The beach. What an experience. We were told it would be a 4 1/2-5 hour drive to get there. Goody. About halfway there we were handed brochures to a resort. It was beautiful. White sandy beaches, clear blue water. It looked amazing. We couldn't believe that we were actually going to such a nice place. Chrisanna asked if I thought it really looked like that to which I replied "it has to if that's what it looks like in the brochure". Fast forward another hour or so and we pull up to Crystal Beach Resort. And we had a wake up call. Either we just got played or they actually handed the brochures back so we could fan ourselves because it was 92 degrees on the bus.
We walk off the bus and after only a couple minutes we are taken to our room for the night. That's right...it's a hut. A very native woven walls, thatched roof, up on stilts hut. Home sweet home for the next 24 hours. It comes complete with a dining area, outdoor cooking area and a water pump. This is going to be fun.
Across the way is the indoor shower...
This is Kenny. The first Filipino to really talk to us. He was the sweetest thing and ended up being one of my favorite people there.
We were still trying to take this all in so we headed down to the beach to see the beautiful water.
Soon it was time for lunch. Rice, a pork chop and various unidentifiable vegetables. I was game though. I was willing to at least try it. I managed to eat a couple potatoes and a couple green beans but the other veggies were scaring me. I ate a little bit of the pork chop. I already saw that the chops still had the piggies fat layer attached to them but what I found out later was that in addition to the fat layer was the skin and some piggy back hair. Thankfully I didn't look close enough to it to notice. Sometimes blind eating is better.
A little goofing around by the toilets.
Unfortunately there are no shots of the girls in the water. We spent most of the afternoon soaking because it was 150 degrees out.
Here is the boys hut. The only thing I can say is at least we were lucky enough to have walls. They did not. They had a roof that came down about 2 1/2 feet above the floor of the room. That was it. They didn't even have beds. They had their choice of a woven mat on the tile floor or on a bench. Decisions, decisions.
And we couldn't forget jumping pictures.
And since jumping pics are so fun why don't we try cartwheels pictures.
OK. Bad idea. We didn't get a single one. They were all butt shots and who wants to see that.
We were so worn out by the end of the day. Keith, Chrisanna, Kris, Darryl, Rob and I were hanging out in the boys room. We were all beat and about asleep when we were reminded that the celebration service would begin in ten minutes.
Right. The service.
It was to celebrate the camps that wrapped up just a few weeks before. They have over 57,000 in attendance and over 20,000 people saved. It's a huge thing to be celebrating but it's hard to get excited when we weren't there. And when it was all Tagalog all the time. Greg had translators sit by us so we could understand what was going on but it was still hard to pay attention. It was also hard not to laugh at Kris and Darryl because they were both falling asleep while their translator was talking. Did I say it had been a long day?
The service finally ended and it was time to get ready for bed. Brushing teeth at our pump.
Crawling into bed. Our bed was a bamboo frame with a mattress about one inch thick so it was like sleeping on a cloud. It also didn't come with any blankets. None. Thankfully we brought ours just in case but no one else had them. Most people curled up with their beach towels. And take a good look a the 1-1/2 inch spaces between our floor boards that allow any and all sorts of creatures in at night.
We may look alright but this is how we felt.
A new day dawned and we made it through the night fine. We spent most of the day on the beach and counted down the hours til we could head home and take a shower. It may look mild but we sweat like pigs here. It was no cooler than being in the city.
2:00 came and we finally got to go back to the hotel. The bus ride to the camp only took three hours. The bus ride home took five. Gotta love that traffic.
Instead of going back to the hotel we decided on dinner first. What's 18 sweaty, unshowered Americans in an Italian restaurant. We ate at Fazoli's and if you've never had it you must find a town with one and go. Yum-o. We are cleaning at the church tomorrow so after a long overdue shower and a good scrubbing we were off to bed.