Hello Manila

November has been a little busier than usual. In addition to the usual routine of revision sessions, last minute exam jitters, and marking, there’s been some exciting news that I am finally able to share. 

We're in Canberra this week and, last night, my partner Lisa was awarded a New Colombo Plan fellowship by the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs. This will enable her to spend the first half of 2016 in the Philippines, studying at a university in Manila and working with a local, development-focussed NGO (who we can’t name yet). We’ll be leaving Australia before the end of the year and are both really excited about the opportunity. 

I will be staying for the summertime (technically their winter but the weather won’t be that different to home) and haven’t yet decided if I will stay for the full duration or not. Fortunately, my university has been really flexible and are happy for me to pursue research in the office, at home, or 6000km away. Lisa’s university have already been in touch and invited me to attend their research seminars, which was very kind of them. 

The unfortunate part of this is that I’m not sure what it means for the blog. My hope is that there will be a small interruption while we settle in, and then I’ll have time to keep posting regularly. Ideally, I’ll connect with some of the awesome Philippine pen communities that I’ve heard so much about, and have plenty of new ideas and topics to discuss. That’s the best case scenario but, realistically, I’ve really no idea what will happen there. 

So hopefully this will not be the end of the blog and we can keep exploring the economics of the FP world next year, albeit with a slightly different perspective!