Excerpted from my private journal, 6 April 2007:
The immunizations are done — Hep A, Hep B, Tetanus, Measles booster, Typhoid. Everything on the pasalubong list has been bought for relatives and the NGO community leaders I’ll meet on the journey. The suitcases have been brought out, ready to load. I’ve done my Internet searches for local museums and historical sites, stayed up nights pouring through Lonely Planet and Rough Guide sections on Cebu, visited the Cebu Tourism site. Booked rooms, our flight from L.A. to Mainal and Manila to Cebu.
I’ve gone back to my compilation of articles to triangulate exactly where the old Cebuano settlements are (current day cities like Cebu City and Naga). I’ve contacted an expert on gender in the sixteenth century Philippines, packaged together my business cards and reprints of one of my essays.
This is the moment when all the “to-do” items on my list are crossed off. This is the moment of looking at the Herculean effort I’ve taken.
There were nights when I woke up with my heart-pounding — wondering how I’d get from the airport to Guadalupe or Guadalupe to the Marine Sanctuary. Traveler’s worries. Or times when I’d asked myself, “What am I dragging Alan and Boy-boy into?”
But this, this is the moment to savor — that I’ve made all my preparations. The checklists are all done. The ingredients are all there except for the WONDER. Now, I just have to let go and let the journey happen.