Last day with my lovely class
I really dont want to go back to UK....thats how I feel about working over here and all the people I have met and been in contact with.....I hate to have to leave. :-(
Wednesday morning I picked up Becky on the way into the office. She is an 18 year old volunteer from UK who will be helping out at PCF for 3 months...brave girl! So grabbed a WCMF and found quite a few people already at work. We started to sort - the usual. Chatted with Aby about the sponsoring side of PCF. Did a few errands for Jane and left at 5.30...poor becky, she had a long first day....need her to get used to it quick though! Showed her where a few things were near to where we stay, and sorted beads at mine till we couldnt do it any longer.
Thursday morning set off to Navotas for an 11am class.
The view, with a not so pleasant aroma
Got to studio, door locked, so had to hang around with Mr Manky Cat from next door. Inside Jo and I waited for our classes. They were pretty late! Did the introductions with Beck, last prayer with the ladies and made glass and shell pendants. Nice and easy! We had a good last afternoon...I brought in crisps, biscuits and sweets and some cola too for everyone! It took them a while before they took some food....even when you offer to the people living near by, they wont take.....the kids dont even take......sheesh I would tuck into any food thats put infront of me(except chicken insides)..so you can tell I ate most of the food there! I signed each one's daily devotions book then I put a packet on the table with a few pieces of clothing in and oh my gosh they are not shy at grabbing for clothes! I thought world war three was about to take place.
In Vergie's house
Had our hugs goodbye and Vergie took us to her house to have a look. She is about to pop! Through small allyways, trying not to get bitten by the dogs...or attacked by the rooster, and up some steep stairs...climbed over a barrier and sucked in our stomachs to get through the front door and were welcomed by 3 kids inside. Her house is so so so tiny. The view just of rubbish. Her children are sponsored so thats peace of mind. Back to the office on bus. This guy jumps on and introduces himself and had this little act going...he said there were some special guests with them today...one being from California Miss Britney Spears......then he goes on and on...then as he is about to leave I say salama po and he laughed and told the bus that he is speaking English and I speak Tagalog.
The hawaiian hoola dancers
....it was hilarious at the time.....you had to be there....honest it was! Left the office again at 5.30.
Later that evening Becky and I went to this Filipino restaurant for dinner and show. She couldnt eat a thing...she said it tasted and melt like Manila......shame poor girl. She could only drink the wine. I suppose my first few days I ate normal things like yoghurt and bread and fruit...just to get used to things. I totally understand why she wasnt wanting the food. Manila has this funny almost sickly smell to it. So we had a show of Filipino dancing and music which was fantastic. A lady came around looking for volunteers so I went..had to do this jumping dance with two bamboo sticks with a man.
mmmmmm toffee apples
...I was pretty good, although trying to dodge being wacked by a bamboo stick would make anyone an expert. Then later some hawaiian belly dancers did some showing off then asked for volunteers to come up for that...tried to get Becky to go but I went instead again! I bet the people there were getting tired of seeing me. So made a complete idiot of myself trying to belly dance! So so so bad. The little 2 year old that went before me did a better job! I then took her to the Pan Pacific...she likes that. Had drinks and dessert..she said even her chocolate dessert tasted of Manila! So I ate it! I had the most amazing hot chocolate and mango tart. I had a chance to play on the grand piano while Becky sang a little. Was very romantic, even if she had a croaky voice.
Bubba Gump with Becky and Jo doing what every Filipino does in photos
Friday morning, set off at 7am. Becky and I worked like animals for the morning to split the stock into two boxes for the two bazaars on Saturday. We both needed to exchange some money so headed to the Podium. Had Japanese for lunch.....mmmmm sushi and soup. Couldnt exchange money there because we werent residants. WEnt to money changers in another mall, Becky got her money and I exchanged some pounds, which I found in my money pouch...nice. They couldnt exchange my travellers cheques. So went to another mall and the one bank there couldnt exchange my travellers cheques but they would upstairs....so eventually we found an American Express travel centre and at last was able to exchange my dollars! And I found out I had more that I thought.....another nice.
How massive is that dessert! Its bigger than their heads!
Walked back to office but stopped for a toffee apple with marshmellow. We are such porkers. Jo, becky and I left at 5 and headed to Jo's treat....the spa. oh man it was again fantastic. The two girls loved it! I had a different lady this time and she was amazing! Jo had no idea I was taking her there, which was a brill surprise! Next stop - Makati for dinner. Took them to Bubbagump. Love that place. We had calamari, prawns, salad and chips and sauce, with tasty fruit drinks...then had the hugest puddings, which neither of us could finish, but were all very well fed. Headed home. Jo crashed at mine, because we were getting picked up at 4.30am!
This morning, after having a very very bad sleep, Jo and I get up at 4am. The jeepney then took a few of us to Mosman football.
Setting up our tent at the Mosman football event
We did stop off at a Jollibee for a sausage and egg pancake....glad I finally ate there as it is the Filipino equivalant of MacDs. It had to be done.
PCF were displaying there as a lot of the procedes go to them. Jo and I set up the jewellery and sold quite a lot. The place was all grass and full of mud, so I couldnt wear my shoes...had mud covering my legs for the whole day. It felt good having clean mud squelching through my toes. The PCF football teams were competing in their first matches. They were so cute. They have girls teams too! There werent that many spentators, so sales were a little slow. By the afternoon the heavens opened and it chucked it down, so we had to pack up and I left a bit earlier. As I was sitting in the taxi a car drove passed which made me chuckle.
The floor in our tent at Mosman football event
It had 'Pilipinas' written on the number plate, and not sure if i have mentioned it before but when the Filipinos say 'the Philippines' they say 'the Filipenis' Its funny.
So thats it for me and my volunteering for PCF. I feel like I havent had enough time here. I feel as though I am abandoning everyone. I feel as though I havent done enough work for the jewellery livelihood project. I feel like I havent seen enough. I feel like I havent had enough time with getting to know people more. I feel like I shouldnt be taking a weeks holiday, I should be staying here working more!
I do know that I will never forget all the people who have touched my life. Who have welcomed me here with warm hearts and open arms. Who have made me realise that life isnt about what you have and what you do, its about who you are and how you love.
Will miss them all
I will miss them, my heart aches just thinking about it....
Tomorrow I am off to Palawan for the week to rest and recuperate and just enjoy the beauty the Philippines has to offer....external beauty that is....I found more than enough internal beauty in Manila.