Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I like fruit

They have really great fruit here as you can probably imagine, and they practically force feed it to you. They have, in my opinion, and awesome tradition here of having something called a merienda which is basically a snack between breakfast and lunch and then again between lunch and dinner. It's nothing big, usually just fruit, or a little empanada, but it's great.

So let's see. We have wireless internet here in this "resort," hence my ability to post a lot, but there are internet cafes everywhere, so I'll probably be able to keep this up. We don't have a cell phone yet, but apparently it's the thing to do, especially in this country. We went to a mall nearby to by a surge protector, and every other store was a cell phone store. When I say every other store, I mean that literally. There would be a clothing store, and then a cell phone store and then a food stand and then a cell phone store and then an electronics store and then a cell phone cover store and so on. It was insane. But anyway it's really cheap, text messages are only a peso a piece, which is about 2 cents a pop. Someone here told me that Filipinos send more text messages than any other country in the world. My point is eventually we'll have one, and then we'll send out the number and people can call us if they want.

We found out a little more info the past few days about where we'll be going and what we'll be doing, so get out your maps. Abby and I are in a really good group of people who are going to be assigned to the MiMaPa 3 region (which isn't official by the way, that's a Peace Corps term). Basically it means a few things. One is that we'll be the only group learning Tagalog, which is the national language. The other 4 groups all learn the regional dialect/language of wherever they're going. So in the respect we have a real advantage because they speak Tagalog everywhere, whereas Cebuano or Iligano are only spoken in their respective regions. I thought that was pretty cool. Geographically, we'll be spending the next three months in the region of Bataan, which is north of Manila, but on the other side of the bay, basically. It's about a 4 hour bus ride away (or more, depending on Manila traffic), and we're going to be in the town of Balanga, which is supposed to be really great. They have coffee there (whoop whoop), and they're really close to a lot of great hiking and a lot of historical sites, mostly related to WWII. That's all we know for now. Out actual site could be anywhere in the region, which consists of provinces to the north of that, as well as one region to the south called Caminares Norte, and then the islands of Mindoro, Marinduque and Palawan. Basically I think we got a great placement so far.

We leave tomorrow to go the these "hub" sites for the rest of our pre-service training, and in a little less than a week we meet our host families and go off to live with them, so that's going to be awesome. I'm already planning to blow some minds with my cooking skills, plus guys don't cook so I thought that would be a fun cultural exchange. Anyway, Abby's waiting and I'm using all the internet time, so I'll write later from the hub site.

1 comment:

Ma and Pa in Portland said...

So, does that mean that you are done at the resort site? We will look up where you are going on the map, glad that you are excited by it. Maybe it is a good thing that you are married if you do cooking as the Filipinos might get the wrong idea about you! Will you and Abby be together at the host family? Good luck on the next adventure. I read the booklet you sent about the Peace Corp, and now I am ready to be very supportive!! Love and hugs Ma