Saturday, December 18, 2010

And now, back home...December 18, 2010

As I write this, we are back at the Hilton to get cleaned up and prepare for the return trip back to Louisville. Everyone on the trip is beginning to feel the effects of a week (for some of us, even longer!), of rough travel and hard work. And, now, we are facing about 30 hrs. of air travel to get back home. From Cebu, we fly to Seoul, Korea, then to Atlanta, and finally back home to good ol' Standiford Field. We were fortunate the last few days to have not had any more rain, and it made our travel up and down the mountain somewhat less treacherous. For those who have been following the blog, you will remember our description of seeing not one, but two motorbikes with six people on them. Then, day before yesterday, we saw a motorbike with three adults and four little kids on it--seven people on one motorbike! Couldn't believe my eyes, but Kandi Walker confirmed the number. I am convinced that there is a real opportunity and market out there for a "stretch version" of a regular motorbike. Wouldn't take much, maybe a foot of extra length, and they could put another 2-3 people on the bike. The lack of power doesn't seem to be any problem at all, and such a vehicle is eminently practical for the mountain environment. Some comments about the ubiquitous "Jeepneys", that serve as the transportation of choice for the masses. These "cars/trucks/taxis/etc., vehicles date back to the end of the second world war when American forces left much military materiel' behind, and the Filipino folks set about modifying and adapting them for their own uses. This has apparently developed into quite an industry. They build them here out of all sorts of components, and a variety of power trains. You never see two exactly alike, but they are all similar. Some even have stainless steel bodies that are incredibly fashioned, and are truly works of art. Stainless steel is a very difficult metal to form, but these guys do it with real class. So, stretch motorbikes should be no problem. Well, off to dinner, then the trip home.

Submitted by Thomas J. Clark, DMD

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