This morning was an early one. We had breakfast at the Go Hotel and then we were off to the city of La Carlota in a very cramped and eventful bus to visit the Mayor’s office for a little meet and greet. It was an honour to meet the man who governs such a welcoming community that has so much love to give.
Then it was back on the bus (which was extremely hot and sticky) and on our way to the largest high school in the city; with over 6000 students. We sang both the Australian and Filipino national anthems and were treated to a very entertaining performance from the students. After the performance we thought it would be a good idea to serenade them with ‘Waltzing Matilda’ and they loved it.
We broke off into two groups (boys and girls). The girls were taken on a tour of the home economic rooms and presented with an array of local desserts and various meats on stick. The boys were shown the metal works room and allowed to go welding with the class. We met together to eat a delicious lunch in the library.
We then hopped back on the bus for a spectacular 1 hour drive up the mountains and through the valleys to our home for the next few days; Beulah land. It was good seeing some familiar faces from the last time we were here, and it felt good to know that they still remembered us.
After unloading all our bags, we walked down to the IRC, where we met up with Pastor Steve and everyone that lives and works at the orphanage. The warm welcome we received was beyond amazing. The next hour or so was spent playing games with the children (duck, duck, goose was a crowd favourite) and starting to build relationships that will hopefully develop over the next week.
Pastor Steve then lead us in a ceremony where we showed our submission to the mission of the community. We paired off with a local and tied a green string around each other’s neck to symbolise the commitment to our work with the IRC while we are in the Philippines. We then made our way back home and had dinner. After a devotion, we then sang karaoke well into the night. It was a day filled with new experiences and challenges that we will treasure for the rest of our lives.
We also would like to wish Jean-Anne a very happy birthday.
Mark & Katelyn.