First Week: Impressions

Hi there, it’s Jess. Coming to you live halfway across the world in the currently rainy and windy Philippines. I’ve been in the Philippines for about a week now, eight days to be precise. This week I have experienced many firsts that no preparation could have possibly prepared me for. Not necessarily bad but memorable. So just to kick off, here are some highlights of the past week.

June 2nd was the start of it all. I’m thankful to my Dad and sister for driving and accompanying me to the Chicago O’Hare International Airport which due to construction took nearly seven hours. After all the long lines of checking in and security, I finally made it to the gate and met with the other IWU Freeman Asia students. Unaware of all the sitting we would have to do the next few days we all anxiously waited to board the plane. It took us thirteen hours to land in Doha Qatar, a nine-hour layover, and a nine-hour flight to finally make it to the Philippines.

Airplane Dinner Meal

We stayed in Los Banos at the SEARCA Residence Hotel for two nights. On the second day of our arrival in the Philippines, we were greeted by a panel that taught us about Filipino culture and a crash course on essential terms and phrases of the Filipino language. That night we were treated to Filipino food at a restaurant where two singers played the guitar and sang for us. Something I learned during the past few days is that Filipinos love to sing even while working in the office. I also learned that karaoke is big here, hopefully, I’ll get to go with some locals sometime.

First Sunrise in the Philippines

Us FNRI interns parted with the other IWU Freeman Asia students on Sunday night and the following day we were taken to Siena Park Residences (where we will be staying for the rest of our time here in the Philippines). We had our FNRI orientation on Tuesday and were given a tour of the entire FNRI building. I didn’t start officially working on anything till the following day. I was assigned with finding related reading literature for a project my division is currently working on.

On Friday (June 10th), Sarah (the other IWU Freeman Asia intern under the Technology Diffusion and S&T Services Division) and I traveled to Tagaytay City with our coworkers to attend the Consultative Meeting for Technology Licensees of Enhanced Nutribun. Sarah and I spent all afternoon in D’ Banquet Bakeshop and Resto working the registration table and attending the meeting.

FNRI Garden
Early Lunch in the Canteen (Fresh Lumpia and Rice)

First Week Takeaway: Always bring an umbrella to shield yourself from the blazing sun or the occasional afternoon rain (there’s almost always a chance it will rain here). Filipinos are very nice and accommodating. I broke my umbrella after using it once and when I told Sir VJ he offered to lend me an umbrella until I got a new one.

-Till Next Week, Jess 🙂

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