My mother-in-law is 84 years old and she lives with Celi’s (my wife) sister – Babi. About every 2 weeks, Celi visits them for a few days. Recently I accompanied Celi on one of her visits. While there, I decided to have my hair cut by a lady who provides home service. As I was having my hair cut, my mother-in-law noticed and she blurted out, “Derek, you are already bald and now the hair cut is making you balder!” I could barely hold my laughter in. My mother-in-law certainly has a way with words. My mother-in-law actually likes me a lot. Once she asked Babi, “What is Derek’s wife’s name?” She had remembered my name but had forgotten the name of her daughter – Celi.
Recently another group of missionaries gave us a goat named Hershey. The other missionaries could no longer take care of Hershey and we offered to take her to our church in a mountainous area called Montalban. The only way we could figure out to bring Hershey to Montalban was to load her up in our car (van). So early one Sunday morning on our way to Montalban, we stopped at the other mission and picked the goat up. Hershey is a female goat and is quite large with a big appetite. I was worried that she would attempt to “eat our seats” or “fertilize our back seat” or “water the inside of the car” while in our vehicle. But, amazingly Hershey was well behaved and she lay down and rested the whole trip! Now Hershey is the “official lawn mower, bush trimmer, and landscaper” of our church in Montalban.
A young man from Eastman, named Josh Stewart, is presently here helping out in ministry. A few weeks ago we were having an outreach on the sidewalk in front of a large, public high school. We were standing on the sidewalk giving out tracts and talking to students as they came by. Josh noticed a large sign, written in the Filipino language which was attached to the fence right where were standing at. Josh asked Jec (one of the Filipinos who was in our group) what the sign meant. Jec told him, “The sign says, Don’t pee (urinate) here, Fine – 1000 pesos!” Those types of signs are common in the Philippines because Filipino men have a habit of “taking a leak” just about anywhere. Josh, though, misunderstood Jec. He thought she said, “Don’t BE here, Fine – 1000 pesos!” That caused Josh to wonder why in the world we were doing ministry in a place where we could get fined 1000 pesos ($20) for just being there. He then decided that if we were willing to pay a possible fine of 1000 pesos for being there; then he would do the same thing. :) Later on the miscommunication was cleared up. To his credit, Josh also avoided peeing in the “No pee zone.”
Speaking of miscommunication, Elena, one of the young ladies that stays with us, had a taste of miscommunication a month ago while she was chatting with a friend from Eastman. The friend said, “Elena, you never know, the person might be just under your nose.” Elena asked me what “under your nose” meant? If you take that phrase literally (as those who don’t know English very well, often do) then you could come up with a very “interesting” picture. There is a person standing right under my nose? I was tempted to tell Elena that “under your nose” was just “over her head” but I didn’t say that and I explained to her the correct meaning. Ah, the fun of southern English. Friends, have an awesome day!