Saturday, June 18, 2011

Saying Goodbye

Written on my iPhone - June 16...

I feel ill.

I'm in the car, headed to the community center for the last time.

I hate goodbyes, especially when those goodbyes are forever.

I've already said goodbye to my friends at the girls shelter... some of the sweetest girls you will ever meet. Girls who didn't get a fair shot. Girls who had their childhood taken away from them because of violence and abuse. Girls that still smile, and laugh and go right on living when I'm not sure I could. Girls who are stronger than I could ever be. Girls I admire.

It was a hard goodbye.

I held it together at the girls shelter, I held it together in the car ride home, but as soon as I walked through my front door, and turned the lock I cried. I cried for at least an hour, big tears.

Tears that couldn't be stopped with wine or choclocate.

I think I hate goodbyes because I'm not very good at them. There is nothing poetic about my goodbyes, never those perfect screen worthy goodbyes. I say nothing worth remembering, in fact, I usually say nothing at all.

Words bring tears and I hate crying in front of people, especially if it's the last time I will see them.

Saying goodbye turns good days into bad.

I feel a bad day coming on.

I feel ill.

***

It was worse than expected. Way worse.

And not because I had to break up a fight or because I got poked in the eye with a paint brush...

But because they had planned a goodbye program...

I did alright at first... I didn't cry when they walked in one by one carrying a rose, I didn't cry when they handed them to me and said thank you, I didn't cry as they sang their song about being a family and how they are glad I shared my life with them, I didn't cry while they read their cards, or when they presented me with the banner they had painted.

It wasn't until it was over...

They started chanting for me to give a speech.

I opened my mouth to speak and burst into tears.

It. was. terrible.

I hate goodbyes.


Nearing the End

When I started my "Final Countdown" series of posts I envisioned writing a post every day for the last 25 days of our time here in the Philippines. My last post was day 24, and as I'm writing this we are at day 7. So much for that plan...

I've found myself not being able to write about this place anymore. Not that there aren't things to write about, but I just don't feel the need to do it anymore.

Perhaps it's because I know this is the last chapter of my journey here in the Philippines and I'm not sure how I want it to end, or if I want it to end at all.

I've found myself slowing down, dragging it out, not sure I want it to be over just yet.

I no longer read in the car.

I used to read from the time I got in the car, until the time I got out in order to pass the time. Now, I find myself staring out the window... taking notice of every palm tree, every jeepney, every store front, burning these images into my brain so I can keep them with me.

Keep them with me and never forget.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Final Countdown - 24 Days

We got rid of the Green Machine. - Goodbye and good riddance.

I couldn't have been happier to see her go.

If only the whole process hadn't been highlighted by the fact that unbeknownst to me, the buttons on my shirt had popped wide open during the transaction - not only did they get a new car... but a peep show as well. Of course, Lee thought it best not to say anything. At least not until we were back inside...

Lee: Look down.

Me: Why?

Lee: Because your shirt is wide open.

Me: OMG!

Lee: Yeah, it was like that the whole time.

Me: And you didn't think to maybe... I don't know... Tell me?!

Lee: I didn't want to draw more attention to you...

Me: Gee... thanks...


24 days.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Final Countdown - 25 Days

The countdown has begun... the end of our Philippine adventure is drawing near and I never thought it would come.

We got back from a trip to the states about a month ago, and ever since then I've been in a constant state of either boxing things up, giving things away, or throwing things out.

I have made an extensive inventory which lists all of our possessions.... down to the last sock.

Neurotic and bored is not a good combination.


25 days and counting...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Max in the Philippines... Part 3 - The Massage

Max had never had a massage before, so I told him he should get one here. They are a fraction of the price, and often times way better.

I hadn't used my original massage therapist in a while. She always did the same thing, and tried to bend me like pretzel... and I'm not really down with that. So I was looking for someone new. I made a call, and was told someone would come by the house that afternoon to give my brother and I massages. Perfect.

I turned our workout room into a massage room. (Meaning, I laid a towel on the workout mat, and used a neck roll as a face pillow...)

It was decided I would go first, and then Max would follow. The lady started with my head, and then had me turn over on to my stomach so she could work on my back... and that's when it happened.

Massage Lady: Sometimes, when I do the massage I will burp.

Me: (Did she say burp? I look up...) You burp?

Massage Lady: Yes, I will burp.

Me: You will burp.

Massage Lady: Yes, because when I am touching you the cold is transferred from your body through my fingers. If I don't burp out your cold, I will get dizzy and fall over.

Me: Right. So, you absorb my cold?

Massage Lady: Yes. I absorb your pain, your cold, through my fingers and burp it out.

Me: Allllrriiight then.

Seriously?

How do I attract these looney tunes?!

I mean, what does that say about me?

Massage Lady: Buuuuurrrrppppp! Buuuurrrrrrpppp!

OMG. Is this for real?

Massage Lady: Buuuuurrrrppppp! Buuuurrrrrrpppp!

These are not the barely audible feminine burps you would expect to come out of a woman this small. These are the belches of a 300 pound giant. She would win any burping contest. She would blow the competition out of the water!

Massage Lady: Buuuuurrrrrppp! Buuurrrrrrppppp!

Ok, this has got to be a joke. At any moment Lee is going to walk in laughing his ass off, and show me the hidden camera. I'm being punked.


Massage Lady: Buuuuurrrrppppp! Buuuurrrrrrpppp!

Oh yuck. I think she almost puked....


Massage Lady: Buuuuurrrrppppp! Buuuurrrrrrpppp!

OMG. What is Max going to do? He is going to freak out! Hahahaha! Do I tell him this chick burps or should I just let her surprise him? Hahaha!


Massage Lady: Buuuuurrrrrppp! Buuurrrrrrppppp!

It's at this point I can't keep silent any longer. I am tense all over from trying not to snicker, and I keep picturing the look on Max's face when he first hears her burp. ( I will find out later that he has already heard the burping over the sound of two air conditioning units, behind two closed doors and down a hallway. He thinks the massage is so good, and I'm so relaxed, that I'mthe one who is burping.... that I can't help myself.)

I realize I'm never going to relax, and the only way to keep from laughing is to talk to this crazy lady.

Me: So... how long have you been doing this?

Massage Lady: I took a five day seminar.

Me: Really? Five days huh?

Massage Lady: Yes. And then people were like, Juliette, can you massage my head? Or can you massage my shoulders? And I said, ok.

Me: Excellent.

...

Me: So... what about the burping? How did that start?

Massage Lady: The burping?

Me: Yes, I've had lots of massages... and never is there burping.

Massage Lady: Ahhh... Yes. My father was a healer. You know, heals the bones. I get it from him.

Me: Ah. (Oh Lord, please help me remember all this until I can write it down.)

...

It is then that she rubs her hands together back and forth very quickly and then lays them on my back.

Massage Lady: You feel that?

Me: What?

Massage Lady: You feel the heat?

Me: Yes.

Massage Lady: That is the healing power of Jesus.

Me: Huh.

I will recount this to Lee later, and he will say no... that's not Jesus... that's friction... that'sscience.

After my massage I explained to the woman that she might want to tell my brother about the burping before she begins, seeing as he is fifteen and bodily functions are quite humorous at that age. (I don't mention how I could barely contain my own laughter... because really, a burping massage therapist is funny at any age.)

I wait outside the door and listen to her explain to Max how her massage works. He replies in exactly the same way I did, "You burp?"

We talk about it later, and he tells me it was weird at first, but then he fell asleep. Fell asleep?!? How one could fall asleep while someone burps all over your body is beyond me!

Either way, the heat radiating, Jesus powered, belching Filipino lady wins the award for all time weirdest massage, beating out the troll-like Italian man who massaged the insides of my ears and clapped around my head.

Perhaps its true what they say... maybe you do get what you pay for.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Max in the Philippines... Part 2 - Hiking Baclayan

The second part of our adventure included a trip to Coco Beach. Coco Beach has always been one of my favorite places here in the Philippines, and again it didn't disappoint. Max was ready to move there after the first five minutes.

Traveling alone with my little brother proved to be confusing for some. I can't even begin to tell you how many conversations we had that went something like this...

Coco Staff: Ohh, who is this? He's your...?

Me: He's my little brother.

Coco Staff: So, where are your parents?

Me: Umm... at home I guess? Sleeping probably, it's 2 am their time... they live in the U.S.

Coco Staff: You're here by yourself?!?!

Me: Umm... yes...

I realize I look young sometimes, but do I really look young enough to require parental supervision?

How old do they think I am? 13? That would make Max a toddler...

***

The best thing we did while at Coco Beach was take a hike up Mount Baclayan to visit the Mangayn settlement. Although, when we signed up for the excursion they failed to mention we would be trekking over 20 kilometers... Surprise! (Note: This is especially difficult when done in flips flops. What we thought was a short walk between villages, was in fact a four hour hike up the mountain... And, we weren't the only one's that missed the memo. Two girls from Denmark went with us on this journey, both showed up in sandals, one wearing a lemon yellow skirt, and a white top. She looked more ready for Easter Sunday than a day in the dirt, sweating up a mountain. When I told Lee about her ensemble he told me I was in no position to judge what someone wears on a hike.. Whatever. I may hike in yoga pants, but that is because I can't be bothered with pants that require fourteen pockets. But, I do know better than to wear a skirt... a bright yellow one at that. )

Visiting the indigenous people of Mindoro was quite an experience. We hiked to three different villages passing out cookies to the children and buying their local handicrafts.




The village schoolhouse.







Visiting these native people was like nothing I've ever done before, or seen for that matter. To see the way these people live, to see their homes and to imagine what life must be like on a daily basis, through the heat, and the dust, or the wind and the rain. To see the looks on their faces when they know we are there to bring them something to eat, something as simple as a cookie.

Stepping into these villages was like stepping into a National Geographic magazine. In one village we met a woman with a two day old baby. She still lay in her hut, surrounded by blankets holding her newborn. She had no hospital, she had no drugs, (the most important element in my opinion ) she had no doctor, she had no modern medical care, but she was smiling and she held what appeared to be a perfectly healthy new born baby girl. The entire village felt so blessed and were so happy to have this miracle. And I found myself in awe of that. It is a miracle. New life is always a miracle. But this miracle will grow up to be another child in this village. Another child with barely a roof over her head. Another child with half a tee shirt and no shoes. Another child with nothing to eat, and no opportunity to better her existence. And while her birth is a miracle, her life will be a struggle.

While in my mind bringing new life into an environment where one struggles to provide food and shelter is troublesome, these people didn't seem to share that fear. Perhaps it is ignorant of me to believe these people want more, perhaps the little food and shelter they have is enough. And by that I am humbled.

When you grow up in middle class USA, it's hard to believe that what we witnessed for a few hours is a daily exisitance for so many people. It's hard to believe that poverty like this exists today, in a world with so much advancement. It was an experience I will never forget, and one I hope my brother never does either.
***


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Max in the Philippines... Classic... Part 1

My little brother, Max, came to the Philippines for a visit. Amid the earthquakes, tsunamis, and radiation scares my over protective parents let my 15-year-old brother fly half way across the world on his own. I'm very proud of them. I could actually hear them growing as parents over the phone, or perhaps that was their nervous sobs, I couldn't really tell a difference.

Max came to stay for about 10 days. I was thinking about the last time I spent a solid ten days with my little brother... Family vacation, Hawaii, Christmas, 2006, and I did live with him for the first seven years of his life. Of course I've gone home to visit my parents for weeks at a time, but I don't recall seeing him much between his cross country, football, basketball, and track meets, he's a pretty busy guy. So when I think of my brother, I tend to remember him as his eight year old self. So you can imagine my surprise when he gets off the plane and I confuse him with Justin Beiber. (To be fair, I wasn't the only one. Apparently, Filipinos have also caught the "Beiber Fever.") I kept staring at him thinking... I don't remember him looking like that. And then there's the fact that he talks more than just about anyone I've ever met, and uses a vocabulary that I don't entirely understand, which just make me feel old.

So I had ten days to spend with my little brother, and since he is the only person in my family to visit me in the Philippines... even though we've been here for two years, and even though I've tried my damnedest to guilt people into coming, he's the only one that made it... so I wanted to make sure we got to do as much as possible. (And make everyone else super jealous :p )

Day one I took him to Tunasan, to meet my favorite little kids. He brought with him sidewalk chalk, kaleidoscopes, rubix cubes, and princess crowns, needless to say he was an instant hit.








He also brought with him a suitcase full of his, and some of his friends, old running shoes complete with new socks, new shoe laces and new insoles, not to mention a few basketball jerseys he had out grown. The volunteers at the center were almost speechless.

Center Volunteers: Wow, some of these shoes, they look like they've hardly been used.

Me: Hmm...yeah... well, you know... kids... they grown so fast. (Pause...) Well, that's not entirely true, they are also very spoiled.

After a couple hours of playing with the kids we got back in the car to head to Manila.

Me: So, Max, what did you think?

Max: That was awesome. They're so cute. It really makes you realize what all we take for granted in the states.

And that was it. We could have not done another thing the rest of the time and my "Max in the Philippines" mission would have been a success.

***

The next three days were spent in Donsol, where we were to swim with the whale sharks. (Something I should have just kept to myself, and not told my mother because I know she just kept replaying a reel of the "golden child" being swallowed by a large fish over and over again in her head.)

We survived...




... despite some close encounters with giant mouths, head on collisions with other snorkelers, and more than a few flippers to the face.

Lee: I just got nailed in the head! I was swimming after the whale shark... trying to get a picture... and all of sudden... WHACK! I get smacked in the face with a flipper! And the lady that kicked me was wearing a thong!!

Me: hahahaha

Lee: What did you do this weekend? Oh, you know... got kicked in the head by a lady with her swimsuit up her butt! God!

Me: hahahaha

Max: Classic.

***

We also went shrimping with local fisherman one night, which inspired Max to say in his best Bubba voice from Forrest Gump, "I know every thing there is to know 'bout the shrimpin' business..." He said this every time he heard the word shrimp, or anything having to do with shrimp, we probably heard it 100 times in 24 hours. That didn't get old at all...



***

Some of my other favorite pictures from the weekend include...

"The Giant and the Dwarf," taken at the Cagsaua Church which was once burned by the Dutch in 1636, rebuilt in 1724, and then buried by the Mayon volcano when it erupted in 1814.

If it wasn't so cloudy you would be able to see the Mayon volcano in the background... bummer.

"The Giant and the Dwarf II," Max's first ride in a tricycle... they were pretty squished.

There was no room for me, I had to sit behind the driver.

"When in the Philippines, do as the Filipinos do," Max one on one against one of the local neighborhood boys.

And he played barefoot, in true Filipino fashion.

Part 2 coming soon...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What's Normal Anyway?

I just got attacked by a 4 inch centipede while in the shower.... (centipede? ... millipede? I don't know. It was snake like, but with legs... lots of legs.)

I was in the middle of a particularly sudsy shampoo... when I feel something smack against my foot.

I think... "wow... I really hope that wasn't a clump of hair... My head can't afford to lose that much hair in one shower."

Then it dawns on me... it's squirming... hair doesn't squirm...

I peer through the bubbles to see a huge centipede/millipede clutching my foot like a life raft.

But that's not the crazy part... the crazy part is that I didn't freak out...

I didn't scream.

I didn't jump up and down.

I didn't run out of the shower.

And I didn't slip, fall, and bust my bum.

I brushed him off. Like he was nothing, like it was normal to have an encounter with an invertebrate while in the shower. Then, I watched him crawl away underneath the shower door.

What's. wrong. with. me?

My 15-year-old brother arrives from the states in 4 hours. I can't wait for him to be here. I'm looking forward to him seeing all this, experiencing this place, and to remind me what's normal. But then again, what's normal anyway?

PS - This was supposed to be a tweet. But then I couldn't remember my password. And then it was longer than 140 characters. I think I'll just quit trying to be a tweeter.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Top Three Things I saw Last Weekend

So now that the toll road is complete and I don't have to stop off in Sto. Tomas a couple times a week, I am witness to far less amusing things. Sto. Tomas is the home of the infamous water blowing lady... also the home of quite possibly the only Filipino in the country who sports dreadlocks. Best part about that guy?

He wore pants with the butt cut out.

Seriously.

The whole ass was cut from his jeans and you could see his bare bum. He seemed to think this was perfectly normal.

So as much as I don't miss the traffic and the wasted time in Sto. Tomas, I do miss the fact that I never knew who I would see.

Well, last weekend we went to Catalagan and although I didn't see anything as exciting as a butt baring Filipino I did see three things I've never seen before.

#3. A cockroach the size of a mouse.

This is not a joke. And no, this is not an exaggeration.
I was laying in bed, watching TV in our hotel room, feeling sorry for myself about how bad I was feeling, when in the dark, I something scurry across the room.

That's a mouse... definitely as mouse...

I sat up...

I looked closer...

Holy #%$!

That's a cockroach!!

The biggest cockroach in the history of cockroaches!!

I jumped up, flipped on the light and grabbed Lee's flip flop. (Not my first choice of weaponry when dealing with a cockroach of massive proportions...)

After finding the courage to get off the bed I chased the damn thing around the room, under the table and behind chairs, when suddenly he turned and ran straight at me.

AHHHHH!

It was terrifying.

I threw the flip flop at him... I missed...

He promptly turned around and slipped through the crack under the door.

I grabbed a towel and shoved it behind the door closing off the crack. Problem. Solved.

2 hours later...

Lee walks in.

Lee: Hey... why is my towel shoved under the door?

Me: (Half asleep) - Attacked.... by cockroach... size of mouse.

Lee: Sweet...

***

#2. Testicles the size of coconuts.

This is not a joke, and no I'm not exaggerating.
Lee and I were just getting over our excitement from the "#1 best thing" we saw this weekend, when we came upon the pig with his bum in the air, flashing his giant cojones for all passer-bys to see.

Me: OMG!

Lee: What?

Me: Those! Their huge!

Lee: What?!

Me: Balls! The size of coconuts! Big coconuts!

Lee: Where's the camera?!

Me: It's too late... That. Was crazy.

***

Later... at dinner with about ten new friends we met that morning...

Lee: What was that other funny thing we saw today?

Me: Umm... I don't know.

Lee: Yes, you do. It was so funny. What was it?

Me: *Shaking my head* Uh -huh

Lee: Do you remember?

Me: *Through gritted teeth* Inappropriate... in-a-ppro-pri-ate...

Lee: Oooohh ha!

New friends: Wait, what was it?

Lee: Tell them.

Me: It was nothing...

New friends: No you have to tell us, what did you see?

Me: A pig... with umm... really big... umm... the biggest I've ever seen... balls. A pig with giant balls, the size of coconuts.

Everyone: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Yeah, very funny.

***

#1. Cow in a Tricycle


Now, I've seen chickens, I've seen a small goat, I've even counted 9 people in a tricycle, but I have NEVER seen a full grown cow in a tricycle.

The best part is the front view, which I couldn't get a picture of...

His whole neck and face was smashed into the windshield of the tricycle. How they got him in there I'll never know... or how they got him out...

Also, please note how everyone is driving on both sides of the road... classic Philippine driving.

Lee: How slow do you have to be going for a tricycle, with a cow in it, to pass you?

Excellent point.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Papaya Brings the Poo

Me: Chat, when you go by the market tomorrow can you get me a papaya?

Chat: Yes, you want the kind you can get in the SM or the Tagalog papaya?

Me: Oh, I don't know.

Chat: It can be sweeter the papaya or bigger or they can be smaller

Me: Yeah... I don't know. I've been having stomach problems, and someone told me to eat papaya. So, just get me any papaya.

Chat: Ooohh, papaya makes the poo come. (Followed by hand motion around her own bum.)

Me: Huh?

Chat: Yes! Papaya good for the poo!

Me: Yeah, well I don't really need any help in that area. Soo...

Chat: Yes, papaya for the poo. If the poo is hard, or if maybe you don't poo. Like maybe you no poo for 2 days... 3 days... you eat the papaya and then comes the poo. (Keep in my mind corresponding hand motions coincide with each sentence.)

Me: *Confusion*

Chat: It's ok Ma'am, don't worry, you will try. (She hurries out the door.)

I will try huh?

I don't think I'm going to like this...

Bollywood, Bangles & Bindis

It's been ten days since my last post, which means I'm due for a new one. And I've been meaning to write about our Bollywood Ball Fundraiser put on by the local international ladies group. Unfortunately, I've spent the last 24 hours feeling like death and sleeping on the bathroom floor so I won't have to get out of bed for false alarms. (I swear something in the country is trying to kill me.) So this post will be short and sweet, A.) Because I'm weak, also very lazy. and B.) Because there are many stories I want to share, but I won't. It has come to my attention that women around here actually read my blog and I would hate to say anything that could get me cornered in a bathroom at our next general meeting. I don't have a death wish.

So all I can offer you is pictures... enjoy.



Lee was not thrilled with the idea of a Bollywood theme...

Me: Guess what the theme is for the annual fundraiser...

Lee: What?

Me: Bollywood! We are supposed to dress Indian.

Lee: Sweet! Can I wear a head dress?

Me: Ha! Wrong Indians.

Lee: Dang. Well, I'll just wear one any way.

Me: That's inappropriate.

Lee: What? You can just tell everyone I got confused.

Me: Absolutely not.



We did have to get some normal pants however. The ones that came with the outfit were tight around his ankles, and he could fit one of our throw pillows down front. He looked like Humpty Dumpty. (I have a picture of this... however, I would like to stay married so... sorry.)

Also, I took pictures of pictures for this post because I don't have the energy for scanning.

So. Very. Lazy.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Adventures of Stanley, Flat Stanley

Me: Guess who came in the mail today?!

Lee: What do you mean, "who" came in the mail?

Me: It's Flat Stanley!!

Lee: Who?

Me: Flat Stanley! You don't know Flat Stanley?

Lee: Umm... no.

Me: Oh, well its from a book. And its a programs about children's literacy... they send Flat Stanley around the country, or the world, in order to learn about different places. And Reese sent him to us! I was so excited when I saw him that I didn't do anything I was supposed to do today, but instead spent all afternoon making pictures of Stanley.

Lee: You're insane.

Me: Yeah! Look!

Me: Here is Stanley at the market...



Lee: Seriously?!?!

Me: What?

Lee: A pigs head?

Me: Too much?

Lee: Ummm... yeah!

(This is why I shouldn't be aloud to interact with children...)

***

Stanley's letter to my niece Reese, and Mrs. Walton's class...

Dear Mrs. Walton’s Class,

I am back from my long journey to the Philippines! When I found out Reese was sending me to the Philippines I was a little worried. The mail there can be very unpredictable, but after a week I made it safely to Batangas City.

I was surprised at how warm and sunny it was when I arrived. It was a nice change from all the snow we’ve been getting at home. The weather is warm there all year round! In the Philippines they have only two seasons, dry season and rainy season. It is dry and sunny this time of year, which was good news for me because otherwise I may have turned to mush!

I was in the Philippines for a week, and I got to see and do so much. The Philippines is a very beautiful place!



I took a trip to Tagaytay to see the Taal Volcano. The Taal Volcano is an active volcano. It is known for having a small island within a lake, in an island in a lake, on an island in the ocean. (Did you get that?)

Here I am at Tamaraw Falls in Puerto Galera, on the island of Mindoro. Did you know the Philippines has over 7000 different islands?


The Philippines can be a tropical paradise on land and under the sea. The scuba diving in the Philippines is some of the best in the world. (Look, I found Nemo!)


After all this adventure it was time to eat. Like many countries in Asia, the most common food is rice. In the Philippines rice can be eaten at any meal. Sometimes they put garlic in it and eat it for breakfast. A simple meal in the Philippines is rice and fried or salty fish.



Pancit is a very popular dish made from noodles. Panicit is often served at birthday parties, because the noodles symbolize long life and good health.

On special occasions, like Christmas, Filipinos eat “lechon,” or what we would call a whole roasted pig!


(Yeah... so I couldn't not show a pig...)

One of the most interesting things about the Philippines is the transportation. Jeepneys and tricycles are the most popular way for people to get around. Jeepneys were originally military jeeps left over from the United States in World War II, but today, they are brightly decorated jeeps people use for public transit. The jeepney has become a cultural symbol for the Philippines. I was lucky enough to take a trip in both!




The people in the Philippines are very nice and friendly. Filipino people speak both Tagalog and English. I even learned a few words in Tagalog while I was there.

Mabuhay – Welcome

Magandang Umaga – Good Morning

Salamat – Thank You


The most popular sport in the Philippines is basketball. People of all ages love to play. I found a few boys who even let me join a game!




While I was in the Philippines I got the chance to meet some school kids just like you!



They were very interested in learning about you and what it’s like in the United States.

I am so happy Reese sent me to the Philippines. I was able to learn so much about the way people live in place on the other side of the world, maybe one day you will all see it for yourselves.

Happy Travels,

Flat Stanley