Today was a rough, but overall good day. As a group, we’ve really started to click and work together. A few of us felt a bit sick and/or exhausted at different points during the day, but it didn’t stop us from connecting with people in the village and continuing to grow our relationships with them and each other.
The day started with breakfast as usual, including a quick rehearsal for our performance of the ‘Amazing Grace’ remix we later would be performing at church. After smashing out our funky tune a couple of times, we were ready to go! Our first church service began with ground-shakingly loud worship songs, our performance of Amazing Grace and a sermon about Thanksgiving from Pastor Jonas. We were all very tired, and with the room being a bit stuffy with only a few fans, some of us struggled to keep our eyes open. After many photos with the local church goers, we eagerly headed off to lunch.
After our much-anticipated servings of rice, pineapple, and some form of meat (usually chicken on a stick), we headed to the Purok Bangkal community where we were greeted with the usual smiling faces and high fives from the kids. We then had our second church service, and a testimony from our good friend, Brother Bert and spent some time interacting with the kids in the village.
In the afternoon, some of us spent our time serving up rice porridge to the kids, while the rest of us split servings of rice, sardines and noodles into packs to be distributed to the families. Some of the girls in the team had the opportunity to bond with the women, while giving them manicures, while the rest of the team kept the kids busy with ‘Duck Duck, Goose’ (Patu Patu, Manook (Manook actually means chicken, but they don’t know what a goose is)), teaching them the Hokey Pokey, and being taught how to make friendship bracelets by the older kids. It’s beginning to become emotional to leave the kids each evening and it’s starting to kick in that in a few days we’re going to have to say goodbye to come back to Australia.
As we watched the sun go down from the bus during the trip back to the hotel, we cranked out some bangers on the loud speaker and sung our hearts out, while waving enthusiastically to any and every local that we passed. We got ready for dinner and Zumba and headed to the lobby where we were surprised with a new form of transport, the big green bus had been replaced with 8 tiny trikes, which are motorbikes with side carts that fit 4 Australian people as opposed to the usual 8 Filipinos. We went on a quick tour of Sagay and experienced the local markets before heading to dinner, which involved games of Uno, uncoordinated Zumba dancing and a trip back to the hotel via the general store to get ice creams, belting out ‘Mr Brightside’ and ‘Little Lion Man’.
Everyone is learning more about the locals heartbreaking situations each day and as we get further into the trip it’s becoming more important to rely on each other. The positive comments from our family and friends are a great boost to start our day. We’re all missing home but are having a great time and experiencing so many new situations that are beginning to influence the way we see the world.
Catchya! Megan & Madi