Friday, December 19, 2008

Blatent Consumerism

I think I commented before on the simple beauty of Filipino life. I probably made this comment back when I was living in Granada though. The Filipino are very adept at using every part of everything to its ultimate end. If you look at their cooking, dishes like dinuguan (pig intestines with a blood gravy—which is actually pretty yummy if you don’t think about it) show their utilization of things that we consider garbage. Whether out of love of the environment or just a penchant for penny-pinching, lights are always turned off when not in use, and only utilized when the sun is not bright enough. In America I was taking 10 minute showers of constant running water. Here I take a bucket shower that maybe uses a gallon of water (I don’t feel as clean afterwards, but then again I never really feel clean here).

Taking into account this new lifestyle, the blatant consumption that is Christmas is a little depressing. The same Filipinos who were only using what they need have gone crazy buying crap they don’t really need. The usage of crap cannot be emphasized enough in this case either. On a Christmas shopping trip that I recently made with my counterpart teacher to buy gift exchange gifts I asked her to show me what would be some typical gifts. Her first choice was some flowery cups. Choice number two was a flashlight; finally, Looney Tunes towels. I kept saying, “If I got this gift I would not be happy…Would you?” She agreed, but only after some pushing. I ended up buying a wall clock and a watch as my two gifts. If nothing else those two people will be on time to things.

As much as I complain about all these things, I can’t say I’m doing much better. Last weekend I went out with Marlo and Rachael to his office Christmas party then out until 4am. I basked in the luxury of sleeping in until 11, got up and went to the new Starbucks. That’s right; my city just got its first Starbucks. This is a pretty big deal in that only two or three cities in Philippines have a store. I’ve already been trying to justify indulging in weekly high priced cups of coffee at other establishments, but the prices at our new Starbucks push the limit of my delusion. This week I also dropped some big PHP on a bike. This bike is great because I can get where i need to for free. But with that and the coffee and christmas presents the cash has been flowing.

Not sure of a way to end this post except to say that this Christmas I received a flashlight and a porcelain puppy statue thing. The puppy is also holding what I think is supposed to be a green key, but looks like a green penis... MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!




Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Actually Doing Work

Many of the volunteers from batch 266 gave us the advice to take our first weeks slow. For many of us there is the temptation to jump right in. We only have two years at our sites, which really isn't that long when you take into account the slow bureaucracy we're up against. I'm really glad that I followed the advice because I've taken the time to get myself embedded in my school. My students are beginning to warm up to me and it seems like they're just as excited to get some things started at the school as I am. My favorite class right now is I-B. My A level kids are very smart and don't really need my help. They're pretty confident in their abilities and as such aren't as startstruck by me. I-C needs the most work, and requires a lot more bilingual education. But I-B is perfectly poised in the middle. They WANT to know more about English, but they've got a solid enough foundation. They're made up of some fun personalities and potential leaders for activities.

This week I started using my PACA tools. These are PC developed tools that help to gauge what your site actually needs/wants. Doing it with my students has given me a long list of things that they would really like to do. Most immediately I'm looking to start some English and Math clubs to provide support for my students. They also gave me some good ideas for drama, dance, sport, outings, and seminars. Just off of their suggestions I probably have enough to do for the next two years.

The sad part is that I can't immediately implement. I have to run these ideas by my many supervisors to make sure that I contact all the necessary important people. I'm used to being in who-you-know situations, and think I usually do pretty well in them, but in Philippines this is more pronounced than anywhere else I've been. I'll be pretty lucky if I can get a club or two set up for next year and maybe a seminar or two. At least I feel like I'm doint something though. The last two weeks have been pretty slow and I was feeling a little down. Now that I'm in action I feel more hopeful for the future.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Our First Thanksgiving

I returned Monday afternoon from a 4 day trip to Guimaras Island with most of my training group. Guimaras island is a smallish island halfway between my island and the next big one, Panay. To get there involves either a safe, but expensive ferry ride or the more adventurous and cheaper pump boat ride. A pump boat is a fairly large motor boat that travels the short distances between islands. It derives its name from the pump that is located by the motor that keeps the water intake in check. We didn't have that...I spent most of the day soaking wet from the frist boat ride.

Me, Marlo, Shauna, and Rachael decided to make the trek from Negros to Guimaras together. Our going trip was frustrating because thought people kept ripping us off in our times of need. First, we tried to take the boat on the incoming trip to Guimaras, but the schedule was cancelled for the day and so we were forced to rent a small motor boat for the journey. It took us about an hour to cross the choppy sea in our little boat, but we had some beautiful views. At 1000 pesos we thought the price was a little steep. Once we landed we found out we were 40 kilometers from where we needed to be and that no forms of transport were coming until the next day. Our only option was to rent a trike for 400 pesos. Again we thought this was a little steep. An hour later we arrived in one of Guimaras’ two big towns. There we just happened to bump into a host parent who assured us that we were not ripped off and that the resort would be beautiful.

By nightfall we arrived at our beautiful beach resort located in the middle of nowhere. I think that only pictures can capture the beauty of this place. It was my first time to be at a beach with clear water and coral. Swimming around you could see everything below you. The scenery was absolutely amazing.

On Thanksgiving Day we got up and hung out on the beach, swam, and played some volleyball. After lunch time we started the preparation of the live turkey! Sir Turkey, as we called him, was bought from a local family and carried with us by boat to the resort. During his final hours of freedom he played with a new friend turkey around the kitchen area a sort of ironic way. I held his feet while he was killed then helped in plucking and gutting him with Marlo and Becky. There’s something satisfying about eating something that you helped prepare so intimately. Needless to say, Sir Turkey tasted amazing as did the stuffing and powered mashed potatoes we had for dinner.

The trip was a great because it was our first chance to do something that WE wanted to do. During training our time was mapped out for us, down to the hour. In the last three weeks since training we’ve been at the whim of our new host families and organizations. We’ve been wearing big smiles and just trying to get established. This was perfectly timed to give us a chance to get away from all of that and just have some fun, American time. There’s no way that you can beat 4 days of good food, good friends, and good fun. Hope your Thanksgiving was good too!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

City Living

I made it through my first week with the only issues being my aforementioned mentioned gastrointestinal setbacks. My new host family is very different than my last family. In a way I have gotten two family's that are exactly what I needed at the moment. The first one gave me just enough attention, beer, love, and space. They came on strong and then loosened up. The new family is very different. They've had two Americans before, so they understand the differences. They don't think its weird that I get up at 6am to run, that I don't like fish for breakfast, or that sometimes I just want to sit in my room alone. They don't seem to care when or if I'm home. They trust me to take care of myself. I choose the food I want to eat at each meal and text my timbang (the one who helped with the toilet) if I'm going to be out late (she then texts me back and tells me where the key will be hidden).

If training was designed to teach me about Filipino culture then I certainly saw a good glimpse of a typical middle class family. Now that I'm on my own I'm really cherishing spending time with my new Filipino friends. My new friends are also crucial because my time with them is my only time with people my own age. At school are all 17-19, but act much younger. The Filipino educational system only has 10 years so they're a little behind in terms of social development in some regards.

My school is great for many reasons. It offers the most affordable education in my city, which means that I am working with students of limited means. Most of them are working hard just to pay the small tuition asked by my school. They all really want to be there and are thrilled to have me as a resource for them. They're very sweet and eager to learn. We'll get along very well. My concern is with the faculty. The school keeps its costs down my only hiring a small amount of full time staff. Many of the teachers are part timers or retired teachers who are volunteers. They're also all old, which is cool. I love old people. I just would like some more interaction with people who are of my generation. I'm assured that there are younger teachers in other departments, but am not sure that my supervisor is going to be open to letting me out of the educ. dept. I may have to tough it out this semester, meet the whole staff, and then sweet talk my way to be with others.

I'm teaching 3 first year writing classes, one class on letter writing, and two literature classes. They've also given me a "Cross Cultural Communications" class. I have no idea what this means except that it meets on Saturday, which I'm not happy about. The only thing that makes it better is that I don't have Friday classes! My schedule is also good for me doing side projects. Right now I'm thinking about doing an English speaking club, a reading club (they read garbage here and I want them to get some good English lit in), and maybe some music or drama or something creative. I need to do some work to see if there are some bigger projects I could do in the city or my barangay. I've got a lot of time to kill, but I can fill it as I see fit, which is the cool part about this job.

I also just bought a guitar and am learning how to play! My clarinet is really unhappy here and will probably be shipped back home soon. Please drop me a note or something, let me know you're alive. Also if you love something make sure you put a ring on it (that's for you clines). OH! and I'm going to try and make your Tuesday/Thursday evenings (10-11pm for you east coasters) when I skype/AIM home. I'll be more available in February when I get my own place. So reserve that time. I'll give you my skype name too if you'd like and we can chat for reals. Love you all!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Unexpected

Just a small personal anecdote for today to prove that you really can't have any expectations when serving in the Peace Corps. This may be graphic for young readers or total losers, so be warned.

In May I was invited to serve in Philippines with PC. I think to myself, "Okay, I can deal with this. It'll be like Malaysia. The worst I'll have to worry about is some loose stool." When I actually got here I was constipated like woah. Probably from adjusting to a totally new diet and whatnot. Understandable. Got to training and eventually got regular. When I say regular I also mean the most regular I have ever been (15 min after breakfast). There's a kind of pride this level of regularity brings.

So this last week we were at a conference, eating hotel food. The change of diet totally backed me up for 4 days--but no pain. No pain until I got to my new host family. Then my body decides to unclamp. Now, I'm also lucky because my new house has a flushing toilet with toilet paper. This is a big deal. Sadly, my little toilet was not prepared for all that I was packing and backed up. I've not fixed this kind of problem here so I have to ask for help from my timbang (housekeeper). It was a sort of disgusting bonding experience.

Coming here I was prepared to be pooping every hour. In training they prepare us for all kinds of worms and amoebas, but the idea of constipation rarely crosses their minds. I'm feeling better, but am also taking metamucil every night before bed. Who'd have thought? I love this country, but it is never what you expect it to be.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

DONE!

I've made it through training! Today is the day of our swearing in ceremony. We've spent the last week in a final birth-like push towards today. Everything that I've written about up until now has been in preparation for this moment. The language training and practice teaching has all been so that I could be prepared for my actual service. I'll be moving out of the hotel tomorrow and into my new host family. My nearest PCVs will all be 20 minutes away. I have my first day of real PC work on Monday. I already feel like I've done so much work in the last 12 weeks that its crazy to think that my real 2 years of work don't even start until today. I'm feeling a strange mix of excitement and apprehension. Its similar to the feelings at a high school graduation (again high school emotions). I know I'm ready for the future, scared of what that means, but ready for something new. Time to get dressed so I can give my speech in front of the ambassador!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

MassKara



This weekend marked the biggest event that the people of Bacolod celebrate. In other parts of the the Philippines the San Mig brewing company will sponsor Oktoberfest events, but in Bacolod MassKara dominates the month. The festival coincides with the founding of the city, but remembers a point in the city's history when the sugar industry almost failed. Supposedly the people of Bacolod weren't about to let a failing economy get in their way. So instead they put on silly masks, got drunk, and had a three day party.

Decades later there is a whole month of mask-themed events. The culmination of which is on the three days before October 20th. For those three days there are dance competitions to see which schools and barangays have the best dances and masks. First there is a street dancing competition which ends in the plaza, where the troupes perform a full 10 minute dance sequence. The troupes spend weeks and hundreds of hours preparing their routine and a lot of pride rests on being a winner. The city is dedicated to making the event famous the world around and dishes out 150,000 pesos per barangay entry, on top of which there will also be additional corporate sponsors. The dances are a sight to see, especially if you like being hot, hearing the same song 50+ times, and outrageous colors.

After all the dancing is done the locals close the major streets, have dinner, drink, and dance. The party starts around 9PM and most people get home around 5AM. We ventured out to see what everything was about. Needless to say, we stayed out late and had a great (but safe time). I'm still a little pooped out from all my adventures, but staying up for 24 hours and then having class the next day will do that to you. Overall, its a really cool cultural experience and something that I'll get to see at least two more times. It definitely lifted my sagging spirits. Two more weeks of training and then its time for the real deal!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wound up/Winding Down

So I got back from site visit to find that my whole host family had, while I was away for a week, all gotten sick. I walked in the door, threw down my bags, and we caught up. Sitting there with them it was like the whole bad experience that was site visit was washed away.

But that was last week, and in PC Training every week is totally different...

This week I'm still not back to 100%. I've still got a Gollum-like cough and some sinus stuff. I'm sleeping lots and taking my vitamins (thanks Rachel). Despite the cold I've got a lot of responsibilities to attend to this week:

1. Swearing In Speech- By winning a daring game of rock-paper-scissors against my esteemed colleague John I was selected to represent all 18 Bacolodians(?) during our "graduation" ceremony. I'll be giving a portion of a speech in Hiligaynon! The stressful part is that my collaborators are hundreds of miles away.

2. Community Project- We're putting on two fairly large programs at our host-schools to say thanks. PC lost my paperwork and so I got to do it twice. Awesome.

3. Language Interview- In two weeks we have our final language exam. I really want to do well, because I can speak this language and want to have that acknowledged. Here's hoping I learn how to compare the US to Philippines in Hiligaynon.

4. MassKara- This week is also the MAJOR festival in Bacolod. Every night there is lots to do. I'm trying to strike that balance between work and play.

Busy week means I need to run. Missing everyone lots, but still loving it here! MassKara pictures coming next week.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Family Matters

In the last 36 hours I have had something of an epiphany. I've moved in with my new host family while I am on what PC calls Site Visit. During site visit we are all shipped off to meet the people we will be working and living with for the next two years. We are given three days to make our first introductions, understand the basics of our organization, meet our co-teachers, and meet the new host family. Theoretically, that's a lot to do in three days. In actuality its been really boring and awkward. My first day to meet people was lost due to a national holiday. Instead of being productive I took a three hour nap and then watched TV that I don't understand for 6 hours. Yesterday I achieved all my objectives at the college so today I also have nothing to do (hence two posts in one week).

I've also developed a sore throat which kept me up all last night. So I had plenty of time to reflect on the past 6 weeks. Sitting under my mosquito net (which is used to keep the big roaches off of me, not mosquitos) I realized that I love my first host family. I think my first interaction with my host father is the best example of why they are my favorite.

Host Father: So what's your name?
Me: Justin
HF: Do you have a girlfriend back home?
Me: No
HF: Do you like to drink?
Me: Yes
HF: Do you want to go to a cock fight?
Me: UM YES.

I'm not even making this up. After this short round of questioning there was a good minute of silence while we contemplated each other. After that its been all fun. Its not just been my host father either, but my mother and two brothers too. Our schedules line up really well so that I get time by myself in the afternoon and then spend the evening talking, drinking, and singing with them. Its an environment where cultural exchange is welcome and a source of interest. At times I'm like their American toy, at others just another member of the family. They told me before I left for this week away that they were going to miss me because "lving with you is like living with a Filipino."

Maybe its because I have something so good that I'm having a hard time with the new family...Or really it could just be the mice and roaches, let's be honest. I'm not ruling out a positive experience with the new family, but the relationship is not going to come as easily as the first. Maybe I'm also down because I'm exhausted and sick. Anyways, I reached my first wonky moment of PC.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Site Placement

Wednesday was the day that we all found out where we will be spending the rest of our two years. The last two weeks have been filled with lots of chika-chika about where we’ll be placed, who will be our neighbors (closest PCVs really this can range from 10 minute walk to 2 hour bus ride), and expected jobs. We had the chance to give as many specific requests as we liked, but we were not guaranteed any of our requests would be filled. If you read the previous post you’ll already be aware that PC is basically a big rumor mill. Even before this week’s conference we were pretty sure that we had figured out about 10/18 placements, including mine.

So then we actually find out where we’re for sure going. There was a lot of build up and a surprising amount of emotions. In typical PC fashion we played a little game to discover our sites. Our facilitators would list off fun facts about our region then we’d guess where it is and then they would list out who is in that province. Many of the rumors turned out to be true, but there were also plenty of people who were shocked by their sites. My rumor turned out to be true, but I was pretty much assured of that by some very well certified chika.

DRRRRRRRRUMROOLLLLLLL!

I’ll be spending the next two years here in Bacolod City. I’ve already been living in a barangay 20 minutes outside the city proper. In a month I will be moving into the city with a new host family. I will be teaching 2-3 classes at a local teaching college. I’m not totally sure what classes I’ll be teaching yet, but my supervisor assures me that I will like my co-teachers. I can't really be anymore specific than that, so if you want more details let me know.

This is the beginning of the end of training. I'm excited to be a full volunteer and get down to actual, useful work. Even though I'm living in a city that I feel like I know pretty well it is still daunting to think about not seeing my clustermates everyday. The closest volunteer to me will be 30 minutes away in the barangay I was living in. Sitting at home in my new host family's house it is very clear to me that I will need to get out in the city and make some friends to make this a good experience. Immersion into local culture is a PC goal, but also a necessary part of keeping one's sanity.

One of the girls who lives near my new host family has introduced me to her sister and the sister's group of friends. They're really cool and exactly what I need in my life right now. I think these friends will probably merit their own post at some point. I think that things in Bacolod are going to be great and I foresee a positive two years!

Monday, September 22, 2008

I totally heard about your trip to the beach…


Peace Corps Philippines batch 267 started off with 69 trainees. We now have 68. From what I’ve heard from other returned volunteers our group is doing well. There isn’t really a formula, but maybe 10% of trainees leave in the first few months.

The fact that one person went home really isn’t that exciting on the whole but it highlights how starved we are for things to talk about. The 68 of us are spread out between 3 islands and hundreds of miles, but because of our handy PC funded cell phones we can know exactly who left, who is dating who, who got bitten by what animal (a rat), who has a triple ear infection, and who has amoebas (all true, P to the S). My training group has so far has managed to steer clear of hook-ups and major sicknesses. In many ways it’s like going back to high school: rumors flying, overprotective parents, can’t drive, and new things happening to our bodies.

This past week my group was also visited by three current volunteers. One helped us to understand more about our jobs as teachers and some of the challenges to expect from that. The other two helped us with a special water safety training that we did at the beach. Water safety training was a two part activity. First we were loaded onto a boat that would be used to transport us from islands that are about 1 hour apart. We took the boat out to sea and then jumped into the water--with life vests on. We then had to pull ourselves—with vests on—back onto the boat. Then jump back out of the boat, swim to a smaller boat pull ourselves onto that one, jump back in, swim to the big boat, and finally climb back in. Two of my group members can’t swim so that made it a slightly stressful event. They made it through very well despite their disadvantage and passed handedly. After we got back to shallow waters we learned how to drag a floating body through the water—I guess in case we feel the desire to save someone. Overall it was a lot of fun. We didn’t get any sun because there’s a typhoon messing up the weather here currently, but it was still nice to get a day at the beach and away from school and class.


Going back to the gossip though…

I hosted a little get together at my house where a few of us made chika-chika (Hiligaynon for chit-chat) with our swimming instructors. We got out the PC “yearbook”—a book with all our pictures—and talked about all the drama from batch 266 as compared to 267. In such a captive population I suppose that this is the inevitable outcome. Makes me wonder if this is unique to PC Philippines or is a universal PC past time.

On Sunday I will be learning where I will be teaching for the next two years. Rumor has it that I may be staying here in my current city, but again that’s all rumors. I know that I’ll be moving up to a college level position, but that’s about all I know. I’ll fill you all in next week when I know more.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Calen-Daring

A lot of this past week has been spent thinking about the daily lives of Filipinos. I'm a little out of the ordinary, but here's how my day goes:

5:30am Get up to jog--on those ambitious days.
6:30am Get up on those less ambitious days to prep for the day
7:00am Breakfast--Usually eggs, corned beef, rice, and maybe a fruit
7:45am Off to Hiligaynon class
8:00am Class with my clustermates
12 noon Lunch--again rice, maybe chicken or pork
1:00pm Teach at my school
3:00pm Finish teaching a walk home
3:30pm Get home, change, and fill the void. I've spent a lot of time just waiting. its hard to know what is going to happen from day to day and so after I'm done with my responsibilities I usually just hang out and wait for something to happen. I've already read 4 books in this time--I only brought 6!
7:30pm Dinner. This is the only time where my whole family is together. Usually 7 of us eat together with the TV on. Because we eat late, we also have to make sure we don't miss shows like Pinoy Dream Academy (like American Idol) and Dyosa--my least favorite show. Its the idiotic adventures of a girl who has god-like powers. There's as lot of crappy special effects and faux-cgi.
8:30pm We finish dinner and then hang out. Sometimes I drink with my host father-always just two bottles (PC Rules)! We also do a lot of videokee. Filipinos love to sing, so of course they love kareokee. My mother is a very good singer and likes to rub it in that her score is always higher than mine, even though i have a "master's in music".
9:30-10 Bed. Its sad to say, but if I'm up past 10 I'm pretty much useless the next day.

And that's how it goes. As you can see, life is fairly uneventful. If i want to spice things up I can take the 30 minute jeep ride into the city and go to the mall or see the americans who live in the city. I love where I live because I have the relaxed country lifestyle, but the city is close at hand. Life is simple right now and I'm certainly relishing in it. Something more interesting and topical for next post. Promise!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

As soon as you stepped off that plane you instantly became a rock star. Just remember you're not actually hotter than you were in America. -Host PCV Grant


I am two days away from being away for a full month. To think about the changes that I've made to myself and my habits in the last 4 weeks I get a little dizzy. One of our main goals as volunteers is to integrate as much as possible into local culture. There are some obvious obstacles to meeting that goal like being taller than 5'4", not having black hair, not wanting to eat rice at every meal, and my skin. This week though I have started "getting my tan".

I didn't really take notice of the difference until people began to comment on it, but I am getting tanner. To my Filipino colleagues this is a sad state, because my beautiful white skin is being destroyed by the sun. Despite several "cultural moments" where I explain that tan is better in American they still say a little prayer for my complexion.

I had a cool experience yesterday when one of the ladies who ownes the store that is connected to my house said hello to me.

Her: Oh Justin? Is that you?
Me: Yeah! How are you doing?
Her: I'm good. I didn't recognize you. You look so slim and tan. Like us!
Me: Thanks!

Clearly the tanning is not enough to make me one of them, but it is a visible sign of the devotion that I have for my new position.

At home this has made me my host father's favorite toy. He loves to get me to try new foods. I've kept my mind open to any and all foods...even the ones I know that I won't like. So far I've tried:

Balut- A Filipino delacacy where an egg is allowed to be incubated for 16 days and is THEN hardboiled. The result is a hardboiled egg with crunch bits. Not horrible as long as you don't look at it.
Sisig- Chopped up and seasoned pig head.
Coconut- Not only do you drink the juice but also scrape out the meat.
Fish for Breakfast- Not my favorite

Generally the food is good. We eat a lot of pork and chicken. At every meal there is rice. Filipinos eat all the time, and could eat a meal's worth of food, but don't consider it a meal unless there's rice. Okay my hour is up. Hope all is well with you too!

Getting My Tan

As soon as you stepped off that plane you instantly became a rock star. Just remember you're not actually hotter than you were in America. -Host PCV Grant
I am two days away from being away for a full month. To think about the changes that I've made to myself and my habits in the last 4 weeks I get a little dizzy. One of our main goals as volunteers is to integrate as much as possible into local culture. There are some obvious obstacles to meeting that goal like being taller than 5'4", not having black hair, not wanting to eat rice at every meal, and my skin. This week though I have started "getting my tan".
I didn't really take notice of the difference until people began to comment on it, but I am getting tanner. To my Filipino colleagues this is a sad state, because my beautiful white skin is being destroyed by the sun. Despite several "cultural moments" where I explain that tan is better in American they still say a little prayer for my complexion.
I had a cool experience yesterday when one of the ladies who ownes the store that is connected to my house said hello to me.
Her: Oh Justin? Is that you?
Me: Yeah! How are you doing?
Her: I'm good. I didn't recognize you. You look so slim and tan. Like us!
Me: Thanks!
Clearly the tanning is not enough to make me one of them, but it is a visible sign of the devotion that I have for my new position.
At home this has made me my host father's favorite toy. He loves to get me to try new foods. I've kept my mind open to any and all foods...even the ones I know that I won't like. So far I've tried:
Balut- A Filipino delacacy where an egg is allowed to be incubated for 16 days and is THEN hardboiled. The result is a hardboiled egg with crunch bits. Not horrible as long as you don't look at it.
Sisig- Chopped up and seasoned pig head.
Coconut- Not only do you drink the juice but also scrape out the meat.
Fish for Breakfast- Not my favorite
Generally the food is good. We eat a lot of pork and chicken. At every meal there is rice. Filipinos eat all the time, and could eat a meal's worth of food, but don't consider it a meal unless there's rice. Okay my hour is up. Hope all is well with you too!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A little more on what I do

I've just started my third week of PC training here in the lovely Philippines. On a typical day I get up early, run, go to a 4 hour language class, have lunch, then do educational stuff in the afternoon. My evenings are filled with eating, chika-chika (chatting), "sing a longs" (videokee), and relaxing. Today was my first day in a Filipino classroom. Of course there are some very big differences, but in teaching these children I have taken on a much bigger task than I originally thought. Much of my time is going to be spent jazzing up pre-packaged lesson plan and firguring out how to make people comprehend English, YIKES!