Adventures of Ate Tia
Getting There

The typhoon finally stopped and we were able to make our way from Manila to our island. On buses in the Philippines people will hop on and walk up and down the aisle trying to sell things like flowers, chips, icy water, phones, hot dogs, everything.

After we visited Peace Corps HQ in Manila, we took the bus to Batangas Pier. As soon asI got off of the bus everyone was asking where I was going. “Puerto Galera, ate?” “Coco Beach, ate?” Bex and I hustled past them. She was polite and said, “salamat, kuya, but we’re okay. We’re okay.” I hauled ass NYC style. When we got into the terminal we saw another PCV, Mo. We sat with her, discussed possible jobs for her after PC (she and I have a lot in common), and finally boarded our boat.

The water may have been calmer than during the typhoon, but it was still very rocky. Luckily we all took Dramamine - the girl next to me looked awful, although she lasted the trip. Our little boat flew over the rockiness of the ocean. At times it was scary, but the dramamine gave me a calming feeling and I just smiled while water shot into the boat.

When we arrived we were met by an older volunteer from Denmark. She was absolutely wonderful, and it was a comfort to know I’m not the only one here sweating to death. The way to the site was lengthy, lots of uphill and downhill, and I quickly became overwhelmed with greatness that the volunteer was able to get us; had I had to take a tricycle, I would have just lost it.

The boys here are incredible. I was greeted with eye contact and warm smiles, and they all were okay with talking to me. Everyone involved here is here because they believe in the program. The cooks have made me absolutely incredible vegetarian food: on my first night I had garlic and leak tofu. Mindblowing. There’s so much fresh fruit and the rice is plenty. I am in my own heaven.

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