Jun 292014

June 29–Number 8, Ricarte Street, Commonwealth Heights, Commonwealth Ave, Quezon City–my new home until July 1. Eden and Leighton warmly greet me and have done everything possible to make me feel at home. The dorm is a adobe-style building on a narrow street lined with all kinds of palm trees and a lovely flowered shrub that I need to look up to identify. The orchestra of bird sounds and dogs barking is constant–much better than any “Canned Music.” I slept soundly, and felt so refreshed–all remnants of weariness have vanished! I enjoy my first cup of Philippine coffee: delicious–sweet & strong. Bless Caffeine!  I am ready to take a stroll out onto the lively streets. Eden and Leighton encouraged me to do so–“Take notice of landmarks so you don’t get lost.” Eden said.  The dorm is in a gated community–I walk out the door and head toward the guards. They greet me with huge smile and wave me through the gates. As I walk, I am overcome with gratitude to all my friends and family who have made this dream come true!!!

When I turn onto the busy street, I hear the sounds of basketballs dribbling–truly familiar! I saunter over to a covered gym where about 30 or more spectators are crowded around a fence, cheering  & clapping wildly. Sure enough–there is a basketball game in progress–the “Sunday Club.” How thrilling to see one of my favorite sports in Philippine action! I watch for several minutes–I clap each time a basket is made, drawing stares from little children. I think I am the only female among the onlookers. What fun!

I continue my journey to and fro, along the broken sidewalk, marveling in all the shops that cluster beside the walkways: hair salons, mini-markets, tricycle repair, electronic repair, barbershops, water stations…I smile at everyone and they all smile back. I discover a walking bridge that arches over a busier thoroughfare–I decide to find my way there so I can take a few photos from higher ground. I walk through an open market area–many, many colorful umbrellas protect all kinds of vendors from the harsh sun rays–even at 9AM, the sun is intense. What an array of paraphernalia & food products to behold: sweet corn, mangoes, bananas, watches, jewelry, dead goat carcasses, earrings, I Phone clear coverings, more sweet corn. I snap several photos–new for me, but I am committed to documenting my Philippine experience in words and pictures.

Well, the next batch of volunteers have arrived, so I must meet them all. More to share later!


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