As our time remaining in the Philippines grows smaller, I look back on this trip and am amazed at how far we have traveled, how many diverse people we have spoken with, how warm and hospitable our host country has been. As with any group, we have become more and more cohesive as we have grown together, and of course things in the beginning would have gone more smoothly if we knew then what we know now (for example, how to hold a squat over a dirty seatless toilet that allows you to aim while still relaxing enough to actually make use of said toilet). But the only real regret I have is that I was not able to write to you, dear reader, as much as I fully intended to do.
It has certainly been a full journey. We have done more physical traveling in the past week and a half than I think I’ve done in any six months put together: we flew from Minnesota to Japan to Manila, drove around that city, then flew down to Mindanao, and since then have spent several hours each day driving around the island (including a 7-hour trip across the mountains to Davao), as well as the hours we spent on ferry boats and the little inter-island bangko boats. We will be doing more driving and boating in the days ahead, then a flight from Davao to Manila on Sunday the 23rd, a day in Manila, and then the flight back to Minnesota via Tokyo on the 25th. By the time we leave, we will have without a doubt seen more of the Philippines in two weeks than any tourist could ever claim to.
But the unfortunate side effect is that we have had to unpack and repack all our luggage nearly every day. Internet connection was practically unavailable until these past couple of days during our longer stay in Davao City. And now that we have an internet connection, I feel like a horse with a carrot dangling just out of reach—our days have been so packed with activities that I have had no energy left to write anything, much less post it. This has been my regret on this trip—that I was not able to bring you along with me the way I would have wished.
However, I have been taking notes, and lots of pictures! I still plan to write of my experiences, but you will have to read of them as I am able to write them, rather than as I am living them. I have appreciated all of your comments so far!
My time in Arizona should allow me more opportunities to write and post, so I am still planning to give you real-time updates around my trial on January 27th.
I will post at least a couple more times before we leave the Philippines in a few days. More later!