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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

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