Well it’s been quite a week… 10 days, actually.
We came to town here to do some buying (you know, groceries, hardware, Christmas presents). We have a “buyer” here (a family whose ministry is to purchase our orders) but some things it’s better to pick out yourself, plus Donna had been in the tribe since early June and we wanted to connect with out daughters and others at home, since in the tribe we’re offline these days.
Some people have asked before what we “do” while in town, so I thought I’d give you a quick overview.
We enjoyed the email and on-line stuff…. when it worked.
We ate out a few times… Puerto’s a tourist town and has some nice places to eat, but at less than the price of fast food at home.
Then we shopped. Now, I have to clarify, here. Shopping now is easier than it used to be since they built this one 3-story store with groceries, hardware, housewares and office supplies. HOWEVER, we still had to visit a total of 22 (count ’em, twenty-two!!) stores, some as many as 4 times. All this coulda been done with 2 hours in a Walmart and 1 hour in a Home Depot. So stop whining next time you’re in line behind a squawking baby, heh heh. Oh and this does not include the shops where we bought some Christmas presents… add about 4 more if you want to include that!
Not only were we buying our own supplies,, but the Palawanos give us orders… especially those who are close neighbors and friends, or who work for us. They up their pesos until we have panew (lit. “walk,” but used to mean travel and/or business somewhere) and they give us their lists. There is hardly ANYthing available down at the end of the “road” where they can shop locally. Besides, it’s inferior quality and way more expensive, plus they have to walk 3 hours each way, carrying the stuff home. (That’s three hours in knee-deep mud this time of year, mind you. Fun!)
What kinds of things do we buy for them, you ask? (you did ask, come on… I heard you!) Here’s a list of their orders from this trip, which is fairly representative:
bowls, plates, vegetable seeds, fertilizer and insecticide
for their gardens, dye (for the baskets and mats they
make), 5 gal water containers, umbrellas, plastic pants,
sleeping mats, school bag, fishing nets, a hand saw,
instant coffee and various medicines.
Whew! That’s right. And not only are we buying such a variety of things in over twenty stores, but we’re trying to keep track of about a dozen different people’s orders and money (not including our own, and some things we were buying for our partners Tim and Monika)!
I’m not saying all this to complain. We’re actually glad to do it. Just wanted those of you who have wondered to get an idea of what it involved (and why a “quick shopping break” in Puerto takes more than 2 or 3 days!!)
Well, we’re done with “market” (uh… make that twenty-TWO markets) and now it’s “home again, home again, jiggidy jig” (weather permitting, haha.)
We still won’t have daily email access or be able to get on-line in our house until late December. But we will be able to check mail every once in a while from our partners’ house.
So drop us a line.
…but no shopping lists, please.