Near perfect conditions

8 Sep

The view from my doorway

So apparently it’s been nearly a month since I have blogged??!! This is turning into a terrible habit. Often I have an idea for a blog post, then I wait until the conditions are perfect – it’s quiet, or it’s raining outside or I have a whole hour window to focus or I am on a strong enough internet connection. As you can imagine, conditions are rarely perfect and if you want to be a writer then you should just write! So here I am writing. Just between you and me though… the conditions are pretty perfect. A storm is rolling in slowly according to the view from my deck chair in my doorway which means there’s nobody except the odd tricy and the polite pinoy street dog on the street. I have no plans for the weekend, so have more than an hour’s window to write and I am feeling inspired. But I promise, even when the conditions are not perfect, I will write.

The flooding in Antipolo, nowhere near as bad as Manila

So August was a big month for me. It started with the in-country orientation of the new volunteers. A lot of people think I am a social butterfly and love meeting new people and all that jazz, but in the last few years, I have consolidated close friendships and enjoy working on those more than I do meeting new people every week. So I went to ICO at a resort in the hills outside Manila ready to direct all my energy at making the new volunteers transition. Lo and behold, this was the least of my problems, for a typhoon north brought 4 days of non-stop rain to Manila and surrounds and subsequent flooding to many areas of the capital, leaving a wake of chaos in it’s path. There was little we could do in the hills – we were marooned. So with a combination of fear, cabin fever and reaching out to each other in the midst of all this uncertainty, new and old volunteers got pretty close over those few days whether we liked it or not.

Winning prizes at the nerd con

I was pretty happy to get back to Gubat after that week, but because of the way the Filipino information notification system works ie: not at all really, I found out at the last minute we had a 4 day weekend the following week, so after just 5 days in Gubat, a little bit of cooking, cleaning and laundry, I jumped on the overnight bus back to Manila for a readers convention (the NERD convention) and to meet my mum and sis, arriving a few days later.

Epic reunion

As sisters, we reunited like crazy, then fought like crazy, then made up several times, not so much crazy for the making up, more subtle and quiet, from Manila to Gubat to Legazpi City. All of this on the back drop of a chit chatty mother so used to doing things for us and used to constant iphone, laptop and tv stimulation, not sure what to do with herself but loving it! When they left, I felt sad and knew that I would miss them. but also knew that I would be fine because at this stage, 4, nearly 5 months into this adventure, I feel at peace.

I still miss Melbourne, especially all the people that I love, but after so much turbulence in Manila, with new people in our lives and reminders of home, it feels good to be sitting quietly in my apartment in Gubat which I call home now. I have a lot more travel and visitors and fun to have in the future, but the next 2 weeks and 3 weekends will be spent in Gubat, where I am making grounds on my volunteer assignment, doing an online course, practicing yoga, writing for magazines and touching base with loved ones back home. Constant movement in my life is good for me if only to make me grateful for these weekends of stillness in Gubat, which when I first arrived scared me almost to the point of sending me on a plane home. I’m meeting my best pal on 25 September, which inspires me to take it easy now in preparation for dance walking and directing traffic like a boss, but I am also enjoying taking it easy just for the sake of taking it easy, because in my Melbourne life, which seems so far away now, when do we ever really get to do that, without feeling guilt or pressure.

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