Monday, July 7, 2014

"They called it Paradise". (Yes an Eagle's reference).

Hello Everyone,

Today was my first full day away from Tacloban and in Boracay. I have not stopped thinking about the students, the nuns, the teachers and the school. Boracay is very different. First, everywhere you walk somebody wants to sell you something. My favorite is the guy who wanted to sell me a black pearl necklace for 200 US dollars. If only he believed me when I said, I only have the equivalent of 23 US dollars (1000 pesos). While this seems like nothing at all, you should realize that my hotel (paid for by card already) provides free breakfast and that I can buy an adequate lunch/dinner for 30-40 pesos. For this amount I can get rice and chicken or noodles with vegetables and beef or an egg and cheese omelet. I am leaving the Philippines for Indonesia on Thursday morning so at this current rate I can have about 800 pesos to spend on gifts for people back home or I can survive off breakfast and my peanut butter and matzos (yes I brought three of each for the trip and am currently finishing the first of each) and have all 1000 to spend on better priced gifts. Like the lady who offered me two hand woven with pretty shells coin purses and a necklace for 450 pesos (each alone would be 200 but discount for all 3). Secondly, as my story above indicates it is clearly a tourist destination (I think Tacloban was before the Typhoon but don't quote me) and as a result myself and even the locals are a bit overwhelmed by the crowds. Maybe I am starting to get a bit homesick, maybe I just really felt something in Tacloban that this place doesn't feel right, maybe something else or a combination of things but I just have not felt like this is my type of lifestyle. In other news, another Typhoon (headed towards Japan) has brought a forecast of 80% chance of rain the whole week. I made it to the beach for just under an hour before it began to downpour. But, here are some pics of my beach trip.

On the Beach
The Triple Package

"Be Ocean Minded". Help Keep our Beaches Clean

On da Beach Still

Beach Bod Pic

Triple Package

After my beach time, I came back to the room where I worked on making a list of Masters in Education Graduate Programs (applying to eight) and started an essay that I will mold to fit each. I have written many education essays so this one was a combination of bits and pieces with transitions to make them fit. In case you were curious in no set order other than MATCH core being my top choice here is the list: MATCH CORE (in Boston), John Hopkins, Vanderbilt, Texas, Kansas, Boston College, William and Mary, UVA, NanYang Tech in Singapore (see earlier post for pictures and description). I also read more of the Triple Package and began outlining my paper on education disparity. Tomorrow, (if it is not as rainy) I will visit the international school that the Island is known for. All day having been used I got dinner (50 pesos because water is 20 pesos) I had a homemade version of every college student's favorite Raman Noodles (better for my health because it was not processed). 

Outside my Hotel


Hotel Welcome Sign

My bed  = two twin ULTRA BED)

Hot Showers

Tonight's thank you Shout-Out goes to three different people.

The first one is Dilon Buhlig. Thank you for being a good friend. We have definitely gotten closer in the last two years and for that I am glad. Also, thank you for booking my hotel here in Boracay (remember how much Wi-Fi issues I had in Tacloban everybody). The room is clean and big, and it is a 1-minute walk to the beach. The sustained Wi-Fi and free breakfast (included in price of room) have also been great. More about you though, I enjoy hanging out with you because we can have fun doing anything and have a good amount of shared interests. I look forward to hanging out with you this fall! PS we really need more pictures together that are not blowout school sponsored activities.

Second and third thank you to Coach Shenk and Miss Byers aka AB. Coach, you taught me many things both directly and indirectly. First, you taught me more than I could have ever understood about baseball (from pitch tendencies to defensive strategies, etc). Secondly, you gave me an opportunity to play baseball again (my favorite sport ever) when I had accepted I wouldn't be able to play anymore after I was 12. You brought back out my love for the game and I enjoyed every moment from getting to start on senior day to bucket drills and chasing precious foul balls. Third, and most important you taught me about the game of Life. You taught me the importance of balance (work hard, play hard), of being a good leader even if you are not good or the best at something, you taught me to always find a way to do the things that make you happy. So thank you. Miss Byers for being another mother in my life. From keeping me on track and on task in both school and baseball. Honestly, I never was a big chocolate or brownie fan, but there is something about your brownies that removes both of these dislikes. Thank you for continuing to be a good role model, care-giver and passionate fan of LHS baseball. The boys will realize (hopefully before they graduate) how much you care about them and its much deeper then just baseball. Thank you for putting up with my visits and listening to all my craziness that is my life. If you need any help with anything this year please let me know. I hope your ankle feels a lot better soon and that the kitty has good health for a long time. Can't wait to see you and tell you all about my trip!

P.S. I may have to actually pay for and buy a new hat coach. I gave mine to a little kid in Tacloban who liked it and wanted to try it on.

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