Bringing in the New Year
This year sounds like a magical fairytale when I put it on paper. I spent New Years Eve on one of the best beaches in the Philippines watching fireworks, with my boyfriend and friends, and then proceeded to dance the night away. Yet those mild descriptions really do not quite convey the life I lead. It’s ironic that I would bring in the New Year with so many American friends, yet during the year I will rarely see them. When I left Boracay we all joked with each other, ‘see you next holiday,’ but its not really funny, it’s true. It really put into perspective for me how my life has changed. Can you imagine just seeing friends for holidays?
I’m very lucky to live near some Peace Corp volunteers so it’s not as dramatic as I’m making it sound, yet at the same time, and especially for me, it made me realize how much my life has changed.
When the New Year rolls around I think most people think about things they want to change, at least when I was in America that’s what I thought about. Now that I’m here, I’m pretty content with my life, the simplicity of it all. I feel healthy, I get to exercise most everyday, I get to serve people, and newly I get time to reflect. In America I was way too busy to reflect, I moved from one activity to the next, never really concerning how my actions affected others. My challenge to you, is to take a moment and reflect. Reflect about how you effect others, because if you really want to change, you have to reflect. If that would have been my New Years Resolution years ago, who knows if I would be a better person today.
Okay well that all sounds a bit depressing, but its not meant to be. Being content with life is a good place to be. But, its time to share with you my New Year Adventure….
MY NEW YEAR ADVENTURE
It started at Sir Seths house, my old host house. I gave them Uno cards when I first moved in and we played late into the night. They gave me presents, a pair of flip flops and a Disney coffee mug. They seemed to really enjoy the presents I gave them, especially the picture frame of “our family.” It sat there in the center of the room, and I saw my reflection, a reflection that showcased an emotion I didn’t think I could experience away from my friends and family at Christmas, but it was happiness. I had the same smile on my face as I did in the picture, a reminder for my really bad days that its really not that bad at all.
The next day Jaron surprised me. He gave me Christmas. It was the nicest most wonderful generous thing that has happened to me here in the Philippines. Instead of framing a picture of me and him, he gave me one of my parents. Now to some of you that might not seem like much, but to me, it meant the world. He knows how importantl my family is to me, and it was a beautiful gift. Also he gave me more pictures of friends and family back home (with blonde hair so of course I was happy).
Later that night, Jaron and I decided to run errands to save as much money as we could in Boracay. We spent about 2 hours in the grocery store deciding what to get. The thing we want most is protein bars, but they are non existent here. We settled on a lot of peanut butter and jelly and snack foods, water, Gatorade and soda. For dinner that night we ate ice cream. It was really funs shopping, a. it was air con, and b. we went up and down every isle deciding how much we wanted to spend. I really enjoyed it.
The next day we left for Boracay, a treasure of the Philippines. The weather was rainy and the drive was long. We left at 5:30 am in hopes to make it by noon. Kelcey, another volunteer met up with us. There were not enough seats for us to all sit together, so Kelcey and I sat in the back while Jaron sat in the front. Kelcey and I had a great time catching up, I loved hearing about your site, her similar fear to cockroaches, and her success in defeating a large house spider (something I would not attempt to do at this point).
As people got off the bus, Jaron moved seats in order to move closer to Kelcey in I. It was really funny to watch him bounce seat to seat. Finally we were all together just in time for one of the most memorable experiences I will ever have on a bus. The bus was a lot smoother than other ones I had been on, last time I rode the bus the trip was supposed to take 4 hours, it took 2 ½. The bus driver seemed drunk and reckless, and its amazing we survived. This driver was steady, and I didn’t feel sick at all.
The bus driver put in an awful movie first, “Little Man,” please NEVER see it. When the movie was over I was excited for what was next, no way could two movies be so bad in a row. I was wrong. Very very wrong. The next selections was a series of music videos that a prisoner should have to listen to and watch on death row. Its hard to explain the absurdness of the music videos, the dancing, the costumes, the lyrics, the cheesiness. The fact that the people on the bus where somehow enjoying sounds that made me want to vomit was more than entertaining. The first two songs were funny because they were so awful, but by music video number 10, I don’t know how everyone didn’t feel suicidal. I don’t understand how that many bad music videos can exist and that someone could find them and put them on one disk, and then people would listen to it for pleasure. It was crazy, and I really can’t describe how terrible it was. You would think, “lysette put on your ipod,” the problem with the bus, they blared it, my ipod speakers were no competition for the songs on the bus.
Finally, it came to an end and we made it!! I was happy for two reasons, the first being I never had to listen to something that awful again, and second because my vacation had begun!
We took a tryke to the beach front and walked to our resort. Quickly changed into our swimsuits and headed out to the beach for the day. Sadly the beach was really rainy, but we stayed in the water anyway. The day passed quickly, and suddenly it was New Years Eve!!
I changed into a dress, my first unnecessary purchased of the Philippines, 250 pesos. Buying the dress was so weird to me, I used to go shopping all the time, and I felt like I was spending so much. It wasn’t a nice dress or anything, a casual beach dress, but it made me feel like a girl and I was happy in it.
The night was as wonderful as I could have wanted it to be, the fireworks were mesmerizing. My favorite movie when I was little was this Kid Songs movie about kids going to a theme park. I remember the colors from the fireworks reflecting off of the children, their jaws dropping and the ooo’s and ahh’s that came from their lips. In life there are very few times that people act like a pure genuine child, but when fireworks go off, I can see the genuine enjoyment from everyone around, and it makes me ridiculously happy. As much as I like watching the fireworks, I like to glance around the crowd and see how nothing has really changed since I watched that movie when I was seven, fireworks are amazing to experience, like watching the sky light up through the art of an imaginary artist that uses the night as the canvas. I simply love it.
After the fireworks came dancing. The group split up into many directions, but I was lucky enough to get to go to the dance club. The highlight moment for me was that there was a large screen projecting these dancing robots, and Jaron and I thought it would be funny to copy them. It was really fun. The music at the place overall was too technoy for my taste, but I had so much fun dancing, I wasn’t ready to leave.
Of course as night became day, it was time to go back to the room. I slept until 11:00 in the afternoon, something that is completely unlike me. Its very hard for me to stay in bed past 7:00am here. I get restless, and I have to get up. That’s the summary of how much fun we had.
We spent the rest of the day at the beach and getting gifts, and playing card games with friends before going out of the evening. We heard that everyone was going to this place called “Jungle” which was on the completely other side of the island. It was stormy and rainy, scary movie style, and as we approached what appeared to be a nightclub with no music or any people around my imagination runs wild with all the scary movies I have seen.
There was a bartender, 4 Australians and a group of 8 of us. We landed playing pool under a tent that was caving in due to the rain. It actually turned out to be quite adventurous and fun, imagine 8 of us under a tent listening to the banging noises of the rain, while waiting for our friends to arrive. Eventually we just decided to meet up with our friends, and we went back to the place we had been all the other nights called “L Bar.”
It was on top of a roof that didn’t have a cover over the dance floor so everyone danced in the rain, and said our goodbyes, as we don’t know when the next time we will be able to see any of these people again.
The last morning we were there, I set my alarm for 8am, I wanted a full morning of beach. Well it rainy, and cold (cold for the Philippines). Too cold to go into the water. Instead Jaron and walked along the beach and found these cool caves, and the true beauty of Boracay. It really sucked that the weather was so awful, but I can definitely see why people come, on a summer day it really would be like a slice of paradise. I brought my underwater camera, but didn’t have the chance to use it, so we got in the water anyway and snapped a few pictures despite the coolness of the day.
We took a long bus ride back, and finally made it home. I was extremely exhausted. The next day was a school day, and it was time to get back to work.
I can’t wait to tell you all what I have been up to at the school, but this blog is getting long, so I will end here and write more soon.
I hope you had a wonderful New Years!!! And if you made a resolution I hope your still with it D
Thanks for reading,