These photos and often humorous snapshots are taken from my Facebook page.
|Not sure what was so funny. Sometimes you don't need a reason to have a good chuckle I guess. (July 7)|
* Yesterday I received a video of one of my nephews. It was exquisitely cute, and involved him wearing a purple wizard hat, getting sidetracked from a conversation with mummy and doing a little dance. The Ruel kids were in hysterics when I showed them. When I mentioned that seeing the video made me miss him (and the rest of the family), one of the kids said simply "Well, why don't you go home?" Fair question, and it got me thinking. It just makes sense: if you miss someone, you go and be with them. I explained that I believed God wanted me here at Ruel, to be with them and care for them instead. It sure isn't easy being away from family, but I know I'm doing what I'm created to do (July 7)
* Seven more Ruel blogs done in the last couple of days, thanks largely to the amazing camera work of volunteer Melissa Hamm. This one was probably my favourite to put together. WARNING: It may result in extreme "cluckiness" and the sudden urge to adopt a child. Enjoy! http://ruelfoundation.blogspot.com/2014/07/a-visitors-perspective-babies-of-ruel.html (July 7)
|This tricycle is quickly proving to be more trouble than it's worth! As well as having a dead battery and now being out of gas, today a couple of the kids decided to show me what they think of me by dismantling a tail light, and then snapping and smashing my side mirror. Too bad you can't hold 4 year olds accountable for damage they cause. More money for the Philippine automotive industry here in Calapan. (July 8)|
* For those of you unaware, I have written a book about my experiences with Compassion International, and visiting 31 of my sponsored kids in 12 countries over the last few years. The book is full of stories about the challenges and realities of people living in poverty, as well as incredible transformation and change, brought about by the work that Compassion does in the lives of children, families and communities. With the publishing of the book (with Ark House Press) in full swing this week, I thought I'd put this little "visual preview" out there for you to enjoy and hopefully share.
The publishing package I purchased included publishing and distribution only, not promotion, so I'm really on my own a bit in that regard. Can I ask, particularly if you're a Compassion advocate or supporter, can you help me get it out there? I'm not motivated by profits or personal publicity (I've invested my own money into it). I'm just a little guy from Australia but I want people to know about the work that God is doing through Compassion and maybe motivate them to change a child's life through sponsorship. Thanks in advance (July 9)
|I am beyond excited! This year will be my fourth birthday in six years I have celebrated overseas, and I was thinking about how to spend it. Then I thought, "Since I live in the Philippines, why not visit my three Filipino Compassion kids, John Dave, Cashofia and Princess Joy?" They all have new sponsors now (Dani Moore, Clarisse and Paul McGregor and my parents), so it will be brilliant to visit them on their behalf. This journey will take me to Davao, Bacolod and Borongan City. Even more amazing is that my trip will be funded by my incredibly generous parents! They've seen the sacrifices I've made visiting 31 kids in 12 countries out of my own pocket, and now they want to help me out. Can't wait for September (July 11)|
* I got a haircut today, my usual Number 2 buzz cut. My hairdresser was a man with tattoos, bright pink lipstick and lovely golden hoop earrings. When he'd finished he said in his deep Filipino accent "You look handsome." I blushed and giggled like a schoolgirl, but in hindsight he might have been saying it to himself as he looked in the mirror. Oh well (July 12)
* Yippee! Today I rode my tricycle on the main road of Calapan by myself. I was "crappin me dacks" (that means 'very nervous' for you non-Australians) Reached the princely speed of 40 km/h (the speed limit), but it's a heck of a lot faster on a bike. I got flagged down by a couple of young guys wanting a ride (kept on going), had the dreaded scenario of trucks coming at me on my side of the road and even brought 7 kids and an Ate back from church. Huge thanks to Mylou Magpili for getting my bike back in action so quickly. (July 13)
|On Wednesday the majority of the Ruel caregivers and staff attended a seminar on Attachment. It was very interesting, relevant and a good addition to my teaching PD hours. (July 18)|
|Eating out at Mang Inasal. Sarap! (July 22)|
|Potential front cover of my Compassion book. Wowee! (July 22)|
* Well, I'll never live this one down. I took four kids into town, and after enduring a frustrating minute unable to start the bike, one of the kids pointed and shouts "You forgot to put the key in!" This led to many chuckles at my expense all the way home. *Napoleon Dynamite voice* "Idiot!" (July 25)
* Quite an adventurous morning. I've become so used to the tricycle in the last couple of weeks, that driving the eight seater van again was...interesting. Dropped three volunteers off at the pier for their journey home to the US then, because I'm still not confident parking the beast, went back to Ruel and got the tricycle for the trip to the bank and immigration office. Renewing my visa wasn't as straight forward as usual - a couple of phone calls and animated talking, then of course I was 80 pesos short. I swear they make these amounts up, it's different every time. While I was waiting, an old fella started clipping his toenails. As you do. Went to the ATM at the bank which only spits out 1000s, went back to immigration, only to be told "we don't have any change." I would have thought if you're going to take random amounts of thousands of pesos off tourists, the least you can do is have change. I gambled with the weather...and lost. So I drove back in the rain for the first time. Ah Philippines life, never a dull moment. (July 28)
* I've been the recipient of two contrasting acts of sharing and helpfulness in the last two days by the Ruel bubs. Today a little one randomly brought in my flip-flops/thongs from outside, plonked them at my feet and waddled away proudly. Yesterday a little guy took off his nappy and followed me around for two minutes trying to give it to me. Not sure about that one... (July 28)