Permanent Site Assignment

 I just received my permanent site placement!!! I will be spending the next two years living in Romblon. This island province has a population of 283,930 and consists of 3 major islands. I will be living on Tablas, the largest island of the three, in the municipality of Odiongan, in close proximity to several other Peace Corps volunteers. Romblon’s islands are of volcanic origin and mountainous with lush vegetation. I have already heard word of beautiful white, sandy beaches. The economy is primarily agriculture with major copra and rice farming as well as coconut, corn, and fruit trees, along with abundant fishing. There are also numerous mineral resources, especially marble. Although there is an airport on my island, it is not currently functional. Therefore I will be taking an ~8 hour boat ride to get to my site.

My job assignment is with the Provincial Government (most other volunteers work at the municipal level). As a provincial employee, I will may have the opportunity to travel throughout the 17 municipalities and explore the other smaller islands. Romblon is known for being very pristine and I will be working to preserve this quality through the creation of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Additionally, I will be involved in ecological profiling, reef assessment, research, and training for the provincial reef assessment team. My office specifically requested a volunteer who was dive certified. Additionally, my office is blessed with available funding, support and technical resources. Finally, there is much potential for marine thesis projects as I continue to earn my Master’s degree from the College of Charleston. I am so excited to be joining such an active office, where I can contribute my technical skills and easily collaborate with other Peace Corps volunteers.

More good news: Tagalog is the dominant language meaning that I can continue learning the same language I have been studying throughout training rather than transition to an alternative dialect. On September 18th I will travel to Romblon and I could not be more excited!! Still no word about the details of my host family but it is soon to come.

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2 thoughts on “Permanent Site Assignment”

  1. YES!!!! OH MY GOODNESS, WAY TOO COOL!
    SJ – that is exactly what you described to me on Skype earlier this year as your “dream” placement. I am so giddy with excitement for you right now! that is so perfect for you! everything about it sounds so ideal.
    By the way, I seriously plan on visiting you at some point – likely Winter of 2015-2016, so start figuring out where I can volunteer (maybe Dave too!) someplace rad where I can see you every day. ERMAGERD….SO LEGIT!!! eeeeeeee

  2. Yay!!! I’m SO excited for you to come visit. And by then I will know all of the cool places in Romblon for us to explore. Apparently there is a cool 2 day mountain hike on one of the islands as well as some dive spots. And we can travel throughout the Philippines, stay with other volunteers, and plan dive trips too!

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