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Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving, a Spelling Bee and a New Bike

First, to all my family and friends in the United States and elsewhere in the world, Happy Thanksgiving.

I am Thankful this year for being placed close to volunteers I can work with and I am in a peaceful environment.  I also give thanks to those back home who had second thoughts of me coming here, but trusted my instincts and eventually supported my decision.  Finally, I am thankful for coming from a country (U.S.) that allows me to do this.  Not every country has a program where citizens can serve their country on foreign soil and see different parts of the world.   Furthermore, I am thankful to the Peace Corps for choosing me along with 54 other volunteers in my batch to represent the U.S. in this beautiful country.

Ok, let's eat.  Pictured below was some of the helping I had.  The Lola (Grandma) in my family had her birthday and cooked a feast.  Speghetti, Beef, Shanghei rolls, Chicken Gordon Bleu, cole slaw & fruit salad.

This is Rianne, she lives next door and is the daughter of Barangay Kaptain (they don't use the letter c in the Philippines-the letter isn't even in the Philippine dictionary except for English dictionaries.) 
She is two and saluting.  I thought this was cute and had to take a shot. 

Before my Thanksgiving meal, my fellow volunteers and I hung out at Starbucks for a Frapaccino or whatever they call their cold drinks.  From left to right; Steve Sierra (myself), Kevin Matlock II, Rachel Kooy (Kevin's wife), and Lucy Craft.

The Spelling Bee
Yesterday, one of the students I coached this week participated in a spelling bee, which represented the school I am volunteering at, Kalalake National High School.  Moments before the spelling bee I was nervous.  My hands were sweaty and I had a look and feel of frantic as if I was going on stage for the spelling bee.  Luckily, the student I'm coaching didn't feel that way or at least didn't show it.  Now, I know how a coach or parent feels right before a performance.  Part of you is on stage in the body of a much younger person.  For me that person was Carlei Gomez.  Age 12.

I am proud of her, she gave the best she could.  It takes a lot to be the sole representative of your class representing the school.

Last week, I bought a new mountain bike for about 1/3 the cost it would be in the United States.
She rides great.  Tomorrow morning, I'll take her up the hills and see how she rides long distance. 

Next week is game 3 of our basketball series with Columban College High School.  Last week we played two games against them.  We lost the first one, but won the next day.  We had to play with one less player because he was 18 and this league is for 17 & younger.  The winner of next week advances to play another school in the best of 3.  The other goes home.  Next post you'll find out the result.  Ingat na!


  1. Hi Steve,

    I'm glad that you are doing Great in the Philippines.


  2. What a great experience you are having Steve! You are very articulate and provide a great read! - Chuck