Tuesday, March 14, 2006

We arrived in Manila at midnight. We are dead tired. I have no idea what time it is in Hawaii or how long I've been awake. I did nap on the plane, but you know that's never as good as a real bed.

After clearing customs and immigration, we collected what looks like 40 pieces of luggage and boxes of medical supplies, and we also met 4 more members of the group that were either living here already or came in advance of our trip. Not everyone is a medical staffer. Some are from Hawaiis Congress of Visayan Organizations and, as local Filipinos, were very instrumental in setting up logistical things like transportation, housing, etc.

I was cautioned that sometimes people snatch your stuff and run off, or slash the backpacks off your body. This makes me nervous. This reminds me of Peru, where I was nearly victimized that way. I stood guard over the luggage for a long time until the bus drove us off. Luckily nothing happened. I'm known to be a little paranoid.

We ended up driving 20 feet to the Manila Airport Hotel, and sleeping there for 3 hours. It's air conditioned and the bed is clean. Thats all I care about.