Sunday, February 24, 2008

Bohol: Days 3 and 4

I didn't have internet access last night, so I'm including my chocolate hills trip in this update.

Yesterday I took a jeepney to Loboc and decided against doing the Loboc River tour. I just wanted to make sure I got a room at the Chocolate Hills, which turned out not to be a problem. I took the bus (a crowded, very asian bus) for about an hour and a half until I reached the site.

They are beautiful, that's for sure. I watched the sun set over them, and got up early for a sunrise, and it was too cloudy so I went to bed for a few more hours.

Then I did something really impulsive. I loathe bus riding (no surprises there), so I hired a motorcycle taxi to take me back to Loboc. I was a little nervous climbing on, because I had no helmet and had like 15 pounds on my back (I had my backpack with me). It turned out to be sooo much faster than the bus though. I took a jeepney from Loboc back to Tagbilaran, and hired a tricycle to take me out to Alona Beach, where I am now.

The resort I'm staying at, I wasn't originally intending on staying. There was a such a huge language barrier between me and the tricycle driver, I just decided to stick it out. I'm paying more for a night here than I do for a whole month at more dorm.

BUT, the place is gorgeous, and the room is nice (hot water showers!) and the beach is fantastic. Never in my life did I imagine these places existed for real. I just thought all of the pictures were well edited.

I'm going to stick around the beach tomorrow and maybe do some snorkeling, and then I head back to Manila around 4pm.

I have really enjoyed this trip so far. It's not the most fun ever traveling alone, but I'm glad I've seen what I visited. I've pretty much decided to cancel my trip to Banaue though, because I do detest buses that much, and I don't want to do another trip by myself. I discussed it with Mom, and frankly, I just don't really want to go. It's much more relaxing to stay in Los Banos, and I only have a few weekends left. =D

Alright, enjoy the pictures!

Bohol

Friday, February 22, 2008

Bohol: Day 2

Well, I didn't do QUITE as much as I had hoped to today, haha. I did a LOT of walking. It was sort of reminiscent to my day in San Francisco in August.

I don't know why, but I have an unexplainable aversion of public transportation. I despise buses, tolerate taxis, and avoid tricycles and jeepneys all together. I prefer to walk.

I crossed the bridge onto Punglao in search of the caves that I had read about. Supposedly only 6 km from Tagbilaran, which is less than 4 miles. Well, I'm convinced this is an imaginary cave. I never found it! :o)

It's really no big deal though, because really, the whole reason I came on this trip is for the Chocolate Hills and Alona Beach, which are coming Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Anything else I do on top of that is just bonus. So I got a pretty decent tour of the more residential areas of Punglao Island, haha. :oD

I had dinner at a nice restaraunt, and then because there's not much to do after dark, I saw Vantage Point at the mall. It was a pretty intense movie, but it kept rewinding (it's part of the movie, to play back parts), which sort of got irritating after a while. But it was very exciting. And now I'm here, in my room, and just about ready to go to bed. Check out the album given in my previous post for a few pictures from today's adventure!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Day 1: Tagbilaran City

I just stepped out of the first hot shower I have had since December 29th--The morning I left Seattle after Christmas. Let me tell you...It was GLORIOUS. Many of you may think "hey, it's 90F out there, a cold shower would feel good."

No it certainly does not.

Nothing can describe the feeling of every hair on your body shooting straight up as that involentary yelp explodes from your vocal chords. It never fails...every time. So needless to say, the hot shower felt great. =D

I didn't have much daylight today, just a couple of hours. I went down to the K of C Promenade to watch the sunset and then grab some dinner.

Bohol


Tomorrow I plan on visiting a couple of waterfalls or possibly a cave. I haven't decided which direction I'm going to head yet. Saturday I am going to go to the Chocolate Hills and stay overnight, and then Sunday night I'm going to search for a place to stay in Alona Beach...Hopefully I can find something.

The Tagbilaran Airport is hardly an airport...its more of an airstrip. There is one building, but it was a little weird getting off a full-size jet and walking across the tarmac. =D A fun experience though!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

More Ramblings...

video

[EDIT] Apparently some of you can't here this... (Chelsea, how did you?) and I can't check it right now because I'm at my office. It's on facebook as well, so check it out there...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Thursday, February 14, 2008

This is horrifying!

I just saw this on the cnn website-- yikes...

Hilary looks like she's singing something from a broadway production... =D It's like Election 2008: The Musical. Now would that be a gem... ROFL!

On a more serious note, I just read about the shootings at Northern Illinois University. I would imagine that after Virginia Tech and now this, college campuses are going to start changing. Is it just me or is life in general turning into a prison? Metal detectors, security guards... *sigh*

"Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil..."



Pride comes before the fall...

Well, my last email to my family was sort of smug about the weather we'd been having here. It's been sunny and warm, and things are just starting to warm up in Texas. Well...

Today is COLD. I'm actually wearing long sleeves! It seriously felt like a Memorial Day weekend up at the cottage...sort of cloudy, windy, and cool. I admit, it was a nice change from the constant sweat, but I'm certainly not used to it. I suppose I'd better get ready for it, as from the looks of things Michigan could still have SNOW in April when I get home. ;o)

Well, I'm off to small group! We started studying Ezra last week. (???) I don't make these decisions. I'm a little frustrated I never finished Jeremiah...maybe I'll do it over the summer. But last week made for a fun read. We read through all 10 chapters of Ezra, which is full of geneologies and names that are really difficult to pronounce. But, it's in the Bible, so it must be worth reading!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Fertilizing in Victoria

This has been a good last couple of weeks for my internship. I'm excited that I'm getting to try a few new things and have some interesting topics for my presentation next fall.

Fertilizing here is WAY different than in Michigan. There was zero machinery involved, and 5 of us working in the field. We did 8 plots (which is less than an acre), and it took us about 3 hours. In the US, it probably would have been done in less than 20 minutes.

The "equipment" that we used was honestly a plastic bottle cap, a bin of granular urea (mixed with something, I couldn't tell), and a sharp piece of bamboo (or a machete). The corn field was planted on Feb 1, and had been prepped for fertilization before we arrived. My job was to cover up the fertilizer with soil, which was like concrete.

The two women used the bottlecap as a measure of how much fertilizer to put in each hole, and two other guys and I used the bamboo/machetes to fill in the holes. There were a lot of holes. :o)

I am just really glad I finally got to participate in a field operation! :D Along with my rice-measuring and fertilizer weighing I did last Sunday, I'd say it's been pretty educational.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Feb Fair

This week is "Feb Fair" on campus. I have no idea what that means, but something is happening. There are bamboo tents set up all over the athletic field. They started working at some point yesterday.

I'm thinking it's something like Party at the Aud for MSU or something... At least it looks similar. I'm going to have to walk through sometime when I get the chance.

Other than that, I don't have too much that is new to report. I'm heading out to Bohol next Thursday, which should be a good time. Well, I'm thinking it's time for me to get some coffee. More coming later this week...

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Balut!

Well, last night at small group we had balut afterward. Some of you may not understand why this was such a big deal to me, so here's some background.

I don't think it can be denied that I am a HUGE fan of Survivor. Well, in both the China and Palau seasons, they had to eat balut as an immunity challenge. Last season, Denise (aka waste of space--a complete bore), threw a fit while eating it and couldn't get it down, ruining quite an ingenius plan by the rest of her tribe.

/end dorkiness immediately/

So needless to say, I had to see if it was really that awful.
Balut is a partially developed duck egg that is considered a delicacy here in the Philippines. There are bones, feathers, and even a beak depending how far along it has developed. The black part in the pictures below are feathers...
(click on pictures to zoom in)
Well...I ate two of them! Ha ha, it really doesn't taste that bad. The feathers are a little weird, and I wasn't a huge fan of the cruchiness at times... but for the most part it just tasted sort of like a mix of poultry and egg. I wouldn't make a meal of it, but occasionally its good. :o) There's quite a bit of juice that comes out too, which is sort of nasty...but you're actually just supposed to slurp it out of the egg. HAHA. It sounds so gross, but it's all psychological. If you think about what you're eating, it's awful. But hey, it's just a duck right? ;oD

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Time for a change in scenery...

I got a little tired of the way my blog looked, so I decided to switch it up a bit. I don't really have too much going on for the rest of the week. I'm going to go into Manila again on Saturday and see a movie...maybe National Treasure 2. Some Wendy's will be nice, too! :D

Well, have a good Wednesday!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Ilocos Norte, Vigan, and Baguio

I'll write more about my trip later. I'm busy with an assignment I forgot about. :o\ Enjoy the pictures!

Ilocos, Vigan, and Baguio