I have been at my permanent site now for almost 3 months and I have experienced many of the Dep. Ed. School based competitions and special events. At first I was concerned that the pupils would miss a lot of school by attending these events, but they are voluntary and actually very educational. The last one I visited was called a Science Camp, I was thinking like a 2 day “day camp” with science related activities, but oh no, we are in the Philippines and a Science Camp means a camp out! The “encampment” lasts Sun. – Thursday, pupil, parents and teachers attend and spend the night. It is about an hour from our town and people from all over the province attend. It was like an elaborate mini-village of tents, complete with mini-fences and decorations to partition off each designated towns spot, very creative and beautiful decorations. The toilet facilities had a real ceramic toilet placed over a hole in the ground and the tables and sink area of our encampment area was created on the spot out of bamboo. Pupils engaged in using a large variety of recyclable materials to make various things. I was really impressed.
I also recently attended the Special Education Olympics. I am glad to see special education in the public school system here, albeit not widespread. The competition for Mr. and Miss Special Education was a joy to watch, the ladies showed such pride and self esteem. Last Friday was declared National Reading Day by a Dep. Ed. Memo, these memos appear to carry a great amount of weight and dictate what is and is not to be done at each school. The memo said we were to have several school wide competitions and a program. We did all of that and it was actually very interesting to promote the value of reading in elementary school. In addition to girl scouts, boy scouts, oratory competitions, journalism camps, sports competitions, there will be an art camp perhaps in the spring. Again, I am thinking day camp but here it is a major production hauling tents, canopies, cooking materials, bamboo flooring for the tents, etc.
|Hand made entrance with creative use of coconuts|
|Our area is famous for making mosquito nets, little pink and yellow mosquito net decorations|
|Bottle cap wind chimes|
|Grandmother, grand daughter and great grandson from Christening|
|We all got mini cupcakes to take home|
|Notice the hog head in tray of pork|
|Miss Special Education competiton|
|Local parish priest's pet turkey|
|Night procession of Christ the King|