Trip Start May 02, 2009
46Trip End Jul 27, 2009
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My placement is at the SOS Children's Village. It is about a half hour jeepney ride from my homestay. My host brother gave me written directions of what jeepneys to ride and exactly what to say to the drivers. And also when to get off of course. My first ride alone today went well. I feel a little strange being the only foreign person riding the jeepneys and a little self conscious speaking there language. But as long as they understand me and I get where I need to go I guess that is all that matters.
All of the children are so happy and friendly. They all greeted me by taking my hand and placing it on their forehead. Which from what I understand means hello but is used towards people older then yourself. Many of them already remember my name and call me Ate Elsa which means Auntie Elsa. It is so hard to remember all their names because there are so many of them, 117 to be exact. They all look younger than they are. A child that you could think is about 3 is actually like 5 or 6. It is so hard to communicate with the young children because they don't know English. They kept trying to talk to me in Waray-Waray but I couldnt' understand them. I just tried to use the few words I know with them at least though. I am excited to learn the language better though. The little boys and girls are soo adorable. There were like 4 little boys that were constantly running up to me and wanted to be held. I played frisbee with some of the younger children and also a game they play with there sandels. It is hard to play for very long though because it is so hot and they want me to hold them. There were 4 older girls, 13 and above, that I talked with for quite a while and they said they will help me learn the language. They are so curious about our culture and ask me lots of questions.
I'm still not really sure what I will be doing with them besides just playing and talking. I think I will have to plan some activites and lessons to do with them soon.
The orphanage is in amazing condition. It is completely supported by international donations and the facilities are wonderful. There homes are even better than my homestay. They have 11 houses, each with a house mother who cares for 6-12 children.
I have to go now because the computer has been really slow and I feel like I have been taking it over for too long. I will try to write soon though. I hope you are all enjoying reading my blogs. Let me know if you have any questions.