This is the entrance into Bugnay. We stopped to say hello to friends on our way to Belen's family's house. We have to step over fences made to keep the pigs in and the trails are made of rocks, cement and mud. The women carry all their packages on their heads. And this little girl is no exception. The homes are made of mahogany and concrete as the men learn from an early age how to be master carpenters.
When we arrived, our first visit was to Belen's home where we met her parents and sister who is visiting from Manila. In this picture, you see Belen's back, her niece Sonia and her father. The woman with all the tattoos, is her great aunt. She incidentally, has no idea how old she is. :- ) This is outside their home. We unloaded our bags and settled in for some native coffee. The coffee grows rather well here and it is served extra sweet! - much like the rest of the food in this country! The Filipinos i know have insatiable sweet tooths!
Again, this is Belen's great-aunt. She is so used to squatting and bending over that she is no longer comfortable standing up straight. Although she tried to do just that for this picture. She is smoking native tobacco, rolled in a cigar. Most of the older generation smokes it. Around her neck, hang very old beads that have been around for generations. Many women wear them. They seem to indicate status (as the older the beads, the more expensive they are). She also has the local tattoos on her arms. This is done for beauty. Tattooing is seen as very beautiful and indicates which tribe they are from. It is rarely done anymore, as the younger generation find it difficult to find work in the city when they have tribal tattoos.
That first night, we attended a viewing of a film made to share the gospel with the native peoples. It is called 'The prodigal Son' and has been made into several different dialects. The church was packed and sat riveted by the depiction. I too, understanding nothing, was riveted. We had a few people explain certain events, but as a whole it was very clear. And best of all, it was well received. They showed two versions that night. We didn't stay for the second viewing, as we were too exhausted from our trip.