With fingers firmly crossed that the visa is back on time, and an arm full of rabies vaccine, now seems like a good time to reflect on the preparations for our Philippine adventure.
Although our departure is only just over 3 weeks away, and much of our time, in between catching up with lots of family and friends, is taken up with organising all the practicalities of our trip, in some ways it is still feeling quite distant and unreal. Certainly, the fact that we are going to be spending nine months with a completely new set of people we have yet to meet, in a culture very different to our own, seeing and doing things which may take us well outside of our comfort zone has not fully sunk in. Maybe it won't until we touch down in Cebu on 5th October. Maybe it won't until we're back here next June. Maybe it won't, ever.
One of the real positives as we prepare has been to hear others who have spent time in the Philippines speak of their time their with great love and enthusiasm. It is strange how, since knowing our destination, we seem to have come into contact with several people who have also spent time there. Or maybe it isn't so strange, maybe its just that our own forthcoming experience has opened our awareness to the experiences of others. Either way, it is certainly true to say that the overwhelming feedback, whilst not denying a good few potential frustrations and different cultural norms which may take some getting accustomed to, is very positive. I hope that in a years time, I too will be able to say, yes, all things being equal, and if there weren't also so many other exciting things to do in life, I'd go back tomorrow!