A Million Pictures of My Family - Skillful Cook
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A Million Pictures of My Family

That sure sounds appealing, right?

People jumping out of the ocean.

My Family Was In Cebu This Week

Weeeeooo! They braved the 24+ hours of travel to Cebu so they could reconnect with my siblings' biological family, visit the orphanage we're working at, and experience our new normal here.

{I just realized most of you probably don't know anything about my family. I grew up as the oldest of three girls, and then a few years ago my parents adopted three siblings from an orphanage called CSC. Now I am the oldest of six - four girls, two boys - and Bjork and I now work here, at the same orphanage that my siblings lived at for several years before being adopted. But we usually call it the shelter instead of the orphanage. Got all that?}

Man and woman outside.

The visiting crew was Mom, Dad, and my brothers. Guess what? It was such a cool time. If I had to use a few words more descriptive than cool, which I am forcing myself to do because I am not in 8th grade anymore, I would use the words powerful, adventurous, and, um, ok, cool.

So starting with powerful.

We had the privilege of visiting the community where my three siblings lived before they came to live at the shelter.

I won't go into all the details of everyone and everything, but I will tell you that it was probably the most meaningful experience I have had here in the Philippines. It was both personally challenging and magically surreal to step into this part of their world.

I'll say it again: a huge privilege.

Children outside.

We also had a little adventure in going to the beach for a few days.

Young boy snorkeling.

Because you can't come all the way to the Philippines and not want to see this.

Ocean view.

But if you asked my brothers and my parents what they liked the most about the whole trip, I'm positive they would all say the same thing: just playing with the kids at the shelter.

Woman with young children.

For my brothers, this place is like a second home.

Young boys playing in a living room.

Do you like my hand in this picture? And my hair? I'm giving you a double whammy of bad photography just so you can see this little girl's smile.

Woman with young girl.

Even Dad got into the playtime.

Man playing basketball with young boy.

And kids took full advantage of that. It's like Where's Waldo or something.

Children sitting near a building.

We had a few nice dinners on the patio (deck? what's the difference?), complete with barking dogs and lurking geckos. As it should be.

People sitting around a table.

And my brothers. ate. BALUT. 18 days old. As it should NOT be.

Does anyone out there know balut? Google it, now. It's spelled B-A-L-U-T. And if you have ever eaten balut, please leave me a comment and tell me you're not for real.

Young children together.

I'm seriously ready to sleep for a week. Why are fun things so exhausting? And why do I love sleep so much??

XOXO to my awesome family. Love you all!


Want to see more posts of my time living abroad? Check 'em out here!

Filed Under: Living Abroad Travel

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful story of your family! I think it’s absolutely wonderful the way that the two of you picked up your lives here in the states and are doing something that is making such a difference in these kids’ lives. It’s really inspiring and that little girl’s smile is priceless!

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    Heartwarming story 🙂 Looks like everyone had a great time.

    btw, I grew up in the Phils and never had balut. And I never will!

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    UGH! Balut. My dad has lots of clients that moved here from the Philippines and they try to get him to eat it all the time. Sooooo terrifying.

    Glad you had fun with your fam! Even if some of them will eat nasty, nasty balut.

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    You made me laugh!!! Isn’t Balut just gross??? YET I ate it! It was kind of a… dare, I suppose!!! Have you ever heard of a ship called Doulos (or Logos Hope)??? They are ship’s operated by a missions organisation and have a focus on bringing literature, help and hope to the people who need it around the world (that’s it in a nutshell… Logos Hope was last in Cebu in January 2012). I lived on board for 2 years back around 99 and spend a total of 8 months in the Philippines. Once we were out on a team outreach and we dared to do a team balut, everyone would eat one at the count of three… I was the only girl actually doing it and it was… gross, even though it just tasted like chicken… chicken with lots of crunchy bits.

    Anyways, I always love reading your blog. All the best and many blessings from Down Under Australia

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    Hi. Love your website. I use to work with a few people from the Philippines. They would bring in balut for lunch from time to time – (interesting to say the least!) Not for me! ha ha.

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Your parents look great Linds! I love lo0king at your pictures each week to see all of your family coming for visits! Your sisters have grown up so much as well! Last I knew I think they were 10 and 8! Bjork’s parents look amazing as well. I love to keep up with all of your adventures and I think you two are amazing for taking a year out of your normal to do something incredible like this! I would love to do the same! You two rock.

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    These pictures are so great Lindsay! I can’t wait to see you and hear more about this powerful, adventurous and cool time with the fam 🙂 SO SO wish I could have been there. Really good pictures though. Love you!

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    What great photos! I’m thrilled we got to learn more about your life and all of the COOL things you’re doing. Yes, cool!!

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wonderful family. So nice for all of you!
    I did google it since I didn’t know what it was. I clicked on the site for…. The six most terrifying foods in the world. Ewwww!

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    I eat balut from time to time. But I never eat the little chick it in. As a child, and to this day, I still give it the chick to my parents. I think it’s their favorite part of it.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Wow – thanks for the comment Rod. So call me a balut novice, but then what part DO you eat? The liquid in the shell?

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        I slurp the soup first. Then I eat the hard egg white with a little bit of salt, and my favorite part is the creamy yolk. The yolk is the best!

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    Lindsay, you and your family are both beautiful. Your stories and photos always inspire me to capture not just food, but life–cause that’s why we bake right? We bake to enjoy life, to love on people, to share beauty and goodness and delicious.

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wow, that sounds amazing! I had no idea you were so connected to the shelter. What an incredible experience for your family to come together and visit the place where your brothers grew up. Except the balut. That sounds soooooo nasty.

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    I married a Filipino who loves balut. I tried it but couldn’t get past the brothy stuff. Bleck!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      At one point when my brothers were eating it, someone shouted, “Drink the mucus!” and I almost lost it right then and there. So I feel ya on that one. 🙂

  14. Skillful Cook Logo

    Thanks for the wonderful pictures, Lindsay. We’re looking forward to Allen and Rigo coming to AZ after Easter. Right now we’re busy learning and fine tuning the Easter Cantata. We wish you well as you approach the finish line on your Filipino adventure. Love, Grandpa and Grandma

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Thanks Grandma! Have fun with them when they come to AZ! I’m sure Rigo will not leave you with any dull moments! 🙂

  15. Skillful Cook Logo

    I grew up eating balut (we call it balot in Manila) and to me it’s the most delicious thing inside an egg shell you’ll ever eat. No other egg in the world even comes close. Honestly, it’s me who often wonder when people seem to be disgusted with, like, are you for real?

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Agree to disagree! 🙂 Seems like all the Filipinos I’ve met either love it or hate it… glad to hear the perspective of someone who loves it!

  16. Skillful Cook Logo

    Isn’t Balut the partially developed chicken still in the shell??

    I could never…feathers and bones & beaks and all….Ewwww!

    On another note, I must say I enjoy your blog VERY much!
    I admire you for what you are doing, and making a difference in this world.