A lot can happen in a month and my blog posts don’t cover everything! So here’s a segment called ‘My Little Peace Corps Life’. Each month I’ll post my 10 best pictures from the month with a little information. Enjoy:
1. Sunsets in the Situ
I can almost guarantee there will always be a sunset picture in these segments! Sunsets in the Philippines are gorgeous and always a little bit different. This one is taken from my Host Situ. After work, now that days are getting longer, I have time to walk to watch the sunset. This picture was taken at the end of the sea wall. The sea wall leads to a pasture with a few cows and the sea. Around 6pm I’m the only person there besides the occasional fisherman or farmer passing through. It’s peaceful and quiet and just what I need to close my day.
Sunset Watching Pro Tip: Cloudy skies make more interesting sunsets than clear skies.
2. Rice Fields of the Provinces
When riding the jeep through the provinces this is a common sight on either side of the highway. I’m sure I absentmindedly took this picture while I was waiting for the jeep to go into the city. The fields of green, and gold when the rice is about ready to harvest, are always looking so picturesque.
3. Recycled Crafts and Creativity
While waiting for our fisherfolk to show up to a meeting in one of the Coastal Barangays we came upon these little critters. A local creative soul created these little characters out of paper.
4. Yuri’s Cross Cultural Street Performance
My Sitemate had a JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) Volunteer at her site who had been there for a year and a half when we arrived in September. March seemed so far away back then, it was all too soon when her two years came to a close this past month! Prior to her Dispidita, Yuri had to fulfill a life long dream: To give a street performance. Since it’s far too embarrassing to do this in your home country, why not in a country you’re about to leave!? So Yuri got to fulfill her dream in the little Municipality she called home for two years before returning to Japan. The performance included a Japanese song, a Filipino song, and an English song, and a lot of laughter and pictures.
5. CHEL ~goes gardening~ under the SEA
Coral gardening at a fellow Peace Corps Volunteer’s site was definitely a highlight this month! My sitemate and I traveled an entire day to help out with this project. We went snorkeling first to find pieces of branching coral that had broken off a gigantic reef. This reef just below the surface of the water, looked like rolling hills of branching coral. Then we SCUBA dove to transplant them to a reef in need of some sprucing up. Hopefully the little corals will thrive there and help rejuvenate the reef.
6. My Big Chicken Coop
In March I decided to move closer to work into my own apartment. When I was getting ready to move stuff out my officemate asked my Host Kuya why I was moving out. He responded that ‘Chelsea is like the chicken. She was small, but now that she is grown, she can go around. Of course she’ll come back to visit, but she can go around on her own now.” Later he told me the word for grown chicken in Bicol is ‘Taree”. So Taree Chelsea, moved into her own apartment.
7. Working Overtime
Moving out means I can work overtime! My officemates and I accompanied some farmers bringing their harvest from the fields to a nearby Municipality’s saod. Of course we had to take pictures for those pesky documentation reports.
8. A New Sunset Vantage Point
Turns out Volcanoes at sunset can be just as breathtaking as the sea! Just as the sun sets it casts a golden hue over everything, and the topography of the volcano’s peak is illuminated by the unique angle of the sun. A fun new sunset to add to my professional sunset watcher’s portfolio.
9. Tita Chelsea! Tita Chelsea!
I of course returned back to my home Situ, like a good taree, and visited with my host family for a host cousin’s graduation. Immediately I was welcomed and fed. As I sat eating pansit, lumpia, ‘dirty ice cream’ and binuton my name ‘Tita Chelsea’ was sang from the stairs, from the street, from the floor and from the couches! These three, along with the rest of my host family, made it feel good to be home!
10. Helping out and Doing Zumba
I’ve started helping out in the barangays my new home is surrounded by. This weekend, after some 5:30am Zumba, we cleaned up the garden and potted some new plants to decorate the little coastal barangay streets!
That’s it for now! Look out for this month’s segment of ‘My Little Peace Corps Life’. With two trips planned for April I’m sure to have a hard time limiting my picks to just 10!