Slightly late, but take a look at my top 10 pictures for April. This month was filled with adventures! In the beginning of the month I traveled to Japan with a few of my batchmates, then to Malapascua for Holy Week where I went SCUBA diving, and finally a weekend trip to a nearby cold spring to beat the summer heat.

10. Sunset ‘lakaw lakaw’ 

This is a picture of my little municipality as seen on one of my evening walks. The only times appropriate for ‘lakaw lakaw’ (walking) is early in the morning, or after the sun has begun to set. When I get home from work it’s too hot to stay in my apartment, so I wander down to the pier, and watch the sunset.

9. ‘Sarap an Tubig! 

The only reasonable thing to do on the weekends this summer is swimming in the cold springs! ‘Sarap an tubig’ directly translates to ‘the water is delicious’ but is commonly used as an expression to say the water is refreshing. These day trips always include a large picnic spread of Filipino foods, and plenty of ‘karigos’ (bathing/swimming).

8. Holy Week in Malapascua

This little island took a jeepney, van, plane, taxi, bus, AND ferry to get to! Malapascua is world renowned for its thresher shark sitings!  100 feet underwater I stared into the murky seascape. My eyes were drawn to every shadow just trying to catch a glimpse of this deep sea shark’s distinct elongated caudal fin used for stunning prey.  Unfortunately with the terrible visibility we were unable to see any threshers.  Sayang, I still got to spend a nice holiday with my batchmates on this gorgeous island eating good food and sharing in fun times.

7. THE LUMINEERS IN TOKYO

The whole reason I ended up on this trip to Japan was to see this band play in Tokyo. A really amazing performance by one of my favorite bands.

6. Japan is old

We found a small Sake Brewery in Kawiguchiko that was being run by the same family for 21 generations. In addition to a fun brewery tour, the owners also gave us a tour of their house and pointed out these trees in their garden.  Some of the trees were nearly 400 years old!

5. RAMEN! 

Hands down the best ramen I’ve ever had in my life. This restaurant was the epitome of Japan’s introverted culture.  You could eat an entire meal here without ever speaking or seeing someone’s face. A vending machine outside took your money, you sat in a single booth with a small window in front of you, filled out a form to specify how you wanted your ramen, there was a tap for water in your booth, and a person would push your ramen through the window when it was ready.

4. Who needs a new piranha?

We spent one afternoon wandering around a shopping center near our hostel. The array of items you could happen upon in these stores was astounding. Of all of them, this was my favorite find. Just a piranha in a fish tank….

3. Tourists kami

My travel buddies ☺️ we thoroughly enjoyed being tourists, freezing our butts off, drinking lots of sake, eating lots of sushi, and taking thousands of pictures of the cherry blossoms beginning to bloom in Tokyo.

3. CHERRY BLOSSOMS

Since we planned our Japan trip around The Lumineers concert, it was a serendipitous discovery that our stay would align with cherry blossom season!  Bright pink trees lined the streets even in busy Tokyo.

1. Japanese Culture  

During the Meiji period Japan began to feel the pressure to industrialize.  Emperor Meiji highlighted the importance of retaining the Japanese culture as they transitioned from an isolated feudal country to an industrialized imperial world power.  Although this modernization resulted in drastic changes to Japan’s social, political, and industrial, constructs; the culture was retained.   105 years after the Meiji period the uniqueness of Japanese culture is still intact.

Tapos Na.

The month of May has now begun and summer is in full swing! I expect to be visiting the cold springs around my area quite often just to get some degree of relief from the summer ‘init’.

2 thoughts on “My Little Peace Corps Life: April 2017

  1. Chels, you always have the most interesting stories. You sure had a great month in April. Japan looks beautiful, those trees are just magnificent. Your trip to Mala…… looks so relaxing , the beach so clean , you must have relished every minute – certainly after such an adventure to even get there. I wish I could send you an air conditioner to cool down in the coming months, but those cold springs sound wonderful. Just a few months I get to see your beautiful face, we will be so happy. Love you honey, enjoy your time there and remember – May is already 8 days old. Love Nana

    Liked by 1 person

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