Today we started our day right by doing yoga (under Kaitlyn’s instruction) on the grass with the view of the Philippines’s most researched Volcano. We then walked the 1km to the IRC along the main road. We passed kids smiling and waving, a buffalo in a stunning rice field and a girl singing Karaoke.
We spent the first part of the morning at the orphanage with the kids giving piggy backs, making secret handshakes and playing “Duck, duck, goose” or as the locals say “Patoo, patoo, manuk”.
The next few hours were spent on an open field. We used ‘rakes’ (which were really pieces of bamboo with a hook on the end) to move dried up sugar cane leaves into long rows to be burned. The kids from the orphanage showed us how to eat the raw sugar cane and once we got over the strange idea of biting into a stick, the sugar cane was actually a nice snack.
After lunch we made our way to a field of freshly cut sugar cane. Here we helped carry piles of sugar cane on our shoulders up a rocky hill. We were closely watched by a friendly family of goats and the locals who seemed to find our struggles quite amusing.
We all walked away from the fields today with many cuts and scratches but outshining the pain was our intense sense of satisfaction and a new appreciation for how easy what we consider ‘a day’s work’ actually is. With our help the farmers were able to complete weeks worth of work in a few hours. We felt especially lucky when we learned that the workers spend all day doing this work only to earn around $3, enough to buy just two eggs.
Later in the afternoon we headed to a nearby stream to do our laundry. (Yes Mum we actually did our own laundry, although Devlin seemed to struggle.) With the help of the kids (who were much more experienced than us) we hand washed our clothes. The local kids then joined us as we swam in the small dam.
After dinner Mr Beacham made the surprise announcement that all the girls that wanted to were receiving full body massages. Amber found this experience particularly amusing. The ladies were slightly worried about the many scratches on our bodies (especially Natasha’s).
Today was eyeopening experience and we are looking forward to seeing what the next few days throw at us.
Madi (AKA Nadi) and Anneke (AKA Anni)