Wednesday, 27 June 2012

The Coco update

Here is what Cosette has been up to.



Playing dress up.

She is now 11 months old! The year really has flown by and she has changed so much. I miss infant Cosette. 11 month Coco is great though. She loves to read her book Blue hat, Green hat. She has a little stuffed bunny house that she is obssed with. It is so cute to see her take the little bunnies out and play with them.  


Poor kitty. She gets so excited around animals. It is cute but the poor cat. I tell her soft touches but she grabbed its ears, pulled its tail and fur. Thank goodness this was a nice kitty. No scratches, bites, or hisses from this pretty kitty.
She took her first steps on Thursday June 21. It was unexpected but so exciting! She is not running yet but just taking a few baby steps here and there. She does great when holding on to our hands. When we go out she prefers to walk than carried.



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She has gotten to be a very sweet little girl. She has always very sweet but it is coming out more. and more in her personality. She has been giving kisses but now she has does hugs too! I like the hugs a little bit better because first they do not turn into bites and she will cling to you and not let you go. It melts my heart.


She is very verbal. She says variations of dada, mama, hi, and a lot of other gibberish. Okay scratch that. She officially said her first word today. She clearly said "daddy" when Lyndon got home from work today. She is a smart baby.

One more tooth came in on the bottom so now she has seven sharp teeth. Another bottom tooth is making its way up so in the next couple weeks she will have eight. Luckily her biting has lessened as of late.




She still likes to bit things. Luckily she did not get her mouth on that chair.

So long, farewell, aufwiedersehn, adieu,

Goodbye from Coco

video

Thursday, 21 June 2012

American Cemetery

Cosette and I met up with some friends at the American Cemetery today.







 We played hide and seek while we waited for our friends.





Cosette and Reed standing by one of the walls with all the names of the soilders.


 These two cuties had fun playing in the grass.


Found New York. We really miss that place.


The cemetery is the place I have found here that reminds me most of the US. Makes me miss that great country but we only have a few more weeks here. Today is our one month mark before we start our journey back home. There are still a lot of things we need to see here before we leave and cannot wait to go out and explore some more.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Bohol Island Adventure

After a couple days in Cebu we hopped on a boat and went to the island of Bohol. Bohol is one of the places I really wanted to visit while we are here. It is home to the smallest primate in the world, the tarsier. Also it is the place to go swim with whale sharks and home to the Chocolate Hills. The things we got to do while we were there is go see the tarsiers, visit a animal park, and go dolphin watching on our way to the island Pamilacan. We are extremly lucky because we had our own private guide who took us to all those places. The other legal intern with Lyndon, Peter, created a non-profit organization that builds schools and hospitals in the Philippines. His project this summer was on the island Pamilacan. Our tour guide, Jerome, works with Peter to organize these projects. Since we were a friend of Peter's, Jerome offered to show us the sights. We were so lucky to have this connection. Jerome picked us up from the pier and had a car and driver arranged to take us around for the day. It does not get much better than having a local show you around.


We went to a preserve to see the tarsiers. We wandered around the jungle and got to see these tiny monkeys up close. We even got to see a mommy and baby tarsier!


If you look by Cosette's shoulder you can see the tarsier. It kind of blends in.





Here is a close up on the tiny thing.




Squinty eyes.

More of the jungle. 

The animal park was well....bizare! The animals I assume were native to Bohol. There was not any information and the enclosers were not the best. The thing to see there was the giant python.




And yes, this is the type of place that lets you inside the cage with a giant snake that can eat you, your baby, and your baby daddy in one giant gulp.  


Mommy and Coco tarsier.



We next hopped on a boat and sailed across the ocean keeping our eyes out for dolphins on our way to Pamilacan Island. Sadly we did not see any dolphins. This is not the time of year to see dolphins or whale sharks.


Pamilacan is beautiful not in island paradise way, but in a pure and natural way because modernity has not quite reached its shores yet. The boat dropped us off a few feet from shore and we had to wade our way to the sandy beach. Jerome showed us the school that the non-profit organization had built that summer. They are in need of text books but otherwise the school is functioning propery. There is electricity on the island but only from 6pm to midnight. There was an octapus that someone had caught hanging up to dry. We walked along a concrete path that is the island's road. Kids played basketball, farm animals roamed around, and people were sitting around chatting with each other. Jerome told us if we had come the next day we would could have whitnessed a cock fight. Sadly our camera's battery died so we only got a couple of pictures on the island. We went down to the beach while we waited for our boat operator. Cosette loved picking up shells and sand. Lyndon walked around the beach with her while I looked for shark teeth. It was a perfect day.



The last part of our adventure on Bohol we spent at Flushing Meadows resort. It was nice as far as the Philippines goes. There was an infinity pool that looked over the ocean. We spend some more time at the beach. Cosette was not sure if she liked the water or not. She was sometimes okay with the waves washing up on her and then other times she would crawl away from them. I found my shark tooth!

We flew out of the Bohol airport. It made the Knoxville Tennessee airport seem huge. I am not sure how to describe it other than bizare as well. The building may not look like it functions but airplanes fly successfully in and out each day.

Our island hopping adventure was a success. We will always look back with fond memories.

Island Adveunture to Cebu

This is part one of our trip to visit some of the other Philippine islands. We went to the islands Cebu and Bohol. They are a part of the Visayas Islands located in the Central part of the Philippines. The mission president over the Cebu mission just happens to be a close friends of Lyndon's family so we were able to stay with them. They were great hosts taking us around to the local sites.

Since Cebu has the oldest history of any of the Phillipine Islands we mostly visited the historical sites. Cebu is the island that the where explorer Ferdinand Magellan was killed by the Filipino warrior Lapu-Lapu. We visited Magellan's marker and Lapu-Laupu's Monument on Mactan Island right next to Cebu. I thought it was worth visiting.





 


Beautiful plants in the area.


We headed back into the city and saw the Cross of Magellan, the Basilica del Santo Nino, Cebu Cathedral, and Fort San Pedro. 

The Cebu Cathedral was much bigger and more beautiful, in my opinion, than the Basilca. I like it better because its architecture is in the Baroque style which is much more to my tastes. The building is not in good shape but not much here is kept up nicely. The interior was very nice and resembeled all other cathedrals I have seen although it was not as grand.


The Basilica del Santo Nino holds the most religious icon in the Philippines, a statue of the Santo Nino. Supposedly Magellan gave it to the Queen of the Philippines back in 1521. It is a beautiful building. We took a look inside because a service was being conducted at the time. We wanted to move on because people were trying to get us to buy anything. A little kid followed us down the street trying to sell us key chains.



The Cross was put up by Magellan back in 1521. It is now encased because people come and chip away at the cross for spritual purposes. The ceiling is beautifully painted with scenes of Magellan's landing in the Philippines.


Our last visit in that area was Fort San Pedro. It was built by miguel Lopez del Legazpi in 1565. The fort was not in the best shape. Outside, the date of the fort's founding in carved into the stone, which is pretty neat. There was a lot of random assorted things inside. A banzi tree garden, for one, I did not expect to see. Inside the fort is just an open area with random gardens here and there. You can go up and walk around the perimiter of the fort. The views were not spectacular or anything but it is cool to walk and be where history has taken place. This is probably one of the oldest sites that we have visited. It was neat just to be there.



Sister Schmutz offered to watch Cosette so Lyndon and I were able to take a excursion baby-free. We went to see the Taoist Temple just a little ways from where we were staying. We started to walk but there were no side walks and traffic was kind of crazy. Cars and bikes do not stop for pedestrians here. The Toaist temple is supposed to be a place of peace and quiet. There are signs posted by the prayer rooms asking for silence. The place is decora ted in very very bright colors. The decor clashes with the "spirit" of the place.




We had to take our photo with the Great Stone Dragon.





The next day we went to visit the tops. They are look out areas up in the mountains above the city. one spot we went to required some hiking.




This picture of Cosette is too cute not to post!


And this one too :-)


Hiking in the jungle.




We found out Santa does not live in the North Pole but in the Philippines. And he enjoys a good game of basketball.

Lyndon and I were able to go out on our own again later that day. We went to a couple of the museum Cebu has. We went to the Cebu Museum which should not be called a museum at all. It was a room with a few paintings, but what do you expect in a third world country. We then visited the Zugbo Museum which was better.  The museum is housed in an old prison. It was a museum about the history of the Philippines. There were some artifacts that were from 3,000 to 1,000 B.C. I enjoyed the exhibit on the Japanese occupation of hte Philippines during WWII. There was some Philippino "gurrilla money" from that time.


 

Sister Schmutz and Cosette became good friends while we were there.



Cebu we will miss you.

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