A lot of Philipinos work overseas as OPW, many women are domestic helpers, I can think of a dozen people I have met whose spouses are in places like Saudi or Datar working and send money home. My host father worked in Saudi for 10 years. His wife told a story about having to get on the roof and sweep off the deep ash from the volcano by herself. One of the sisters of this family I am with works in
, her small son is here being raised by family. This culture values family and family in the big sense of extended family. Grandparents live with or within the same compound and help raise the grandchildren, it is really a great thing and help to everyone. Most families have compounds, fenced large areas with several houses, either metal large fences or cement walls. The compound where I live has three houses, one for the parents, one each for two of the girls. Taiwan
I finally went to the closest large town to buy rain boots, courtesy of Peace Corps. We took a jeepney to Olongapo, remember the jeepneys are the main mode of transportation here – usually decorated lavishly, I will try to take more photos. Buses also run and then there are the motorcycles with side cars, I took another trike ride today to church in the side car, it is very amusing. Olongapo was crowded, we went to the large indoor market for boots, they sold everything you could think of. We had a language shopping class as we walked past all of the vegetables and fruits, what everything is called and how to identify things we have never seen before. There are quail eggs for sale and these other eggs called balut, they are duck eggs that have been incubated for about 17 days and then eaten as embryos. No, I am not trying them. I have tried a lot of the interesting vegetables and the pineapple here is incredible.
My host mother’s mother is in the hospital and everyone who is hospitalized needs a “kasama” with them. This is a full time helper who sleeps there in the room with you and brings you food and helps take care of you. PC told us that we will need one if we ever get hospitalized, I already asked another volunteer and we agreed to help each other. My host mom is the kasama today for her mother.
The PC medical staff reminded us to put on mosquito repellant, we have 30% DEET strong stuff. After all of this rain it is expected that there will be an outbreak of Dengue Fever, not something anyone would want at all.
I actually co-teach a bit this coming Wed. – I have included some photos of my class.
I learned about cockfighting here, it is a big business and entertainment, several trainees have attended the fights. Apparently there is a huge arena with bleachers, everyone bets on the cocks, they strap long sharp blades to one of their legs and then they let them go in the arena, they fight to the death – the owner of the winning cock gets to eat the dead one. Cockfighting occurs in so many cultures, I will have to research the history of it. I honestly don’t know if I could go and watch one, everyone says I should just to learn about the culture.
I did go to Subic bay yesterday, that is where the
had a huge military base. It is now shopping and businesses. We shopped at the duty free shop just for a few things, it took about an hour one way to get there and so shopping has not been convenient at all, I am glad I brought everything I would need. They have used and “seconds” clothing stores here called ukay-ukays, I found two shirts there – most ladies here look like size 00, so finding American sized clothes, especially larger sizes is very hard, but the ukay-ukays look promising. Monday we go on a field trip to Pakalaklakin, a forest area that has indigenous people living there. I am not sure, but I heard something about how they used to train the marines in survival techniques. US
I have a very busy week with the all day field trip, language, teaching, my final site placement interview, medical and shots and we conduct a 4 hour training at school on Thursday about strengths and need of the community in preparation for a community project we have to do. That’s all for now. Photo of my grade 6 class.