Market street in Quiapo where we buy our supplies
OH man this week so far has been so tiring and busy. On Monday Jo and I spend the whole day in the office. So a 9am start. Had to go via starbucks of course! Oh Anna, my card doesnt work there ;-( So we had a meeting with the CEO of the charity along with Ellen, the lead in this jewellery livelihood. Talked about what orders we have, what orders we have in the future, what our goal is and what bizarres are coming up. 4 coming up in the next two months, dont know how we are going to produce enough jewellery! So much in so little time. Also the whole structure needs tweeking here and there.I really dont know how Jane manages to oversea everything...she works so hard. Hats off to her! So Jo and I were trapped in our tiny room, with no space to breathe to sort out what materials we needed and what designs to do etc etc.
Marilou showing me around her place in Navotas cemetery
Bought more boxes....worked there till 7pm. Luckily I had the chance to go on internet after that...nice to chat to some friends back home ;-) My journey home was long, at the second train to catch the gates were closed so had to take a jeepney back to station near my home.......not the greatest thing at night, you see so much which is not nice ;-( At the apartment...stilll no cockroaches....I worked on jewellery till very late again! So a very very long day of work....I have never worked so hard in all my life!
Tuesday morning, after a bad nights sleep, I headed to the cemetery. At the cemetery I managed to find my way to the kitchen again then a lady carried my belongings to the workshop, they do that, its sweet. Took the old class where we made some necklaces I make in UK.
A fishing boat
They found it too easy...but its a design that hopefully will sell. Get praying guys! I am very grateful class was downstairs this time, it is much cooler. There are 4 essentials for every handbag: cloth (to wipe all the sweat off) a hand fan ( to cool you down) talcom powder ( to dry your face) and mosquito spray of course! I have been noticing new bumps and marks and blemishes on my legs lately......nice. Rain started to pour down, so walking through the allyways in flip flops and no bollie is a horrible experience, but I just cannot imagine how these people cope living here, especially when it rains....its unimagineable (however you spell that). Jo and I caught a pedicab to the end of the cemetery and waited for Ellen and Rich. Some kids started just appearing, then this group of men asked us to sit down and asked alot of question.
Marilou's home with 2 of her 5 kids! Its about 3m x 2m.
The first one always seems to be, 'You Americano?' then 'how old are you?' 'then are you married?'...probably best I say I am!
After another long and tiring journey home, I cleaned myself and headed to the mall. Needed some new flops, just had to throw my old skanky ones away, there was no way I was going to place my feet in them again! PIzza hut for dinner.....can you believe a pizza and two glasses of mango juice cost me 3.50...crazy. Worked on jewellery designs till 2!
So this morning I left to get to the office for 9am. The streets were looking a lot cleaner but my throat was pretty groggy. Collected goods from the office, spoke to Jane about buying more materials tomorrow morning before class. Caught a taxi to Monumento, then a jeepney to Navotas.
This is the sea below the houses. Huge gaps which make it so easy to fall in! Especially when its wet and slippery.
Today everything has just hit me! The pollution was unbearable....I was not coping....at all......almost cracked! Then all day with the ladies I have been sneezing, had no energy, think my levels of patience were running thin and my body was starting to ache. It was a tough day of teaching. I find teaching extremely hard and commend those that do it for a living. Hadnt eaten all day so that didnt help. Anyway we produced a few pieces, but the beads supply was running out. The PCT driver came to fetch me and took me back - how lovely. Kept falling asleep on route and kept being woken up with hooters going and our car swerving all over the rd. Decided to belt up this time. So I got a new mattress - yippeee! Tomorrow I start work at 6am! Need to be at the office then so the driver can take us to the supplies shops for us to spend money! So leave my apartment at 5.
How kids manage walking around here is beyond me.
Date - Thursday 13 Sept - OH MY GOSH I have discovered the best place on the planet right now.....away from the pollution, away from the crowds, away from the noise, a place thats relaxing and tranquil, a place to refresh yourself and rejuvenate......yes it can only be the SPA!
Date - Friday 14 Sept - Its amazing how there are so many members of staff in one shop here in Manila. In a clothing store you have about a kazillion people saying morning mam...they are everywhere, at your every call. In the bead and material supply shops in Quaipo, you enter the store and immediately have an assistant on your left side, right side and behind you just in case! No idea of personal space, and when you not feeling so good, its quite frustrating! They are so good at helping through.
Little baby fast asleep
..I guess I was just not in the best of moods...was still with a stuffy nose and sore throat. Its funny how on the streets parents are bathing their children in tubs.
Anyway back to Navotas in the morning with more materials for the ladies. We started at 12. They were looking very smart as they had been to a service that morning. So we made old style necklaces, lots of earrings and a bracelet each. they worked really hard till 4pm. Hey Pam, the 'Hello' song was playing on the radio, it made me think of you. Before we started Marilou gave me a tour around the seaside area of the cemetery, where the houses are on stilts. Very tricking walking along the planks of wood and bamboo, dangerous too! So gappy, I am surprised there werent more people in the water, having fallen in! She showed me her place.
The sea is used as the toilet, and dustbin.
So tiny, my bedroom is bigger and they have 7 of them in one room. No child proof anything, so I really cannot believe kids can cope walking around. The parents dont seem to worry either. So when they need the lo the go into the corner bit and it goes straight into the sea. You should see the muck in the water, oh man if you had to fall in I think the shock from your surroundings in the water would be anough to kill you! She introduced me to a few of her neighbours who invited me in to check our their home. They are so hospitable and kind. I love Filipinos. There are a lot of roosters perched in all sorts of places there. So that ends a very busy and draining week. Emotional too, as when I think about my ladies and all those living at any cemetery, it brings tears to my eyes, and I feel as though I am not doing enough.......so if anyone can help the charity, let me know.