To Santa Maria

This morning at 5am: Jeepney ride from Davao City to the mission area in Santa Maria, Davao del Sur. It’s a tight fit. Fr Seraphim is taller so I gave him the front seat; I folded up into fetal position and sat in back. 3 hours…

What a contrast! Last night I was on a space-age Philippine Airlines Airbus 320 from Manila. Now I’m walking a dirt trail through tropical forest to Kapehan, a collection of about twenty houses built out of woven bamboo, palm, wood and (sometimes) cinder block. There’s not much distinction between inside and outside; some of the houses seem just enough to keep the rain off where you sleep. But these aren’t primitive people – they have mobile phones, and there’s a power line running up to the village. It’s just a matter of building as much house as they need and can afford, but no more, using the materials to hand.

We’re staying at Splash Blue Inland Resort, which features a pool, rooms, and a small kitchen and shop. It doesn’t seem to get many guests during the week – a lot of local folks can’t afford the rates: 200 pesos (US$4.50) per night.

Father Silouan

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