My work with my projects has started to wind down as they prepare for my absence. Therefore, I have had a little bit of extra time to pursue other interests. There were limited options in Santiago, so I had to expand my search a little bit. Luckily St. James high school in Besao, Mountain Province invited me to spend 5 weeks as a physical education teacher. The high school was established by some of the first Episcopal missionaries to come to the Philippines in 1910’s. It is also the alma mater of many of my friends and bosses in Santiago and the ECP. Besao is one of a few villages that nearly every Episcopalian in the Philippines can trace their roots to. While most of the Philippines is overwhelmingly Catholic, Besao is almost exclusively Episcopalian.
I have been in Besao for only a day and a half, yet I have already gotten a very distinctive homely feeling. My dad came to visit a couple of weeks ago. We traveled to Santiago, Sagada, Baguio, Manila, and Hong Kong. While in Sagada, we were invited by Atty. Floyd Lalwet to his home in Besao. My dad and I agreed that while the other places were all nice, Besao was special. The landscape here is incredible. There are lush green mountains with bright rice terraces everywhere you look. There are seemingly hundreds of hiking trails here that go to every farm in every corner of this municipality. There is also a large grass field about a 2 minute walk from my house where I will be teaching gym class. I will also be headed directly there to sharpen up on my soccer skills right after I finish my blog. Anyway, I am a little bit short on stories were because I have only been here a day and a half. Hopefully my next blog will include stories and pictures from my hikes and classes. I promise, you won’t have to wait as long for the next blog.