Mabuhay! After an earth-shatteringly early start (woke up at 2.30am for my flight!) I am in Catarman, Northern Samar in the Visayas. Ate* Joelyn, my manager, met me at the airport and took me to JolliBee for a hearty breakfast of cheese burger and chips where I met her husband and two boys. I feel a natural chemistry between Ate Joe and I, she is a woman of character, strength and is a real free spirit. Very committed to community-based local economic development and not afraid to try a different approach.
Now that the electricity has kicked back in (in other words, the ‘brown out’ is over), I can recharge my cell – I think one of the hardest parts of this assignment will be learning American English, an oxymoron. And also working in web development with no electricity!
*Ate means older sister. In the Philippines, terms of respect are reflected though family associations so it is common to call coworkers big bother, uncle etc.