Hello world! We have arrived in the Philippines. After much preparation and anticipation, it’s hard to believe we are finally here. I have already learned so much in the first couple days. On June 12th, all of us interning in the Philippines had orientation. We met Kuya Al and Tita Vicky. They were amazing, and taught us so much! They really embodied the hospitality of the Filipino people. Today, we got to the Food and Nutrition Institute (FNRI)! We visited the mall and ate lunch with Tita Czarina, an employee at FNRI and one of the nicest people I have ever met. I had spicy paa with rice, and leche flan for dessert. We then met with the directors of the Nutritional Assessment and Monitoring Division. They were so kind and welcoming, and I am so excited to work with them for the next two months. We got our schedule for our time here and told us their expectations for us. I am so happy to be working with FNRI-NAMD and grateful for this opportunity.
While being in the Philippines is so fun and exciting, I have also faced a lot of culture shock. One example of this was the traffic. It is so different from America! It’s almost as if the lines don’t exist; motorcycles weave around cars, and cars will cut each other off so often. Not to mention, pedestrians just walk through traffic. I would not be able to drive in this traffic. We also experienced the pedestrian side when we walked to Jollibee, a fast food restaurant. We were walking right on the street, next to the traffic. It was scary, but Tita Czarina helped us stay calm. There is definitely a lot I have to get used to during my time here!