Diane is representing NAESP and elementary and middle-level principals at the East Asia Regional Conference of Overseas Schools (EARCOS) Administrators' Conference, which is an Overseas Schools initiative that is supported by the U.S. Department of State. NAESP serves as a grant administrator for the Office of Overseas Schools.
After an inspiring visit to Washington, D.C., to participate in NAESP’s board meeting and to celebrate the 2009 National Distinguished Principals, I prepared to travel to the East Asia Regional Conference of Overseas Schools (EARCOS) Administrators' Conference, whose theme is “Inspiring Students to Change the World.” The conference is being held in Shangri-la Edsa, Philippines, and participants are educators from Southeast Asia—including the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, China, Laos, and Cambodia—as well as Australia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
I prepared for the 27 hour trip to Manila by drinking lots of water and exercising prior to the conference. But after stops in Houston, Honolulu, and Guam before my destination of Manila, I was ready for land and lots of sleep! The warm reception by the EARCOS staff, including the executive director, made up for my long journey. After locating the room where I will present a workshop next week, the staff provided a tour of the facilities and accommodations at the hotel. 
The conference site, Edna Shangri La is just as exotic as its name implies. The formal welcome by hotel staff was impressive, as natives dressed in matching blue gowns greeted guests upon entrance. Security guards with dogs guarded the grand entrances to the palatial hotel. All Saints Day and All Souls Day are celebrated here, as is Halloween. Millions of people are expected to visit cemeteries over the weekend prior to All Saints Day on Nov. 1.
Tonight we are expecting a typhoon in Manila, one of 19 that have hit the area this year. We are hopeful that participants who have not yet arrived will also have safe travels. Stay tuned!
Diane Cargile, NAESP President