Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Years wishes; clouds and wind

We woke up to a windy new year. Actually it was quite windy yesterday and through the night as well, so noisy that it was hard to hear the ever-present crickets and geckos. Ronilo says that there is a storm in Mindanao a thousand miles south of here, but the worst of the weather is not expected to hit us. This could of course account for the wind and clouds, but we can’t verify it on the internet because the one time we went to,com we waited half an hour for the interactive weather page to load and never got a full map, much less the series in motion. We hope to get some sun for our solar panels, since we have had to run the generator an hour or so a day to make up for the amount of clouds recently.

It’s strange to think that it’s still 2008 in America, and won’t be this year there until 1:00 PM in Michigan, 2:00 PM in Minnesota, and 4:00 PM (all Philippine times, of course) in California. Traveling across the International Dateline really messes with your head until you’re used to it. For instance, the normal San Francisco to Manila trip lands two days after it takes off, while the return trip lands four hours before it takes off!

This year we are looking forward to having some visitors this year. A group of guys is coming for a week of exploring in January. A man from the Military History Tours wants us to spend some time with his group when they spend an overnight here later this month. In March we are being visited by the man who runs the MacArthur Museum in Richmond Virginia, his first visit to The Rock. In April we have our annual nine-day tour of the WWII areas of interest in Manila, Corregidor, Bataan, and Luzon. Then in October we might be leading a two-week tour that includes the 65th anniversary of MacArthur’s return to the Philippines. It includes stops in Cebu, which is supposed to be a beautiful area in central Philippines (Visayas), and Baguio City, which is in the mountains north of Manila, making it a highly desirable place to be during hot weather.

The day before yesterday we met four Catholic priests, almost by accident. We were taking pictures of one of the gun batteries which will soon undergo some significant brush clearing. Their tour guide, Ramon, who can look like Jimmy Carter, introduced us. We had a short but warm conversation. A couple of them live in Makati and work at a Catholic School in Fort Bonifacio. They are interested in coming out to the island for a day of hiking. We hope they can make it out on a day we can accompany them.

We wish you all a Happy New Year.

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