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FIA Staff Retreat

We just returned from a few days away at Eden Nature Park and Resort for our FIA staff retreat. Eden is one of my favorite places to go here in Davao, for two reasons: 1) it’s beautiful, and 2) it’s cooler since it’s up on a mountain.

We had a Sunday morning devotional time at the amphitheater, and I enjoyed the opportunity to worship the Lord in His creation.

Thank you for praying for us as we start the school year this Wednesday, August 2.

Summer Fun!! – Part 5

After we checked out we got lunch at the fishing village. The entrance was included in our package.

This was standing just outside of the village entrance. We had taken pictures here the day before.


We each caught a tilapia (0.7 kilos total) and then had them grilled. We bought two servings of rice as well. I’m not a huge fish person, but it was good. I even ate it with my hands – Filipino style. 🙂






Summer Fun!! – Part 4

We had dinner and breakfast included in our package. We ate in the main restaurant.


We had the buffet and both at dinner and breakfast they gave us extra food too. I guess it came with our package but we didn’t know that ahead of time. Here was some of our extra breakfast food: garlic rice, toast, pancakes, & ham.


On Friday morning we went hiking on the mountain trail. It started out really well (despite the unhelpful map), but then we ended up getting lost somehow. I think it was due to the poor map and the fallen down trees on parts of the trail. We really wanted to find this hanging bridge.





These were some cool plants we passed on the trail.



They sort of look like pine cones. However, they aren’t made of the same material and there was some type of liquid between the larger pieces.


A lot of the trail followed along a creek.


There were some huge leaves!


We were a bit lost and found some of the workers. They directed us to the correct direction on the path toward a garden we knew was somewhere close. This is the view from that garden.


We were muddy. It had rained the night before so parts of the trail were slippery.



Thankfully we were able to get a ride back with the shuttle tour group that was at the garden. We were supposed to check out about 45 minutes after we got to the garden.


 I called the front office when we got back to our cottage. They were so understanding (I explained that we’d been lost for a little while) and said it was fine for us to check out an hour later than our previously set time.

Summer Fun!! – Part 3

We went to the Butterfly Garden and on the day tour during the afternoon of our first day.

The butterflies and moths were being fed fruit.





I stood still for a few seconds in the butterfly garden and this one landed on my glasses.



I like the different flowers!




We walked around for a bit before going on the shuttle tour.




Here we are waiting to leave on the shuttle tour.




As we went on the day tour we saw a momma cat with two kittens.






Summer Fun!! – Part 2


We went to Eden Nature Park & Resort overnight Thursday-Friday. It is up on the mountain so it’s cooler. It was really nice to get away and be somewhere a bit cooler for a while. I’ll break this trip up into 2 posts since I have lots of pictures between the two of us. Some of the pictures I took and some of them Becky took. Enjoy!

Here are some pictures of our cottage. It was a really cute place!




The back porch was screened in and we could see some trees. It was nice to be away from bugs but “outside.”


Before we went to dinner we played Skip-bo while we waited.


Eden Nature Park – Part 2

Next we took the guided tour around the park.  I saw many different and beautiful plants.

I got to see Mickey Mouse plants.  Do you see the ears?

Below is a coral vine – Ruth’s favorite.

My shirt matched the jade vine. (please ignore the finger in the corner)

I saw these and thought of Baby Moses hiding in the bulrushes.  I’m not sure if that’s really what they are or not.

This is called Matinlo Falls.  I would love to go back to Eden and go on the hiking trail. I think it goes by the Falls.

The second tour stop had examples of houses that the different tribes of Mindanao have used.  There was also a group of children who performed a dance.

Lola’s Garden was the third and final stop on the tour.

It was hazy so we weren’t able to see Davao City as clearly as you can on some days.

This hibiscus was in front of me in that little hut.

These hibiscus flowers were floating on the water in the wishing well.  They were so pretty!

There are deer in the Philippines!  I wasn’t sure because I didn’t remember seeing any when I was here last time.  They are much smaller than white-tailed deer and their fur is dark.  I included a few pictures of them below.

The two pictures below are of a young deer.

Eden Nature Park – Part 1

On our second Monday off, August 27, Ruth drove a group of us to Eden Nature Park.  We borrowed the school vehicle.  I went with Ruth, Joy (the 4th grade teacher), Priscilla (Joy’s housemate who is studying here in Davao; she is helping me get to know more of the singles at church), and Haley (short term teacher filling in as MS Computer, HS Librarian, and HS PE for the semester) on this trip.  I go to church with Joy and Priscilla each week.

Eden is 95% man-made, which you wouldn’t guess by looking at it.  The area had been used for logging so the goal has been to add more nature.  The 5% that is natural are the large bamboo and fern plants that are growing.  Sadly I wasn’t able to get pictures of those two things.

We went to the butterfly house first; there was a building with various insects gathered in the Davao area and also areas where we could see flowers and butterflies.