In this post I will talk about my first full week here in Quezon city where I am interning. I don’t know where to begin.
This country is truly beautiful, compared to the flat landscape of Illinois even the smallest mountain leaves me in awe. The plant life is vibrant and lush and so very different from the Midwest. I think the thing which has struck me most is the incredibly kind nature of the Filipino peoples. In the Social Enterprise Division at my office, the division i’m in, Deng and Mao two employees have been truly wonderful. Every day they have gone with me to get food. On my first day here they took me out to dinner, and really made me feel welcome. My first weekend in the city they offered to take me and some of the other interns around Manila. It was a really fun experience!
From left to right (Mao, Deng, Me). The FNRI interns came along as well and I personally had a great time. We went to several spots including the city walls from the Spanish era, Fort Santiago, and the National Museum. Followed by some yummy Chinese food in Binondo (the Manila China town). Unfortunately after a long day of walking we ate most of the food before I remembered to take a picture.
So far at work I’ve done mostly research about the social enterprises which Human Nature supports. I put together a power point presentation outlining the enterprises business and how they give back to the Filipino people. While work has not been the most interesting up to this point, I am excited and happy to be working here especially in the Social Enterprise Development Division. The work we do has a tangible and visible impact on the lives of the poor here in the Philippines.
I must admit living alone is hard, I will have to find a way to fill my time. I’m sure things will get better with time especially as I familiarize myself with the city. Though it is rather isolating to go home after work, where I don’t have internet access. Further complicating things the burner phone which I bought is pretty useless, the microphone does not work so I can’t talk and sending messages on it can be precarious as some seem to not go though.
There are a few things which I find simply a bit frustrating. First and foremost the bugs, though I think the cockroaches and ants are just part of Filipino life, so I will not linger on this topic. The bedding situation is less than optimal, I was told I would be provided bedding, but really all there was was a pillow and blanket. On top of this i’m sleeping not on a piece of foam which sits is laid on top of a flattened cardboard box.
My last complaint and the one which bothers me the most, is that there is a rather large gap between my AC unit and the wall. I slip my hand through this gap (which means basically anything can crawl in), also when it rains I have to deal with a puddle of water. Honestly this just confuses me a bit, because I just don’t see how this is acceptable in anyone’s eyes especially considering it is the rainy season here. Though i’m sure it will be an easy fix, I will just buy some duct tape and seal it up.
I want to end on a happy note and simply say I am glad i’m here and i’m looking forward to the rest of my stay. I simply include the negatives, because only with hearing about the good, the bad, and the ugly can one understand my stay here in the Philippines. That being said the good easily ways out any of my complaints.