Off I go onto the next chapter of my life volunteering as a Peace Corps Coastal Resource Management Extension Worker

Saturday, September 21, 2013

No Fooling- Reef Check Training Was Fantastic

April 1, 2013
Kenzie's two. I love you Kenzie

We had to split Reef Check training into two groups going two different weeks so I signed up for the first session so I’d be doing something memorable on my granddaughter, Kenzie’s second birthday April 2nd. I’m missing so much; so many of her ‘firsts’. I’m super grateful and happy when I get to see her and talk to her on Skype.
Here's Andrew Horan, Andrew Wynn, Allison Hoffman, Russ Halliday, me and our counterparts, Country Director Denny Robertson, AC and Francis and PCV Trainers Elliot Lam and Ben Stacy
Ben giving me and my counterpart DenDen our certificates
The training was held in Mabini, Batangas, across the bay from where all 13 of us CRM PCVs visited and  snorkeled or dove in August during Pre-Service Training. It's a beautiful and popular place for divers. We saw dolphins and tea turtles!
This is where we went down to the boats that took us to the dive sites

I'm a Scuba Diver Now!

March 21, 2013
Thank you Dr. Montes (June)
I spent a few days at the Visayan University outside of Baybay earning my Open Water diving certification with Dr. Humberto Montes. I stayed on campus again at the Alumni House which was conveniently close to the marine lab where I did the book work and listened to the lectures before we hit the pool and then the sea.. It’s only 100 pesos a night, just right on a PCV budget = $2.50.
The Alumni House
My first time here we had a surprise evacuation drill and were intructed to get to our consolidation point ASAP. We were timed. I think I made it in less than an hour. Laura lives there but the other five had much further to travel. It was great! seven of us in this gigantic room with 14 bunks. This time it was just me except one night I made two new girlfriends Pew and Ann who spent the night. Ann was there as a sales rep for a company that provides scientific equipment to the university and Pew is a diver and works at an oyster farm in Palawan. She dives 80 feet three times a week to clean algae off the oysters. If it’s not done they can’t feed. Dr. Montes was her diving trainer too.
Ann and Pew
My breakfast waiting for me; skyflakes, an orange and Starbucks Via coffee

I love this crazy mushroom frog fountain in front. It reminds me of my home at Frog Creek Organic Farm in Port Angeles
The campus is on beach front where I was able to watch the sunset and some little girls sang for me.

 This was great but the sad news was my favorite new puppy GelBoy got poisoned and died while I was gone and Swift went into premature labor and gave birth to three stillborn puppies. Then the other new puppy, Toffee died from dysentery. The mortality rate for dogs here is so high and sad.
I hope they're frolicking in dogie heaven, happy, free, healthy, never hungry or thirsty or bothered by fleas and ticks or other parasites.

Friday, September 06, 2013

My First Trip to Cebu, Second largest City in the Philippines

March 15, 2013
View of Cebu from our room

I came home after being at the office only an hour and a half to find my laptop had been stolen out of my room. Up until this time I hadn't been keeping my door locked but from this point onward I sure do. Now we’re all more careful about locking the front door and the gate to the street. Someone must have been watching me and the house   very closely and knew everyone was gone and/or busy out  back at the restaurant.
Norma and Anita BFF
This same day I was leaving for Cebu with Anita and her friend Norma who was flying back to the States.  Norma has been living in Arizona for over 30 years working as a nurse like so many Filipinos living and working overseas.It was stressful. I had a couple hours to deal with changing passwords to different accounts and found my system had already been hacked. I had everything backed up on an exterior hard drive, thankfully they didn't take that, and regularly transfer photos to it. #1 Lesson learned-don't have your computers set up to automatically log you in to everything on start up. Keep it so a password is needed before anything else opens.