First PC B-day, sick and last week of training!
Trip Start Mar 21, 2006
55Trip End Oct 05, 2008
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Well it has been an eventful few weeks since my last entry and as I am writing this I am on my last week of training!! I can hardly believe how fast these ten weeks have gone by.
A few days before my B-day the two other environmental volunteers and I went to visit a reforestation project about a half hour south of Baguio City, St. Thomas Watershed and the Twin Peaks. While it was wonderful to hear about their replanting efforts and I look forward to having tree planting projects at my site the hike was the highlight of the day. The bamboo and pine tree diverse forest was incredible, the bamboo here is amazing!! It always seems to be the natural beauty of a place that grounds me, even through the many emotional roller coasters of each day here
I had yet another wonderful international B-day experience starting with some great phone calls from and too the US. It was crazy to be standing in my back yard here looking at the mountains and fields of corn filled with goats and cows, roosters crowing on a cell phone clear as bell with the US!! Oh the things technology provides!! My host family decided to throw me a b-day party (turned out to be half the Barangay which was fun). It was really fun minus the fact my family butchered an entire pig for the party (traditional practice but very expensive). I felt really bad about it but there was no stopping them, pig was the last thing I wanted to eat but I enjoyed with a big B-day smile none the less!! I hired a videokee machine and we sang the night away which was really fun and all the little cousins loved it. My host sister Melody also gave a me a beautiful silver bracelet which was a huge surprise and too sweet!! I am including some photos of my family so you can all see them. I am excited to get to my site and get settled in to my work but I really will miss my family here. They have welcomed me into their home and I will always remember them as my Filipino family. All day on my B-day my host Dad was saying I have five children including me too!
Well it has happened I have experienced and am still getting over my first and most likely not my last illness of my Peace Corps time!! (Don't worry Mom I am fine taking medicine and our PC Doctor's are wonderful). I some how got a really bad stomach virus which caused terrible stomach pains, fever and major fatigue.... and well... you don't need more details then that. Luckily we went to Baguio on TH and the PC Doctor was there and determined I have some bad stomach bacteria. So after basically sleeping the last five days and hardly eating anything I am starting to feel better. I was really sad to miss some of our final HUB sessions but I did make it to one of the most important and powerful ones. We heard from an organization that works with "the Bar Girls" in a Port Town about two hours from Manila. We heard the testimonial of a women who as spent the last 8 years on the streets and working in the bars for prostitution. The second she began to tell her story her tears began and so did mine. She has been working as a prostitute since she was 14 years old she is now 22 with three kids (who she has no idea where they are) and while she is connected with this organization she is still working the streets to make money to survive. Hearing the stories of these women really broke me up and the prostitution industry here was started and remains to be controlled by American Military men as patrons!!
As always I am sending a big hug to each of you through the net and hope this update finds you well. Thanks for all the mail and love next update I will be on official PCV!!
Send good thoughts for my language exam on the 28th I am nervous!!!