I’m going to continue now the account of our journey to Asia in May. The last I wrote, we were sleeping in the airport in Singapore. Where were we headed? Well, I had been given a correspondence student from Compassion in the Philippines a couple of years earlier, so we also wanted to stop there to meet her. I could tell by her letters that Mary Jane was a delightful and bubbly young lady.
So our next stop was Manila. We found the Philippines to be very different from Thailand in many ways. Most noticeably, we did not see temple shrines any more, and we could now converse in English. We were in a much larger city than we had seen in Thailand, and of course the contrast between Phuket and Manila was huge. But Manila was only a stopping place before heading to the beautiful island where Mary Jane lives.
We had arranged for a night’s stay in a hotel, since our flight would not leave until the morning. On the way to our hotel, the cab driver tried to talk us out of staying there. He told us it was a dangerous place and that he could find a better one for us, but I had researched the sight online and also could not cancel payment for this one (or afford a new place). I decided to pray and trust God rather than becoming fearful. As it turned out, the location WAS in a dangerous neighborhood, I’m sure, but the hotel was very nice, clean, and welcoming. Hotel valets met us at the door and sent us up an elevator to the lobby, since it wasn’t on street level. Our view was nice, and we never once felt our lives were in danger.
The interior of the hotel was also very nice.
We ate our lunch at the restaurant in the lobby — Chicken Kiev, Pork Adobo and Chicken Soup (Caldera). Then we took a short nap that afternoon since (some of us) hadn’t slept very well in the Singapore Airport.
Finally, we ordered a cab and headed to the mall. I was glad that we were in a “dangerous” part of the city, because I wanted to see the types of areas our urban Compassion projects would be in. We certainly got a good look of the city on the way to the mall, and Sarah got a video so you can see what it looked like. I felt sorry for people like this who were scraping so hard to make a living, and I prayed for all our Compassion children and project workers in Manila as we drove through the city. I had hoped to visit some of the projects on this day, as well as the country office, but we had (sadly) found out before leaving home that the staff members were not going to be available at this time.