Friday, July 3, 2015

Heading North into the Mountains

Written June 29
I am looking forward to a week or so of almost no technology on the farm. While the Philippines kicks Canadas butt at having free wifi almost everywhere, their phone situation is so ridiculous its almost comical - that is until you find yourself desperately needing to nake a call. Some phone providers (globe and smart) only contact phones with the same providers meaning a lot of people hace 2 cell phones and the  issue got more ridoculous today when the hotel told me that land lines can't call cell phones, only cell phones can. Unfortunately for me I was finding out that unlike the last phone I got from Wind Mobile, my new one was locked and the unlock code I had ordered online was supposed to arrive in less than 12 hours so of course 19 hours later I was about to lose all wifi access and the code was still not sent. Thank god for the Baguio Village Inn! At 400 php they had the best rate and it felt luxurious having a whole tiny private room to myself.  The inn was really nice,  clean, hot showers, and excellent life saving staff! Okay it may not technically be lifesaving but it felt like that, I asked the front desk if I could try calling the farm contact from their phone and it was then they told me landlines can't call cellphones. Then after I return to my room the staff member knocks on the door and apparently has a phone I can try and everything fell into place . It's almost a shame, I probably would have ended up with some interesting stories about the time I got off the bus in  the middle of nowhere and wandered around asking where Layog Country Farm was.

At this point I'm not sure if I've mentioned how wonderful and kind the filipino people I've met so just in case I'll say it again (okay maybe it's been constantly mentioned). They are amazing. I got to the Dangwa bus station which was an easy 41 php drive from Baguio Village Inn and I was promptly greeted by Beverly whose mother manages the Layog Farm and we talked for a while over a hearty breakfast - I made sure to eat real food before this 6 hour trip unlike the ride the day before where I survived off candy Jace's family had given me. Beverly made sure I got on the right bus and Flordelina, the owner was waiting for me on the bus intent on making sure I got the right bus. It sounds like there is a while team of people watching out for me and making sure I make it to the farm ok. I'm near overwhelmed at their kindness and concern. Flordelina isn't even taking the bus till  the next day. I'm really looking forwards to meeting the people on the farm and speaking more with Flordelina, the filipino owner of the farm who works teaching Norwegian to middle eastern immigrants in Norway.

The one thing that has begun to bother me a bit is how many helpx places or couchsurfs remind people that they should expect simple living. The need to always say this means there have been people in the past who were welcomed into their homes and had the nerve to actually complain.  Personally I would choose simple living with amazingly hospitable people over five star accomodations with no soul.

Things I can check of "the list": Checked into my first hotel ever with no reservation (and no backup plan), travelled through the Philippines mountains, tried some new filipino fruits with names I can't remember/pronounce

Lessons learned: Before getting on a 6 hour bus, eat real food, use the damn bathrooms, even if you don't have to go yet and once you're on the road use every major rest stop to stretch otherwise standing at the end of 6-7 hours will be a new and exciting challenge

1 comment:

  1. My baby is in the middle of nowhereland and I'm sooo happy for you. I "get" the thrill of checking into a hotel with no reservations. You feel so grown up and wild at the same time. What is 400 php- we need the conversions. Is this the place you will be picking tobacco? I can't wait to hear all about HelpX, since I never got to use it.