Sometimes even in the Rainy Season the Clouds Open Up and Let the Sun Shine Through

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May 25th 2008
Published: May 25th 2008
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So I know I've been a bit of a downer lately. It is hard to find nice things to write about though, when I am suppose to be writing the important things I see and do here for everyone at home. Unfortunately the important things I do tend to be sad and demoralizing. But I knew that coming in. And so I came to the Philippines prepared to deal with that part of the job.

And though I don't typically write about it in here, there are lots of things about my life in Baguio that help me get through the every day struggles of human rights work. Yesterday on my way home from work I saw a full rainbow for the first time in my life. It was bright and it stretched all the way across the sky, unobstructed by buildings and trees like it would have been at home. People I don't know talk to me on the jeep. A couple of days ago an old women asked me how I knew how to eat grapes. I don't know what she thinks we eat, especially since the grapes sold in Baguio, just like the gapes sold in Ottawa, come from China, but I grinned, offered her a grape and told her that I've been eating them my whole like. The old women who sells me tofu likes to hear my stories from home and asks me for recipes for the food me also grow. I am getting her rubarb recipes as we speak. Trucks of young men traveling to work in the morning consistently yell good morning to me as I walk to my jeep. Not crudely, but genuinely, just because they are surprised and entertained to see a white girl in their streets. I feel good knowing my way around the city, being trusted to get from one place to another not just for my own purposes, but also to run errands for work, and to get other foreigners from point A to point B. I know how much tomatoes and red onions should cost in the market, and how to choose good mangoes and avacadoes. I like my coworkers, who tease me like Maritimers and who treat me like a friend. I also like the way the rain pounds on roofs, the speed of the city and the fact that I can hear native gongs and see Sex in the City in the theaters all in the same town. I feel at home, typically forgetting that I live in a foreign country, and day to day I am happy.

The everyday parts of my life are not glamorous, and so don't normally make it into the blog, but they make up some of my best experiences here, and they are the glue that hold me together. Though it is not the sort of thing I normally write about, because it is not the "big" work I am doing here, I wanted to let the people at home who care about me know that.


26th May 2008

Thank you :)
Nicole, Thank you for this entry :) I know you are an amazingly strong person but we worry about you here at home. You are experiencing so much and I konw you care so much about the people around you and are very empathatic. This on occasion worries me as I would not want you to be sad or feel lost. I thank you for this entry becaus eit lets me know that you are ok :) I love you and miss you. I am so very proud of you!!! <3 Amy

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