Saturday, May 26, 2007

Vacation time

Long time no update, but we've been on vacation. Actual vacation too, in no way related to medical issues or peace corps training. Abby had her two week teacher training called Tudlo Mindanao in Cebu City, where she and 7 other volunteers taught English to 130+ teachers. The teachers already knew english, but this was to improve their english language skills and their ability to teach it. They held the workshop in Cebu because we're not allowed to go to Mindanao, because of terrorist activity I guess. It's strange because it's a big island and most of the terrorist activity is confined to the little islands that trail off the south-west end of Mindanao, known as the Sulu Islands. Anyway, the workshop went really well and Abby was happy to be busy, since summer time for teachers is a little slow. I had two workshops scheduled before the vacation as well, but as typically happens here, the dates didn't work out because some people weren't available, so we rescheduled for after the vacation. I just had one this past week, a Project Design and Management workshop for 14 CRM technicians and 5 other people involved with CRM in the province. It went really well, although it was kind of hard to get back into the swing of things after two weeks of vacation.

Originally we were going to come back from Bohol on the 15th, stay with some friends for 3 days and then go visit our host family from training. However, when we got to Manila we were told we couldn't go visit our friends due to election related violence in their province, and we weren't allowed to go home due to violence in our province. We had a mayor kidnapped by the NPA, three barangay captains in our town were killed and the governor of Oriental Mindoro was very nearly blown up by a bomb on his visit to Occidental Mindoro. The entire election period was just plain crazy, but we still visited the host family and another friend, so all was not lost. We did have to make another brief stop on the way home however, because I had some kind of GI tract infection. All better now, enjoy the photos.

The first night we stayed at a place called The Bee Farm. It was expensive, but the rooms were awesome and all the food came from their own organic garden.

What do you know, they actually have bees at the farm! Not many though, most of their bees were up north.

This is a tarsier, the world's smallest primate. They have a conservation center where you can look at them up close in their natural habitat. They are about the size of your open hand.

We stay for a couple nights on Alona Beach, a really nice white sand beach with lots of divers.

We got up at 5:30 to see the dolphins. We went out with the brother of one our pension's staff for only half the usual price, and got to snorkel in an amazing marine sanctuary!

We visited another PCV who lives on Bohol, and he's done work with a butterfly garden in his town. It's beautiful, but run by a woman from New Zealand...

The famous attraction on Bohol are the Chocolate Hills. There are hundreds of these cone shaped hills in one particular area in the middle of the island, and they are as of yet unexplained by geologists.


Anonymous said...

Nice photos! Looks like some great experiences. We are busy still with our new house but hope to be settled soon. We have a guest room and bath so plan on coming for a visit when you get back to the States. Colorado is awesome!

Anonymous said...

What wonderful pictures! I do worry about you two being in such an unstable area. Be careful!
We want you to come back to STL and have kids some day!

As much as i hate the long election time here at least we don't have speaker trucks cruising the streets.

Have you kept up on the BIG tv shows here: American Idol and now Are You As Smart as a Fifth Grader? Oh, and the entrancing Bingo? I'd say most of Americans viewing seem NOT as smart as a fifth grader.

Aunt Con