Thursday, December 22, 2011


I was watching the show intervention recently. Despite all of the emotion of the show, the most climatic part is always right before the credits, when two lines of text pop up updating the audience on the life of the addict. It is as though the struggle the addict has gone through was all for naught if they relapse. This week, I decided to write my update.

While in the Philippines I had the pleasure of working with some extraordinary young people. From two teenagers sisters who successfully ran a week of vacation bible school, to high schoolers in Santiago and Besao who showed responsibility and leadership skills well beyond their years.

When I got home, a youth at my church asked me to be his mentor for his confirmation class. When I went to the class I was dumbfounded by what I saw. I knew many of the students in the class quite well. But I didn’t just know them. I recognized them as exceptional youth who will lay the foundation of their community. One of them had taught vacation bible school with me at the Navajo Indian reservation back in 2008. Another had built houses with me in Kentucky in 2010. The three others, including my mentee, are already well respected young members of my church. I am very proud to be associated with this exceptional group. Ironically, it was in the Philippines where I learned true community pride. I say ironically because it was the only time I was truly removed from my own community. In the Philippines people will often talk about the accomplishments of other in the community with jubilant pride in their role as a mentor, brother, or uncle. In the US we often talk about the accomplishments of other with a bit of competitive animosity.

I have kept my word from a previous blog. After seeing the effects of the diocese lending co-opertive, I have been motivated to get a job at my community bank (I have the equivalent of Grace’s job for my EDS friends). I am contemplating my next step in life right now, but I am pretty content where I’m at. I am playing hockey every weekend and on my days off. I even got back in time to finish the summer season with my Dad’s team. I am truly thankful for the things I have here at home. I really did miss my family, friends, and dog. I also didn’t realize how much I missed driving until I got home. Therefore, I bought my dream car and I have driven it half way across the country a few times to see family and friends.

One of the ways I explained food in America to Filipinos was that we would eat vastly different foods each day. It would be Italian one day, then hamburgers, then Mexican, then BBQ, etc. Since returning home, Filipino food has worked its way into that rotation. I have been making chicken with soup and rice quite often. I am still on the hunt (figuratively) for innards to make dinar dirakan.

(A side note to my Filipino friends: First, I’m sure I spelled it wrong. Sorry. Second, you would not believe how hard it is to get your hands on a set of pig innards. Third, raising ducks is not practical for me right now, but I haven’t given up on my pursuit to catch and eat more wild turkeys, geese, and ducks. The problem is that the laws regarding shooting wild birds are quite strict.) I also tried my hand at making rice wine, but I didn’t use the correct rice, and it’s too cold now to try again before spring.

Finally, I just received some very exciting news from the Philippines. The soccer team from St. James that I coached for a month recently competed in the Provincial Athletic Meet. They took home the silver medal! During the tournament, they defeated St. Mary’s, who had a historically far more established soccer team. I have also heard that some of the St. James player will represent their Province in the upcoming regional meet. It is quite an accomplishment, and I couldn’t be prouder of the players and coaches who made it happen.

Well, that’s it. I don’t know when or even if I will write again. Since I can’t really think of a good way to end this blog, I guess I will leave this pathetic conclusion. Hopefully, it will motivate me to write again someday.