It was a bright sunny morning when we were dropped off in town to catch the jeepney to the clinic in the mountains. We provided large amounts of amusement for the locals when we chose to ride on top of the jeepney rather than sitting inside. They laughed and chattered as we climbed the ladder and settled ourselves amongst several bags of rice, our feet dangling over the sides. The view and the cool breeze were definitely worth the amusement as we spent 4 hours admiring deep valleys, rice terraces and tiny villages perched on mountainsides. It was the ride of a lifetime – at one point my teammate yelled “he’s accelerating, he’s accelerating, why is he accelerating, this is like a roller coaster without seat belts!” as we careened around several hairpin turns on a narrow track with the mountain on one side and a rather large cliff on the other. The hot sun and the wild ride left us travel tired and we were glad when the village clinic come into view on the side of the road. This was the end of the trail for this jeepney. Our bags were tossed down and the large jugs of drinking water we had brought for the village clinic were unloaded. Our hostess “M” graciously brought us inside and sent us upstairs to the loft where beds were ready and waiting for us to have a refreshing nap. Built into the side of the mountain the back of the village clinic had wonderful views of the river valley and the village on the other side. We spent several hours out on the balcony chatting and reading and relaxing. M fed us wonderfully during our stay and we enjoyed eating our meals with her in the cool cement kitchen under the clinic. The next morning the sun rose over the clouds gathered around the tops of the mountains, casting the village in shadow and lighting the rice terraces a brilliant green. After lunch we headed out with M and several midwives to do some teaching for the women in the village – the village across the river. Oh boy. My legs were already shaking and we hadn’t yet made it all the way down to the bridge where we would cross the river, I didn’t know if I would be able to make it back up the other side to the village. Somehow, gasping and sweating, I made it all the way to the church in the village. We spent the afternoon showing the women some videos on taking care of themselves and their babies. These were very well done and made by local midwives at the clinic that we had just come from. Then it was time to go back across the river. It is very humbling to huff and puff your way down and then up 5000 stairs and have little old grandmothers shuffle on by and smile at you as you wheeze uncontrollably. When I finally got to the last bend in the trail my teammate was standing at the top encouraging me “these are the last ones, you can do it”. I could hardly drag myself up the stairs to collapse on my oh-so-soft mattress. The next morning it was time to head back out of the mountains. The wild ride seemed a little bit more toned down, and a wedding had many people from the village riding down with us. Squished with many others sharing the top of the jeepney, it was much harder to enjoy the views. Some passengers became motion sick, someone wanted to trade watches with me (?) and I was very pleased (not) when the juices from someones snack of balut (boiled fertilized egg) ended up dribbling all over my feet. Eventually we made it back to town, making stops to drop off people as we went. We happily made our way back to the clinic for cool showers and another nap.