The front porch view

It’s an apt metaphor for me though, I must say. After a very tumultuous re-entry to the U.S., I feel like my life’s been ripped up and tossed about but that something really good will come out of it. After five months in the Philippines, both Matt and I have gone through major transformations. I walk around the house and interact with people and I feel so different. Matt and I have had re-adjustments and recommitments to our relationship as well. On top of that, there’s culture shock, and the general question: What the hell just happened to me? And what’s next?

Well, here’s what I know for now. I’m in Denver, I’m catching up on my blog writing for the rest of the month, and working with Matt in real estate. Matt’s mom is coming to visit next week. In July, I’ll travel with Matt’s brother and sister-in-law (and her brother) to Iowa where we’ll bike across the state, and I plan to visit California soon. I’m getting settled, spending time with friends, and taking dance and pilates classes at the studio just down the block. I’m adjusting. I’m also eating lots of amazing food. Just the other day I went to our local market and found the exact kind of bread I was looking for (sprouted spelt bread) and I had to stop myself from shouting: “God Bless America!”

Do you know how amazing this country is? How abundant? You can find anything you want here! I could really go on and on. Like garbage disposals for one thing, and dishwashers. I mean, wow.

As for the place I left, it sounds like things are tumultuous back in Ifugao too. My neighbor and friend Adam, a Peace Corps volunteer, is getting transferred from Banaue to a site some 14 hours away. The Peace Corps will possibly evacuate all the volunteers in Ifugao. With the impending trial of Julia’s murderer, they’re worried about some kind of backlash from the locals. While I seriously doubt 99.9 percent of the people would do anything, there’s a lot of alcoholism in the region and I understand their concerns. I’m so sad Adam has to leave—he’s heartbroken after all the time and energy he’s put into the family and the place. But it also sounds like I left right on time.

I’ve got a ton of writing to catch up on—I haven’t written about my entire last month in the country. So much happened too—eleven days on the Bee Farm, two trips to Ifugao, a phenomenal retreat…anyway, I’ll fill you in. And then once I’m caught up, I’ll start working on my book about this whole crazy experience. Perhaps I’ll have more perspective by then.

For now, there’s nowhere to move but ahead. I’ll keep you updated on our cement project. It’s going to take a lot of time to heal the soil enough to garden, but I’m looking forward to seeing what emerges from the rubble.