31 May 2009

More Manila (viewer discretion advised)

31 May 2009

I love having a professional photographer in our branch! Del captured these stunning shots during our time in Manila. The poverty & living conditions in PI is unlike anything I've experienced before. Shocking & humbling.

And yet these kids all still seem so happy. (I love the girl's sweet smile on the bottom right)

I warned you! I apologize, but this type of thing isn't uncommon to see in the Philippines. They even have "male urinals" right on the sidewalk (below). There's no plumbing inside that thing...not even a hole...just sidewalk! It's a place where the bus drivers and jeepney drivers can relieve themselves w/o exposing themselves (entirely).

The billboards in Manila are a bazillion stories high.

These last 2 shots are unbelievable. Heart-breaking & beautiful at the same time. (Click to enlarge)

18 May 2009


18 May 2009
Our temple trip definitely met some obstacles along the way, but we did it, all 35 of us! And I think we learned a lot about ourselves and each other throughout the process, and I'm so glad Eric was able to put together this seemingly impossible adventure.

It was a spiritual & humbling experience. And fun too - thanks to good company.

These top 2 photos were taken by Del Benson. Missing from the top pic: Del obviously, Gloria & Liz. (Also, Kim & Wandalyn Wally who, unfortunately, couldn't make it to P.I. because their passports never arrived, despite being expedited/over-nighted. That was probably the biggest disappointment of the trip since their family was sealed, but I know they'll have another opportunity.)

Mark & Elias Magabo. (sealed to their mother/wife who was sick and passed away while they were taking the discussions)

Ice Skating at the Mall of Asia. They even had snow falling from the ceiling!

Mall of Asia

Tagaytay Volcano

All of us crammed into a small jeepney for about 6 hours total. (No A/C, just windows and "Would you Rather?")

Streets of Manila

Zip lines in Tagaytay!

And, finally, our celebrity sighting. David Archuleta & David Cook had a concert @ the Mall of Asia on Sat, but that's not when we saw them (we were at the mall on Fri.) David Cook was on our flight back to Tokyo, and we actually spotted David Archuleta at the temple! Apparently, he just popped into a youth group's baptism session and caused a little bit of a frenzy with kids and even temple workers requesting his autograph. We saw him as he was leaving the temple to get into a van with tinted windows. We didn't get any autographs or pictures...Diane Esplin and I just ran up to his van right as the sliding door was closing so we just waved, and he waved back.

I can't take credit for this photo, but it was taken just a few minutes before we saw him.

CLICK HERE for more pictures from our trip.

06 May 2009

Where's Waldo

06 May 2009
We had a good time tonight playing Where's Waldo at DFS Galleria tonight. The YSAs did not disappoint! Their disguises were hilarious!

Saipan's mascot, the "Saipanda". NOT a Waldo, but that would have been pretty cool.

Our Waldos.

I think Justin (middle) wins the prize for best disguise! The man completely covered himself in dark foundation.