Sorry if this has already been mentioned, but I used the "Search" function on this forum and found no results. And I'm on a really crappy connection right now with page loading times taking forever, so it's rather difficult to navigate this site with the efficiency I'm used to. Source My own take on the matter Being in the Philippines right now (since October 21st), I must say that this typhoon was definitely no joke. Trees were uprooted, roofs were ripped off houses, windows were shattered, and power is down in the town where I'm staying (Claveria, Cagayan). And we didn't even get hit nearly as hard as some other places. The only reason I'm even able to get online right now is because my dad had the foresight to get a gas-powered generator for our house here in the Philippines. Even then, we only run it for a few hours in the evening and have to shut it off before bedtime because it's loud and keeps the neighbors up. That means only a small window every night to recharge our batteries, take hot showers, reply to emails, etc. We have a 3G Internet connection so no heavy downloading or uploading for me. I have to say, my trip out here has put a lot of things in perspective for me. I have a new-found respect for mother nature, and a new-found appreciation for hot running water, books (wish I had brought more physical books with me to pass the time), and electricity in general. I've come to realize just how much of my usual activity requires electricity--gaming, TV, Internet, phone, even reading (whether it be studying or for leisure; I have PDFs for pretty much everything I read). The water is heated by electricity, so a lot of my showers here for the past couple weeks have been cold showers. I don't mind it so much--it's so hot here (with no electricity for electric fans or air conditioning) that a cold shower is actually pretty nice. The washing machine requires electricity and I've learned how to hand-wash my clothes. We can't even keep perishable foods for lack of refrigeration. I realized that I've become so dependent on electricity that I'm almost crippled without it. Once I came to the realization that electricity runs my life, I said "oh helllll naw" and immediately resolved to go into "unplugged mode." Kind of like being addicted to something and then quitting cold-turkey, and going into rehab. It was uncomfortable for the first week, but now I can say my electricity rehab has been liberating. Getting to know the locals has been a blessing. At night they just like to light candles, sit outside their bahay kubo and drink and laugh and talk in the dark. Thanks to playing basketball with the neighborhood kids and high-vegetable, low-meat diet (balatong and pinakbet) combined with the sweltering heat I've lost weight without even consciously trying (the fact that I don't sit on my ass in front of some sort of electronic device all day has also maybe...probably contributed to it). I love how these people take the typhoon in stride and don't fight each other and loot and riot as soon as a calamity hits (at least, not in my area). I'll be going home to the States in a couple of weeks. One thing I can be certain of, is that when I return home I'll see everything through different eyes.