Philippines, Part II 

I didn't think that this second entry would've taken so long to materialize, but it's not like I've been doing nothing since then. I had to get caught up on laundry... :tongue: Little bit of levity there...
Anyways... Here's part 2 of my exciting adventures on the other side of the world.

The food we ate was much different than here in America. It's much healthier! It actually took awhile for my stomach to get re-adjusted back to food in America. If you like rice, you'll love the Philippines. At their KFC, you get a roll of rice rather than a biscuit. That caught all of us by surprise! The best food we ate was fresh pineapple, bananas (saguin), and mango. It was delicious.

The people were very kind and serving. It is a little strange to be treated with so much kindness! The ladies of the church did everything they could to cater to us. And we respect them highly for their service to the Lord.

It was also my treat to learn a few vocab words in Ilanggo, the native language in Iloilo. Every now and then, Pastor Molinos would start talking in their language, and I had absolutely no idea what he was saying. Apparently, it's much more difficult to speak in English for them. Americans certainly don't understand multilinguality (is that a word?). Anyways, all the other Americans left for some R&R at the hotel on Wednesday. They couldn't find me so they left without me! I came to discover that a little later though. I decided to eat the Filipino food for dinner. It featured bangus, the national - and cheapest - fish. They had me start eating like a Filipino without any instruments, just my phalanges! I didn't know the spine of the fish was so sharp and got poked. Then they started teaching me some words, but I had trouble remembering them. They started writing them down for me, and I have around 80-100 words to memorize.

It was also my treat to play the piano! That is certainly one of my passions. I never much cared for playing what the piano teacher prescribed. It was more exciting to learn the songs that I sing at church - in the hymn book. I've loved playing sacred music since the beginning - 7 years ago. Since the preachers sang so loud, I started tearing up the piano! I didn't have to worry about people hearing my mistakes, so I got quite adventurous. It was quite surprising, even to myself.

It's also a blessing to keep in contact with a the Filipinos. I'm emailing a few of them. I hope I get to see them again soon.

The return trip elapsed 31 hours! From my experience, the only fun parts of the trip are the takeoff and where you can see the land from about 5000-15000 feet. The overnight flights are completely boring! But that Boeing 747 trip across the ocean was a very pleasant and sleep-conducive flight. We went from Iloilo to Manilla to LA to Cincinnatti to Akron-Canton.

Since getting back, I've stayed very busy. I put together a video presentation of the conference, started getting the sermons ready for the web, and organizing the pictures. Then I found a nice web template and got a website off the ground for the conference. All of it's available at http://gbpc.homedns.org. We showed the video last Sunday night at church. The website's almost finished for this year.

I can't wait to go back!
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In the Philippines 

Hello all.

Right now, I'm sitting in an internet cafe in Iloilo City, Philippines. It's quite hot and humid and I'm tired and sweaty. But this trip has been a lot of fun. My dad and I came here for the 3rd annual Baptist Pastor's Conference here in Iloilo. There have been a lot of firsts here on this trip.
This has been my first time on a commercial airplane! It was very exciting. 29 houts elapsed from the time we left the Canton-Akron airport to the time we arrived in Iloilo.
This has also been my first time out of the country. Well, I've been to Canada for less than one whole hour, but that doesn't count... It was a little strange to be the foreigner. I just feel like me. But I'm the one getting the strange looks now. Now that I've been here for nearly a week, I'm really getting to enjoy my stay here. I wish I could be here longer. Maybe that will be so next year, Lord willing.

The Pastor's Conference was a wonderful time. I can now say that I've heard 8 sermons in one day! I don't know anywhere else in the world that that can happen.
I'm also learning a few words in the native dialect, Ilonggo.

Well, my time's about up here, so I must be going. I'll write more later.
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Blogging Time Again 

Yes, I guess it's that time again. :tongue:

Life has been pretty busy lately.

Christmas was a fun time to spend with family up in Michigan. Unfortunately, there was no snow! This has been the first green Christmas up there that I remember. We left on Christmas Eve after our afternoon church service. On Christmas day, we went to my Aunt Sue and Uncle John's house, as is tradition. I helped fix his Macintosh computer, which I've never used before. At my grandma's house, we went out into the woods for a short time. It was muddy instead of snowy, which was a bummer.
Then we went to my mom's side of the family. We had fun and Philip and I played pool in my grandma's garage.
I got some neat presents. Some clothes, some videos, some money, some noise-canceling headphones, and that's about it.

This week has been crazy and stressful at work. I worked a few hours of overtime. The stress pushed me closer to my limits.

On Friday (yesterday), my dad and I went to a college alumni fellowship meeting. Basically, it's a preaching meeting. It was in Akron, Ohio at Community Baptist Temple. There was some excellent preaching and singing. Pastor O'Donnell preached about Soul-winning, and Pastor Thayer of Massillon Baptist Temple spoke on missions, followed by Pastor Huth of Stow Baptist Church. I had a great time, as it was like a big Christian family reunion. I saw many friends.
Then my family and I went to my brother's basketball game. The JH boys team lost their game by 1 point! If they would've made their last free-throw, they would have tied and gone into OT. The Varsity boys game beat their opponents 63-58. It was quite intense for the last few minutes. Then the Varsity girls played and soundly defeated their opponents, almost tripling the score of the other team. After the game, I joined my brother and part of the team at Pizza Hut, where we acted like immature adolescents. :)

Today will be busy as I'm preaching tomorrow and have several things to get done on my to-do list -- which probably won't get done...
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First Wi-Fi Hotspot 

Hello! I'm writing this entry on my dad's laptop in a parking lot inside our van. I happened to find a WiFi hotspot in Marion, Ohio at Meijer. I believe the connection is coming from a hotel about 100 yards away.

It's pretty exciting!

Gotta go. CYA.
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My First Big Mac 

Last Saturday, my parents went out to do some clothes shopping. I didn't feel like going, so I stayed home with my brothers and sister. We got McDonald's for lunch, and they got my order wrong. How strange! McDonald's would -never- do that! :tongue: They gave me a Big Mac instead of what I ordered. Over the countless times I have eaten there and the fact that I worked at the Big M Supper Shop for nearly five years, I have never desired to eat a Big Mac. Much to my surpise, it was edible. I won't say it tasted great, but it was OK.

A few days ago, I cleaned my room. It was getting too messy for me to look at. :tired: It looks much better cleaned.

My sister gave me her birthday wish-list. It's coming up in a few weeks. I'm probably going to get her a CD player. She's been wanting

Something humorous to check out --> Top 10 Linus Crashes & Top 10 Blue Screens of Death (BSOD's)

My latest coding projects have involved PHP. I was working on my brother's guestbook ( http://philiplance.is-a-geek.com/guestb ... stbook.php) because it was getting spammed a LOT. The funny thing was that they were posting HTML code. They all used a div tag and styled it to be hidden! How strange. Anyways, I added my own unique captcha system (without session ID's) to defeat automated submissions. Spammers also get a nice little message.
The other project concerns bbcode. What is bbcode? Click here. I've extenively modified the code listed at the wikipedia page. It supports many more things. It's still a work in progress. If my other computer's on, you can access it at http://stephen.calvarybucyrus.org:1000/ ... e/test.php.

Anyways, off to watch TV for now. CYA.
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