Thursday, July 22, 2010

hop, skip, and a juuuuuump away

"go west, young man"-horace greeley said it and then they named a town in colorado after him. it seems like simple yet sage advice: go west. well sir that is what i intend to do, but i guess i'm going in the round about way.
i got my itinerary from staging head quarters and was shocked to see that i am going to philadelphia for orientation rather than california. i have to go clear to pennsylvania (which also has a greeley named after our friend horace) on the east coast.
i've made my travel plans and actually hop on over to pa the night before because in order to get from the west side of the nation to the east side of the nation by 11:00 am you need to leave the day before. which may or may not give me some time in the morning to see some city, but maybe not.
then i have to do all of my orientation things and then wake up at 5:00 am (which is 3 here) and skip on up to new york. we are taking a bus up there and flying out of jfk in the afternoon.
now here for the jump. from jfk i fly to tokyo (i assume we go up and over) then from tokyo to manila. a twenty hour twenty minute flight. that is almost a whole day off of the ground. that is just crazy to me.
however this gives me some more sense of direction. i got my h1n1 shot, and registered to vote, and any day in the mail some goods for the journey are coming. i'm glad i get to get out of here one day earlier just because that is one less day to wait.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

no whammy, no whammy!

you know on the game shows when they spin the wheel or it the buttons and then are just standing there screaming come on big money? well that is me. i'm checking the mail (both snail and e) very religiously waiting for my staging info and still nothing. which renders me pretty helpless. i'm at starting line, in the blocks ready to go, but the guy with the start gun has yet to load it and let us getting going already. just sitting here with energy waiting to get out and serve, and do, and help.

what's with the altitude?

One month left and my mind is a mess. I know I'm in for a world of change, but the main thing on my mind these days is the change in world. The physical environment is just going to be so completely different from anything I've experienced.
  • Climate: I currently live in a high desert. Very dry lots of sage brush, and yet very harsh winters. I went to school in New Mexico, lived in a desert there also. Before school the high desert as well as many other tiny communities in Wyoming with harsh winters and if summer ever came it was mild. Not quite the story in the Philippines. They are the tropics with 10 degrees difference all year round. They have typhoons and a rainy season, and always humidity. Deserts don't have humidity. That may do me in.
  • Land forms: Wyoming is a mountainous state fairly land locked, and by fairly landlocked I mean 2-3 giant states sit between it and the ocean. Very similar story with New Mexico. The Philippine Islands are just that. Islands. 7,000 plus islands right smack dab in the middle of the Ring of Fire. Which means volcanoes, several of which are active, see Mount Pinatubo . Also earthquakes and there fore tsunamis. I've experienced countless earthquakes with out even knowing, but have yet to see a tsunami.
  • Altitude: In all my life I have never lived below 4,500 feet. The highest point in the Philippines isn't even 3,000 feet. Can we say energy galore? I'm going to be bouncing off the walls.
These are just some of the things I've been thinking about, not even to mention the other aspects of culture. More on that later, and welcome to my Peace Corps experience.