Friday, April 12, 2013

Perfectly Chaotic.

April 13th, 2013:

It all started when Micah and Wyatt arrived. They are both Peace Corps Volunteers. They came to Marinduque for Holy Week to see the Moriones Festival and I think they wanted to see me, too. Marinduque has a lot to offer and the Holy Week festivities just added more options. We watched the Morion parade, observed the crucifixion and self- flogging, hiked to the summit of Mt. Malingdig, reached the center of the Philippines (Luzon Datum), found a perfect spot to watch the sunset on multiple occasions, and created a bond that is going to last a lifetime. Most morning Wyatt and I would wake up and complete an insanity workout, it was borderline insane. Micah might be more addicted to coffee than I which added more treat to morning life. Having them brought constant thoughts of wanting Joe by my side, more moments in life where I wish he was with me. I can definitely see the four of us seeing parts of the world together.

Morion Festival 2013. Moriones can be seen walking around town for the entire week. 

Family Dinner.

Rice fields in my front yard. Great place to relax and watch the day end.

Mt. Malingdig- the steady steep upward climb.  The first 5k was through coconut trees with amazing fews of the island. We could actually see water on both sides. The second 5k was a jungle. We swung on vines coming down, slipping and laughing the entire way. 

I was giddy as I reached my first summit. 

Looking back at the Mt. we climbed! 

This has officially been named the Gina shot. Everywhere I go I need a picture like this. Me, looking at  wherever my like has taken me, feeling completely lucky to be living.

At the bottom again. Time to replenish with Buko.

The eye holes were really small.

This is the new beach resort in my backyard. The owner, Nory, just arrived home from working in a diamond mind in Tanzania. He was blooming with excitement at how successful his first week open was. His place was fully booked and the talk of the town. Nory told me his hopes of being able to stay in Marinduque with his family. 

Holy Friday crucifixion. 

A few days before Micah and Wyatt left, Stacey arrived! Stacey and I spent Easter Sunday together because Wyatt and Micah went to Maniwaya for the night. The day began with the Gasang-Gasang street dancing festival. After, if that was not enough excitement for one day, we competed in the first Aquathon ever in Marinduque. Oh, I should probably mention that we ate lunch at a German restaurant. The menu has bratwurst and that is all I really have to say about that. The first week in April was definitely filled with all things that I could tack on the adjective NEW to. New friends, new restaurants  new resorts, new food, new adventures, just a whole collection of moments. 
Gasan Street Dancing Festival. Easter Sunday. This is one of 100 photos. When we woke up, I had no idea what we were going to watch. Excitement quickly filled my body at first site of the vibrant costumes. These street dancing parades are my favorite cultural masterpieces. The colors, the smiles, the moves, the audience, the act of people, coming together to cheer, everything really is like real life magic.

Let's face it, it would only be appropriate for us to race while on vacation. We were the only females. I took my shirt off for the swim portion and I am still not sure why. Two years ago, I would have never taken my shirt off on this island. I blame race day excitement.  

At the geographical center point of the Philippines. Bathing in sweat and still smiling.

Thanks for helping my through my Peace Corps journey and then flying to be a memorable slice of it.  I could not have completed this challenge without you. Thanks for the e-mails, the calls, the packages of love, the encouragement, the jokes, the understanding and the list could go on and on. Beans for life!
Puerto Galera, Mindoro. After a four hr boat ride, one hour van ride, and one hour thrill jeepney ride, we reached  Mindoro and Karen. 
After a day in the sun, we went out to the floating bar to watch the sunset and  swoosh down slides. 
I have quite the collection of Gina shots now.

The hardest part of a loving adventure is hugging and saying, "See you soon." I could not have imagined a better beginning to the end of my Peace Corps journey. And, in addition to everything happening on this side of the world. My family was busy celebrating the life of my niece who changed us all with her spunky attitude and angelic personality, Alikah. Happy Birthday, young lady. My sister also told me that she is thinking studying abroad, again adding more kinds of smiles to the mix. So, this is just a glimpse of what happened at the beginning of April. And no that is not a typo I really mean it, just a glimpse. I would rather run then sit and to write everything would require far to many hours of sitting. 

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