Today started with rice, literally… After breakfast we started the drive down to the community ‘Tabao’. Within the community we took part in different tasks that the locals would undertake daily. We helped with the making of cloth washing powder, washing up liquid and gutted fish ready for drying.
After lunch we proceeded to hand out small food packages of rice to the locals. Although the food packages were only small, everyone was really appreciative and reacted the same as my Mum would if she had won the lottery. This morning definitely made us all realise how much we actually do take for granted. Such as, clean water and flushing toilet paper down the toilet.
Next on the itinerary was a solid drive to VMA, which is a maritime training centre where we were greeted by loads of smiling faces and even a dance routine by some of the extremely talented students. We were then paired with a ‘buddy’ (one of the students from the school) and spent some time learning more about them, how they live and learning some of the language. It was crazy seeing how similar our worlds actually were and we shared some great laughs.
We then began the two main activities at VMA; a fire fighting drill and a boat evacuation exercise. The fire fighting consisted of a dressing up in heavy, sweaty getup, which made us feel as though we were the real deal. The coordinators had an area set up for fires, and each member of the team worked together to put it out. The evacuation exercise (which consisted of jumping of a building with life jackets) was a learning experience for many as it gave them the opportunity to go outside of their comfort zone and learn about the things that this has prevented them from doing before this trip.