Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Eco-Tourism Park

I posted about my weekend a little bit yesterday. But don’t let that give you the wrong impression. It wasn’t all boring or spent on the compound. Sunday afternoon was spent going on a little excursion with some co-workers.

After lunch at ChowKing, my new favorite fast food place, Ata Tess, Jocelyn, Ata Joyce, Sir Junior and I headed to the Lower Magat Eco-Tourism Park in Nueva Viscaya Province. It’s about a half-hour drive from Santiago City into the mountains. The land for the park was purchased by the Provincial Government to preserve the land and provide a space for people to enjoy. To enter the park, it costs 50 pesos ($1.14) per person. So cheap!

The Boating Area

Ata Joyce with her umbrella to block the glaring sun.

Once in the park, there are hikes, a boating area, horseback riding, a pool, grassy areas for picnics and an animal paradise. It was too hot to boat around a lake for an hour in the glaring sun. We decided to hang by the pool for a bit while enjoying some ice cream. Jocelyn’s 21 month-old son, Jayden, was terrified of the water a first but eventually saw all the kids having fun and decided to get his feet wet. We didn’t actually get in the water, but just sitting along the edge with our feet dangling in was refreshing.

Most refreshing ice cream cone.

Trying to escape the heat in the shade. 
Jocelyn & Jayden walking around the pool.
Afterwards, we headed up to the Animal Paradise, a mini zoo. It mostly consisted of birds such as hawks, chickens, turkeys, homing pigeons. Animals I see on a daily basis at the compound. They had a reptile room with boa constrictors and cobras. I walked in and turned right back around. Snakes are not my thing! The big attraction was the ostriches. They actually came right up to the fence. At one point I was worried they were going to poke their head through and bite us. My back was up against a railing with a big hill down below. I decided I’d gotten close enough and started to slowly back away.

All of that took a couple of hours. We headed home and after a quick grocery run, it was time to make dinner and watch the sun go down.

I feel really fortunate that my co-workers have made an effort to take me on little excursions like this one! It’s great to get to know them outside the office and to get off the compound. While sometimes I feel like we don’t ‘do’ that much, I have to remind myself that the point is to simply ‘be.’

Be and live in the present. Be present with the people around me.

Thanks for reading!

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