Myayong aga (Good morning.)
This morning we woke from the deepest of sleeps to banging on our doors, signalling it was time to arise from our slumber and leave our beds and head for breakfast. The hotel staff had whipped up a feast for us. As we were boarding the busses we were surprised to see guards with pump action shotguns. We continued our journey on the busses where we drove to the large fishing village of Tabao, we were welcomed with the smiling faces and open arms of the locals. Claire and Ashleigh were famous among the crowd as they had visited last year and were known by the locals. We were separated into groups including students from different schools to experience livelihood activities to show the daily lives of the people living in the area. That entailed, making wristbands, detergent, paper flowers, washing powder and descaled, gutted and dried fish. Lunch was chicken on a stick, the Filipino staple. After lunch we had the pleasure of starting our first food distribution. They were given a bag of food each containing a couple of kilos of rice, sardines and noodles, such a simple package but so gratefully received. It was disheartening when the food bags ran out but the line continued and shook many in the group. We then handed out balloons to the smaller kids of the community, while bubbles were being blown and pipe cleaner creations were being created.
We left Tabao after lunch and headed for the VMA training centre where we completed (hu)man over board and firefighting drills. Some of us found the 3m jump into the water challenging but persevered and jumped, others found it wicked. The fire was pretty intense as the heat was exacerbated by the firefighting suit. We were assigned local buddies to show us how to pronounce some of the native dialect and tell us about their lives. Many people made strong connections with the locals straight away. We finished the night with some mediocre Australian karaoke and some pretty darn good Filipino karaoke. We had chicken on a stick and made our way back to the busses to head back to the hotel.
Steven & Claire. Catchya Homies