Posted by: Jill | July 16, 2008

A Day in the Life

My job right now is basically perfect. Here’s what a typical day might look like, minus the morning mango, the bus zipping along pretty coastal roads, the afternoon swim, and the nightly karaoke songs wafting through town.

Each week, I fax a letter to the mayor of the municipality that I want to visit the following week. Usually, someone calls me back to set up appointments. This week, the mayor’s secretary called to invite me to come a day earlier than I had planned so I could attend a workshop on a new Integrated Coastal Resource Management project funded by the Asian Development Bank. So we spent the morning trying to follow the English powerpoints and Visayan conversation at the meeting:

Then we traveled down the coast a little bit to another barangay (town) in the same municipality to find some of the people we wanted to interview. This photos is of me interviewing a fish warden who lives at the edge of the sanctuary and has basically taken sole responsibility for it’s protection and maintenance, at his own expense.  He was friendly, generous, talkative, gave us snacks and drinks, and told us stories about everything from his days as a radio operator on cargo ships to the time he was shot at because of his support for the sanctuary.

Coastline near the marine sanctuary in Granada, Boljoon

After the interviews, we went back into town for some lunch. This is a typical town center: a row of little carenderias, where the food is all cooked an displayed in the front, and you just pick what you want from the pots and pans. I usually attract quite an audience of people who like to watch the white girl eat Filipino-style.

Meals tend to be centered around meat and rice, so I always try to have some vegetables when possible. Today, I had meat (obviously) and a seaweed salad. Seaweed is really good for you, and super-local, and I thought it would be something new and different to try. It tasted…too much like seaweed for me to enjoy it.

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