My journey to the Philippines began at 4am on the 4th of July out of Pittsburgh, onward to Minneapolis, overnight in Los Angeles (I was born here 24 years ago and this is my first time back), through the bustle of Tokyo, and finally landing in Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, named after a species of mangrove (the Philippines have 40+ different mangrove species compared to the 3 found in Florida).
The next 3 months of training promise to be intense with full days of language, culture, and coastal resource training and little free time. I will do my best to regularly post updates and share the knowledge I gain along the way. Many thanks to my Canadian friend Nikki Karn for this link to fun facts about the Philippines:http://www.travelingmyself.com/2013/04/25/34-interesting-facts-about-the-philippines/
Check out the photo of me in the airport, equipped with my ukulele (which I did play walking through the airport) and my bike helmet (which fit better on my head than in my suitcase).
“A man goes out on the beach and sees that it is covered with starfish that have washed up in the tide. A little boy is walking along, picking them up and throwing them back into the water. “What are you doing, son?” the man asks. “You see how many starfish there are? You’ll never make a difference.” The boy paused thoughtfully, and picked up another starfish and threw it into the ocean. “It sure made a difference to that one,” he said.”
― Nicholas D. Kristof, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide
On July 7th, 2014, I will say good-bye to my friends and family here in the U.S. for a new adventure and new home in the Philippines. I will be serving for 27 months (or more!) as a Peace Corps Volunteer. My specific location within the Philippines is yet to be determined, however my work will focus on coastal resources management (not necessarily connected to recovery from Typhoon Haiyan, but possibly).
This quote shows how a small act, unnoticed in the grand scheme of life, can make a big difference to someone. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, I may find that it is my own perspective that is the most impacted by this experience, however I hope that my actions and conversations in the Philippines do make the world a better place for someone, even just one sea star.
And if you are looking for a good read Half the Sky is AMAZING!!