Sunday, June 12, 2005

A New Beginning, Bicolana-Style

It's official. I'm sworn in and officially now living at site in Donsol. I suppose there is no turning back now. How strange to take the beautiful winding road to Donsol and know that this will be my home for the next two years. As we drove the hour from Legaspi city to Donsol, I wondered how many of you will someday see what I see. The perfect, but simple huts along the roadside. The men sleeping on benches under the shade of bahay kubos. Naked toddlers bathing in buckets. Huge carabao sticking their massive heads out into the road, inches from the car. The large puno (trees) that hang over the road, making an archway for a good portion of the trip. The white, crumbling crypts of an old cememetery just before you enter Donsol. And finally a welcome sign for Barangay Awaii -- which I just noticed yesterday is awfully close to "Hawaii." Coincidence? :)

I spent at night at home with my new host family, the Ysogs. Kuya Rene is a seaman who works for Disney cruise lines and is home with an arm injury. Ate Susan runs the household and is mother to three children, Pauline, a nursing student at a university in Legaspi, and Lloyd, a 10-year-old who is very shy around me. Ate Susan also has two "helpers" at home who do the cooking and cleaning. They are a very nice and laidback family and the accommodations are very nice!

I managed to escape Donsol for my second night and travel to nearby Sorsogon City, where Dede Sandler, a volunteer from New York who has been here for two years already and has a nipa hut on the beach! Dede and two other volunteers -- all of whom will leave the Philippines in September -- and I spent the afternoon at a beach, wading to a small island, snorkeling and floating in the pretty bluegreen water. Dede's got the life in her sweet little hut! Can't wait to build mine. We took our "showers" under the pump of a nearby neighbor. (She has no water). The owner of a little sari-sari store down the street made us "international drinks" for happy hour. It was a nice break after the grueling training and good to know that at least for now there are fellow Americans within an hour to two hours away.

Today, Monday, is a holiday. So no school today. Tomorrow, I will officially start at the school and be introduced to students and teachers. I'm not sure what to expect other than this week will be a lot of meeting and greeting.

To all who have been reading my blogs, I have to tell you that I will not have as much access to email as I have in the past. I hope to make it to email once a week but the trip is an hour away and I may not always make it to the city. If you don't hear from me in a while, please know that I think about you all every day.

Wish me luck in my new home.


Blogger Jenny said...

Very nice work on your blog, It was fun to read! I am still not done reading everything, but I bookmarked you! I really like reading about disney cruises and even created a disney cruise ships blog of my own if you are interested! Oh! I also wanted to ask if it would be ok that I put a link to this blog of yours on mine?

9:17 PM  

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