Sunday, May 9, 2010

Daily Report: Up, Up, And Away

Today was simply a gorgeous day. It was so incredibly clear that we could even see the distant mountains off to the southwest across Macajalar bay. Fantastic.

I borrowed a neighbor's motorcycle (he had just bought a brand new Honda Wave) and rode with Epril up into the mountains to pay a visit to a big chicken farm that I had seen on satellite photos of Jasaan. Instead, it turned out to be a pig farm. Unfortunately, the smell was so intense that poor Epril was retching before we got to within a quarter mile of the place and we had to turn around.

On the way up, however, it was a beautiful ride. We saw that lots of people were working on the tapioca (cassava) crop. (Did you know that cassava is the third largest source of carbohydrate in the world?)

On the way back down the hill from the farm, Epril and I recorded this video. Although it seems more like "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride" because of Epril's unsteady hand and the rushing sound of wind, it really was more "Driving Miss Daisy" at about 15 or 20 miles per hour.

I dropped Epril off with her friend Charity and the rent-a-baby at Emelyn Bird's house for a visit, and then drove by myself up into the mountains by the back road. The scenery was spectacular. The rice paddies were fully grown and the sky was so blue.

The further up I went into the mountains, the prettier it got.

Ultimately, I found this lovely valley pond with some cows bathing and stopped and took a video.

Eventually, I wound up back at the pig farm. The manager wouldn't let me in to walk around because the place was bio-controlled. But he did sit with me out front and answer every question I had about pig farming in The Philippines.

After returning the motorcycle to my neighbor, I found out that I had somehow bent the foot-operated gear-shift lever. This guy loaned me his brand new motorcycle and I had damaged it: I was mortified. I had been so careful... and really, I never drove faster than a brisk walking speed over the bumpy parts... and there weren't that many of those. So, it is off to the city as soon as possible get a replacement part and fix the fellow's motorcycle.

In the evening, Ednel and I cooked a pork Parmesan. It came out quite nice actually. Then I watched a movie on Cinemax called The Bridge At Remegan about World War 2. The story was alright... though the scenes of buildings getting blown up were surprisingly good, considering the age of the film.

Election day tomorrow!

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