Jody's Peace Corps Experience

Sunday, January 01, 2006

On the Move...

So I spent all week traveling and vacationing. Hopefully I'll be able to recount all of my travels in a short paragraph or two about each.

December 24, 2005
Rachel and I checked into Camp John Hay, a cushy resort that used to be owned by the United States military. We got dressed up and headed back into Baguio for dinner and midnight mass at the Cathedral. The church was maxed out to capacity, but there was a lot of singing and made me feel warm and fuzzy inside!

December 25, 2005
We slept in and then ordered room service for breakfast. We feasted and then went out to explore what Camp JH had to offer. There is a really nice historical area in which the original manor house was turned into a museum. There is also a beautiful amphitheater on the grounds and lots of opportunities to walk in the hills around the resort.

We then went to Christmas lunch buffet where we were treated to fresh fish and a lot of other Christmas favorites. Afterwards, we headed to the spa where we were able to enjoy massages and facials...I know, sounds like I'm really living the hard life, right?

Afterwards, we went back to our rooms and napped, watched a little television. All out relaxation! Then we went back to the restaraunt for Christmas dinner. I have been craving a nice, juicy steak for a long time and I was able to enjoy it for dinner!

December 26, 2005
Spent the day shopping. Enjoyed the luxuries of the resort.

December 27, 2005
Checked out of Camp JH and went back to my host family's house. My host sister and I switched rooms so now I have a little more space for all of my things!

December 28-29, 2005
Rachel and I headed to San Juan, La Union. We were able to lay on the beach, collect shells and stroll along the shore. We were also able to watch surfers as this beach is known for the surfing. It was fun to watch the tan, chiselled bodies!

December 29-31, 2005
We went to Manila for a few days to do more shopping and enjoy the nightlife of the city. Met some really fun people and enjoyed their company. Was able to be convinced to get a Henna tattoo...don't worry, it's not permanent.

Returned back to La Trinidad in the late afternoon. We were able to get a discounted ride from some random guy who lives in Baguio. When I got back to my host family's house, I was informed that we would enjoy the New Year together. The kids made a program and as we gathered, each member of the family said a few words to the other family members. I was also included in this and I was able to express how thankful I was to have a family like theirs open up their door and welcome me as a member of the family.

It was also amazing to see all of the fireworks. The New Year is known for being with family and lighting fireworks! Families lit firework after firework into the night sky. The smoke from all of them made the sky hazey and there was kind of an eerie feeling, but it was a good feeling.

January 1, 2006
I went with my host family back to the beach, only this time we were in San Fernando, La Union. Since my host father helps to run a bus company, we took his bus to the beach. I think Rachel and I were with about 50 or so other Filipinos. A whole roasted pig was brought along as well has the biggest batch of noodle salad I have ever seen! It was really fun to be with the family and enjoy the first day of the new year!

Happy New Year to everyone back home!!!