As per routine a lovely early wake up from Georgie at 6:45 which turned into a snooze button until 7am. We headed to breakie where we were treated with some delicious omelettes, spam and rice.
Due to typical Philippines weather, schools have been student free for the past two days, which meant we headed straight to the Special Education School to smash out the painting. This turned out to have more people painted than the walls at some point, but we did a fantastic job and it’s all ready for a final coat tomorrow. Some of us took the time to interact with the hearing impaired students and discovered that some of them have a crush on our students. The students mentioned they wish we were from America because they love America so much, and they wish they were white, because they believe white means you are rich… We found this interesting as we often wish we are more tanned.
After finishing the painting we headed to lunch. We had, tomato sauce flavoured macaroni and cheese along with, rice, mangoes and shredded pork. The macaroni and cheese was so popular that the kitchen staff bought the entire platter out and placed them on our tables.
Next it was off to the sugar cane fields, where we learnt how to cut the sugar cane with the bolo knives and loaded the trucks ready for the factory. It was a very physically demanding experience, and we found it confronting seeing so many Filipinos watching us work. We learnt that they were watching because they were surprised to see white people doing their work. Although we enjoyed the experience, we cannot imagine having to do it for more than fifty years like some of the locals. We met one local who has been on the farm since he was 14, he is now 64. He is still working to support his family, including his kids and has grandchildren, especially to make sure his grandchildren can go to school. It was also interesting to discover they get paid approximately $4 per tonne of sugar cane prepared, rather than a daily wage, so everything depends on how much they can achieve in one day. A number of us found it emotional listening to the farmers stories.
After a hard afternoon of hard yakka (hard work), off we went to enjoy a lovely swim in a private resort. At the resort there was a natural waterfall, that many of us enjoyed exploring and climbing. We had a bombie competition, which left Mr Beacham wet even though he wasn’t in the water. The refreshing swim was exactly what we needed!
Dinner was the the stripped beef, chow main, rice and macaroni and cheese. After dinner we learnt a traditional martial art then involved wooden sticks. The Guru taught us the twelve steps to defensive techniques including how to counteract and disarm our opponents. Some of us were really good at attacking each other, others were good at hitting the trees and the surrounding poles. It involved a lot of weird noises like hoooooooiiiiya.
After bowing to farewell the Guru we headed back inside where we were greeted by a fruit bag flying around the room. Steve Irwin ( Keegan) was back at it again and caught the bat with his bare hands and his trusting sidekick, the jacket. The bat was safely removed from the room and flew away into the brisket night. And as Bear Grills said, it’s now the chicken of the sky.
Shout out to, Mumma and Papa, I miss you and I miss Sheila because I’m not allowed to touch the puppies over here. And to the rest of the family I hope all is well. From the one and only, the best and only, number five child of the Hyde family (also known as Bianca). Xx