Statues and Cathedral in Roxas City, which were right outside the window of our room.
We spent most of last night packing and running last minute errands, because we predicted that today would be chaotic before our flight from Roxas City to Manila (on another island). An appropriate prediction, as we were running all around the city today. Susan already left early this morning. John spent the majority of the morning and afternoon collecting samples to take back to Boston. Molly, Stephanie, and I picked up some goods for our families at the market before meeting up with Jane, Jarvis and other members of the Provincial Health Office one last time.
With members of the Provincial Health Office (some not pictured as they were out of the office today).
With Charmaine, a member of the Provincial Health Office, who assisted us greatly.
Many heartfelt goodbyes and photos later, we drove to the airport and jetted off to Manila. Already, I miss the sweet and pungent fragrance of burning rice husks, off-roading in the back of a truck, 10 peso chocolate-dipped ice cream, the rattling tricycle rides and the salty beach winds. Most importantly, I miss the people I have met.
Stephanie, Jane, and I outside taking a quick break between sampling to take a photo. This entire project would have been impossible without Jane.
At the Dumalag municipal health office, with the wonderful people that taught us how to cook/make turon.
It is so amazing to think that out of the 6 billion people in the world, I chanced upon this country and was able to meet the extraordinary people that live here. I am so incredibly lucky that our paths crossed for a few brief moments. Thank you, Roxas City, folks at the Provincial Health Office, and the wonderful citizens of Capiz Province that welcomed us into their homes for our research. To all of you - Salamat Gid!
So...24 days later, a little tanner, the CAWS team has bid farewell to Roxas City, and will leave Manila, Philippines on Sunday. Boston might be freezing, but for us — we will be warmed by the thoughts and memories of friends on the other side of the world.