She gave up softball for 59 days this summer.

Tremont’s Jill Runyon thought it was worth it to do an internship on a farm just south of Manila in the Philippines.

“I was anticipating it to be a really impoverished country,” said Runyon. “I knew it was going to be. It was a very poor area that I was in. It taught me a lot about how lucky I am to be where I’m from.”

The Illinois Wesleyan All-American outfielder learned a lot while being out of the country.

She harvested mangoes, did some composting and worked on environmental projects with a group of other IWU students.  She also got a chance to see a side of the world she thought she’d never see.

 “We got to see a lot of things. We went to rice terraces, the hanging coffins of Sagada. Went to a beach a volcano, it was cool,” said Runyon.

At the end of her two-month stay in the Philippines, Runyon admits she was ready to come home.

And when the Tremont native shows up on campus next week, she says she’ll have a better appreciation for dinners with a variety of foods, hot showers and a smooth ride to class.

“I hadn’t been on a road in two months when I hadn’t nailed a pothole and bang (my) head off the side of the door or something,” Runyon quipped. “See, I’m already thinking about the Philippines.”