Jody's Peace Corps Experience

Friday, January 27, 2006

It's Finally Happened

I think I have finally reached a week in which nothing new or significantly exciting has happened!

I did just get back from the PDM (Project Design and Management) workshop in which I attended with a Filipino counterpart from my center. I think it is probably the best training workshop Peace Corps has to offer. I feel as though my center finally has an understanding of what my role should be and we came up with several projects and activities to do in the next year. Hopefully we can get the rest of the employees at the center to jump on board!

I've been just hanging out. I decided to make a renewed effort at learning my target language. It's going to be a bumpy ride, but my host family and the staff at RSCC really appreciate my efforts. I have a great language tutor who is giving me assignments so she can help during our language sessions.

I continue to fill my time with work, reading, movies, chika-chika and planning what I'm going to do with Francey and my Grands when they come to visit in March!!! I am so excited to have visitors coming. If anyone else wants to come and see what life in the 'Pines is like, just drop me an email!

Friday, January 20, 2006

At Least it was Free!

So I'm not sure if I had shared with everyone that in August, I had got my hair cut. And when I say cut, I don't mean a trim, but many, many inches were disposed of. Well, that was the last time I got a "trim," and I felt it was time that I got another one. Since I'm broke, I opted for the cheap as possible route and found another Peace Corps Volunteer to do it for free. This was on Monday morning. She told me that although she didn't have scissors, she was sure someone else would. On Tuesday, she told me she had procured a pair of scissors and when I went to the room to see, I found that I was going to get my hair cut with a pair of little kids know the ones with the plastic handle and blunted ends! All I thought to myself was, "Hey, at least it's free!"

Well, we didn't get the job done on Tuesday night so she assured me that she would for sure cut my hair on Wednesday. After dinner, she told me to get a towel and meet her in our friends' room. She whipped the little kids scissors out and got to work. We had quite the audience and it even felt like people were watching me like they would a football game since they were drinking a few cold ones...I guess you could only call them room temperature! Haha, but again, at least it was free.

So my friend finished the trimming and now it was on to the layering. All of sudden, she said, "I'm not exactly sure how I should do this." WHAT? Then someone from the audience made a suggestion, demonstrated the technique and the hair dresser got back to work. As I looked on the ground, I was shocked to find half of my hair on the floor instead of still on my head! I was relieved to find that she did a really good job of cutting and I went to shower to get the excess hair off of me.

After showering, I towel dried my hair and applied some product to my hair. As I was doing this, where I part my hair, I found about 3 patches of hair only an inch and a half long! Thankfully my hair is curly and since I'm so tall, no one will really notice. I informed my new hair dresser of the situation and she about dropped to the floor. I told her not to worry about it. That it's only hair and other than that, I really liked the cut. I also said that she would do better next time because you know why? Yep, because at least it was free!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

A Decision Made

I recently decided that I'm going to live with my host family for the entire duration of my Peace Corps carear. Some people think I'm crazy for doing so, but the Family is great!! My sisters are hilarious and easy to talk to. And now that I think about it, I can't imagine living by myself anymore. What would I do? It would be so tv, no one to talk to in the house. I know that I would be able to find friends, but I'm happy where I'm at. I guess that's all I can really ask for, right?

This weekend, I'm heading back down south for a workshop facilitated by Peace Corps. From what I've heard about it, this workshop is the best training session PC puts on and my counterpart from RSCC gets to come with me. The name: Project Design and Management or better know as PDM. The place: Tagaytay, Cavite. I'm really still kind of struggling at my center. I'm not feeling as productive as I think I should and I really hope this workshop with kickstart bigger projects! Keep your fingers crossed for me!

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!!!