One Month at the Farm, Wedding and Palawan!
Trip Start Mar 21, 2006
55Trip End Oct 05, 2008
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After spending the majority of June at the farm, reading, reflecting on my PC service and planting wonderful veggies I arrived in Manila on Saturday for yet another wedding of one of my fellow PCV's.
Dave and Maris are a wonderful couple and I was pleased to be invited to the intimate ceremony and reception they had on Sunday at a beautiful small garden restaurant in Quezon City area of Manila. There was a small group of PCVs there so we enjoyed a fun evening of good food, good company and of course cutting it up on the dance floor! Dave is the 7th batch mate of mine to get married. I think Batch 265 will go down in history as the "married batch."
Rather then spend three days in polluted Manila before my flight out to Hanoi, Vietnam on Thursday I arrived in Palawan on Monday morning. Jon and Emily are a wonderful married couple in the batch after me and lucky enough to be assigned in Palawan. Palawan is a major tourist destination here, with beautiful beaches, much of their forest still in tact and an extremely clean environment. On Monday morning Jon and Emily took me to a wonderful organic farm and orphanage just near their house. It is called Aloha House and is a non-profit that has been around for about five years. They are providing homes and education to small children 0-3 years old that are primarily babies from the sadly thriving prostitution industry here. They have a very impressive garden growing nearly everything they eat at the center as well as goats, pigs and chickens. The entire project is sustainable.... they produce all of their organic fertilizers, catch and re-use all their water and have a thriving Community Supported Agriculture (CAS) market with the local community. Every Friday people receive their "Happy Box" filled with wonderful organic veggies and all the money goes back into the work of the orphanage. We had a wonderful educational tour of the property from Keith who runs the project with his Filipina wife. It was so fun to see such a successful organic garden and sustainable project that is actively working to help combat many of the problems existing here!
Yesterday we headed to a beautiful, unknown to tourist, waterfall on the other side of the island. It was a beautiful coast line drive to the fall and well worth the heat of the hike once we arrived. It felt so nice to jump in the water and was quite invigorating to sit behind the rushing fall and cool off from the heat!
Later today I am off to do some island hoping with friends of Jon and Emily visiting from the states. We will rent a boat and snorkel and cruise around Honda Bay which has numerous small islands off of mainland Palawan. Should be a fun afternoon and tomorrow I fly back to Manila and catch my evening flight to Hanoi, Vietnam!
Hope you are well sending all my love,