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Saturday, September 24, 2011

First week at Site and I am coaching basketball

This was my first week at site and it I knew this school needed work, but man this school needs a noise barrier.  Imagine your windows down in Chicago or New York or whereever you are where there is traffic.  It gets pretty noisy.  These kids double that.  In the morning unfortunately, real traffic from the tricycles & jeepneys riding around overtake the noise of the kids, but they settle down after awhile.

However, after lunch they're at it again.  This week and the next two weeks I'll be observing class.  I am observing three teachers and four classes overall during a day.

Besides the noise level, I noitice a lot of things missing.  One lack of reading material.  Both books & magazines.  The books they do have are from the 50s through the 70s.  I am definitely going to ask my local library back home and Peace Corps home office for help with this.  Students don't have access to the computers and the teachers' equipment is outdated & Unsafe.  God forbid a fire were to happen, this place would be toast.  I do have my work cut out for me.

Yesterday afternoon was an interesting time.  I knew I would be asked to help out in their sports department, I just didn't think I would help out in the first week.  Yesterday, they asked me to if I wanted to observe the boys & girls practice.  I said sure.  For the girls, it was actually their formal game.  (One thing I notice in the Philippines is sometimes there's a lot of miscommunication because of the language barrier,) Before the game I going through layup drills with them in my loafers before I asked to go home & change into sneakers.  (I am a 5-10 minute walk from my school. NICE.  Also, I am a 15-20 minute walk from the market.)

Anyway, the girls played their game and won by 20; 26-6.  I don't know if it was the drills or the loafers, but I am glad they won.  Next, it was the boys to take the floor.  Only they weren't playing a game, they were just having unorganized practice.  That's where I came in provided some running drills for them curtosy of my basketball experience.  Then, I ran out of drills & so I told them to just play a scrimmage game.  The actual coach is more of a babysitter so things don't get out of hand and a good translator.  He also made good decisions in the girls' game.  I think we'll be a good team, both boys and girls. 

It's funny, as I write that last sentence, I am looking up downloadable coaching drills.  That's all I have for now.  Till next time, Ingat na. (take care.)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Swearing In - I am finally a PCV

Well, it's finally here; I've graduated from intense training to being an official member of the Peace Corps in the 50th year Anniversery.  I couldn't believe it happened so fast.  To actually witness the ceremony, you can view it here  and I promise this is the correct site.  I gave my dad this address except I wrote down an l instead of a 1, looks the same right, but the first letter I copied down was a lower capital L instead of a 1, Ouch!!.  I give thanks to my dad for actually taking time to be up at that time of the hour.  It was 12:45 am where he's at.  A 13 hour difference between Chicago and the Philippines.  Unfortunately, he wasn't able to view it due to my dumb mistake, but hey we all make them. 

To the left is Sam Salter, my TCF (Technical Cross-Cultural Facilitator) and to the right of me is the new Peace Corps Philippines Director Denny Roberston.

All the speeches were great and I even felt a tear coming on as the U.S. official asked us to raise our hands.  Many thimgs went through my mind as I was up there.  First of all, my seizure and shoulder incidents at the same time.  I thought for sure I was going home, but I was fortunate to have a great Peace Corps staff & a great host family in training to help me through my injuries.  Above & below photos of the event.

The photo above & to the left is of Brenna & Kayla in the costume she wore for her group's performance.  Click on the link above to see it; it was awesome.  The photo to the right is my Chicago counterpart Bob Baily from Oak Lawn.  He'll be with me in Zambalas; he'll be serving in Subic in the CYF section.  The photo directly above is of Wyatt & Michah; they're married & are from California.  They'll be doing their service together in Bohol, I think.
The lady standing to my left in red will be my counterpart teacher for the next two years.  Her name is Doris Lapuz.  I will be teaching 1st & 2nd year English.  However, I've also been informed that I will handle 3rd year as well.

This is one of my favorite photos because it's a picture of my cluster, but without Phyllis, unfortunetely.  Standing in for her is Rachel on the far left.  She is married to Kevin in the suit.  Kevin & Rachel will be doing their service in my city, Olongapo City.  The lady is Katelin.  She will be heading up north to Pagasina.  In the middle is Eva, our LCF (Language cross-culture facilitator).  She is the best, wihout her I wouldn't have passed my language profiency test (LPI).  Standing next to me is Julie, my neighbor in Magsaysay.  She will have a 10 hour boat ride south to a tiny island called Romblon and teaching secondary in a high school called Romblon High School in Romblon, Romblon.  That's a lot of Romblon's in there.  Not pictured is Phyllis and she will be teaching in Los Banos, an hour & half south of Manila.

Oh, what the heck, I might as well throw this in there as well.  This photo is from a previous time, but one I like a lot, because it includes all of us in there.  From L to R Sam, Kevin, Katelin, Eva, Phyllis, Julie and me.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Cooking, Mt Sumat & more photos

Extra time means extra time to get caught up with more photos.

Who needs a carrot shredder when you have Steve Sierra cutting carrots without cutting himself and that's the truth, not one cut.  Out here there's no need for extra junk, everything is done by hand, no blenders, just hard-nosed stirring & cutting.  It also depends on where you're at too.
 It's nice having an audience while you cut.  That's Irisz watching me cut carrots.  There one of four incredients I need for cooking Limpia Shanghi rolls.

Above I am in the kitchen doing the final & tough touches of flipping the rolls to make sure they're cooked right.  To the right is the end result.  They tasted delicious.  I wish I could send some home.
 Mt Sumat is above and I wish I could make it bigger, but if I make it bigger, I won't be able to add the 2nd image of me at the half-way marker.
Like the other pic, I wish I could make the size bigger on the photo above.  We're 36 stories high.  Next to the photo are Mike & Gina, the photo was shot sideways, but I still got a good shot of them.

Above are photos from my last day in class at BPSU (my training site).  I enjoyed my time there.  I taught High School Senior class and this is also the class I taught my Oddyssey & Motivator sessions to.

That's it for now.  The rest of the photos didn't make the cut and plus I have to get out of here.  I talk to you next time.  If you haven't check the site in a while, be sure to check my last blog published this past Sunday for even more photos. 
Take care