(Originally published in Journey To Samal blog)

Moving to a new country and culture requires making some adjustments. You’re used to doing things a certain way, and you move to a place like the Philippines and you discover that people here have their own ways of doing things, and they’re different.

One of the differences has to do with shopping. On the surface, it doesn’t seem all that different from America. There are malls, they have stores, they sell stuff. But one thing they don’t usually do is let you return things. In the U.S., most large retailers will give refunds on just about anything, no questions asked. You buy a coffee maker at Walmart or an electric drill at Home Depot, you can bring it back for a refund, even if it works perfectly.

Not here. Different system. On most items purchased at the larger stores, the usual . . . More »

(Originally published in Journey To Samal blog)

People sometimes ask me what I miss the most from Arizona, now that I live in the Philippines. For me, the answer is easy: the public library. (A close second would be Mexican food.)

In 1993 my wife and I seriously considered moving here to Davao permanently. We even came over and lived here for six weeks as a kind of test drive. No internet then, no bookstores that carried foreign books – the best you could do was a few foreign magazines. No Skype or Magicjack, either, back then long distance to the U.S. was about 80 cents a minute.

Now, of course, life here on Mindanao is completely different. Internet is available nearly everywhere, and although the available choices More »