Some bracelets made by our ladies
So I have reached the half way mark and actually cant believe how much I have seen and experienced in my first 3 weeks!
On Saturday I had to be at the World Trade Centre for a bizarre which we were displaying our jewellery at. Managed to get in for free - was late so they wanted me to pay, but this lovely old American woman felt sorry for me so she stamped my hand. Inside there were loads of stalls, too many jewelers so we had stiff competition. We managed to sell quite a bit which was great. Had this crazy girl Lisa next to me and she just talked and talked and talked non stop....she is Muslim and was married off at 14 had a kid and split with husband after 2 years....so she is now a fiesty business women selling her own jewellery. Good on her.
Met some more South Africans. ;-) Packed up at 4.45pm and headed home.
On Sunday I met up with Jo at Quiapo to do some Christmas shopping. The heavens opened and it poured down like you cant believe. Poor market stall people sales must be bad on days like that. We pottered around the market and every shop was exactly like every other shop. Managed to find a few cool things. Nice to have Jo with me so that she can bargain them down in Tagalog. There are so many cell phone stalls everywhere. Too many infact! We went to Greenwich for lunch, I payed 98 peso (1 pound 15) for both of us. How cheap is that. We had coke, spaghetti and a slice of pizza.
Looking down the corridor at the PCT school in Tondo
It was getting too busy and I couldnt take it anymore so we patred ways. Headed for Ortigas to visit Jane and her son. Had to grab a WCMF from Starbucks on route. Chilled at hers for the rest of the afternoon and headed back home at about 8.30. issed the last train from Edsa, so jumped into a jeepney.....now this wasnt just any ordinary jeepney - it was like a limo! It was soooooooo long. Had a pretty fast, bumpy and jerky ride home ;-)
On Monday morning I had to be at the Manila Hotel at 8.30. Took a walk there, much easier and cheaper. Found a laundry place on the way, which is good! ITs quite difficult cleaning bedding and towels in the sink! Jane, Bengie and I went through to Tondo to visit one of the PTC schools. Oh my goodness, the litter and smell was so powerful I thought I was going to pass out! The shol is in the heart of one of the dumpsite areas, so you can just imagine the state of it.
Inside Jane tok us on a tour. The floor was very wet in place and some rooms were flooded. Lots of staff working in tough conditions. Was boiling hot too. went into each classroom and when we did the kids would stand up and say, "Good morning visitors, its nice to see you." So adorable. So the acting principal Philemon gave us some wellies and off we went in the PCT jeepney to the dumpsite. Appauling! People actually live in the dumpsite, and pick out the objects that can be recycled, as a way of living. Walked through some shacks, litter everywhere, stench so bad, muddy and horrible. So glad neither of us slipped at anytime! Quite a few of the kids from this area are sponsored and able to go to the PCT School. There are stil so many kids that need sponsoring, so if anyone is keen - its only 15 pounds a month.
After having had a walk around we headed to the piece of land the new school is getting built on. Right on the river, good location. Back to the school where the ids had finished so were all running around like mad! Some are sooooo tiny. As I was walking I felt a hand on my shoulder, this young boy decided he was going to keep it there the whole way to where I was going. Funny. Bengie, philemon and I then left for Navotas. I had my class at 1pm, was late again! We made earings for the afternoon. Had to send a lot back to each lady...so all I was basically saying the whole time, 'straight, turn it around, close, not the same.....all day long! But they had to be close to perfect....especially if we want to sell them!
End of day, Jennylyn brought me wellies, as it had been raining for a bit and we went to find the tricycle.
Some homes on the dumpsite
At monumento it was pouring again so we decided to jump into a cab and head to office. We sat in traffic for 1hr 15mins.....so dull. Got back to office at 6pm. Taxi cost me only 280 pesos (3 quid). Ate pandesal and had coffee and sorted out what we needed for the next day. Left the office at 7. At home I worked on new designs and updated photo album till past 12......slept so well though ;-)
This morning, Tuesday, am sitting in the PCT internet cafe in Monumento. On the train over here, even though its air conditioned, sweat was just trickling down my chest the whole time....I dont even sweat like that after an hr session in the gym! Have jewellery class at 1pm. Its funny because the motobikes (which there are loads of) have hooters that sound like a lazergun you hear in the movies.
Anyone care to sit down?
Great sound. Another cool thing is that you only need to wash your hair once a week as apposed to every second day! Just a few things that make life enjoyable!
Wednesday - Got to the office at 9.15. Jo and I needed to sort out what we taking to the next Bizarre which is on Monday. Ellen had bought new glass pendants so we went through those. WE realised we had so much to do we cancelled class for the afternoon, and worked in our tiny little stuffy room for the rest of the afternoon. The ladies were asking if I had tried Balut......there is NO CHANCE IN HELL I WOULD TOUCH THAT! If anyone has seen fear factor when they had to eat a duck embyro....well its the same thing! Joanne eats it and she is going to demonstrate that while I video her on Monday - cant wait! They also say I should try chicken feet - YUK! I dont think so! I headed straight to the Spa for my usual ;-) Aahh the little pleasures in life.
Am so loving wellies at the mo!
My journey home was tiring, there are just so many people everywhere, the trains were packed, the streets were packed, the malls were packed. Back in Ermite walking through Robinsons mall to get home was just so frustrating...I was getting so irritable, and annoyed.....so I just turned my music on my ipod up and missioned through like a maniac! Got in and callapsed. Had cereal for dinner...nice to eat cereal again..oh how I have missed that.
Without a doubt you will see every Filipino woman doing one of these fours things on the train. They will either be texting, brushing their hair, fanning themselves or looking at their compact mirror....its hilarious. Hey I forgot to mention....for all you Safas out there, I was having a massage the other day in an Asian Massage Parlour near my flat, when over their speakers comes Nkosi Sikelele Africa! How funny is that!
Today I met up with Jo and Ellen at Quiapo to buy some stock.
Managed to get a few things for friends including you of course Kate! There, you have been mentioned... I am still the only white westerner around wherever I go, still get hassled all the time to buy this and to buy that, oh and still get stared at all the time. I never thought I would be tired of the attention but I really am now!.....I am so thankful that I can listened to music and not have to answer.....it gets a bit much! We stopped in at Chowking for lunch - love that place. Jo brought me some tiny little sugared fish to try....the head was still there and everything....so I declined her offer. Got to navotas for 1pm. The smell was pretty bad this time. made more cuffs when the electricity went off....oh man - no lights, no fan and no keeping the smell out! So we carried on regardless. It was getting hotter and hotter and I kept getting bitten. Nevermind. On way to pedicab all the kids were yelling,"whats your name?" all the time, they do that everytime.
I am so excited for my trip to Peurto Galera. Off tomorrow morning at 6.30am from the Manila Hotel. Its a weekend package so dont have to worry about anything, which is what I wanted. So its a resort right by the sea on the island called Mindoro. Two nights, three days of sea, sand and sun! Till I return.......