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  • Drenched from escaping the heavy downpour and howling
    wind in Metro Manila, I found myself fanning my shoes, my socks, my shirt and my hair awaiting for any flight announcement of whether or not our flight to Nagoya, Japan en route to Washington DC was going to be canceled. I arrived at the airport 6 hours before the flight for fear of getting caught up in the flood that truly reminded me of a bad experience in 2009, the last Sunday of my bar exams when Typhoon "Ondoy" hit Metro Manila. This was codenamed "Gener" and Gener as opposed to Ondoy, came with a howling wind.

    My long hours of waiting in a stuffy old international airport that didn't have any dryers in the restrooms was not in vain. My colleagues and I met at the lounging area and we were able to fly as scheduled.

    It was a long and tedious flight from Manila. The crying baby on the flight to Nagoya made it even worse.

    Almost 24 hours later, we arrived at Reagan Airport in Washington DC looking like we took a shrimping boat to America. We were stinky, haggard and hungry.

    Still jet lagged, we had our first session the morning after. 61 participants from 28 countries from South America, Africa, Europe and Asia and the Pacific. We will stay and live in different communities in different States here in America for 4 months to share, learn and exchange insights on community development under the Education and Cultural Affairs of the State Department of the United States implemented by IREX (International Research Exchanges). We hope to be able to bring back some new experiences and pay if forward to our respective communities at home.

    The sun does not set until about 8:30 in North America and it rises at 6 in the morning because it is the summer season here. This makes it even harder to sleep at night.

    One day I will look back at this year 2012 and say, once in my
    life, I had the chance to experience 2 summers in a year.
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