After 8 weeks spent with my chaps of the Zoox Experience Programme, here I am… Cebu city! … where I am waiting for my flight that will bring me back to Manila in 24 hours.
It is quite weird to be back in a big city after 8 weeks of isolation near Zamboanguita and on Malapascua. Everything appears much more populated, bigger and noisier, which it’s obviously not just an appearance, but the difference is even more blatant!
I had to leave Malapascua a bit sooner than expected. Two days of fever and an infection provided me with the “nice” opportunity of visiting Cebu’s hospital; thankfully, nothing too serious, with antibiotics becoming my new best friend for seven days.
The early departure has resulted in a longer stay in Cebu for waiting for my flight. In the meantime, it has provided me with more time for some reflections on the two months I have just spent in the Philippines, as well as the next ones!
It may be the end of ZEP, but for me it’s also the start of a 7 month travel through Southeast Asia: Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos … here we come! This is also only a goodbye to the Philippines, as we will end up here again before going back to Europe.
I am now in this weird situation where nostalgia and excitement are mixing.
Looking backward… the ZEP was an experience I will not forget!
On one hand, I will miss the other volunteers Kate, Steph, Jenny and Angie, as well as the Zoox team, Alan and Sam, with whom I have learnt a lot and had a lot of fun. I have so many good memories that it is not possible to list all of them; all I can say now is THANK YOU for this amazing experience!
On the other hand, I will miss my time spent on Malapascua collaborating with dive centres and local dive guides, while getting all this practical and professional experience working on marine conservation projects. It was sometimes intense and tiring, but always interesting and rewarding, and this experience has given me useful new perspectives on my professional career.
Looking forward… I must not complain… it does not look bad at all!
7 month of freedom through Southeast Asia is quite a nice perspective.
At the very beginning of ZEP, I presented myself as being a sponge, absorbing and digesting all the useful information provided during the training.
I have enjoyed it so much, that I don’t see any reason to stop. However, I may decide to evolve and become another species of sponge. Indeed, instead of digesting new information and professional experience about marine conservation, I will start absorbing new Asian cultures, adventures and encounters to make me grow!