Rice, more rice and... MONOPOLY!!

Trip Start May 05, 2010
Trip End Sep 16, 2010

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Flag of Philippines  , Visayas,
Thursday, July 29, 2010

It's now the second week of working with Ocean Care and what a week it has been!

Wednesday 21st
Since Mario, our boss, had a few meetings to attend, we were left to our own devices at the hotel and so we were asked to help out in the kitchen. We had to get all dressed up in the chef costumes and put pretty packaging on jars of sauce to be sold at an event. It was actually pretty fun and me and Des started practising our Cebuano.

Thursday 22nd
We experienced 'smile thursday' at shangri-la's staff canteen. Reports had shown that customers were least satisfied with the staff on thursdays and so, since our office is based at the hotel, we got to enjoy the ice cream with sprinkles and bubbly music all lunchtime. We also started brainstorming ideas for events that we could lead for the Tingo community which is on Orlango Island. I thought of making a chandellier with the children of 3D fish and other marine creatures that would then be hung in the aquarium.

Friday 23rd
Marvi, David and Mark's GCD on Civil Society. It was a long day for it was extremely cold in the room due to the air conditioning remote being lost (i swear you're either boiling hot or freezind cold in this country!) But the actual content of the day was pretty good, we got thinking about our input into society and whether it was the government's or civil society movement's responsibility to deal with certain issues like making the school curriculum. Me and a few others went to Angel's Cafe for lunch which was stupidly cheap (40pesos for a really tasty meal which is equivalent to about 60p!!) We then went onto Patrick and Chris's host home to model fairtrade products for a photoshoot that will be used in a campaign.

Saturday 24th
We all travelled to Orlango Island bird sanctuary to plant mangroved along the coastline. I spent most of my time talking and playing with the local children and teaching them to do the whistling thing with your hands. They seemed very entertained by this and I really hope to see them again :)
The actual planting took no time at all but the walk there and back through the shallow water was HORRIBLE due to an obscene amount of starfish, sea urchins and jellyfish to avoid.

Sunday 25th
The gang got together at one of the local politician's houses. It's called an eco-house because it's self sustainable and 90% of the materials used to make and decorate it are from recycled materials. He also had a number of pets ranging from goats, to puppies, to turkeys and A MONKEY!! We spent the afternoon fooling around in the pool with the slide and then Des, Marvi and I went to the cinema to see Inception (I'd definately recommend it!)

Monday 26th
Me and Des went to a couple of meetings with Geoplan and the Philippine Business for Social Progress team before heading to lunch with Mario at some dodgy cafe that then gave me stomach cramps (note to self: don't eat there or anywhere similar again!). Mario then went onto other meetings leaving me and Des to work on our environment presentation at Ayala (the mall where we've spent a coupld of our afternoons).

Tuesday 27th
Our office is finished! So me and Des went to check it out. Although the electricity is now working, the air con in the office with the sea-view doesn't work so we were BOILING finishing up our presentations!! That afternoon we then went to the Tingo community for the first time so deliver some donated beds and scales to the hospital along with some playing balls and a computer for the school. The children were adorable and i would have loved to spend more time with them so next week we're planning to spend an overnnight with the community :)
The only thing that irritated me was that there was a little boy with down syndrome roaming about the street in broken shoes and an overly large torn tshirt, and when i tried talking to him and playing with him, the chief of the community said that i shouldn't. When i asked where his parents were and if he goes to school, she replied that his mother died, his father is at work and he should be with his grandparents but he usually just walks up and down up and down this one street and if somebody tried to give him scraps of foods, he will decline. My heart really went out to this little guy and I hope he's there next week so I can buy him a proper meal.

Wednesday 28th
This day was LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG! Me and Des had to wake up really early (only 6am but still!) and travel to the police station to travel with a team of policemen to the agricultural centre where the mangroves get... is 'made' the right word? There was about 18 or us all together and we had to fill little black bags (about the same size of my hand) with soil and fertiliser. Our aim was to fill 5000 of these and i think we came pretty close but towards the end my bum killed from sitting on a little wooden stool for so long! I got to try this coconut and caramel desert thing though which was nice, and I learnt a lot from the policemen asking and answering questions. Overall it was a good day and I made a few friends and felt like we really did make a difference, even though it took so long lol. Plus we're going to plant them all together on Tuesday so that is something to look forward to!

It's smile thursday again so I'm looking forward to lunchtime. We only have a report to write so that gives me time to write this, because I love you all so much hehe!

Oh yes, before I forget!
The title is because the vast majority of our meals consist of rice... and each evening Marvi, Ren, Des and I have been playing Monopoly Deal, its actually amazing and we're quite the addicts now. Plus last night I won three times in a row!

Speak sooooooooooooooooon!!!
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