Lots’a news to report and I’m gonna give it to you straight!
- We moved! 3 jeepney trips and 6 tricycle rides later, the apartment transfer is complete. New place is everything we dreamed it could be and we’re both 10 times happier to be situated near the beach, and right beside some young and friendly neighbours who have already promised to take us on a bunch of wonderful adventures. Surfing lessons begin next week (or as soon as I’m feeling brave enough…)
- We joined an aerobics class at the city gym which meets twice a week and the hilarious-ness of this endeavor is impossible to describe. The instructor is STRAIGHT outta the eighties and sweats and screams more than anyone I have ever met. A number of the moves she has forced us to perform are ridiculously sexual and I can barely contain my inner laughter while watching all these young, conservative Filipinas pump their hips and push their asses out while our male co-workers watch us all with open mouths. It’s such a scene.
- On that note, the random VIP treatment (read: ‘White-Girl Privileges') we’ve been receiving these days has resulted in a few ludicrous incidents that have left both Meghan and myself in tears from laughter and/or embarrassment. One such example had us both ushered through to the backstage of an outdoor rock concert we attended with a friend, wherein we drank free kool-aid cocktails all night long and met various Filipino rock-stars who I had mistaken to be roadies.I was also given an ambulance ride to the hospital after I told the city health doctor that I had some pain in my lower-back.
- Our Christmas trip to Vietnam is booked and excitement abounds! The thought of spending Christmas with the PLAGUE (Post-LUMID-Asia situated-Graduates-United in-Expatriation) has filled me with joy. I couldn’t be happier about seeing these morons again. The fact that stores in San Fernando have ALREADY begun putting up Christmas trees and playing Mariah Carey Christmas tunes on their loudspeakers is making the anticipation almost too much to bear.
- Work is picking up. We’re currently working on a proposal for creating a Solid Waste Management Manual for the City that focuses on community engagement and we’ve already facilitated one semi-successful focus group in preparation. The fact that we started 1.5 hours late and about half the people we invited actually showed up does not mean that we didn’t obtain some interesting results! If anyone has some good research on community engagement techniques related to small-scale, community-based waste management systems please send the links our way!