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Saturday, August 27, 2011

More Photos from my training site, Barangay Magsaysay, Dinalupihan

I am back with more photos now that my community project is over.  Thank God.  But first let me tell you about this past week and a half. 

I gave three different lesson plans to eight different classes.  The first was on Garbage Burning to a group of ALS students.  ALS here in the Philippines similar to GED in the U.S.  These people never graduated high school and now they're going back to school to get their GED.  Trying to get them to talk and participate in class was like pulling teeth from a person.  It was hard at first, but it got easier as it went along. This was just a five - 10 minute speech, given four separate times.

My second lesson plan was last Monday and it was on Oddessy written by Homer.  For those of you not update on Roman Mythology, Oddessy is the sequal to the Book of "Iliad".  There's movie called "Troy" that tells about Iliad.  My lesson plan on Oddessy was an eye opener on preparation.  My note cards were all over the place, but I am glad the students were patient with me as I taught the entire class.  I let students finish sentenances, which most of them knew the answer to because they had done their homework.  I ended early, but Mam Bel. (the teacher in the class said I did good).  That was a relief and great to get that lesson plan off my back and concentrate on the community project.

We have five members in our cluster working on this project. Kevin, Katlin, Julie, Phyllis and me.  Kevin & Katlin were in one room covering listening & speaking, while Julie & Phyllis were in another covering Reading & Writing.  I was in a room doing a lesson on Motivators three different times to three different groups of students.  Two of them were high school, which I am used to.  The first group was college and the toughest because I expected a larger group and one of the games I had was for a larger group, but I adjusted and made due.  The second & third groups were the best, especially the second.  They really liked the motivator games I prepared for them.  What I prepared was three games. One called Name Exchange, another called Human Scrabble, and a third called Name interview.  The students had fun with three of them.  However, it's nice relief to be done with that project and concentrate on my language these last two weeks before I go to my permanent site in Olongapo City in the Province of Zambles.  Ok here come the pics.
The picture above is the day I arrived at my host family's house on Sunday, July 17 with my host tatay (host father) Rollie Langad, his wife & host nanay (host mom) Loida Langad and their cute daughter 6 year old Irisz (who will turn 7 on September 25)
This is my mosquito net given to me by Peace Corps, but I still get bitten by mosquitos.  One night and Ipis(cockroach) snuck into the net.  I had to use old papers given to me at IO to kill the sucker.









As I mentioned a few blogs ago, the fish here is incredible and you just eat it right off the bone.  Some of the fish here would probably cost $60-$70 at a restaurant.  In the future, I plan on doing an entire blog post on just food here in the Philippines.  Tell me what you want to know in the comment section.
 I thought is was a nice pic of a carabou below is a pic of me on the trail that's right by my house.  I'd be on that trail more often if it wasn't so rainy.

The pic to the right is the bridge you have to cross to reach the other side and finish the rest of the trail.  This is the halfway marker 



I just love the pic above!

 This pic was the miniture school our group at Supervisor's Conference made. 











This photo is yours truly doing an old traditional dance in the Philippines.  I am surprised I managed not to fall.  I have more photos, but I will post them another time.  Have fun with these.  Ingat na.  (Take Care!)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Photos of my journey so far Part 1 of many to come

So far I've only told you in words what I've done and accomplished, which haven't been much.  This post is exclusively photos so far of what it's looked like from my end.  Hope you enjoy.  The photo above is of me heading off to Los Angeles from Chicago on the morning of Friday, July 2, 2011.
These frogs were outside my room when I stayed at 11RR before I came to Dinalipihan in Bataan.  This was when I was still in Silang.


Even though this shot is far away I had to get a shot with both the Peace Corps flag and the John F Kennedy Peace Corps Poster.











All the shots I had taken were of the one above and I need a close up with both flags and Kennedy.  I couldn't leave 11RR without doing it.
















This is Edmund, my roommate at 11RR and more importantly, the one who alerted help when I had a seizure.  We've trained together, but his permanent site will be about 4-5 hours from my permanent site.

Those are the photos for now.  I have to go as my laptop doesn't have much power left. bye

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Living in Magsaysay

Living in Magsaysay

One thing I’ve noticed about the Tagalog language is that everything is spelled the way it sounds with every letter being annunciated as one says the word.  For example, Manit means hot, but it’s pronounced Maneet even though its spelled Manit.  The I’s in the alphabet sound like ees and so on with the vowels.  The same goes for the town I will co-teach English in, which its name is Dinalupihan (prounounced Dinaloopeehaan).  Finally, the Barangay I live in (Magsaysay) sounds different than it’s spelled as well, (pronounced Maagsighsigh) with the say say sounding like two sighs (sigh sigh).

Enough about grammar, I’ll have plenty of time during my service here to write about grammar.  Now, I am in my room in my host family’s house writing this blog on what have been many rainy days in a row.  As you can see the dates between my last blog and this blog, it’s going to take time to get these out.  At this rate, I’ll probably average one blog a month.

It was two and a half weeks ago when I moved in with my host family.  We live in Barangay Magsaysay.  At first and still even today they feed me a lot.  I think they try to feed me so much because I am a guest and also they don’t speak any English.  My family can’t understand why I don’t eat the same proportions as they do, but they now understand since they let me fill my plate with food; at first it was the other way around.  I have learned to say Bosog ng ako pretty fast (I am full) and then I point to my expanding belly and they laugh, but get it.  They do have an Aunt that speaks English and she’s been great in translating everything.

Today was the first morning I wasn’t served rice.  However, unlike my first two weeks in the Philippines, the food here has been awesome.  On my last few days in Silang where 11RR (My first home after arrival to the Philippines) is based I threw up a few times, but not with this food.  Yesterday, I had grilled fish for lunch.  If any of you reading this decides to come here, have a family cook you the fish because I believe it’s 10 times better than any fish served in a restaurant in the states.  It’s out of this world, but you have to watch out for the bones, I almost swallowed one yesterday because they’re so tiny.

Another thing that’s new for me are the bucket baths, the toilet without a seat, and no flush drainage.  Whenever I take a piss or shit, I have to dump a bucket of water to flush it down.  As far as bathing goes, I just pour water over my head and use the soap to wash up.  For brushing my teeth,  I squeeze a little bit onto my brush and just spit onto the floor and pour water over it to wash it out of the bathroom and onto the street.  The same goes for shaving.  At first I shaved blindly, but the other day I found a tiny mirror, which allows me to see what hairs I’ve missed.

The last two weeks have been more language based, but my tagalog is still bad; I could barely complete a sentence in tagalog, but I was able to ask for the bus fare when I was on the jeepney going to the market in Olongopo.  Plus, I did bargain with a sales lady to bring the price of a pouch down to 100 pesos from 120 pesos; that was cool.

One thing I am quickly adjusting to unfortunately is the mosquitos.  I’ve had one on almost every part of my body.  I received another bottle of cream from the medical office, but I think I need an upgrade because the mosquitos seem to like me.  Every time I am outside I am getting bitten.  It makes me wish I brought my long-sleeve lightweight trekking shirt, but I’ll survive.  There are plenty of stores where you can get deals on shirts.

Speaking of trekking, I went on a rainy hike this morning with my two host family brothers, Doon & Ryan.  It was a muddy hike, but a good one because I hiked on some trails I had never hiked on before.  Our feet fell in the mud a few times.  We had to water-spray our shoes & sandals when we got back, for me it was my hiking boots, but for my brothers, they just sprayed their sandals.  Everyone wears sandals wherever they go and whatever the weather/ground condition.

Our training group took a hike near where the former Sabit Air Force Base used to be, we finished the hike just in time when the rain starting trouncing down.

Yesterday, I met with my counterpart teacher for the first time I will be doing an introduction of the Greek author Homer and the Epic he wrote “Iliod” on August 15 and will assist in teaching something on August 31st possibly.

Shoulder Update-Breaking News

Well, I guess I shouldn’t use the word breaking, let’s just say I have good news.  I am OFF the Sling.  It feels great to stretch my arm when I walk.  Now I’ll be starting a lot of stretching and physical therapy around the corner.

Until next time,

Steve