Thursday, 23 April 2015

Philippines trip #2

More news from my friend in the Philippines with Compassion
Day 2
  • "I have just got back from an awesome visit. We went to a Compassion project and were warmly greeted by the church and about 200 children. After a short service, we were taken in small groups to the home of the sponsored children. 
    They live down corrugated iron walkways, all crammed in. Their house (two rooms for a family of 10) is on stilts above the river - which also doubles up as the garbage disposal facility. And even so, the 17 year old sponsored child has ambitions to break away from poverty and be an architect.
  • We had a fabulous meal laid on by the project and then led various activities for the children. I was in the sports team and somehow seemed to adopt the leading role. I have never sweat so much in my life after three 25 minute sessions with the kids. If I don't lose a stone in weight this vacation, I will be disappointed!!
    The kids are great. Many speak English
    and they just want to play and have photos taken. Little ten year old called Angel took a shine to me and we played lots of ball games and she ended up being carried most places on my sweaty back!! 
  • Awesome time!"

  • Day 3
    "Ten hour trip today saw us venture into the countryside and go to another project. Another set of immaculately behaved kids all benefiting from Compassion.  They sang and danced for us , allowed us to help them with their project learning activities.
    Then had a huge spread for dinner followed by the taste of a durian fruit. They say it smells like putrid flesh but tastes like heaven. To me, it didn't smell as bad as it could have and didn't taste as good as it could have. Left a caramelised onion taste. I found out that it is the fruit that keeps on giving - burping durian taste over and over again. Hmmmm!! 
  • Then played some great sports with some of the kids. Bring out a basketball , a tennis ball and a frisby and its amazing the reaction.
    The home visit was a kilometre walk into a banana plantation.
  • The house was wooden construction on stilts with split bamboo floors that we were worried we would break. Filipino's are quite small and light - unlike us. A family of ten sleep in a 8ft x 8 ft room - eight of them on the floor. They did have a "living room" and a kitchen space. The outside toilet was interesting. 
  • Twice a day, they have to walk thirty minutes each way to collect dirty water from a river which then, thanks to Compassion's water filtration device, turns it into healthy clean water.
  • Tomorrow is the BIG day. Meeting Mara and starting to get nervous."

       He sent me a message later to say that he will be spending the whole day with Mara - 7 hours - going on a boat trip, island hopping and going to beaches. And he doesn't even know if Mara has ever seen the sea! They're seven hours ahead of us, so by the time I get up for work he will already be with her...

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