It hasn't really been that long since I've last posted something, but then again maybe it has...I have no sense of time here. Yesterday I had to ask my dive instructor twice what day it was, opps.
I finished volunteering on Saturday, it was so hard to say good bye to all the boys! I know I am going to stop in at least one more time before I leave the country to say goodbye to them. Vanessa and I put together a little photo album of our time with the boys and gave it to them as a going away present and they loved it. They almost never see pictures of themselves, so it was pretty cool for them to see all the memories we made in the last few months.
So I left Ormoc on Sunday morning and spent a night in Cebu where I did some sight seeing. A huge Taoist temple, Fort San Pedro, and a beautiful old church. In Cebu is where the Spaniards came in to claim the land and brought along Catechism with it. Needless to say, many bloody battles were fought on the land there.
Now since Monday I have been in Bohol, on Panglao Island, Alona Beach which is absolutely stunning, and if you can believe it, I actually get (almost) zero extra attention here for being a foreigner. It's great. There are many Koreans, Germans, Aussies and various other nationalities visiting also. I can walk along the beach and literally hear about 4 different languages being spoken in the span of 10 minutes. Surprisingly though, it isn't at all swamped with tourists and there is plenty of beach space and privacy you can have here. There is also some of the best dive sights in the world.
Yes that is the newest, I am getting Open Water Dive Certified. That means that I am legally allowed to dive 18 meters off a boat in the ocean. The last 2 days I've been taking tests, and today I got to do my first dive off a boat!! It was amazing, and I stayed under for 70 min, which is rare and almost unheard of for a beginning diver. My instructor couldn't believe it, and of course I don't even know the difference. Saw some beautiful fish, amazing corals, very different from what I've ever seen at the surface. I did have a little bit of trouble equalizing, but that comes easier with practice I'm told. I love it so far, it feel so weird to breath underwater. Part of it kinda freaks me out because It's like being somewhere that humans weren't made to be, and seeing things we are not suppose to see. It's pretty exhilarating. I think Sunday I will get to go on my first certified open water dive. But before that I have a final exam to pass....and I thought my schooling was over. Never!
So everything is great here, the Philippines and all its natural beauty really makes me appreciate the spectacular beauty of the northwest, as weird as that sounds. It has just made me realize how incredible 2 places that are literally polar opposites can be. Hopefully I'll be back to experience some wonderful western Washington summer...or hopefully not... :)