Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Other events and photos

My secret beach is still my favorite spot in the Philippines. It restores my soul and spirit. I have met new friends there and taken up new sports and hobbies.
Malaysian, American, Korean and our new bling shell jewelry

Yes that is me kitesurfing!

I met a wonderful family of 4 generations! What a blessing! Great grandmother swinging her great grandchild!
These infant swings are very popular here

The Catholic Church just opened a small building that honors saints and Jesus. There are many statues inside and a special small door you enter to see the statue of Jesus. The writing says you must stoop low and humbled to enter and see the Christ.
Enter the little door to the right

Statues of Mary

New building to honor and house statues

Filipinos love a celebration and a parade. The little church preschool next to my house celebrated its 25th anniversary with a parade of decorated tricycles and kids dressed up.
These were 2 kids representing the US for the parade, very appropriate for Election day

Representing Thailand

Been in Manila a bit too much the last couple of weeks, meetings, trainings, check ups.....we all had to practice an evacuation drill from our respective sites in case of an emergency...thanks PC for caring about our safety.
And I leave you with a sunset....November will be busy if we get our library grant!! Heading up north at the end of the month for a Thanksgiving dinner with other PCVs, looking forward to being cold! December is my birthday and then 2 vacations I am very excited about at the end of the year. Wow, only 10 months to go in my service, 2013 will fly by....
Enjoy the freedom of America.....I sit in an internet cafe now listening to President Obama's re-election speech and I have goose bumps....cherish your rights and freedom, so many many in the world do not have it, nor will they have food tonight.
Some place where this happens every single night....
Ingat...take care.

Celebrations Galore

Okay, so what happened to the month of October? Came and went in a puff of smoke. Here are a few things that have been going on:
Our town has gotten new electric poles and new roadside gutters....

Typical garb of outside workers

temporary library
We have a temporary library at school and we are overflowing with books, a wonderful "problem" to have. The latest ones came from a project of Rotary International, Books Across the Sea. Support your local Rotary, they do good things.
There are many bakeries in our town and I was so curious how the baking was done. I walked into the back of one and low and behold, the guys were rolling dough and preparing rolls! They use an actual brick oven heated with wood!!!
Brick oven, and no there is no air conditioning

Fabulous items for sale

Baked goods in process

We celebrated World Teacher's day with a program and free pedicure!
I finished my physical therapy for a sore neck and knee, I will miss the guys and gals of PT. We laughed and laughed as I practiced Tagalog and they practiced English, they tried to get me to eat balut, but I can't!!
Sir Steven and I

Rambuton fruit vendor near PT

Had my first meeting of the Grants Committee, a great group of volunteers led by the fantastic Sheila. We review grant proposals from PCVs, give feedback and then hope they receive funding for their projects. Very rewarding work and a great group of people, yes this is our "wacky" pix.

Before our Mid Service training, a few PCV friends and I went to Puerto Galera for a mini-vacation. We hiked to this fabulous waterfall and OMG the water was freezing! We loved it though because we are always so hot. We went snorkeling to one of the best reefs I have seen so far, I saw so many fish that I have never seen before. Some pix were posted on FB by others.
Friends in PC, age does not matter!!

Our personal beach

The waterfall, 30 feet tall or more

Tarps for everything

For MST we had several days of training on topics such as resiliency and the ups and downs of PC life, possible projects to do in the future, new grant opportunities, and a puppet making workshop to honor a former PCV and to carry on the joy of puppetry as a medium of education. The guys grew mustaches and there was an unofficial contest on whose mustache was the best, hysterical really. Food was great at the hotel, a typhoon was raging outside but we were fine, came home later to my house with a flooded bed, yuck! Part of MST is also many many medical tests, PC wants to make sure we are healthy and I am grateful for that....mammogram, blood tests, pap smear, physical exam, consult with psychologist just to check in, dentist, dermatologist, poop tests, pee test....I probably forgot something, but I am glad for the care.
Puppet making

A new craft I learned about, bobbin lace!

The US Embassy holds a craft bazaar every year and the proceeds in part benefit PC Philippines. I went to the craft fair and learned about a new craft called bobbin lace. The little wooden bobbins are rotated around pins and woven into a lace pattern.
Halloween with kids
I love my backyard, avocado trees, banana trees, etc. and I look out the window regularly. One of the things I had hoped to see while in the Philippines were exotic birds. I have only seen 1 in the wild so far but the other day I saw this gorgeous blue bird in my back yard. The weather has finally gotten a little cooler and I was wondering if perhaps it was migrating or finally could come out in the open because it was cooler. I haven't identified it yet. And then comes Halloween!!
center right, white breast, bright blue wings