Maayong Gabi-I from the Philippines!

Once again I’ve been absent, but again I have a good excuse. This time is that we had an earthquake and a long brown out last week. You can’t make that stuff up! We left off on my may endeavors and now I bring you June. With June came some vacations, a good amount of field work and a lot of time out of site. Actually too much time, it’s crazy how much you can come to miss you room, routine and bed when you’re traveling so much. But hey, I’m not complaining; every time I travel I get to see some new beautiful things.

Once my training of trainers was done at the end of May, two people came to visit soon after. And when I say soon after I mean the very next day. After some specific instructions on how to get to my site, I had my parents fooled! They thought they’d have to make their way from the airport to my site by themselves but low and behold I showed up at the airport for a surprise pick up! Yes you heard right, my parents traveled halfway around the world to see their favorite 24 year old daughter.

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Dad and I buying some mangos

Having my parents here was insanely awesome, it was ten whole days of spending time together that I had greatly missed. In fact this had been the longest time I had gone without seeing them! The next day after their arrival, we spent the day touring my site. I showed them all around my house, the huge garden across the road, my office, the market, the town and the university. I also got to introduce them to some of my coworkers and host family.

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My mom meeting the best market vendor there is

After a day of touring we headed to the southern most part of my island. There, I got to show them my favorite weekend getaway spot. We indulged in some cold cocktails and even got some snorkeling and diving in.

 

 

 

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Waking up to this after a night on the ferry

After an overnight ferry ride, we made it to the next island over called Cebu. From the city, we headed south to Moalboal known for it’s huge sardine runs. Once there we settled into our cozy hotel for the rest of the week right next to the beach. While there, my mom got her scuba certification – I finally have a dive buddy in the family!! Only took ten years. Unfortunately my GoPro decided to die while we were there so not many pictures of that but I was ecstatic to be able to accompany my mom on her first open water dives. My dad, mom and I spent the days snorkeling, diving, sunbathing, reading and eating and of course sharing the time we had together. Unfortunately all good things must come to an end and after ten days together we parted ways and said goodbye until December.

Post parents visiting, I headed back to site for less than a day where I repacked my bags and headed back south to my friend’s site. During the next 4 days I helped her in training community members on habitat assessments and then conducted some assessments the rest of the week.

Instead of going home after this, I took advantage of the three day weekend we had and headed back to Moalboal with my friends this time. Again we dove and snorkeled. This time, we also got to check out Kawasan Falls which I had missed the week before when I had been there with my parents. After a weekend of fun, we headed back to the city, where we indulged in some succulent Mexican food, and later caught the overnight ferry back to site.

The next week was spent at site, I took this time to get my life back in order after so much traveling and also started going over materials created from the training  I had held. After a very quick week at site I headed out yet again, back south to my friend’s site where we conducted more coral, seagrass and mangroves assessments. The days were long but I quite thoroughly enjoy being out in the field so this was a good change of pace. The same weekend I stayed at my friend’s site where we snorkeled, went to the beach and visited some cool caves.

The rest of the month (all 5 days that were left) were spent back at site. It was a busy month of travel and work and vacation but it was deeply satisfying to be out in the field doing habitat assessments like the good ole’ days. Of course, my favorite part of all was seeing my parents, and although I miss them and the rest of my family greatly, at least this time I only have to wait 6 months to see them again!

Thanks for reading and kitakits!

Dani

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