Tuesday, August 24, 2010


We arrived in Cebu on Saturday, August 14th at about noon. We were greeted by my co-workers with signs that said "CARMEN" with our company name right below. We felt special. They had brought a van to take all of our stuff as well as the company car that we would be using until we buy our own. All was going well. We drove straight to our house, the one on the beach, with the amazing view. Ya, pretty awesome! Well, once we arrived at the house, things kind of weren't as awesome. There were things that the owner had confirmed that had been done...such as getting rid of the termite infestation, fixing the locks on the doors so we were safe, and a few other important things, had not been done. Also, I think we forgot to realize that moving into our house we would need a few things that we just didn't have.....bedding, towels, water to drink, etc etc. We were also completed warn out from the flight and traveling so we decided to go to a hotel which was a great idea and exactly what we needed to at least get our bearings and get some rest. We checked into the Marriott and stayed there for 2 nights. We were able to get a good night's sleep and attend church in the new chapel behind the new Cebu Temple. Church is always a great experience in a foreign country because it feels so familiar. It's a little piece of home away from home.
So, things started to get taken care of with the house, but slowly. I am not sure the termites will ever really be taken care of. What I had not accounted for was the fact that everything just seems to take longer in the Philippines. And when I say longer, I mean that it has now been almost 2 weeks and we still have fix it guys in our house almost daily trying to get everything ready. Seeing as my schedule is to work at night and sleep during the day, you can imagine my frustration with having people in my house all day. Ya...it isn't working very well. The other thing that is preventing us from sleeping......we are surrounded by Karaoke bars. It is kind of a funny thing to realize that we have this beautiful house with a beautiful view and no way to really enjoy it. We literally have been woken up at times from 6am-midnight-2am to people singing karaoke. It is going non-stop all day and all night long. So, getting over jet lag and getting in to a good sleeping schedule has just not happened. Today I actually went to the Shangri La resort (that place is going to SAVE me) and slept on a beach chair for as long as I could so that I would have some sleep before coming to work. I feel like a homeless person.
TheMy co-worker and his wife, we will call them Juligan, and their little boy arrived which is so great! We were so happy to see them and really so grateful to have them here with us. We see them on almost a daily basis and it's just so nice to have people here to relate to what we are dealing with, plus they have let Ben crash in the spare bedroom since they dont have to deal with Karaoke in their neighborhood. We know it has not even been two weeks, and we are trying to be patient, but things have definitely been harder than we expected. We are actually doing our best to get out of the lease from our house. It's really frustrating to know that we have paid the landlord 3 months worth of rent and have not even been able to live there. We are looking for a new place, praying that we will find something in Juligan's neighborhood. It would be nice to carpool to work and just to be closer to each other. We need somewhere quiet, closer to work and not filled with problems. That house is kind of like the money pit and even the view just isn't worth it (and the view is amazing!).
For the good stuff, Ben got a great job just a few days after we arrived here, which is HUGE! He actually just started today. We are excited for that and I am proud of him for getting out there and making it happen. We are going to be on the same schedule at some point which is a huge blessing, but for the next 30 days he is working from 4pm-1am. My schedule is 11pm-8am so I am not sure how we are going to get around it. But, we will! We went to the Temple on Tuesday and are hopefully going to get the chance to be Temple workers. We are excited for that. We have a great ward. The bishop served in Ben's mission with him and seems to be really on top of things. We have friends here and plenty of things to keep us entertained.
Some things that keep the Philippines exciting:
1. Jeepnies everywhere
2. Trikes everywhere
4. Goats everywhere
5. Garbage everywhere
6. Malls....big malls everywhere
7. Bugs everywhere
8. Men that dress like women....everywhere

Actually, on that note I will tell you one funny story and then let you go. Last week on Thursday I was have a VERY bad day. Up until that point I felt I had been pretty patient with the house and the lack of sleep and such but I kind of just lost it that day. I just felt like nothing was getting done and I had a little breakdown. I told Ben we needed to leave and go to a movie or something. As we are driving down the main street I am crying and complained and expressing my frustration and all the sudden I look out the window and bust up laughing. What did I see you ask? Well, I saw a "woman" wearing a kind of frumpy sundress a headband in her hair and what do you know but "she" has a 5 o'clock shadow! I could not help but laugh and laugh and laugh. You would think that if you want to look feminine the shaving of the beard would come first before the dressing and doing your hair like a woman. Anyway, it was pretty amusing.

I really don't mean to be negative and I will spend the next 2 years blogging about both good and bad things about this experience, but I didn't want to fluff it up either. It's been a hard few weeks but we know it will only get better.

We miss home and most especially we miss our family and friends. We miss seeing the kids. We miss Sunday dinner. We miss our house. Ben REALLY misses his TV and his PS3.

We are trying to keep in touch with everyone through calling and facebook. Please keep in touch with us as well, loved ones make a big difference.

Our last picture taken in the U.S.A:)

The malls here are huge. SM in Cebu has a bowling alley and movie theater on the top floor

Ben drinking a "LARGE" soda....ya, not really my 44oz Diet Mt. Dew (which I also really miss!)

A Jeepny! Jess...take a look at the sign the guy is making....look familiar? I guess Ben wasn't lying!

Ben looking hot getting ready to go out into the rain. It is "rainy season" and let me just say that when it rains it POURS. The first night we slept at our house we woke up because the rain was so loud.

Some of the EXTREMELY odd offerings at Pizza Hut...yes people, the crust is stuffed with a "3 foot long juicy and delicious sausage"....um..what?

Another example of a "large drink"

Ben ate this hot dog...I couldn't bring myself to do it...it's bright red on the outside.

Ah, just taking a nap while riding on the back of a motorcycle with mom.

The newly built and opened Cebu Temple. So happy to have this building here!


Steve and Alli said...

Sounds like you guys are having quite the adventure. We'll keep you in our prayers and hope that you find something more suitable to live in really soon! We love you guys!

The Staheli's said...

I laughed and nearly cried reading this. I think of you guys all the time. The other day a country song came on the radio and I thought..."I wonder if Carmen and Ben have radio...doubtful if they have country music though." haha. That picture of the hand sign totally made me laugh. :) Ben did not lead us astray on that one.
I hope you guys get the house situation worked out VERY SOON.

Valerie Mom said...

I loved the post. Continue keeping it real. It will hopefully be a place you can vent and it also will keep us from totally fantasizing about the exotic place you are living in.(it also keeps us chuckling) I also love the pictures. Hooray for the ShangriLa resort. Archie says hi and I make sure to use your name everyday and we've taken him for car rides in "your cars" so he dosesn't forget you. Love you guys and hopefully you'll be getting some sleep soon.

Tiffany Johnson said...

ah Carmen... I don't know what my deal is.. and I hate that I complain to you about it all the time, but I just don't like this little situation. We miss you. Every time we get to your parents house.. still.. Hailey and Addy yell out "Carmen and Ben are here!" when they see your car in the driveway. :-(

Although, I have to say, some of your experiences make me laugh so hard. I love hearing about them. Sorry about your house though.. that bites.

I'm excited you're blogging again! :-)

Katie Lane said...

i am lovin your stories. karaoke and lots of cross dressers? where did you go again?!?! sounds like an adventure.

This is Us said...

I'm glad that you are updating the blog. I will make sure to check it often. It sounds like it has been a hard couple of week, with all the adjustments. I hope things work out with the house situation, and I'm only thinking of me, but I hope you can keep the one you're in.