This morning we left the go hotels, we travelled in separate buses from the other schools for about an hour and a half, before arriving at the Mayor of La Carlota’s office.
The Mayor greeted us, welcomed us to his city and reassured us if we need anything to come and visit him at his office as he is here to help.
We gave him a gift from Australia as a token of our appreciation, which was a calendar and a stuffed kangaroo.
We parted ways with the mayor and headed to the State District High School, where there was approximately 6000 students. We were welcomed by a band of students and they did some traditional dances for us, which were entertaining and exciting.
Trying to walk around the school to experience the trades was a struggle because almost every single student stopped us to take a selfie. Some of us felt super overwhelmed but we all did extremely well with so many people around! Kieran was a super star with the ladies. The girls headed off to the cooking room, and the boys did some welding. After this we had lunch and said goodbye to the Ellenbrook and Swan team and checked into our new accomodation before heading straight to the next school.
We headed to the La Carlota Special Education Elementary School. We were greeted with lots of smiles and high fives and were then treated to a welcome ceremony from the hearing impaired students. They performed their national anthem and a song in sign language, which was very moving for most of us. We then had a tour of the school lead by the school teachers. Many of us found this confronting seeing how different the classrooms were set up and how tough they have it compared to us, yet we noticed that they were all still smiling. It was a bit confronting how so many people can be crammed into one small, run down classroom.
We then had a meal with the teachers. Every student was assigned a teacher. We got to know the teachers, spoke about our home lives and compared the different opportunities we have in Australia compared to the Philippines. We discovered a lot of the teachers dream to study hard and move to America and teach there.
After interesting conversations with the teachers we headed outside and were greeted at the door by very excited students who couldn’t wait to interact with us. We made balloon animals and it was amazing to see how something so simple can light up a kids face and make their whole day.
We then had a delicious home cooked dinner at the local church which was chicken on a stick, rice, pork and fresh juicy mangos. The mangos were a highlight.
After dinner we were treated to a tour around the city on motorised tricycles. We all really enjoyed exploring the city and seeing the city lights at night before having a fun ride back to our accomodation.
By Keegan and Georgie
Shout out to, Talia, Mum and Dad. Miss you lots. – Keegan.
Ps) Parents, family and friends tomorrow we will be reading out messages from home to the students so please feel free to leave well wishes and messages of support below!