Still alive and kicking.Â I pretty much lucked out and dodged all the typhoons in the Philippines. I’m also scheduled to miss the remnants of Typhoon Melor that hit Japan last week and due to hit the west coast early this week.
The diving was good. I can’t say great because I don’t think it was as good as the Solomon Islands last year. But who am I to say? It’s only my second diving trip. The weather was hot, humid, and unpredictable.Â We had residual rain, wind and cloud cover from the never ending Typhoon Parma during the early part of the week. It finally calmed down for the last day or so of the trip.Â The waters were murky. But the murky water also brought the corals out for feeding, which we wouldn’t see otherwise.
There was a lot of surge and it took me a few days to learn to not fight the surge and current and go with the flow. I got comfortable enough to play with my underwater housing for my point and shoot Canon.Â You can see some of the pictures in my Picasa album.
I’m in Makati, outside of Manila right now. While the areas that I’m seeing look back to normal, I was told by my driver (hotel car service) that the outlying areas are still under water and without power.Â They are not expecting to have power restored for at least 3 months.Â It means a dark Christmas.Â In order for him to get to work, he first has to catch the raft from his home and help push the raft for an hour to get to dry land, then onward to the hotel for a shower and start his day.Â He plans to be here by 5:30 am tomorrow to take me to the airport, which means that he needs to be up by 3 or so.Â They can’t leave their home for fear of looting.Â They can’t cook at home so he needs to buy food for the night on his way home.Â (I’m trying to be liberal with my tipping while here in Manila.)
So, yeah, don’t ignore the requests for donations from MSF, Mercy Corps, Red Cross, or your aid relief organization of choice.
And the blanket? It’s finally getting past the “placemat” stage.Â It’s almost pillow sized.Â It’s another way of say, I have a lot of knitting ahead of me.Â It may be a sleepless flight back to California.