Sure I’m packed! There is no way that I forgot where I put my passport mere hours before my flight takes off! I never procrastinate! This blog was written days before – I just decided to post now.
Right. Everything actually got done. I’ve had a lot of help from many friends, coworkers, and family. I’m so tired and my journey hasn’t even begun. However, I am so excited. This isn’t a vacation, I’m actually going to be of some use in Manila. Francis, my host, called me on Skype last night and we were able to make some last-minute plans to scuba dive and rock climb. A friend came over and lent me her Go-Pro. My boss is picking me up tomorrow at 4:30 AM to take me 30 miles to the airport. My girlfriend made me dinner so I could pack. Everyone I’ve met has had some sort of trick or bit of advice for a first-time international traveler such as myself. I.e if you print a scanned copy of your passport and stick it in your luggage, they will be able to determine it’s yours very quickly.
The way I see it, I have a lot to pay forward.
Now I have to make the most of it. Francis has a detailed itinerary for me while I’m there. We will be working on the CoMap project for the Philippines and Cambodia. I can’t wait to be a part of this! I’ve been doing Geographic Information Science (GIS) since I was a park ranger in Austin, TX and now I do it full time for the City of Sugar Land. Sugar Land is a beautiful little community just outside of Houston, Texas where I’ve lived for five years. It’s also one of the most diverse in the country. It is probably the reason why I got interested in the ICMA program to begin with. I just never thought these mapping skills would take me to the other side of the planet.
After Manila and the University of Manila Dillman, we will go to Sablyan on Mindoro to do some coastal “work”. Hopefully the work will be on my tan. 😉 Before I know it, I’ll be finished with the ICMA program and I’ll take a week to explore Southeast Asia. Before then, I’ll post a couple more times and get a few more pictures – not of unpacked luggage in a living room, at least you know it can only get better.