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Written on: Thursday January 10th, 2008

A journal entry from: ASIA PART II

Leveriza Street, Pasay City

Espenida Residence

Happy New Year!

I hope you all survived the holiday season without too much weight gain. Wow.... another year passed by. I hope it was as good for you as it was for me. I really can't complain.

This new year was brought in with the sound of firecrackers, gunshots and all sorts of other loud crazy things ringing in my ears. It was still hours until the final countdown, yet the streets become impassable as everyone congregates outside and continues to celebrate. Walking outside becomes a challenge and is not advisable for those who easily startle. Midnight strikes and anything and everything is turned on and turned up to full volume. It's noisy fun and I loved it! I enjoyed a midnight feast times two and then we made our way to the Big Fish event at Club Embassy. Already 2008 was off to great start!

The weekend prior to was spent at our family friend's rest house out in the province of Pampanga. Tito Edmund's collection of exotic and farm animals was quite the thrill and we were especially amused by his orangoutang, Uma. The Paule family were wonderful hosts during our time in the Philippines and I look forward returning the favor when they visit us in Canada.

I dropped my parents off at the airport yesterday morning and was a complete wreck. I packed my purchases from over the past month into my suitcase and sent it with them back to Canada. Only now has it started to sink in that this adventure is about to take off into a different dimension. Dennis leaves the day after tomorrow, and so we did the rounds once again and said our farewells to our family. So long, until we meet again... It will be nice to make an annual visit now that I am finished my studies. I leave for India early Sunday morning and this last minute gal has several things left uncrossed on the To-Do list. Pack and repack. Eliminate the unnecessary. Easier said than done. Pack and repack. Pack and repack.

Best of the new year to all!