Various Dates, 2016: Lots of people ask me, “What do you do with yourself?” Often implied in that is “Don’t you get bored?” The short answers are “Lots of different stuff” and “No, not really.”
Between stints out cruising on MOKEN and three trips to Canada this year, there’s always a lot of stuff to do. Aside from a bit of freelancing here and there, blogging and various boat projects, it’s always fun to visit friends and welcome visitors on MOKEN. I try to keep physically active with tennis, yoga, hashing and diving, plus I walk just about everywhere, and socially active with book club, volunteering and meeting up with friends. Everything, from grocery shopping to running errands, takes a bit longer here because (A) we don’t have a car and (B) finding things can be challenging at times. Sometimes it’s hard to make time for reading.
Here’s a mashup of a few highlights from the last few months.
I feel very blessed to have two Filipino families that have welcomed me into their homes and lives. Spending time with Merlyn and her family in Castellejos and Mylene and her family in San Marcelino is always a real treat. Mylene’s home is Nukaat’s home away from boat. Earlier this year, I joined in celebrations for Mylene’s house blessing and her son’s 16th birthday, and also had a chance to visit Merlyn’s new canteen business at the Hanjin bus terminal and join her at her big sister Nelia’s house for lunch.
There’s also a fairly active ex pat community in Subic. When we meet new people, we soon find out that they also know many others we know. I guess that’s not unusual in a place like this.
Hearts on Our Sleeves
My friend Betty (who I met a few months ago in book club) told me about this Australian charity that helps local schools and school children. We tagged along on a couple of days at the start of the new school year visiting three area schools and helping to hand out backpacks filled with school supplies. If you’re interested in donating, sponsoring a child or helping out, visit them on Facebook (Hearts on Our Sleeves). We now sponsor Alaiza, a young girl at the Iram Elementary School near New Cabalan.
Before Chris and I were married, Wendy was one of my regular dive buddies in Vancouver. She set off from Canada even before we did to travel and dive in Honduras and Southeast Asia. After working for a few weeks in Palawan earlier this year, Wendy trekked up to Subic and stayed on MOKEN for a couple of days in June. It was great to hang out, catch up on old times, show her the sights and laugh out loud. So much fun!
Betty also got me started hashing with the Subic Bay Hash House Harriers. Their weekly trail run meanders through the hills and villages behind Barrio Barretto and can be challenging at times, especially if it’s really hot or really wet. Sometimes we traipse through muddy rice fields, sometimes through overgrown jungle and sometimes through people’s yards. There’s always something interesting to see and the locals en route seem pretty familiar with the crazy runners (and walkers like me), possibly because the local chapter has more than 1200 runs under its belt to date.
Cute Animal Pics
I found a bunch of cute animal pics as I was sorting photos for this blog post and so I decided to include them too. And no, they all aren’t photos of Nukaat, although he is extremely photogenic, as I’m sure you all agree, and obviously well represented here.
Photo credits: Additional photos by Betty and Hearts on Our Sleeves.