Jody's Peace Corps Experience

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Feast Day of St. Jude

Last Friday, I was invited by Nanay, the cook at RSCC, to accompany her to a school gathering. The elementary school, St. Jude's Learning Center, is owned and ran by her sister. When I arrived, mass had already started and I found that several students were receiving their 1st Communion. After mass, everyone was invited for Merienda (morning or afternoon snack) in the school. The snack consisted of pancit (noodles with veggies and meat), Shanghai Lumpia (an eggroll type thing), and fruit salad. So basically, merienda is more like a small meal than a snack!

After we had talked and ate, Nanay said that we were going to her house since I have not been there yet. We walked to a small, humble dwelling in the middle of Baguio. She owns a cute, one bedroom house and shares it with her daughter. She then stated that she would cook me lunch and went about her business of cooking rice and frying fish. Although I was still a bit full from merienda, I had a small portion.

We finished and Nanay announced that we would go back to St. Jude's Learning Center and see her sisters again. They live above the school and when I entered their house, I found a huge table of food waiting for the visitors to begin eating! Nanay told me that we would eat again and to just take a small portion of each dish! I admit that I could have passed on this food, but this is very rude, especially since I was a guest.

I'm just shocked at how much Filipinos can eat and yet they are skin and bones most of the time! How do they do that?!?! Needless to say, I enjoyed getting to know the rest of Nanay's family and learning about some history of the Baguio area. I was also able to share with everyone that St. Jude was my grandpa's favorite saint and after praying, would always ask St. Jude to pray for his grandkids. They got a kick out of this story and somehow, the feast day turned into the Feast Day for Jude-ee (for some reason, Filipinos pronounce my name as Judy instead of Jody. I've stopped trying to correct them and now answer to the name Judy!).