Sun, Feb 19th
Beach day. A large group of us loaded a jeepny and went to a beautiful beach. Pristine sand, volleyball court, amazing huts. It was very enjoyable. According to the Department of Tourism for the Philippines, 2012 has been off to a good start for tourism, especially among Korean visitors. Maybe it is the new tagline “It’s more fun in the Philippines” that have people itching to visit (http://www.tourism.gov.ph/Pages/IndustryPerformance.aspx); however, I think it is the pristine and clean (which is something that I did not encounter often on Indian or Haitian beaches) beaches and friendly people.
Mon, Feb 20th
Today I worked at the Habitat for Humanity site. We are preparing the foundation. It was quite hot today, so it was really slow work. We levelled and dug out the trenches, laid rebar, and prepared for pouring cement into the trench foundation in the morning. In the afternoon, we used a mixer and poured two-thirds of the trenches. We could not complete because we ran out of sand (the mix involved three buckets gravel, three buckets sand, two buckets cement and one bucket water) and it started to thunder. It poured for a good hour and so most of us too a shower in the rain from our dirty clothes. Quite enjoyable. I walked home and tasted some delicious cooked plantains, as well as visit the school that is down the street from our home. I met a sixth grade teacher who teaches her students threes subjects: home ec (cooking, laundry, ect), science and mathematics.
Highlights of the week:
Most of the week I spent demudding a little bit more in the same neighbourhood as the previous week. The mud was not as deep, but it was difficult because there was plenty of wood and debris that the family wanted to save. The kids in the neighbourhood recognise us and so were delighted to “teach us how to dougie” when we asked them. They have some moves! On Thursday and Friday, I learned how to base manage. That means I have to make sure that the rides are arranged, there is enough water for work and at base (we get it filled down the road), and there is enough eggs, bread and fruits for breakfast. I must dally out the phones to all of the team leaders and make sure that there is enough battery and charge on them. I also must check in the new volunteers and make sure that they fill out the proper paperwork, as well as give them a tour.
I also do a little excel work and update the work roster, the number of people living on base, and financial matters, such as petty cash for shopping items (tools, cleaning supplies, food, etc). I spent a majority of Friday morning shopping for nescafe coffee, 3 in 1 (sugar, milk coffee), soap and other miscellaneous items.