What do I miss?

We have been in the Philippines for about five months. What kinds of things do we miss? Many people know that the way to my heart is through my stomach, so naturally some of the things I miss are food related. Both Chris and I really miss Mexican food. We loved Don Pablo's and Taco Bell (not really "Mexican") We try and eat Mexican at least once a week, but it is not as easy to prepare since we have to make our tortillas from scratch. This can be a lot of work, but it is worth it. Chris has really impressed me by learning how to make many things from scratch, like Italian bread (very good and a hit with all who try it), different kinds of cookies, cakes, and breads.

Of course we miss the comforts of the US. Since it is so hot here we keep our windows open 24/7. Few houses have any kind of thermostat or central air conditioning. Having your windows open all day invites more than just the breezes. It can get very dusty inside. Also, even with screens on each window, the bugs are ever present. It seems we are always battling with ants. All food items must be completely sealed, or ants will find their way in and have a feast. I also find myself missing carpeting. Few places have wall-to-wall carpeting. I hear that babies growing up here do not spend much time crawling since there is no comfortable carpeting to crawl on. Of course, I also miss hot water. We are going to Hong Kong next week. I am so looking forward to taking a hot shower. I have not experienced this singular pleasure since October. Life in the United States is definitely much more cleaner and in some ways "softer," or another way to put it, less harsh.

One thing our entire family misses very much is a public library, no such things here in Iloilo. I am not just saying this because I previously worked for the Howard County Library. I was spoiled to not only work for this great library system, but also to patronize the Howard County Libraries. We are all avid readers, and making a trip to the Central Library in Columbia, Maryland was always a treat for all four of us. I would even take my kids there on my days off, and they loved it, it was a treat for them. Having so many books available to check out and read, and all for free. We do have a small library in our home here in Iloilo. We brought many books with us, and we also got some from Amazon (yes, they deliver to the Philippines). There is an OK bookstore here in our local shopping mall, and both Chris and I have been reading electronic books that we download from the Internet. But there is nothing quite like spending an hour or so browsing the stacks at a good library, coming home with an armful of books, and coming back the next week for more. Our family visited the library at least once a week. Chris says the next time we visit Maryland, she is going to "live" at the Central Library.

More than anything, we really miss people, family and friends. I miss the friends I would hang out with at work or go have lunch with. I miss the times spent with a bunch of guys, watching Monday Night Football at Damon's or going to an Orioles game. Eric and Faith really miss their friends, and their extended family in Maryland, and speak of them often. And I know Chris really misses the pleasures of watching her young nephew, Ryan, growing up. The fellowship of family and friends is what we miss the most.

What would we miss if we were not here? Now that is a good question.


  1. Anonymous10:11 AM

    i miss you guys too. Looking forward to late night coffee and a brownie, dave. Speakin of which, how is the coffee there?


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