Maayong aga sa Iloilo City, Pilipinas!!! (Good morning from Iloilo City, Philippines!)
I've been with my host family for just over a week now, and they are wonderful! So nice and welcoming! In fact, just about everyone I've met in the Philippines has been really friendly and hospitable, in true Filipino tradition! There are several extended family members living in the house, including some younger kids. I'm really having fun with them! There's a 5-year old boy here who is really cute- his name is VonKyle. He seems to notice everything about me and is always by my side, wondering what I'm doing. I'm going to miss him when I go to my permanent site! I'm very busy here, between Pre-Service Training and adjusting to the major life changes I'm making here. I'm getting used to hot weather, insects in the house, rice three times a day, washing my clothes by hand, and non-flushing toilets.
Here's an example of an experience in the Philippines. Last night I had a run-in with the biggest spider I have ever seen!!! I was about to take a shower, when I saw a large black CREATURE on the wall. I put my glasses back on, and it turned out to be a spider about twenty times the size of any spider you might find in Frankfort. Seriously, a big spider at home does not even compare with a big spider in the Philippines! My normal strategy of trapping it under a cup wouldn't work because I could never fit the whole spider under a cup! Then it scurried with lightening reflexes under the soap shelf. I was afraid to try and kill it, because... what if it didn't die? It would probably jump at me and attack my face! I decided to use my secondary strategy of avoidance, and proceeded to take my whole shower without going any nearer to the spider than I had to and not taking my eyes off it. After I left the bathroom and came back after a minute to check, it had disappeared. Typical... At least I haven't woken up with a cockroach on my face, like some volunteers. My mosquito net is my friend. :)
Anyway, other than avoiding large insects, I'm also keeping busy with my Pre-Service Training. I am learning to speak Hiligaynon (slowly but surely), and on Tuesday I will start observing an English classroom with my co-teacher, Dexie! I really like her so far. She's close to my age and seems happy to have me there! The following week I will begin co-teaching with her! I'm nervous, but very excited! Wish me luck! I'll update you again soon!