A new era is upon me

And for the first time ever, I am filing my income taxes. As a volunteer I don’t have enough taxable income (and the IRS does tax a portion of our living allowance) to require filing my taxes, but it seems that this year there’s a rebate for which I apply…and that means free money. Well, kinda. I’m sure we’ve all paid for that free money somewhere. Regardless, I’m happy- it should be enough to pay the first two months of my student loans and maybe have enough left over for a sandwich. Also a plus: freefile. Nice.

In the meantime, when I’m not trying to decipher IRS forms I’ve been trying to get life here at my site wrapped up so I can leave. I’ve been bringing small stacks of my complementary Newsweek magazines to the school library for students and teachers to read and/or cut up as they see fit. I’m starting the process of selling off some of my household things to get back some of my personal money that I had to spend on things because the PC settling-in allowance is enough to buy a set of sheets, a couple towels and not much else. It’s all starting to pick up as I realize that I only have about 1 month until I’ll be ready to move out of my house, since the last few weeks before I go home I’m going to be away from my host community.

As for the upcoming holiday, I’ve decided to use the time to do some things that I’ve always meant to do but never took the time. Over the past two years, I’ve spent plenty of time in Manila but I have yet to really see much of the cultural or historical sights of the city. My Easter holiday is going to be spent going around to the local parks, museums and well-known spots, including a trip to Corregidor for some WWII history. This is also a good opportunity for me to do some gift shopping for things to bring back, so if there’s anything in particular that you’d like…let me know and I’ll try to do my best.

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