Davao report: feeling local again

…propping up my sore left arm so I can type this out. Yesterday’s kayaking was excellent…but tough for a once-strong-now-weak person like myself. It was about 11 kilometers (nearly 7 miles) round-trip from Santa Ana Pier across the bay to Samal Island. Kind of nutty being out on the open water in a cargo shipping lane with a current and lots of wind on my first real kayaking effort. But that’s kind of how I end up picking up new activities, anyway. And I have to confess that I really liked it, despite my current muscle aches, raw spots from having my arms rubbing against the vest, blisters on my thumbs, sore wrist and the general inability to use my hands properly for several minutes after letting go of the paddle. It was fun. I also think it’s a pretty good match for rock climbing since it requires fairly strong hands and strengthens the pulling muscles in your shoulders. (Did I just pick up a new sport?!)

Today no scuba diving. One hazard to becoming friends with the dive shop is that you’re the first requested to be bumped when a group of regular tourists shows up and rents all the tanks. Ok, lang. I’ll dive mid-week with a smaller group.

Arvin and Gwyneth have asked me to be their coach for their dance competition in Manila. I think it’s an unreasonable amount of faith in me, particularly since I’m not a ballroom person, but I’m flattered and they need support so I said yes. I’m bringing in Senya, a friend of mine who was the national ballroom champion a couple of years in a row, to help me and actually suggest technical stuff.

I’ve now located more of my friends here, remembering that yes, I really did live here for a year. Still, it’s a country fairly free of sarcasm, so I’m missing you all. I did have a major revelation yesterday: this is an almost completely mullet-free environment! I realized this when I saw one, and it startled me.

This and other things, like fresh mango and fish, make it so tempting to just stay…. oh but this time I have work back home. oh well.