It has rained lightly here in Silang several times in the last week.  Rainy season is still several months away though, so we have been bucketing water to plants in the garden.  We wash clothes and dishes by hand, rinse the cement apron around the house every day, take dipper baths and flush the toilet by pouring half a bucket of water into the bowl.   We handle water more directly here than at home in New Hampshire, where water emerges from a shower head or does its work in the toilet tank and the clothes washer quite unseen.

            We are blessed with abundant water in both places, unlike so many parts of the world.   California is now rationing water: water shortage is not just a phenomenon of the “developing world”.  I am grateful for the abundance we enjoy and hope I never take it for granted.

            “Counterflow” sounds like a plumbing term.  It is not.  It describes what happens when drivers decide they need to cross into the lanes of the oncoming traffic in order to get past traffic.  Today we found ourselves in a monstrous jam and, for a while all four lanes of our highway were occupied by cars going in the same direction.  Anarchy, but somehow organized.  As I wrote a year ago, road rage does not seem to exist here and, for the most part, drivers manage these astonishing maneuvers with grace and good humor.  We participated for a while in counterflow, then turned around and made a huge detour.

            One more water term you have heard recently is “storm surge”.  Tomorrow, we join a missionary friend to travel to Tacloban (stress on the second syllable, as in “spaghetti”) where we will see the effect of Super Typhoon Yolanda (we called it Haiyan) three months after it devastated the central portion of the Philippines.   We’ll be participating in a three day mission by Kids International Ministries.  Lina will be taking stories from survivors, as she speaks the languages of the central islands.  I will be put to work somewhere.