Managing expectations

24 Apr

Magangang Umaga! It is 8.30am on our 3rd day of in country orientation and we are all pretty pooped. We have had a LOT of information presented to us, lots of beer has been consumed by the group at large (and none by me… boo hating beer) and already, I am churning through my list of karaoke classics. I was doing my morning yoga practice earlier and heard a keen fellow resort stayer belting out a tune. What a way to start the day!

Our in country orientation has been underpinned by a key theme – manage your expectations. We can’t help but roll our eyes every time we hear this because it was the key theme of PDT too, and all our material they send us and all the communication we have with the other volunteers. Even though we are sick of hearing it presented to us, I have been thinking a lot about my expectations and know it is really useful to check them and check them again and change them and then check those a couple of times. We are trying not to have too many, but what a crock if you say you have none. Well, I guess nobody has really said that.

I expect I will be challenged a lot. And when I am, I expect I will hate life at the time, then look back on it fondly, hopefully write a hilarious blog post and be a witty dinner guest regaling my tale to the party. I expect the friendships I have made with the other intake 33 volunteers will get intense. We are all going through the same thing here, and in moments where we want to laugh at something Australians would laugh at, talk some shit and complain about how in Australia, it would be completely different (better?), it will be them I call upon and when we get home and the whole experience feels like a dream and our friends have heard the witty stories and don’t want to hear anymore, it will be them I will be with and know that it all really did happen. I expect that people will continue to speak to me in Tagalog assuming I am a local and laugh when I respond in English and we will have a glorious Tagalog English conversation and be able to completely understand each other and prove that there is a language of the universe. I expect to ride waves of total and utter happiness and crash down into foetal position and want to go home. And unfortunately, I expect I will be eating a lot of white rice when there are no other options.

Finally, I expect I will come back not necessarily a different person but in a completely different space because I have no idea how I could not. It’s weird, I prepared myself to leave Melbourne and come to live in the Philippines. But right now I am living in a resort, sharing a room with 4 of my gorgeous gals and being fed, told what to do, where to be, given money and plane tickets and am easily writing this post over a wifi connection. When I finish in-country orientation, I will need to go through all the mental preparation to leave this space and then, finally, I will go out to LIVE in the Philippines.

Sige, Babay for now.


Our first girl group karaoke number... hey jude


Blake and Ali bromance love song "I want it that way"


One of our group exercises


Tania's downtime


More downtime


Welcome AYADs!


The view from our balcony!


2 Responses to “Managing expectations”

  1. Kate April 24, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

    Sounds like a revelatory bunch of thoughts! It’ll be tricky but worth it! Miss your laugh! xx

  2. Jason April 27, 2012 at 8:02 am #

    Sounds like you are having a great time and you are right expectations can frame preconceived outcomes which can blind us from opportunities. Enjoy the experience.

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