Just over two weeks in the Philippines…
Week #1: Culture Shock
Upon arrival to Iloilo city, we stayed in hotel (that was more like a glorified hostel), close to the office that we will be working in for most of our stay here. While we had hoped to get started on everything, from living accommodations to job responsibilities… Instead we were granted with the week off to get over the jet lag… & the jet lag was REAL.
By the end of the week we had finally found a place to rent for the next 6 months. FINALLY. With a week full of meltdowns & culture shock, it truly was a breath of fresh air to know that there was a place to unpack & relax if I wanted to. As well, the last Canadian interning in Iloilo city arrived here.
We spent the weekend unpacking and gathering things needed for easier living at the house. It is a more modern house than what is usually found in the Philippines, so we are happy that we were able to find it. It is small, but will be easy to clean. Now I just have to get used to living with 2 boys!
Week #2: Guimaras
Our first full week of work was on the island of Guimaras. This trip was scheduled before they knew that us interns would be here, so we basically got to just tag along. We stayed in a resort in the John B. Lacson Maritime Foundation Eco Park! It was beautiful. In Igang Bay (where the resort is located), there is a large marine protected area as well as a mangrove sanctuary (implemented in 2006)… Right up my alley!
Lucky for me, I have my advanced diving certification! I was fortunate enough to participate in 4 dives between Monday Oct. 3 and Wednesday Oct. 5. During these dives we surveyed the marine life of different sections of the reef within the marine protected area to monitor the improvement of the coral & marine life.
I had never done this before! It was a big highlight for me to have learned how to do these marine surveys & from other divers as well! This 6 month stay in the Philippines will be all about networking. I’m excited that I now have the opportunity to travel within the Philippines to go on some dives with these new people that I have met.
After our 5 days in Guimaras, my mama was in Iloilo city waiting for me!
She flew here from Bangkok, Thailand (where her & my dad are living) for the weekend. I am so lucky to have my parents so nearby. This is the closest I’ve lived to them for 4 years! They’re even closer to me now, than when they still lived in Alberta and I was at school in Newfoundland.
Mama & I explored the city, tried new foods, travelled on 4 forms of Filipino transportation (taxi, jeepney, boat & tricycle), walked around A LOT & got ridiculously sunburned during our beach day on Guimaras. Busy weekend! Fun weekend!
Now it’s back to my solo Iloilo life! I’ll admit, it’s been extremely challenging for me here. Everything is extremely different here! Duh. It’s a totally new country. New food, new living situation, new way of life, new job. This list goes on & on.
- I have a place to live
- I now know how to take a jeepney to work & to the mall all by myself
- I know 3 Ilongo words (one of many Filipino dialects)
- I have a SIM card that works so I am able to communicate with family & friends
- I have a project to work on for my job (related to my job & studies too – bonus!)
But it’s all part of the adventure. All part of living a sojourn life. It’s intimidating, challenging, overwhelming & exciting… But it’s just temporary!
Follow my YouTube channel for videos I’ll be posting of my travels. The link for this is in the sidebar of my blog page!