Saturday, January 13, 2007

Stressed and Back Again!

Here I am during the ‘Bike Tour’, the 5-day biking environmental program that we (YAFE) had been creating, planning, living and breathing for the last 6 months. Notice the slouching shoulders, the stressed smile, the hair pulled back tight. Whoah!! And my counter part, Jelyn, looks likes she’s going to pass out or quit in a minute! I think we need a vacation! And that is exactly what we did after the closing ceremonies of this event.

There we go! That’s a little better. A fullon sarcastic smile (the waves to you mom and dad!), my favorite (scandalous) outfit consisting of overalls and my bikini top and feeling like the 24 year old American that I am! What a great feeling that is!

And who else do we have on this crazy adventure? This spunky character is Caty. She’s a thoughtful, fun loving individual with a little craziness in her! Perfect for an adventure and a good friend to talk to about some problems.

Next, we have Miss. Kristine. Kris and I have been together since training. We ended up in the same training town and so have been though a lot together. She’s part environmentalist, part dolphin but 100% fun! She’s a great playmate and textmate (I mean friend)

This then is a picture of the 3 buddies who share a friendship that helps us continue through this 2 year commitment. Here we are on the beach. We like the beach. We are now at Olga’s site in Southern Leyte. Her apt is in a town about 15 min. away from the beach we are sitting on, but don’t let this fool you. Her front gate opens to a street, and on the opposite side is the ocean. Man, oh man, somehow I feel a bit screwed.

Here is the view from our perspective. Nice huh? Whose that in the water? A superwoman? No.. thats just Olga!

More to come on the adventures of the past holidays....

home sweet home

Here is a little glimpse into my home here in the Philippines.

I have now lived here for almost 4 months. For some reason I didn't take a picture of my favorite room, my screened in kitchen. I will do that today and some add the pictures to this tommorrow.

The transfer from my host family into my own apt. was an emotional rollarcoaster! What is more important to me? My personal positive space where I can act however I want and do what ever I feel (without feeling restricted or crazier than I am) OR continuing to be part of a Filipino family and help them financially? This was a STRUGGLE! However I think I survived the rapids without being pulled under. I now love my apt but also enjoy interaction with my family. I jog the 2 miles over once or twice a week and enjoy a cup of coffee and morning bread with them, play with Darrin and then go 'home'. They are resilient and have found other ways to compensate for the loss of my income. A fantastic family that I have learned a lot from and have become part of.

So this is my bathroom. I used to use the showerhead but now I use the old bucket and dipper method. I'll add pictures of that tomorrow too) Why you ask? Because the water is COLD! So instead of standing under painfully show dripping freezing water, I just dump a couple of heaping buckets over my head/body, wash, rince and the deed is done!

This is my simple bedroom. Currently I have another foam mat on the floor on the other side of the table under the other window. That way I have a guest bed, if people come visit. (And the foam is much more comfortable than that princess woven wooden bed.)

This is the other side of my bedroom. This is where I sit and write the letters I send off to you all. The wooden windows let in a lot of light and I love the beauty of old homes. Something sparks my soul.

Now the kitchen. This is my haven in my home. Its completely screened in windows all the way around. I love this room. That is my little gas one burner stove that I make a mean egg sandwich with. On the right is my sink.

And this is the other side. My little table where I drink my coffee and enjoy my early mornings. Along the edge there are many of your pictures. Its like your sitting there enjoying the meal with me. Well not really but it makes me think of the days when this will be possible again!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


I'm doing this out of order but there are people who are dying to see this beautiful child known as Darrin or my godson. I love this little guy. Born June 16, 2006 he has given me a whole new outlook on what motherhood can be. I guess it's a little different when you get older, kids aren't just your little brothers who always get to do what you never were allowed to do! (Bob you know what I'm talking about.) But they are this little individual who needs you. My mom used to sing "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me HAPPY when skies are grey. You'll never know dear how much I love you, so please don't take my sunshine away!" Until a few months ago, that was exactly true, I could not understand how much my parents loved me and how much they cared for me. I feel now though I have a much better understanding and respect for their dedication to me and my happiness. (Thanks mom and dad!)

ok... so here I am, in the philippines. No idea whats really going to happen to me in the next 2 years and 3 months. At this moment, I'm just happy to be here. Little did I know all the trials and learning experiences that would occur to make my life worth living. I must say at this blissful moment, I did not know and I did not care.