Week 1: My Arrival

Hi everyone! My first week in the Philippines has been extraordinarily. I have done some much and seen so many beautiful things.

My flight left out of O’hare on June 10 at 12:35 with 19 other Illinois Wesleyan University students. First, we took a 15 hour flight to Taipei, Taiwan and then a 2.5 hour flight to Manila, Philippines. The flights were surprisingly faster than you thought they would be. I was able to see the beautiful city of manila through my airplane window.

Things I noticed about the Philippines.

1. The Weather

As I stepped out the Manila international airport, I was hit with the beautiful tropical weather of paradise. The weather is somewhat windy mixed with a blend of humidity and heat. Everywhere I went I would sweat. This is when I realized it was very important to bring a sweat rag with me everywhere I went.

2. The Landscape

From the airplane you can see the beautiful mountains and the city of Manila. It was breath taking because it was the first time I have seen mountains. The more I explored, the more beautiful thing I was mesmerized by. The first thing we did was have a big orientation with the IWU Freeman Asia Group. We were taught some Tagalog and went to a restaurant on a pond (Kamayan Se Palaisdaan). After the first couple of days, my IWU IRRI group along with some other IRRI Interns went to Makiling Botanic Gardens and Dampalit Falls.

3. The Food

In the Philippines there are five meals a day: breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, and dinner. These snacks are called merienda. So far everything I have eaten has been amazing!

4. The people

As soon as I landed in Manila, I was greeted by professor Amoloza’s Family. Ever since then, I have notice that everyone here is very accepting regardless of ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, and sexual preference. I was able to make a lot of friends here too!

Stay-Tuned to see more fun experiences!!!

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