Waking up to the beautiful mountain views was only made better once we all made our way down stairs and had the same revelation… woah who knew Devlin was such a budding artist! The boys rocked their new face and body art, especially Toby.
Moving away from a classic Pitman brekkie-story we walked on down to the IRC community where we were once again greeted by beaming and racing kiddos. Our stomping feet were required to smoosh the leftover rice plant to make way for the new plantation. But first…. SNAKE TIME! We met the IRC’s pet snake, watched the locals rip its teeth out and give it a snuggle (yes mum I held a snake -Tash).
Our bare feet waddled on down to the muddy plains and we spent the next two hours knee deep in mud and enthusiasm. It was all pretty cruisy ‘till the toads hopped on out to play. The little kids ran at them immediately and we had to duck to avoid being covered in both mud and potential toad poison. After all the stomping and crushing (through what we hoped was entirely mud) we left the field ready for draining. With the help of the little ones in each hand, it sped the process along and provided solid laughs. Crazy to think this is an afternoon activity for them and when offered a break they were more than happy to jump right in there with us to help out.
After the usual hair braiding and hand clapping games were wrapped up, we headed off for a fantastic Filipino feed (using Hani Sani first, of course!). With the food in our bellies we were more than pumped to play a game of either basketball or volleyball.
We got to the courts and realized we were up against a tough match; the basketball boys were pros. Got to give the Aussie boys and our main gal Tahlia some credit though, they were ahead for most of the basketball game and only lost by one point. Us volleyball girls on the other hand were mainly just there for the thrill, being fully creamed, losing by…well we just won’t talk about that. Just chatting to the Filipinos, after they caught a few snaps with the blondies, was inspiring to see how beautiful they think we are and their interest in our culture.
Instead of the usual trek home, we hired trikes (motorized tricycle), getting to stand up and hang off the side to squish in five on a bike. The scenery was almost as amazing as seeing all the locals’ wave and smile at us as we passed.
After dinner and much needed showers, we headed on over to the local church for Prayer Night. We met many new friends and formed many connections through prayer and conversation. It was really humbling to be a part of a way of prayer where we sat in a circle, wrote down prayer requests, passing them around for everyone to silently pray for each other. Through a fast-paced progression line, we then made food distribution packages filled with rice, noodles and sardines. It was hard to think that this is what the locals live off when many of us wouldn’t touch sardines if our life depended on it.
It is comforting to see how normal things are becoming, how we are coming closer to the locals and building friendships. The new shock seems to be starting to disappear and our Filipino is starting to get better. Hope you’re all having as much fun as we are. We loved hearing all your comments, we all miss you lots!
tired feet and muddy toes