This is our last day here. Everyone else if off for a morning of sight-seeing. Me? I've seen plenty of sights and prefer the down time.
Baguio has changed since we arrived. The torrential rains have stopped and the sun is shinning. We are in a high mountain valley. No longer shrouded with clouds, the peaks are pine-covered and scented with a sweet something that grows here. Looking up, one sees the trees and peaks. Looking out, one can see forever across the mountainous backbone of Luzon. Looking down, one sees busy Baguio and its third-world (lack)luster.
Common the the parts of the third world we have seen is drab concrete construction. Every substantial building is built almost entirely of concrete. The good news is that the steel used here is much stronger than the kind and amount used in Kathmandu.
Although the construction materials and methods are common, the colors are not. By US suburban standards, Baguio's palate splash is a bit garish. But the Hispanic cultural element and its penchant for "a coat of many colors" is respectable and quite pretty. The houses below me are painted in bright greens and pinks. Metal roofs are the most common, and they, too, are hued in multi-brights. The visual effect is like a garden filled with many varieties of untrained roses.
Some have asked about how so much "training of roses" administrivial decision-making was accomplished so quickly during this trip. Please be aware that the administrivial efforts have been going on for some time and that these trips are designed for things to happen. The meetings and conclusions of this week have been many months in the making and have come after months of backwork.