Sunday, May 27, 2012

my security detail

Every month I have to call in my higher ups and give a report on what i'm doing, how school is going, the like. Just a way to talk things out with my regional manager.
Another key part of monthly calls in is to make sure everything is going smoothly. This includes making sure my phone works and I have service, making sure I have a way to travel in and out of site. And the key one to this rigmarole safety and security.
Thanks to my mini PNP I've always been able to answer-nope, no safety and security concerns.

Friday, May 25, 2012

we speak happy

I've got some great neighbors. Today I spent the afternoon with them sharing tuba and stories.
They were digging deep to 'tackle' English as they put it and I was doing my best to speak Waray. One neighbor was kind of translating, but we were communicating. As best we could considering how much they'd been drinking.
As they put it the dialect was happiness and that's all you really need for a Friday afternoon.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

gone in a flash

Last night we had an amazing thunderstorm and it was welcome relief. I love thunderstorms, and I love how last nights thunderstorm made life more bearable. Things got cooler and I slept well for awhile.
It reminded me off another thunderstorm I wasn't so stoked about. I'd just got here to site and was home alone. In the middle of the night a storm rolled in and lighting stroke so incredibly close, and I was just certain it was a bad omen.
Well here we are a year and half later with many more miles under my belt than that storm had me thinking i'd manage.
I've been trying to be reflective of this latest installment of my time here. How have the last 6 months been? It's been hard because right now summer makes life more stagnant.
I love my community here and realize more and more just how much it spreads out. I'm always bumping into people I know at the mall or on a jeep. It's common fact that I go running, and they don't even notice when I've been slacking for a couple months (ya, I need to work on that). Total thumbs up on that front.
I've not been teaching in awhile, something to do with summer break. When I was teaching I was loving it. I for sure chose the right thing to pursue in life. I'm glad I'm not looking down the next 6 months thinking what next. I know what next. So, barring summer, I'd say thumbs up on that part.
As for the rest. A little more hesitant with the thumbs, but as ever optimistic. I've spent a lot of time at school this summer nagging and working on other projects. I've put myself out there to help other parts of this awesome town. So maybe one thumb up, one to the side. I'm very ready to come into the school year guns-a-blazing!
We'll see where those thumbs are 6 months on when all the miles are logged. As far as this marathon of my life goes I'm rocking about 10 more ks to home. I so can do that.

where are the may showers?

May has been hot, and rain has not been as prevalent as I'd like. So, needless to say I've been seeking a lot of sanctuary at the mall and other places with aircon.
This last weekend I met with C and M and went to Rafael's Farm. It was a nice shady and breezy escape from the heat. We had a nice lunch, went on a quick boat trip, and really talked things out. I'm glad for the proximity of these two wonderful people. It's crazy to think we once were six strong.
Earlier this month I got a little something awesome from home, and by a little something awesome I mean 6 giant boxes of books. My parents did an amazing job at wrangling books together. They shipped them in March from Vegas. The guy who ran the shop grew up in Manila, but his grandmother was from here! So he put a bunch of books in the shipment also! Now they are here and my school is so ready to get them used.
They are getting ready for school to start in general. This week is Brigada Eskwela. A week dedicated to clean up and registering. We met early Monday for canvassing, which involved all the teachers piling into giant trucks and driving about town and out to the far flung barangays on the high way. We met at 7, and we were sitting in the truck waiting to start and I was just sweating. Too hot.
That's really been it for summer. It's harvest time and there for fiesta time. The streets are lined with rice and parties. Not too bad a life, just needs more rain.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

tudlo mindanao

May 10 In April I had the amazing opportunity to help out with an English language camp Peace Corps does called Tudlo Mindanao. I feel so blessed to have had the experience, and here I'll put some highlights. You can email me if you want more details. -For most of the participants it was their first real seminar and they were so overjoyed to be a part of it. They came from such humble places in Mindanao and I think it meant a lot for them to have this opportunity. -The camp had an English only policy. At first participants were so quite but you could see their comfort levels increase and more English come out. -I was doing ICT and the excitement these teachers had with just being able to actually touch a computer was incredible. Very fun. -The camp wrapped up with a cultural show. The facilitators were taught some traditional dances that we performed in front of everybody. Then we also got to watch all the different regions perform for us. This experience was for sure a high light of my time here.

adventures are best when waterfalls are included

May 8 Last week was L's birthday so we had a bit of girls weekend. For her birthday dinner we went and ordered so much food at Ocho, which is a really nice seafood restaurant. Then we just enjoyed the city. The next day we headed to Biliran which is a third major island of Region 8. We wanted to go island hopping but had missed the tide. A nice Filipina at the resort helped us arrange a waterfall trip instead, and even went with us. This waterfall was amazing. It was super tall and kind of in the corner of two cliff faces. It opened up into a space that was maybe 75 meters wide and the top was all over grown. So the space was so calm. I loved it. The next day we went back to the resort early and took a boat out to a small island. It was beautiful. Great views. Great water. Nice get away from the heat. The next day we headed back to Leyte. I hadn't been feeling so good and was stoked to ride in a cramped over heated van back. Luckily H was on one side of me and this adorable little boy was on the other, so I didn't feel too cramped. The boy stared at us with the biggest eyes ever. He was so cute, and I can just imagine he'd have been more fun had I not felt so fragile. At one point, before his mother knew what was going on he reached up and touched my nose. She grabbed his hand real quick like, and I could hear him in his tiny voice tell her about how long my nose was. Love it. The next part I don't love as much, luckily he fell asleep and wasn't watching because I got sick. My original plan was to go to Tacloban and pick up laundry (including my sheets) and head back. But when I got sick we were just approaching the outer barangays of Alangalang, so I jumped ship and continued to spend the rest of the day puking. When I woke up yesterday my legs were covered in red bites that just got itchier the hotter it got. I picked up my laundry and saw Avengers and spent today avoiding heat and recuperating.