Jun 012014

When I booked my flight path to and from the Philippines I gave myself a couple cushion days on each end of my four week volunteer schedule. I counted on being jet legged on my arrival, and getting stuck in a typhoon on the way back from the island to the airport. While I can’t speak for the latter, I can say that my jet lag concerns were for naught. Other than feeling uncomfortably hot (surely a consequence of the heat and humidity here) I haven’t experienced the unfortunate symptoms of twelve hour time travel into the future. Today is my third full day in Manila. I appreciate the complexity of this city of 7 million, the irony of the flip flop/ helmet wearing motorcyclists, and the hilarity of the goats (live or dried) lining the streets of the busy highway. Here, I had the opportunity to attend worship service at a church with a tin roof in the morning and walk around an enormous shopping centre worthy of architectural awards in the evening. I road in the back of an jeepney– a stainless steel tin people moving machine on the way to the bank today to exchange money. I like how every female cashier, bank teller, and saleswoman is dressed identical, down to the colour of their lipstick. I like how the male security guards greet everyone with ‘hello sir, good bye madam.’ I like the sound of the language spoken quickly and with the occasional introduction of an English term, that keeps me guessing as to what the conversation might be about. I dislike the blantant poverty.

I am excited to begin the long trek to Romblon Province today, and I am anxious to see the city of San Augustin, where I will be spending the next four weeks volunteering. After language and culture orientation yesterday afternoon, I cannot wait to begin my placement. I was asked by a volunteer coordinator if I would like to organize a book club at a local grade school. A BOOK CLUB!!!! Yes, actually, I would.



(‘Madelicious’ was the name of a store I saw yesterday.)


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