Saturday, July 26, 2003

Odds and Ends

The storm went through this week without too much damage. A big old billboard must have gotten caught just right in the wind because it’s steel supports were bent in half as the billboard now points to the street. A tree down the street was knocked over as well. But on the whole, it was a short-lived typhoon with a short power outage and minimal flooding.

The kids went to Malabon Zoo for their summer camp field trip. The Zoo is privately owned and from what I heard, it was a blast. Because it’s so small, the kids were able to hold baby orangutans, touch tiger cubs, and watch grown tigers get fed (With 7 vitamins stuck in the meat, mom! And the tiger stood up to get his food and it was bigger than daddy!). Some big fish were fed and leapt out of the tank to get their meal, the kids could touch an albino python and wow was it cool! I wish I’d gone along and taken photos. I sent Katherine with her camera, but she forgot it anyhow so now I’ll just have to imagine my child carrying around a diapered orangutan.
So where was I? I was in the Seafront Club at a newcomers meeting. Several folks from different organizations spoke and the most popular was the guy from FPO who answered questions on delivery times, writing addresses and how to handle internet companies who don’t accept FPO addresses. The director of the American Association of the Philippines also spoke and it seemed like an interesting group until he began speaking on a topic that I didn’t agree with. One of the functions of the AAP is to search out children of American service men who do not know their father’s nationality. These children are, in effect, American. He went on about how sad it was that they didn’t know anything about their home country and the AAP’s role in educating them about America and teaching them English. It bothered me. These children have Filipino mothers, have been raised in Filipino society, speak their local dialects, continue Filipino customs and it made me bristle to hear him speak as though they were neglected and being raised by heathens. American sperm does not an American make (I know the rule books disagree with me on this), unless that child desires to become an American. Only then does it carry weight. But heck, that’s just my opinion. The lunch was pretty good, very tame Filipino food with excellent lumpia. Ian had been told that there would be balut and I promised him that someone was pulling his leg. Turns out, I was right. No one would serve balut to first time expats.
We got a package from home! Chocolate chips because they simply don’t exist here. And oh are they good. We already had chocolate chip pancakes this morning and tomorrow there are plans for chocolate chip cookies. Grandma and grandpa also sent new swimsuits for the boys with built in floats, a sticker storybook for Rebecca and Harry Potter stationery for Katherine. What a wonderful box of goodies. The swimsuits look remarkably like a buff Spiderman, so Nicholas has been having a great time running around the house fighting the Green Goblin and flinging webs. Thank goodness he’s never seen Superman.
The girls finally got their hair trimmed. Nicholas desperately needs a haircut.
We're currently going through an attempted coup, or something of that nature. The news is sporadic at best and the only channel breaking in to say anything is all in Tagalog. Our home radio is working, and I'm thinking I should pack some bags, just to be on the over-prepared side.

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