Iloilo City

2015-05-17 11.18.38We arrived here on Sunday from Cebu on a half full flight and miracle of miracles Sherry’s cane got us upgraded to economy plus Smile. The fellow issuing our boarding pass thought it too far for her to walk to row 10, so row 4 it w2015-05-17 11.28.28as! Since the flight was only 35 minutes, it was not a big deal, but the consideration was much appreciated after a long wait in the crowded departure “lounge” where I took advantage of our status to get a little more room. I did get a kick out of the group of young American men doing what comes naturally: checking their phones!

2015-05-17 12.55.37We arrived, greeted by a most inviting advertisement, to find no driver from the hotel waiting for us. That kicks in my travel paranoia big time! But the police officer and the taxi coordinator got involved while I texted Dan, our contact, who was still in Manila. After a 20 minute wait, they found a Mid Town Hotel driver in the parking lot and called him over. He declined their request noting that he was going to be picking up the guy on his sign: Gerry Breshear! We were soon on our way to the center of Iloilo.

I’d seen in Travel Advisor that we should 2015-05-18 07.09.41ask for a room away from the street because of the very noisy girlie bars. Not something I’m interested in dealIMG_6116ing with for sure! Our assigned room looked over the street but these aren’t quite girlie bars! Click on the pictures and you’ll see why we’ve enjoyed their presence. We met Dan and Dave Kennedy, the other professor who is doing Daniel in the mornings while I do spiritual warfare in the afternoon.

Monday morning class meant meeting the pastors. UnIMG_6102fortunately two of them were not able to come at the last minute but we had Zion join for the week as an auditor before he has to go to other commitments. So I only have six students who are great guys! Seems we are always laughing.

Dan, the coordinator is in the plaid shirt. William, laughing next to him, is a graduate of seminary already as a Catholic. He’s retooling as a Baptist! Our conversations have become quite wide ranging as questions multiply as the we build trust and openness.

2015-05-20 18.19.26The days have had walks around the streets to get dinner, snacks, and mango smoothies of course!The lemon chicken at Gloria Maris was wonderful. The carrot “flower” would do well on Food Channel Asia which Sherry is enjoying while I teach class. 2015-05-19 10.31.45

The street has a pedestrian “fly over” so Sherry was able to get her exercise only to be told by a nice lady that seniors could just cross the street. Sure enough when we tried it the next day, a policeman stopped the traffic and waved us across. A smiling lady with a cane gets favors here.

We are always impressed by the friendliness and helpfulness of the people here. The crowds are significant, but everywhere people smile and greet us. The hotel staff can’t do enough to assist us in every way. We saw an interesting but identified dish going to another table, so we asked the server. He told us, but the words weren’t familiar. So he brought a menu and showed us the dish. We tried it today and it was super tasty!

There is no separation of church and state here as these pictures make very clear.

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Two of the local students are helping plant a church not far away, so I asked if we could visit on Sunday. They promised to take us to a really good sea food restaurant after. I asked for the church address so we could get a taxi. I don’t know the area, so going on by jeepney isn’t a good idea. They responded by arranging a car to fetch us, and then bringing an invitation from the pastor to preach. I will “earn” our lunch!

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