Ellenbrook: Day 3 – Welcome To The Jungle

Day 3 marked our earliest start yet, 6am. We woke up to the screech of a rooster and some sick beats. Finally, the volcano came into view thanks to clear skies with everyone in awe of its beauty. However, our awe was interrupted by the waft of bacon, scrambled eggs, french toast and rice. After our scrumptious breakfast we took a light stroll down to the local elementary school.

We brought with us a plethora of books to donate to the school’s MASSIVE library, that consisted of a single, outdoor desk with maybe 30 books.


Together we split into pairs and teamed up with a local church volunteer to visit the classrooms. Our audience consisted of students from years 1 to 6, and we were given the impossible task to keep them amused for the next hour. This involved teaching the kids “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi”, the Mexican wave, ‘Duck, Duck, Goose’, ‘Heads Down Thumbs Up’, ‘Hangman’ and Australian Geography. Patrick and Peter strangely decided to have some grade 3 students solve Mathematics equations and English problems. Then we were blessed with a rendition of ‘Home Among the Gum Trees’ and a 15-minute song, of every single city in the Philippines. To top it all off, Louise and Olivia were ambushed by 50 kids, as the balloons were revealed.

As we returned home to our accommodation, we were informed that we would be assisting with the sugar cane harvesting. Most people decided to ignore Mr Peakall’s advice to wear a long-sleeved shirt and pants. We piled into a dodgy white van and an old ute to begin the so-called “relatively short” drive to the fields south of Cabacungan. This drive was meant to take 5 minutes, however, our van decided to take the scenic route. This took an extra 20 minutes and an incredibly bumpy ride. We were lost. As we travelled along the wrong path, the driver proceeded to ask every single Filipino local for directions, including a half-dead, old man, in a wheelchair, with no legs. Eventually he realised we were going the wrong way, so he decided to complete a 10-point turn on a cliff face.

After our exciting adventure, we reunited with the rest of the team, who had already been hard at work for 15 minutes. The work involved, the use of a machete to chop the sugar cane and a 150m walk, carrying 10kg of cane to the other side of the field. The heat was overwhelming for some but eventually, the work was completed. Jumping back into the dodgy vehicles, we returned to Beulah land.  Upon arriving, we discovered that maybe we should have listened to Mr Peakall’s advice. Everyone’s legs were cut up and full of splinters. The removal process began.

To ease the pain, lunch was served and we tucked into fish, chicken, vegetables and more rice. It was now finally time for the anticipated first visit to the IRC (Ikthus Redeemed Community.) As we ventured up the final hill, we saw the children’s faces pressed up against the fence, bursting with excitement. We were greeted with open arms, especially those returning. Sophie, Dorinda, Tiah, Kaitlyn and Louise had multiple children hanging from both arms like monkeys, amazed to see returning faces.

Us newbies introduced ourselves to all the smiling faces, blessed with hugs and high-fives. We came loaded with gifts including a new basketball and volleyball for everyone to play with. After about half an hour we were taken aside to hear Pastor Steve share the history of the IRC. We were shocked to learn about some startling facts including how 90% of the girls prior to joining the community were victims of abuse and the majority of the kids are orphans. The group was invited to participate in a commitment ceremony, in which we were given yellow string to tie around our own wrists and a wrist of one of the IRC members. This served as a reminder that we will promise to support the community throughout the duration of our trip.

The next three hours consisted of balloon animals, singing, basketball, keepie up and learning some of Illongo, the local language. Mr Peakall decided to take a joy ride across the town, on a motorbike, on the wrong side of the road (he was used to driving on the left-hand side of the road and in the Philippines it is the opposite.)  We said our goodbyes and then we went home.

Dinner was served, and we devoured it after our long day of work. There was cordon bleu, pork skewers and you guessed it… rice! Dessert was next and it was questionable. It was a white blob, filled with corn and covered in cheese. Think jelly, but hard. To finish off day 3, the group had a karaoke session. It was loud and annoying as we tried to write this blog.

P.S. Never let Kaylah, Holly and Teale sing Taylor Swift ever again.

Olivia and Ethan.


23 thoughts on “Ellenbrook: Day 3 – Welcome To The Jungle

  1. You guys are amazing!! You look exhausted. 🥵.

    Hey Holly, they obviously don’t know talent when they hear it… 😃 Missing your singing and dancing at home 😜 ❤️ xx

  2. Hello everyone, Wow! what an amazing day you all had, we feel exhausted just reading about it. You all deserve a good nights sleep. We had a giggle at your extended travel to chop the Sugar Cane and it is so lovely that the children remember everyone from the last visit and we have no doubt all the newbies will have the chance to make a lasting impression too. Thank you for the amazing blog Ethan and Olivia and the terrific photos. Olivia – Nana and Pop have worked out how to see the photos now (with assistance from Aunty Nic) and Uncle Paul said he was glad you made it safe and sound. Enjoy whatever adventures tomorrow has in store and we wait patiently for another update. All our love xx

  3. How wonderful to hear of all you are doing! Loving the detailed descriptions of each day. I had to laugh at the use of the word ‘plethora’…the minute I saw it I scrolled to the end to see the author. Yep. Ethan. I have proof read many an English essay with that very word 🙂
    God bless! Miss ya Ethan!

  4. Oh dear…did Mr Peakall ever get seen again after he drove off on his joy ride on the wrong side of the road and you all said your goodbyes?!? 😂😂😂.

  5. Joking apart, thank you so much for the brilliant updates and stunning photos. So proud of you all. Every blessing to each and every one of you. Amazing job you’re doing xxxx

  6. Haha, you all must be exhausted but it’s great to hear all the amazing things your all doing, definitely convincing me to go next year x love you all!

    Trent – ‘Tim’ wants to know what you want for Christmas 🤷🏻‍♀️ I love you xx

  7. What’s wrong with Taylor Swift guys 😂
    So nice to see everyone smiling and love that you’re having such a nice time.
    Kaylah, Harley is fine. She still tries to go and sleep in your room so I’ve left the door open for her but she is doing ok, strangely enough Tobi is more lost with out you here.😂
    Levi and I miss you lots too, it was grandma and grandpa’s 73rd wedding anniversary today so I have sent them an email with some of the photos to keep them updated on your trip, they send their love to everyone.
    Drink lots of water. Love you to the moon and back xx

  8. Amazing reading about other super heroes helping others. You guys are incredible and doing some awesome work. Looking forward to the continued journey. Maybe listen to Mr Peakall’s next time.

  9. Love, love, love the photos. Super glad the reconnection wirh the IRC kids went well. Dorinda I know you were looking forward to this. Keep the photos and entertaining blogs coming thru. All my love xx

  10. Great Work guys! Awesome shots. Some of us are being inspired to put our names down for next year 🙂 Classroom looked like I was back in school 😉

  11. Wow, looks and sounds amazing guys, So proud of all of you. Please chain Mr. Peakall up for me!! Praying for all of you, so good to see the awesome work your doing and sounds like you are being such a blessing to them already. Press on guys, you are real champs!!!

  12. I am so proud of all the students and staff from Ellenbrook! You guys do us proud, may God multiply your good works. Praying for loads of salvations through this!

  13. Glad you’re having a great time. Looks pretty hot over there, doing all that work.

    Booking Zombieland 2 for when you get back.

  14. Wow what a busy day you all had. I’m exhausted just reading it. I’m glad your all enjoying Teale’s vocal talent. Just don’t get her started on Disney!

  15. It looks as though you are having a great time. I’m enjoying looking at the photos and reading the descriptions of all your adventures and the helpful work you are involved in. I look forward to more of your updates. God bless you all.

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