I made it safe and sound! There was a short meeting in Philadelphia for a day, and then a 20 hour flight to Manila. There was a short and much needed layover at Narita (Tokyo). Everybody I have met so far is absolutely great! Even the people I haven't met are nice. This week we are staying at a resort just outside of Manile. It's got an animal area with monkeys and aligators (great combo), there is a water park, amazing food, music, and karaoke. At the end of the week I go somewhere to meet my host family and start the language training. Tonight while I was out for a walk, I saw hundreds of large toads, fruit bats, gecko like lizards, and trumpet fish. Most of the water where we are at is very polluted, and there is a lot of garbage on the streets. It's mostly shanty towns surrounding our resort area. Despite the impoverished area, people seem to have good spirits, and are very friendly towards Americans.
At this point internet access is pretty spotty, and I don't imagine it getting any better, but we'll see. I'll also try hard to get some pictures up soon. I haven't been very good about taking pictures, but I will get better.
I miss you all very much, and you're on my mind. Take care and I'll look forward to hearing from you.