Hola! Or should I say Mabuhay!
Today is my first day back to work after almost a month away in the Philippines. Fortunately (or unfortunately?!?!) jet lag + Daylight Savings Time caused me to wake up at 3 am so I went from over 450 unread emails to just 13. By 8:00 am, I had already eaten a spaghetti dinner, cleaned my apt, and caught up on all of the latest episodes of ‘Once Upon a Time.’
With all of this extra time, I thought I’d take you on a little walking tour of my mom’s hometown.
Nestled among the foothills of the mountains, Saluyong is rather removed from the comforts of the outside world. Yet it is rich in natural resources — I showered with water from a fresh spring, had access to all the coconuts I could eat, and woke up to the sounds of roosters crowing every morning. At first it was a bit annoying since roosters wake up really early, but with a sunrise view like this…how can you be mad? #HashBrownNoFilter
My family lives almost directly across from the elementary school, where both of my grandparents were sent away to teach when they were younger (think Laura Ingalls Wilder but island style). They were one of the first people to help develop the school and my grandfather eventually became principal. He told me that he was the first person to have a motorcycle in the area and my grandma used to ride in the back!
This is my niece hanging out in our family garden right before pre-school. Isn’t her uniform adorable?
There’s no WiFi here (which meant I -TOTALLY- missed out on the drama that unfolded between Khloe and Lamar while I was gone) so kids have to entertain themselves in other ways. These children are part of the local scouting program and here they are learning to build tents out of palm leaves since there is no REIs or LL Beans in Saluyong.
Tug of War is an international game but instead of rope these kids are using bamboo. Like most American kids, basketball is life for many Filipino youths…but their courts sure do not look anything like the courts at home.
One of (pretty much the only) main attraction in Saluyong is a natural spring pool that is owned by the family of one of my the family of my mom’s childhood best friend. To get there we walked past the school, into a bunch of random coconut trees, crossed the river, past the water buffalo, past the chicken and dog playing together, up a small mountain and finally beautiful, sweet, cool relief.
That’s it for now! If I’m still jet lagged tomorrow check back for information on the secret world of coconut oil.