Some guys helped us load our suitcases into the van and hung around for a tip. I think they were disappointed though—we didn't give them much (they didn't do much) but they probably expected more from foreigners.
As we drove through the streets of Manila, I watched the scenery flow by. Jeepnies. Shacks. Lots of billboards everywhere. Crazy driving. Dirty buildings. Outside the city, it was much prettier, with many palm trees and much greenery. Sort of like Hawaii. After way too many toll booths, we finally made it to Lipa City, where my grandparents live. Even crazier driving. Lots of people. By the way, pedestrians do not have the right of way here. Run-down businesses and huge grand malls, rich and poor living on the same street—the Philippines is full of polar opposites.
Since I was here just over 5 years ago, it's not exactly culture shock, but I guess I forgot exactly how different things are here. There are things here that you wouldn't even imagine seeing in North America. We are so blessed to be some of the most wealthy and healthy people in the world, and we don't even realize it.
We arrived yesterday, on Thursday morning. I will post more later. I think that we are having a family reunion tomorrow afternoon, so I'll have more to write about.
Happy Sabbath everyone!
(This was shot quickly with my iPod while driving through town today)