Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I was on live TV yesterday....

Just a quick post to say that yesterday I was on a very popular live TV show here in the Philippines. If you can google the show you might find a posting online, don't wait too long since they take them down after a few days. I held a sign that said "Hello to South Carolina, USA - Go Gamecocks", also got to pretend to play and electric guitar and rock out for the show....
It's Showtime June 12, 2012 - Philippines TV show - ABS-CBN Network.
I am in Part 1 about 11 minutes in and I am in Part two about 3 min. in.
What an experience! I got text messages from people all over the Philippines while the show was going on asking "Is that you on TV now??" Since yesterday was a holiday, Philippine Independence Day, a lot of folks were home and watched TV...more to come - The Philippine slogan is certainly true - It's More Fun in the Philippines..hope you can find the TV clip and watch it.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Part 2 of Back to School

We stepped off of the banca onto a bamboo raft and then were towed to shore
I was fortunate to join a team of medical professionals and division office staff to visit the island in the center of a crater called Taal Lake. Actually the island itself has another crater inside it, a crater within a crater. There is no electricity there and most folks make their living by fish cages. Horses are a main mode of transportation, I felt like I entered the Philippines 50 or 100 years ago. I talked to all of the pupils, sang songs, asked questions....
 First Island school we visited, no electricity

I saw a lot of these native type homes

Kids on line to get their teeth checked, notice the photo over the blackboard

What we saw upon arrival stop #1

Mam and I prepare to leave, yeah I need to quit eating rice

We head for another part of the island

enroute to stop #2

Next stop, beautiful flame tree in bloom top right

Buko juice a natural.....

Yes, we had to eat at every stop, no matter the time of day

Filipinos love getting their picture made, the gr. 1 class had 85 pupils and 1 teacher, ahhhh!!!

Really cool partnership between an American Solar Panel Corp. and the Philippines, free panels and they will create electricity to power a generator, then the school can have electricity

We head for our next stop, via this old volcanic cone

The third and final school we visited, the kids in this small community had to previously travel daily to the mainland to go to school, now they have a brand new one in their town, cool old volcanic cone in the far left distance

Not sure who this guy was but check out what he had stashed in his pants

Made a quick extra stop to change banca drivers and get fish

Tilapia waiting in the net

We got really wet on the way home
At our last stop, the earth/sand was black volcanic type silt. It was SO SO hot on the island, sort of like the molten lava way down inside the earth was radiating heat up to us

Look carefully at this photo, those bags weigh 50 kilos each and the guy in the foreground has 4 on his back!!!! 
 We circled the entire island by boat, it was a real adventure and probably one of my most memorable days here as a volunteer. Seeing the remote location and how people survive and thrive....the kids appeared well nourished and happy. I would like to visit again and actually get to climb up the ridge and peek into the center volcanic crater and see the most interior mini lake.
Wow the Philippines are such an incredible place...
Got a great shipment of donated books from Books for Peace in California, finally setting up a mini-library. Veron and I hope to transfer to grade 5 soon. Heading to the big city for medical visit, Walk for Freedom anti-human trafficking rally, weekend here at home then off to a marvelous spot with gorgeous beaches and hopefully incredible snorkeling next week! Will research the old leper colony....stay tuned.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Back to School

Our town parade, gr 6 tchr left and gr 4 right

Sir Joey fixing computer for our in service training, we are lucky to have been given computers and an interactive white board

Pupils line up by grade level on the first day, national anthem, pledge and exercise, uniforms and polished shoes

Teacher Veron loves green, our gr. 1 room

The department of education is launching a new initiative K-12. many people are against it but it is best for the country to enable them to compete globally.

My adventure via boat with my former principal

The bancas ready for us to go to the island inside the Taal Lake Crater

One of our sweet gr. 1 pupils, notice her baon of mostly rice

What we saw on our adventure to the island inside Taal Lake

We arrive at the island

Enroute to the island
School began June 4th but the two weeks prior had a lot of activity. We began with Brigada Esquela, a community project of fixing up the school for the new year. Even the Air Force guys showed up to cut weeds. Things got painted, cleaned and repaired for the new year. Filipinos were amazed that I actually could paint and clean dirty fans....
I spent the second day of the new school year traveling with my former principal to an island that is inside the large crater of Taal vocano. It is a crater with in a crater. Basically an island inside a crater with another crater within. I went to visit the very remote schools on the island, no electricity, horses for travel - actually the best day I have had exploring the Philippines!!!!!!!!!!!!
More to come, internet is VERY slow tonight, part 2 soon.....