Let me tell you something: there is nothing like starting the day to a 3-hour bus ride on plastic seats in humid weather that leaves you with a numb butt. But despite that the day turned out to be as rewarding as the last if not more.
We left Bacolod to travel to Sagay. A highlight of the drive was seeing all the rural landscapes and waving back to the people we passed – the travelling circus of white people. We made a quick pit stop to pick up snacks (a survival trip for the vegos and vegans, 3 days of rice isn’t easy – Don’t worry, we are being fed). Rushing around picking up food for the road before heading back to the bus with no doors or seatbelts.
We were 47 minutes late for our first (and one of the most important) stops at the city administration to meet the mayor of Sagay to talk about our plans to finish the road we are going to help build in Purok Bangkal.
After that we headed to that the community and walked down the unfinished road to be met by brother Bert and a growing crowd of locals to hear about the program established in the community. We then took a tour around the village, many of us lead by the crowds of children that gathered and held our hands.
Despite the language barrier, we made connections with the kids instantly. Us, making an attempt at an American accent to be better understood, and them, pretending they knew what we were saying. Eventually we were laughing and learning parts of their language by them teaching us simple words and laughing when we got them wrong. These kids have so much energy, joy, curiosity and eagerness to get to know you – its unique to anything we have ever experienced before.
We couldn’t end our visit without bringing out our balloon animal making skills (or lack there-of). The kids gather and patiently wait to receive their sword, dog or crown, which they held with such pride.
Even on the first day it was hard to say goodbye to the kids who offer to carry our bags and water bottles down the road to our bus, holding our hands and some putting flowers in our hair.
At dinner we started the night with Zumba. It was funny to see everyone stumbling over their feet trying to follow the movements and keep in time – we all loved it. Dinner was good (this was a big moment for us vegos – THE MEAL WAS INCREDIBLE! the coconut spring rolls definitely took the cake). We had dinner and a show, a group of kids from an elementary school performed two dances that were adorable. You couldn’t help but gush over how cute they were.
So far the trip is going great and now it’s time to sleep cause we are exhausted (not exaggerating).
Thank you, lots of love
Sharni and Harleen.