So, shortly after my dive trip, I decided to go back to the city. I had completed 5 interviews and had hit a bit of a standstill in Moalboal, so I thought Cebu might be a good change of pace. Also, I hadn't been successful in my attempts to get ahold of people from CCE (the organization that I am working with) through e-mail, so I thought I might be more successful in person. This time, I stayed in the dormitories across the street from the office, and it was really fun. And quite a bit cheaper. Being around students, it was much easier to make friends then when we had stayed at Myra's. Plus, this is where Bridget was staying and it was nice to get to hang out with her again. We quickly settled back into a routine of work, malls and short walks nearby for street food. Yum. Our favorite is this really awesome fruit market where they will cut up the mangos for you. I will never get tired of eating mangos here!
We met some girls in our dorm, and they invited us over for a celebratory dinner. One of the girls was dating an Australian guy nearby who was in the Philippines to get certified as an English teacher. The program had just ended that day. She cooked us an amazing dinner, and then the girls went dancing. I love girls night out! The next day, I joined the group from the English school in a tour of Cebu. We went all over, including a stop at TOPS, where you can see out over the city. You can also do a zip-line there, which was fun, but maybe not quite as exciting as it sounds. I've included two pictures from my day of sightseeing, I'm not really sure what the second one is. There wasn't really any explanation to accompany it. :)
I ended my week by heading to White Beach again, which is basically Moalboal, but the upscale part I can't afford to stay in. One of the women I interviewed from Project FISH is in the process of opening a resort and invited me to be her guest. I went up for a day and night of RnR and a little bit of snorkeling. Her resort is JUST BEAUTIFUL, and the snorkeling was AMAZING. I've put in a picture at the bottom of this post. Looks like a postcard, doesn't it? Honestly, it's hard to pick a favorite site when all the snorkeling is just so good. I guess that's why the Philippines is known as the global epicenter of marine biodiversity. And why I am doing my thesis research here. It doesn't hurt that the water here is the perfect temperature, a beautiful turquoise, and super clear. I also managed to do some transcribing at night, so I felt productive in addition to spoiled. After picking up my stuff in the city, I headed back down to Panagsama, where I will be in full force work mode. A coworker will hopefully be headed down this weekend to translate so I can interview the fishermen and the presidents of the local People's Organizations. And I am working up the nerve to request interviews from the mayor and vice-mayor and a few other government officials. So wish me luck. Love, Jenn