Saturday, January 21, 2012

I wrote this many weeks ago and forgot to post it...

Christmas vacation is well underway. Even though my activities are a bit, okay a lot, different than the normal adventures back in Wisconsin- this vacation is indubitably memorable!

I started my vacation by packing up my room at my host family’s house to prepare to move into my new house. I must say, packing it not as overwhelming when you only have two suitcases of belongings. Normally I dread moving day- it is always a hassle, it normally rains even though you pray that it doesn’t, and something is always lost or broken. This time, it was hassle free. Many of my new friends came to help. We ate first, of course, and then loaded up the tricycle with everything. My new home is only about a three minute tricycle ride away! What a breeze.

That night, after everyone left, there I was standing in my room inside a big yellow house. I thought to myself, “Wow, six months have come and gone so fast!” I feel lucky to have had such wonderful host families but it did feel good to finally be independent. That night for dinner I had milk and cookies.

Due to the fact that I am an independent woman again, shopping in the market, washing my own clothes, trying to cook Filipino delights, singing in the shower, and drinking coffee whenever I want have become part of my weekly routine. My host mother did offer to continue to wash my clothes but she has not been feeling good and I will admit it that I kind of wanted to have a go at it. I have been washing my own under garment since I have been here but I imagine that washing a pair of jeans is different from washing a pair of undies! Dontcha think? Washing jeans and other large garments is A LOT, I repeat, A LOT more difficult. Good thing my newly engaged best friend (** Yay, I am so happy for you!!!**) sent me some Reeses peanut butter cup trees because this was my reward for finishing.  There is a care taker who lives with me. Her name is Tita Angel. The owners of the house live in a different part of the Philippines so she takes care of their animals, fish pond, rice field, island, and I am sure other things that the family owns. I like it because it feels like I have a roommate. I have never lived alone before so there was anxiety among my emotions. Independency is fun. Washing clothes is difficult. I definitely drink too much coffee.

After a few days of buying odds and ends that I need to get by I had to prepare for my first visitors. Amy, Catherine, and Karen (other Peace Corps Volunteers) were coming to visit for the holiday. I must say that many of the Christmassy things that my family sent me crept into the festivities, a lot! Karen and Amy live a city in Batangas. There first reaction when Catherine and I picked them up at the fort was something like, “Wow, this is already very different than what we experience.” There are no malls, no restaurants, no stop lights, and few cars. There are plenty of gorgeous views and beaches. One thing the girls wanted to do was go to the beach so that was priority for the get together.

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