Day 1: arrival

Before it all even began, it was chaotic. I had my licensing exam in mid-November, and that experience itself needs its own post. I had my Artona photos taken on the 21st, then I had my graduation on the morning of the 24th. Then, I was on my way to the airport at midnight. I tried to sleep as much as I could on the plane, knowing that it was nighttime in the new time zone. I had already practiced staying up late to adjust to the time difference after my exams were over. I also timed my medications so that when I got to the Philippines, its effectiveness would work during their daytime. I was diligent to avoid having my headaches exacerbate overseas where I wouldn’t be able to just lay in bed with my mom there to ensure that I wouldn’t starve to death. I digress. So on the plane, I had small talk with the guy beside me, and hoped that he would stop talking so that I could get some sleep. I was also praying that the kid beside me wouldn’t be fussy. Well, you can’t have everything you want. So the kid only kicked me a few times, but did considerably well for his age. As for the guy…I didn’t even dare open my eyes as he would start a conversation once I was awake. After a long flight, I landed in Manila where I would spend my next 10 hours for the connecting flight to Iloilo.

I stepped out of the airport to go upstairs to domestic departures and was hit with the heat, like I stepped into a sauna. So I quickly retreated back into the air-conditioned airport to waste time. Of course, Wifi was limited to 2 hours, so my entertainment of conversing with my family was cut off. Meandering around the restaurants just got me hungry, so I ended up sitting by the window and watched countless planes land and takeoff. The nonstop overhead announcements also ensured that I wasn’t able to get any sleep. The last few hours I wasted by watching the Hospital Ship episodes that I had downloaded onto my phone. I guess part of me also wanted to prepare my dislike of gory/icky stuff for the hospital internship I was headed towards. Then finally I was boarded, and had the window seat for the short hour flight to my home for 2 weeks.

As with all flights, I loved the feeling at takeoff. When the plane lifts into the air, that floating feeling just brings me so much joy. With the window seat, I was able to also record the breathless scenery outside as we transitioned into the world above the clouds. The sunset made it all the more beautiful and at last, I descended into the night sky in Iloilo. After checking in with my family while waiting for my luggage, I went outside and was met with a bright smile and a wave from a staff member and stepped into the humid air that would become my home for the next 2 weeks. It was all dark as I gazed outside the window and listened to the staff tell me about the house and the students there. All the while, I just wanted to sleep with my limbs outstretched on a bed.

Walking into the room with 3 bunk beds with my two roommates, it felt strange. After doing a walk-around video to send to my parents of what would be my room, I was met with the coordinator who gave me handouts and information regarding my weeks to come. I then turned on the fan facing my bottom bunk, ducked under the mosquito net, and went to sleep, ready to wake up the next morning to tour the city of love, Iloilo.