Here is Syd and me in a petty cab, which is a motorcyle rigged up to be a trike for getting around town.
My host family are really amazing people. They are so caring and kind. Tita Andring is a midwife, Tito Jaime (as in hy-may) works at the power plant, their son Kieth is an engineer and his girlfriend Ellen is about to become a nurse as soon as she passes her board exam and NCLEX. Kieth’s sister is in America, and the family misses her. My host family situation is really ideal. I am so glad I was placed with them. Last night I got a little sick (and I’m fine now), but they were really taking care of me, and now Tita Andring has brought me my favorite sweet: a sweet sticky rice cylinder wrapped in banana leaves and sometimes containing chocolate.
On Sunday Keith and Ellen and Ellen’s cousins Eric and Neil took me to Valencia, to a place called the Forest Camp, because there was a brown out (no electricity), so it was really hot. At Forest Camp, it’s cooler because it’s by a mountain (dormant volcano, I think, actually) and there are cold, fresh mountain springs. The whole day was pretty amazing, and I hope my fellow trainees get a chance to go, though on that day I know most of them went to a beach. So here are some pictures of that.
Here in the Philippines, they have a thing called merienda, or just plain snack here in the Visayas, where the whole country is like “Dude I need a snack” between breakfast and lunch and then another between lunch and dinner. I have really gotten behind this idea. I am a fan, and actually, now I require my merienda. I have been doing an epic amount of eating here because I really like the food, it’s easy to be gluten-free and is exactly to my taste. I know some trainees have been having some trouble with the cuisine, but I am very lucky to have exactly what I want pretty much all the time. They have a variety of rice sweets, and I’ve been converted to the joys of the mango, which is vastly superior here than stateside. Also, despite the epic eating I’ve been engaging in, I appear to have lost weight. It’s like a dream: eat what I want, lose weight.
Today I observed a classroom at the high school at which I will be teacher training. I will be co-teachcing with a teacher of the 2nd year. Generally, the age range for that is 13-14, but can contain older students as well. It was really nice there today, and allayed my fears a little bit, but I’m sure I’ll be nervous again when I actually have to get up in front of a class.
Yesterday my host family got wireless internet, so I have been sitting and basking in my internet connection. I hope it doesn’t distract me too much, but it does mean I am better equipped to respond to messages now, so don’t hesitate. I am kept very busy by the Peace Corps, but I will get back to you if you email me.