Young and Wild and Free

Young girl at the Children's Shelter of Cebu.

Yes, I’ve been baking peanut butter pies, yes, I’ve been going to bed early, and yes, I’ve been loving it. But there’s actually a good reason I took this week “off” from Pinch of Yum.

It’s all in preparation for a change. An international change.

A change that involves Bjork and I moving to the Philippines for a year. The one in Southeast Asia that’s made up of 7,000 islands. The one that’s 8,000 miles away. In 6 weeks. Moving. There.


It’s seriously 100% true. We’ll be there for one year, and I would love to tell you that we’re just going to be soaking up the tropical sun, but that would be bad news for one white-skinned-spf-100-extreme-sunburn Scandinavian boy.

Instead, we’ll be working in the shade at an orphanage in Cebu City. It’s called the Children’s Shelter of Cebu and you might have seen it mentioned here before because my siblings Roselyn, Romeo, and Rodrigo lived at this shelter for several years before being adopted. Up until this point, we have donated all of our blog income to the shelter because we really love what they are doing for kids. And now… we’re going there ourselves!


Here’s the official FAQ.

How did it happen? We were planning to visit Cebu this summer – Bjork has never been there, and we wanted to do some international travel, so it seemed like a fun way to spend three weeks in June. A few weeks ago, we got a call from the director of the organization asking us if we’d be willing to extend our stay from three weeks to one year. After some serious conversations, prayer, and extreme-stress-eating, we decided we were ready and willing.

What will you be doing? I’ll be teaching a small class of Level C (upper elementary) kids from the orphanage at the Children of Hope school. Bjork will work remotely part-time in his current job. He’ll also be volunteering at the shelter with technology-related projects and leading epic games of t-ball, because he does stuff like that.

Where will you live? In a furnished Cebuano apartment, which, from what I hear, comes with a few free baby lizards. Not cool.

How will you get around in Cebu? Hello Jeepney.

What will you do with your house? Rent it out!

What will you do with your cars? Sell them! If you’re in the market for a sweet SUV, comment below. I’ll even throw in a pan of brownies with the deal.

What will you do with your stuff? Pack it up and store it in Grandma’s basement. Thanks, Gma!

What will you do with your hair in that heat and humidity? I feel a 365-day pony tail nub coming on. And yes, I meant to say nub. I did not time that haircut well.

What do you think you’ll miss most? Family time, wide open spaces, appropriate temperatures, appropriate hair, and our bestie couples’ soon-to-be newborn baby boy.

What are you most excited for? Friends and family to come and visit, trying out a non-Western lifestyle, and a changed heart.

What will happen to Pinch of Yum? The flavor (literally) might change, you might see less chocolate and more Filipino kids, and mangoes could take over indefinitely. But really, I plan to keep things going with posts about our new life in the Philippines as well as the same ol’ yummy recipes. Hopefully you guys can handle the American-style Filipino flair.


So now you know why I needed a week to put my feet up and eat peanut butter pie. Emphasis on the peanut butter. And pie.

It’s going to be a crazy year. But we are young and wild and free, or at least we’re pretending.

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