The last day I was at San Antonio Nation High School was also the first morning there were clouds and no sun poking through. A day aptly cloudy, as it was the last day I would spend at San Antonio National High School, and the low hanging gray clouds seemed to capture the sadness I was feeling preparing to leave this wonderful community.
I did my best to take in every bit of the ride to school. The deep greens of the rice fields and palm trees, Mt. Mayon a beacon in the distance, the rutted dirt road leading to the school, the smell of exhaust from the tricycles, the sound of sputtering engines...all of the things photographs can't capture.
In reflecting on the fanfare of my visit there, I am reminded that this is a community that does not often get visitors, especially a teacher from the United States. It was something that was quite honorable for them. They deemed my presence celebratory, a mindset I was humbled and honored by, because I've never seen myself as much more than just a teacher...certainly not a celebrity, which is how I was treated.
Below are a few of my favorite images from the last 24 hours in Iriga City. It is a place that holds a truly special place in my heart. I can't wait to share the stories and the gajillion (yes that is a very technical number) photographs and videos that have not made it to my blog.
These two images (above and right) beg a bit of explanation...my co-fellow and I ate balut, which is considered a sort of delicacy here in the Philippines (and other parts of SE Asia). If you are curious...google "balut". It was a once-in-a-lifetime cultural experience, I am also proud to say I was told that in consuming it, I was an honorary Filipina! I'll take it!!!