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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Mall Security in the Philippines

Last Saturday I took a visit to the mall for the first time.  It's similar to the malls in America except trying to find something in the lost and found is a little bit of an adventure.

One of my last stops was to pick up a phone card, which I paid for in pesos just like everything I pay for is.  However, in the process I lost my Peace Corps given phone.  When I got back to IIRR (which is where I live until tomorrow morning) I realized I lost the phone & more importantly, I realized I had to make another trip to the mall to possibly find a phone that may never turn up. 

The next day I take the Jeepney, which is a small bus that could cram up to 25-30 people if it wants, but I think on this trip we were just over 20.  Once we arrive, I dart straight over to the Smartphone section where I lost the phone & tell them about the situation.  They look in their drawers to no avail and summon the mall security.  About 3 or 4 security guards arrive & then talk in their walkie talkies in tagalog (which I haven't mastered yet), loud enough & long enough to make me look nervous even though I didn't do anything.  At this point, I am praying no other Peace Corps Trainee is stairing at me at this point because with all the security around it looks like I just got caught shoplifting.

Then one of the guards tells me to follow him to what I think is the lost and found section.  I follow him upstairs throught the department store & into the employee locker room.  Now I am thinking, 'ok seriously, what did I do.'  After I walk down past the employee section, I finally enter a room where I sit down with three other guards, one of them is the Head security.  He asks me for my identity, which I didn't have at the time.  I had left it at in my room.  I couldn't believe it.  I kept telling the guard the brand of the phone & the names on the phone, but I guess it wasn't enough.  Luckily, I think the guard felt sorry for me & returned the phone to me.  It hasn't left my side ever since.

Moral of the story, watch were you put your junk.  You never know if you'll get it back.  Next time I write I'll be in Dinalupihan in the Province of Bataan.  Farewell from the Municipality of Silang.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Tough Landing

I wish I meant that title was because of the total 20 hour flight from Chicago to Manilla, Philippines.  No the tough landing title comes from the tough spill I had after the flight.  I suffered a seizure on Sunday night in the midnight hour, fell down & separated my shoulder.  I just had an MRI done today.  I should be able to stay, but I guess that’s up to the MRI.  I am on pins & needles.

Enough scarcity.  What’s it like down here?  Well for one, it’s HOT.  Humid is a better word, but not as much as I thought, but I shouldn’t write that too soon, I’ve only been here for five days. 

I am in batch # 270 & there are over 60 volunteers in my batch alone serving both the Education & CYF (Children, Youth, Family) Sectors. (I am in the Education Sector.)  The range of age varies with the youngest being 21 & the oldest being in their mid 60s.  Anyway it’s great working & living with these people in these first two weeks before we all head out to our sites.  Speaking of sites, I just found out where I’ll be stationed & I'll be in the province of Bataan teaching English in the secondary level, which is mostly high school.

The food here is terrific, but I don’t want to comment on the food until I get to my actual site.  Although it’s good, most of the food is westernized, which is probably why there is no difference in taste.

Everyone, I am sorry  I haven’t kept up with updates, but I’ve been trying to keep up myself.  I now realize how little this blog might be, but I’ll try to keep you updated at home from time to time because I plan on staying all 27 months.  Although my arm is in a sling, there’s no quit in me.  I didn’t change my life 360 to come back after a week.