Howdy Ho All!
Well, I just found out that Tyler has been transferred so I’m bummed that he isn’t next to me anymore!!!! Ugh! Haha, but things are going really well here in San Gabriel. I really, really, really want to send pictures this week but the computer says that there is a chance of a virus if I plug in my thumb drive. But my area is really pretty – it has some countryside to it as well as some urban areas. When I first walked through part of my area I kind of felt like “this is what i thought it would be like when i found out i was going to the Philippines”. It has these really cool big ravines with huge stair cases going up and down them with houses lining the side and big palm trees and bushes everywhere. it’s really green and has a river running through the bottom. The sun sets just over the facing mountain and it’s really pretty.
Yesterday we went adventuring and found a back trail shortcut. It has a view that you can see Batangas, which is a mountain/mountain range that is like two hours away. But it was crazy to see that far! It’s so rare to see that far here in the Philippines because of all the houses, hills, smoke, and stuff like that. But it was really pretty. It reminded me of home when I could see Mt. Rainier every day driving home from school.
As far as how the language is coming along – It depends on the day! Sometimes I feel like I can hold my own, and then other days people tell me that I suck at it. That’s the hard thing here – is that people will tell you straight up. But I’ve had people say both things. I have a zone leader right now who is super good at it (as well as two other languages) and it seems like all he does is memorize.. so i’m going to give that a try!
My roommate and companion situation is going really well right now. Me and my companion support each other and understand each other pretty well. My roommates are pretty chill as well. I have 12 missionaries in my district so it is a pretty big responsibility with reporting and stuff, but it is also fun when we get all together for district meetings and activities.
In regards to the typhoon, here are my answers to your questions, in order:
Q: Were you scared? A: Obviously NOT!!! I love storms! haha there was one wind that freaked me out though… it was way fast and loud. but we were safe and sound inside!
Q: When did you hear about it that it was coming and from who? A: We heard about it from a lot of people. The first time I heard about a big storm coming was like a week before when dad told me about one and then I asked the computer shop owner and she verified it. But for the actual storm, we heard from some members, and also heard about it on the radio on the minibus.
Q: Was it sort of routine for people around there? A: They didn’t seem like they were too scared for it or anything, ya know if something like that happened in Washington/USA it would be like the St. George power outage if you catch my drift…canned food and gatorade! (Editor’s note: this is a reference to a trip we took with Grandma & Grandpa Burbidge where we lost power in Southern Utah and had to evacuate from our hotel room. Grandma Burbidge immediately took the boys to the closest grocery store to stock up on essentials!)
Q: What was the aftermath where you were at? Was there flooding and/or people walking around in waist high water? A: The water rose a little in to the street about 5-6 inches at most, but that was maybe for 3 hours after the storm and then it went away. the hard part was being transferred right after it and getting to an area with no water and electricity or 72 hour kit. All of the water stations were closed because they didn’t even have water, and the convenience stores were running out of food and stuff. But we made it! Haha, I was starting to freak out a little, but we got through it!
Q: Was it still warm air temperature during the storm? A: It actually got pretty cold… (for the Philippines) maybe 55-60 degrees F? The wind was pretty cool as well, so it felt good!
Q: Did you see anything flying through the air? A: Just a roof…. haha just kidding.. a lot of leaves, and some branches… a roof got half way torn off, but it wasn’t flying through the air or anything.
Q: Anything else weird or funny from the storm? A: It was funny to see the people and the dogs walk out in the storm.. also I think I already told you about the sling shot and fish? We had a sling shot that one of my roommates had and we were trying to shoot the fish with the slingshot. The fish came into the street from the river… we didn’t get anything but it was definitely something I’ll never forget! haha.
Well, that is about it for now! Love you all,
Elder Hunter Burbidge