Jody's Peace Corps Experience

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

It's Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Christmas...

...Or not so much since it's in the mid-70s to low-80s in temperature!!! And there certainly isn't as many lights or decorations as we are used to in the States either. And, believe it or not, I actually miss the snow a little bit...but not the below zero temperatures! This will be my first Christmas where I was in a place that didn't snow. It's a bit surreal in the fact that Christmas can exist without the white, fluffy stuff.

I'm in the middle of figuring out what are appropriate gifts for host families and some of the close Filipino friends I've made. I still really haven't a clue what to get them, but feel the need to show my appreciation for opening their doors to the American! I'm also involved in a "Kris Kringle" which we all know as the "Secret Santa" gift exchange. Thankfully it's not as elaborate as some of the secret santas I've been involved in. I'm also working with the preschool teacher and another staff member at RSCC to put on a Christmas play about the birth of Jesus. I'm the writer, narrator, and Christmas Carol lyric finder. At least it's keeping me busy and I get to work with the kids more!

Rachel and I will be spending Christmas Eve and Christmas at the upscale Camp John Hay manor house here in Baguio. We decided that we needed to treat ourselves to some pampering and I can't wait to relax in some of the comforts from home that I don't get anymore. We will then probably head to the beach for a few days. I think we will check out 100 Islands Nature Reserve in Pangasinan. There is supposed to be some amazing white beaches and areas to snorkel. Should be a nice get away...again. Seems like I'm doing more traveling than anything else, huh??? I have to though, don't I???

So, my next topic brings me to my Christmas Wish List.
  1. Of course my friends and family who I sorely miss and wouldn't be able to survive from day to day without their love and support!
  2. Being able to hop in my car and drive (So I don't have a car anymore, but just to drive again would be AWESOME!).
  3. My bed! Right now the bed I use here is just a wooden frame with a 3 inch foam pad as the mattress. Nothing compared to my pillowtop queen size bed!
  4. I miss my big, white, fluffy dog, Nanuk, so much right now! I would like to be able to pet a clean, well groomed and well behaved dog. I've only found a handful of well taken care of pets here.
  5. All of the Christmas goodies that come with the season...thanks to the package from my family, I got my mom's homemade chex mix to munch on!

I'm sure I could think of a few other things, but these are at the top of the list. I know I took all of them for granted when I was in the states and it is such a huge wakeup call to live in a style in which is so foreign...even unimaginable I'd say. Who would have thought that plastic furniture would be the main means of furnishing your house? And I never would have imagined that there was a place that didn't understand the concept of owning a pet, but when you have a hard enough time feeding yourself, how can you afford a dog?

I hope you all have a Blessed and Merry Christmas and able to spend it with the ones you are closest to. I also hope the New Year is prosperous with only good things to come! I would like to thank everyone who has written, emailed, or called in the past 8 months. You don't know how much all of them meant to me. I know that a New Year's resolution will be to actually write more. Take care and Happy Holidays!