Island Life – Tao Expeditions (Day 4)
Being the light sleeper that I am, I awoke on my stomach right before sunrise, the early morning glow just enough to light up the beach and Balatik through my bug net. Finally feeling pretty good, I grabbed my camera and tripod and crept out of the open bungalow as quietly as possible, another 15 people still still dozing all around. Gener was passed out in his hammock, I would assume with Amo since he was nowhere in sight, as I made my way to shoreline. Camp was quiet.
But the village was already awake. Cooking fires were lit, I could hear kids laughing in their huts, and a couple fisherman prepping their boats for the day gave me big grins and said “hello” or “good morning” as I strolled down the beach. I shot my fill of sunrise shots and wandered back to base camp where people were starting to stir and coffee was being brought in from the kitchen on the boat.
And so began day four of Tao Expeditions – the same as the previous three mornings. We sat around drinking coffee and tea, mowing down of fresh fruit, warm swims in the bay, and kayaking on the glass-like water. The only difference this morning was the heated Filipino-versus-foreigners volleyball game.
Packing up my things to get back aboard the boat, I couldn’t find my flip-flops (“slippers”), but then I realized, I couldn’t remember the last time I had seen them. I was barefoot at dinner the night before. I was barefoot on the boat all day the day before. I was barefoot the previous morning walking the length of the island… completely assimilated to island life.