We’ve touched down on Manila, where we are staying with Tita Jenny and Tito Fernando, and their daughter Audrey. They live in a beautiful two story house, that’s not huge but doesn’t feel small iether, fenced in within a gate, yet again gated as the community of Green Park village. If that doesn’t keep us safe, the 8 dogs will! I realize how unshocked I will be of things for the rest of my life- I’m disappointed on some level.. the crazy driving, cheap food, hand-holding, cold showers, big avacados, and the way people walk across traffic without a care in the world. But there are a few differences, ofcourse there are- like the polite way that nationals ask for things, their shy-ness. The way they eat mangoes, simply cutting two sides off of the core and peeling it out of the sides, instead of devouring it with your hands after peeling the entire thing (I prefer the savage, animalistic way). Taxis are different; there are jeepnies and “tricycles”, which are basically motorcycles with a side-car to carry passengers in. More people drive their own cars here though. The food, which is delicious so far! MASARAP! Some people are more into how they look and cosmetics. I got a two hour facial, which they told me more than I wanted to know about myself just by looking at my face! And now, for the first time, I have not one single pimple, black or white heads, nor any beginnings of one! I tried a cake with frosting made from tarot root, which was amazing- but I’ve known it to be tasteless and dry. It must be another kind. It’s sweet and delicious. I’ve noticed more begging children, living under bridges and apparently doing what they can to support the rest of the family. I wonder what is different in the cultures of Cameroon and Philippines. I hardly ever saw children living out doors, nd certainly no family that the rest of the family had abandoned. Could Cameroon be more collective? With more independence comes freedom, women’s progression, and more advantage maybe, but it comes also with more suffering for those at the bottom of the chain, it seems. I have visited around Manila and am really looking forward to the beach and underground river in the Palawan, where I will also meet up with John, another Peace Corps Volunteer in the area!