Posted by: Jill | August 26, 2008

Goodbye to Boljoon

 

Here is a good sign that it’s time for me to go back to the States: life here no longer feels strange, new, or exotic.  It’s just, you know – life. 

Just another typical day - swimming at the waterfall with Romel.

Just another typical day - swimming at the waterfall with Romel.

 

 

Yesterday morning, some friends and I hiked to a waterfall and swam in the cool shady river.  After our hike back out, we sat by the side of the road, eating crackers and drinking cold Cokes, and it all felt very normal.  I was hardly thinking about the banana palm providing us with shade, the goat tied up across the road, the smell of burning trash in the air, the young boys watching me with curiosity, or the brightly painted chapel down the road.  Two months ago, in contrast, I was continuously observing details and trying to make sense of my surroundings.

 

This morning I attended the monthly meeting of the council of marine sanctuary managers in my study area.  My first meeting, in June, one week after I arrived in the Philippines, was overwhelming.  I took notes on everything: the room, the male/female ratio, the type of food we ate, the clothes people were wearing.  When they asked me to speak about my research, I was nervous and had no idea what to say.  This morning, I hardly blinked – I knew most of the people in the room and greeted them like trusted colleagues.  I knew exactly what to expect for lunch and snacks; the woman in charge of catering is also the owner the carinderia where I often eat my meals, and we discussed the menu last night while I ate dinner.  When it was my turn to speak and share my preliminary report, I was relaxed and confident.

Boljoon from above.  The big white building on the coast is the municipal hall, and my house is across the street.

Boljoon from above. The big white building on the coast is the municipal hall, and my house is across the street.

Home Sweet Boljoon Home

Home Sweet Boljoon Home

Boljoon has been a wonderful place to live this summer.  It has been remarkably easy to make friends, and when I walk down the street in the mornings to get mangos or bread for breakfast, everyone greets me and asks how am I doing, where am I going, how is my research coming along.  When it was gray and rainy last week (it is, after all, typhoon season here), I went to a friend’s house for hot chocolate and movies.  When it’s hot in the afternoon, I know the best place to go swimming and, if I’m lucky, see a few sea turtles.

Tonight is my last night here in Boljoon, and we’ll celebrate with a bbq dinner and a few rounds of Tanduay (rum).  Then it’s back to Cebu City where I’ll try to get in as much final Philippine experiences as I can before I fly back to the States next week.

My family in Boljoon

My family in Boljoon

I eat almost every meal here, and sometimes stop by just to hang out.  That's my jackfruit in the blue plastic bag on the table.

I eat almost every meal here, and sometimes stop by just to hang out. That's my jackfruit in the blue plastic bag on the table.

Advertisements

Responses

  1. hi jilly,,

    how r u..hope u doin fine n school and in everything in ur lfe…

    anyways i hope f u do have some time to visit my site http://www.claragirl.wordpress.com, ill be glad to hear from u…thank u…

    regards to all,,

    greetings from..

    philippines,,,,salamat


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: