Off to a great start!

The flight to Manila was long, but except for one really sketchy airline interpretation of beef and rice, it was a good trip. Half of our group flew into Detroit then on to Narita, Japan, where we met the rest of our group.

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In Detroit

We’re staying at the Peninsula Manila.  They had a special check-in area just for our group so that process went quickly – a godsend after 28 hours of travel.  While we were getting our keys we sipped on a tangy citrus drink and listened to the live jazz combo.

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Today started off with at visit to the fitness center, then a breakfast buffet.  They have bacon here – hooray!  They also have pineapple danishes, which are amazing.  We went to our first training session with two of the host teachers, Noberto and Alex.  Noberto presented a 2 hour introduction on Filipino history and culture which was very interesting.

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Lunch was another buffet and I sampled a little bit of everything.  I really needed to hit the gym again, but I took a walk around the hotel and found a nice little park right across the street.

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After the break we had another session with Norberto and Alex where we learned about the history of the educational system in the Philippines and talked about how the US system compares.   An interesting thing about the Philippines is that the public schools have been K-10.  They are just now transitioning into a K-12 system, which requires some challenging adjustments.

After training we piled into a couple of vans and headed to Intramuros (within the walls), a historical area of Manila.  We had an hour or so to walk around and explore the area. We started our mini-tour at San Augustin Church, the oldest church in Manila, which was built by the Spanish over 400 years ago.   .

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We had dinner at Barbara’s restaurant.  I still full from lunch, but enjoyed the roasted chicken and the vegetables.  After eating we enjoyed a wonderful show of traditional Philippine music and dancing.

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/131431547″>Water glass dance</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user40630509″>Roma stutts</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/131432161″>Ancient dance</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user40630509″>Roma stutts</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/131432222″>Hat dance part 2</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user40630509″>Roma stutts</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/131433213″>Spanish dance</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user40630509″>Roma stutts</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

I actually got to do this, but I’m not sure if anybody got video of it.  Which is probably a good thing.  I’ll just tell you that I was amazing.

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/131434921″>Tinikling</a&gt; from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user40630509″>Roma stutts</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

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