June 25

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Observing

I took this photo as my flight approached Doha, Qatar, where I had a layover en route to Manila. The serene picture captures how this journey has been thus far. Let me give you some details.

On the second flight I made a friend A, who sat next to me. I learned that she works for Qatar Airways. We chatted about ourselves–where we’re going and why. She was going home to attend a friend’s wedding. I told her about GSK PULSE program and my assignment with Save the Children, Manila, for the next six months. Being a flight attendant, A has travelled through Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) numerous times.  She is familiar with Terminal 1 as well, which is where our flight landed.  She told me where the ATM machines and booths that sell local SIM cards are. Lastly, she gave me her contact information, promising to connect me with her cousin. He owns a hotel in Baguio, a mountain town about 250 km away from Manila. A insisted this is a must-see place! I had heard great things about  Filipino hospitality–now I am experiencing that.

I had no problems at the airport and with finding the Nissan rent a car office. (Thanks to RM and MB for the detailed instructions on how to get to the Nissan booth.) The car ride from airport to the hotel, reminded me of my India trips. There was pretty good traffic even at that late hour. I reached the hotel in Makati around 1 pm and tried to get some sleep.

I have spent my last few days wandering through the neighborhood and looking for an apartment. While exploring, I found snacks that I can live on, meals or no meals…hehe! However, I am still determined to find a place that serves good vegetarian food.

Filipino snacks

My first day of work at Save the Children, Makati, will be Tuesday, June 27. Wednesday is our face-to face team meeting “for all PDQ staff”. I am looking forward to meeting my colleagues and learning what PDQ stands for!