Final few days in Calapan

Some of us didn't have as many planned activities in Calapan as originally expected, but that didn't mean we had nothing to do. The typhoon had not only taken off part of the roof of the guest house, but also damaged a lot of the trees around it, and made a mess of the yard, and so Jen put us to work. In particular, Kathryn, Sam and I were clearing sections of the yard and cutting up fallen trees for firewood, and fixing up doors that weren't closing properly due to swelling after all the rain. By the end of our time there the place was looking much nicer!

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I also came in handy as an architectural draftsman while I was there, offering some advice on a couple of projects. I met a local civil engineer named Sakai one day, and we discussed how best to repair the roof damage. He was able to give me a lot of information about local materials and construction methods, which was very helpful in then putting together notes and a sketch for Jen on how the repairs should be done. The other project is the renovation of the lower floor of the guest house to be more suited to holding conferences for up to 30 people. After talking to Jen about what is required, I measured up the area with the help of my assistant Sam, and then drew a floor plan. Now I need to work out the best use of the space and show OMF some different options to consider.


On our second Sunday in Calapan we visited Jen's church with her, the congregation of which is largely Chinese, and so in some ways it was better suited to foreigners, particularly as the service was in English. Overall it was similar to one of our services back home, with singing, prayer, bible reading and a sermon, but we also experienced sabai sabai prayers and bible reading, where everyone prays their own prayer out loud at the same time, or reads their own bible translation at the same time, and we were welcomed one at a time during the service, since it was our first time.


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Apart from that we did get to explore Calapan a bit, getting around in tricycles when Jen wasn't driving, with some of us going out for sundaes of an afternoon, checking out the shopping centre and markets, and going to the beach. And at night we watched movies or played games when there wasn't anything else on.


- Ben


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