Day three was a day that many of the students looked forward to. The three schools parted ways to visit different rural locations, ours being Cabacungan. For us this meant a more intimate experience, allowing everyone to exchange stories more frequently. The day began at 6:30am where we packed all of our belongings for departure. We had breakfast at the church, which consisted of sunny side up eggs, toast, sausages and papaya. Before getting onto the bus, we did the Aussie chant and said our goodbyes to the friends we had made.
The drive to Cabacungan was more painful that we originally expected as the road was extremely bumpy and the trip took approximately 2 and a half hours. Eventually we arrived at Beulah Land Accommodation, where we met the staff/ homeowners and had a delicious lunch. After lunch we all made our way to the IRC where we were debriefed and introduced to all of the members in the community. Pastor Steve introduced himself and his organisation, which was then followed by songs in both English and Filipino. Soon after we started to blow bubbles, make balloon animals and pipe cleaner jewelry while interacting with the locals. Whilst interacting, we were confronted with early life stories, which the children faced prior to their life at IRC.
These stories are rarely heard of in Australia, but unfortunately common here. After hearing their stories, we were positioned to consider what life would be like to grow up in these conditions, but inevitably we will never completely understand what they have gone through. After a couple hours of bonding with the IRC community, we were guided down to the lake where we will be washing our clothes as of tomorrow. The day came to an end, leaving us back at the guesthouse. We had another really tasty meal and debriefed about what we encountered today.
Taylor and Rebecca