Nine months later, I finally drag myself back to the computer (or rather, an iPad) and decide it's time to write a blog. A lot has happened in nine months. Six months ago, the mobile home family welcomed a beautiful baby boy! We chose to go home to have the baby and were in Florida for 4 months over the summer and early fall.
Having a baby has significantly changed by perspective on Manila: love our yaya. In addition to loving the fact that I can work part time knowing that my baby is safe and happy at home with his wonderful caregiver, Filipinos welcome babies everywhere! On the plane home from Hong Kong two weeks ago' my 6 month old was active and fussy, but I had plenty of volunteers in the surrounding seats taking turns entertaining the baby. Awesome.
Having a baby has also helped me learn to let go of the little things, a mandatory skill for a life in the foreign service. I just don't have the energy to fret about little things. Maybe that will change when he's older and I'm getting more sleep-
Our next post is Albania. Another 20% hardship, but hopefully one that is hard in different ways from this one. I've learned how to cope with many things about life in Manila that used to irritate me endlessly. For example, traffic is always bad here. How to cope? Don't go anywhere. Seriously. Or rather, be content with going to the one restaurant that's close to you frequently, and make do with whatever the one nearby grocery store is selling. Or even better, order it online at the thegreengrocermanila.com and go to the grocery store as little as possible.
Anyone reading this in the US or at a non hardship post probably thinks I'm nuts, but this is what works for us.
In Albania, the air will be cleaner, there will be mountain views and parks, and the population will be 500,000 instead of 11,553,427. I will still have trouble getting to the grocery store, and when I get there, won't find anything I need. I do not look forward to our next post with rose colored glasses, or beer goggles, depending on your preference, but I hope that I will keep my skill of letting the little things go.