (October 23, 2013)

Chained up monkeys over a dirty pool filled inhabited by frogs made the Manila Airport Hotel rather unique (this monkey dove off the tree at us, freaking me out, then swung by its chain, as though it just wanted to see our reaction - you know, just messin' with us)
           We settled into the Manila Airport Hotel (which is not a place I would ever recommend - we definitely have to find another place to stay the night before we fly back home).  After settling into our rooms, we joined a sea of missionaries gathered at the local KFC for their last not so authentic mission dinner in the Philippines.  They all were eating with a spoon in their right hand and fork in the left, using the spoon as a knife and scoop, and the fork to assist with the scooping.  (Sister Martino had just taught them table manners earlier in the day and told them all they need to leave their spoons in the Philippines.  I suppose they all figured they were still in the Philippines, so eating that way was still cool.)  I noticed during our dinner with Jordan that he has incorporated all the local non-verbal communication that Brad did when we were here eight years ago (i.e. eyebrows going up means Yes, puckering the lips and turning the head one direction is pointing out a direction, dropping your head with your mouth open means What?, etc.)  Also, the missionaries all went back and forth from English to Tagalog with their conversation.

Kermit swims another lap in the pool, daring the rest of us to join him
       Jordan with Elder Hawaikirangi, from Australia, who was the last missionary from Jordan's group to                                        depart Manila (leaving six hours after everyone else)

             Maralea and I did not sleep well.  In fact, we were both up by 3:00 am.  We have done a lot of fretting on this trip, and probably will continue to fret about something before we finally arrive back in Las Vegas (where we can finally replace Fake Cardboard Jordan with Real Jordan).  We were concerned about whether we would be able to board the flight for our island visit without Jordan’s passport, and whether we would have any trouble with our carry on bags.  (We did not check any luggage to save a few pesos, and there is a carry on weight limit, which required some fancy redistribution of baggage contents.)  We went through security with ease.  (I don’t even bother removing my computer from my backpack, removing shoes, belts, etc.  They just waved us through.  Sweet for us, but I hope they were watching for the bad stuff.  (The guy at the x-ray machine was playing on his phone, so I’m not sure how closely he was really paying attention.)  We arrived in a very hot and humid airport terminal awaiting our flight which, as luck would have it, was delayed, from 10:00 am to 11:00 am, then to 12:00 pm. . . .  (Wonderful.)  Other than the humidity and stuffy terminal conditions, it was fun visiting with Jordan about plans for visiting his areas, and for school.  (We brought his old phone, which is pretty outdated now.  We have no idea how to use it.  I could barely make a call or send a text.  But, Jordan has not lost his texting skills.  He was communicating with members via texting in Tagalog to advise of our visits later in our trip.)
Maralea didn't complain about a two hour flight delay in the Manila Airport, she just slept (here looking like Sleeping Beauty as Jordan watches over her while I was on safari to find an outlet to charge up my computer)

This ad for sardine sandwiches at the Manila
airport caught my eye.
(I was hungry, but uh . . . not THAT hungry.)

            We did finally make it to our island destination.  After landing in Palawan, we were met by a driver who took us on a two hour drive across the island on a long and winding road (cue The Beatles here), where we got to see a lot of water buffalo and stray dogs.  Our driver made a stop at some touristy trappy place for us to take pictures, purchase overpriced junk and pay five pesos a person to use the “comfort room” (that’s what they call the restrooms here).  I refused to use the bathroom on principle, even though 5 pesos is the equivalent of about $.10.  Anyhoo, we arrived and it felt like we were part of the cast for “Lost.”  The beach is similar, the surroundings are similar, and I have been on the lookout for “others.”  (Disregard if you haven’t watched “Lost,” as that last reference will be lost on you.)  By the way, I was wondering how many workers it takes to change a light bulb at an expensive, exclusive resort on the beach in Puerta Princesa.  Kind of a random thought, I know.  While I don’t have the exact answer, I discovered today that takes at least two.  After checking into our room and advising that the light bulb on the ceiling fan in our room is out, the front desk sent two workers to our little bungalow with a ladder in tow.  They sized up the situation and then advised that “it’s too big of a job for now” and asked if they could tackle it “tomorrow” while we are out on a little excursion.  (Guys, just give me the dang light bulb.  I’m pretty sure Jordan has figured out how to change a Filipino light bulb.  We got this.)  So, we went without a ceiling fan light our first night.  No matter, we were too tired to worry much about dim lighting.

The view from the balcony of our little second story villa
(The view was awesome.  The internet service . . . not so much.)

            So far, it has been like one big whirlwind.  We are trying to relax a bit today and get our bearings.
The next couple days will be filled with some adventure before we return to the mission to visit Jordan’s
areas.  We are really looking forward to that.  Mostly, however, it has just been a lot of fun chatting it up 
with Jordan.  

            Top five things Jordan  wants to do when he gets home:

            5.         Play volleyball
            4.         Workout (then play more volleyball)
            3.         Eat a big, meaty steak (preferably without rice) (followed by more volleyball)
            2.         Become reacquainted with his guitar and ukulele (and sing about volleyball)
            1.         Eat a real American hamburger (In and Out Burger preferably, but only after playing volleyball)

             It’s good to have Jordan back again!

Maralea and Jordan, on the beach at Sabang
A walk on the beach in Sabang was worth the hot, humid wait in the Manila Airport
The beach area in Sabang was a great place to get reacquainted
(Jordan never got to tract like this.)
Okay, fine, I'll get in the picture, too.  Three's company in Sabang
Did I mention there were big frogs in the Manila Airport Hotel pool?

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