Posted by: larry13767 | January 11, 2010

First Post

I start this blog roughly 13,000 kms from home and 11 days into an impromptu trip.  On 22 Dec 2009, my father in law passed away and so began the crazy struggle to get tickets, make arrangements for the kids, get leave form work.

Oh yeah, and celebrate Xmas do all the things we had planned, etc.

Anyhow my wife and I got tickets for Jan 2, 1210 am which somehow I took to be the night of Jan 2 but nooo it was just after midnight of Jan 1st.   Good thing I realized that in time. Homer moment.

Anyway, after roughly 32 hours of travel from Toronto to Hong Kong to Manila to Tuguegarao and then finally San Mateo in the province of Isabela.  Long journey, warm welcome.

I come to the Philippines every few years and I have been here about 9 times by my count.  I am always struck by many things about the country and its people.  The poverty, the humor, the friendliness and wish to share whatever they have with us.  Every time I arrive, it is into the arms of a family that have taken me in as they own.

There are always things that one has to get used to, off course.   Toilets, bugs and heat.  Being a North American the squat toilet is a scary sight.  During this time of year, the temperature was very nice and more like a June Day back home. warm, pleasant and no humidity.  This particular  year, the mosquitoes decided I was wonderfully scrumptious and for some odd reason they only attacked my hands and feet.  I count 61 bites on one hand alone.  I was soaking my hand in ice to quell the itchiness which was a bit more than I could deal with.

In most years when I traveled to my in laws place it was always a time for celebration and welcome, lots of laughter and good times (expect for the aforementioned caveatst off course).

This year was the exception and I found it hard to take the sight of my mother in law’s sorrow at her companion of many years passing.  This woman is as close to me as my own mother.  Her and her husband were the matriarch and patriarch’s of the massive extended family and his passing was a shock even with his extended age (88) and his illness with COPD/emphysema.

Over the next few days I will cover some of the days that I spent here trying to catch up as much as possible and in the following weeks.




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