I considered several different trips.
The first was to the Philippines. I had a lot of contacts, friends, and part time employees that had houses or businesses throughout the country. A couple of friends were talking about going to visit and they invited me to their houses to stay for as long as I wanted. Almost too good to be true. This set me planning a circle to visit friends and see sights that I had read about on the internet. This itinerary can easily be followed on Google.
1. Fly to Cebu and visit Al and Maravic’s friends and numerous relatives.
2. On north to Ilo Ilo and stay with Ron and Luisa. This would allow a side trip to Boracay and one of the most famous beaches in all of the Philippines.
3. Further north to visit Lee and Connie near Baguio City, Luzon.
4. Southeast to Legaspi on the southeast end of Luzon. Whale sharks collect in the nearby bays and I can think of no better idea for snorkeling than to share the bay with the whale sharks for an afternoon.
5. South to circle Biliran island.
6. South again to visit friends on Bohol.
7. End of the circle. East to Cebu and catch a flight back to home.
Unfortunately, all of the people traveling from the US at that time I was planning to visit had to change plans. This left me with a trip mostly by myself. For those of you that haven’t tried it, vacationing by yourself is boring and depressing. It is much nicer to have someone to share experiences and ideas with. So this got canceled early on. But…who knows? This trip may get resurrected at a later time. After all, Praxy’s home town is not all that far from Legaspi.
I looked into a trip from Ecuador to Chili by bus. I never really got very far into planning this. I know some people in Ecuador that have a Christian ministry and I would someday like to visit them. But the though of traveling by myself got in the way of this trip.
Australia was too far and too costly. Divorces are messy and expensive. I would have had to charge way to much onto charge cards.
I looked into African camera safaris. Again too expensive.
A circle relative tour. Not so good either. Most of my relatives have to work 40 hour weeks. Not a lot of time off for us to socialize. Also the weather is rotten during the winter in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington. I wanted to go somewhere warm.
A singles cruise in the Caribbean. No way, I wasn’t ready for that.
This dilemma ate at me and I thought about it constantly throughout the summer. Finally one day I had a breakthrough. I was driving to town for shopping in early September and it hit me that perhaps the orphanage that I help support in Villa Juarez, Mexico might be able to use some help. Bingo! I’d be with people I knew. Doing something constructive. I was familiar with the route, having driven it twice before. I had talked myself into going there by the time I had got home. If I was needed. And it would be relatively inexpensive compared to some of the other ideas. I delayed a week contacting anyone to give myself time to think about what was involved and also a chance to change my mind. No problem, it was a go.
I knew that there was a new building being constructed for the children near Navajoa as the old site near Villa Jaurez had been declared unacceptable due to pollution, flooding from hurricanes, and general dilapidation. I figured that I could work on repairing the old site so the kids would have a better life there until their new building was done. So I contacted the builder’s website giving my skills and started playing internet games after sending the message. I guessed I would hear something in a week or two.
Wrong! I got a message back within 10 minutes from Sherwin, inviting me down and saying they needed a ton of help. The old orphanage had been destroyed by a hurricane the week before (-!!!- About the time I came up with the idea of going there!) and there was a huge push to get people, materials, anything to get the children back into permanent housing. We exchanged emails for about 1 hour and I was set. Of course it was too early for me to give an exact date I would be there, but I estimated around Thanksgiving.
The children in the dining room at the old orphanage at Villa Jaurez, Sonora.
Pictures around the old orphanage site.
1. The filthy creek to the north and the pueblo of Subybaja on the other side.
2. One of the school rooms.
3. The grounds looking towards the volunteer housing.
4. My favorite of the 2000-2001 trip, Angel. Very intelligent and quite bold with strangers.
5. The Christmas party of 2000, I believe it was on December 19th or so. A snowman pinata hung on the basketball hoop.
All of the buildings above were severely damaged by a hurricane in September of 2007. The subsequent looting that followed destroyed this site and it is now abandoned.