The one where I ate everything!
Trip Start Apr 26, 2010
11Trip End Sep 17, 2010
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Where I stayed
Cafe Vibe internet cafe
So major events since Friday 28th May:
On Sat 29th, whilst supervising at a Young Carers event, I was busy 'supervising' on the bouncy castle. Long story short, I pulled a couple of ligaments in my foot, went to Hospital to check that nothing was actually broken, then got given a pair of crutches and politely told to go and man up for a few weeks!
Sunday was a whistle-stop tour of Central London, with enough hobbling for a week! Leicester Square, Chinatown, Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, Westminster, London Eye, Tate Modern and Brick Lane! Its hard enough even saying the list, walking was edging on hellish!
Monday was my counterpart, Karl's, GCD and as a result of several all night coffee fueled sessions, the day ran without any hitches, and we all learnt a load about both the Millennium Development Goals, as well as a mythical island country in the Pacific! I dont think our day will be half as professional as this was!
Tuesday I was supposed to be assisting at a swimming trip for children with disabilities, which unfortunately because of my foot would have been hopeless, so instead I took a much needed day off! It is amazing how quickly our 4 days of work per week have turned into full 7 day commitments!
Wednesday morning I arrived at work bright and early, only to find the entire office empty! A cruel trick of my work counterpart, Des! She had neglected to tell me that actually we had the morning off! I felt like a right wally! So instead I spent the morning helping out in one of the many other departments we share our office space with! Then in the afternoon we had a special workshop on raising awareness around mental health and breakdowns, presumably our Programme Supervisors are very concerned for our sanity! Then a rush straight back to work to sit in on what is called a 'Peeps' panel, a panel of young people who review all the funding bids in the borough made by young people, and decide who to give money! Its very nice to give away someone else's money!
Thursday we were helping to run a Job Skills Workshop we had been setting up for a few weeks, but unfortunately only 4 of the kids turned up! Not that I'm at all bitter or anything...
Friday. Work? Nah. Rounders match, then BBQ, then birthday party in Richmond for my work counterpart!
Saturday we had a 'try an activity' day at the Hounslow Youth Centre, at which we had been warned up to 1300 kids could arrive! Unfortunately it was more like 13, but life goes on! Home for a quick nap, then off to the pub! (Saturday night is music night!!)
On Sunday there was an event called the Heartbeat hike, a short walk around Hyde Park to raise money for PHAB centre's in or around London! Representing the Hounslow Phab, the event was a roaring success, winning both best team fancy dress and best individual! Then off to Morden Park, for a celebration of Filipino independence known as a 'Barrio Fiesta!'.
Here I ate a variety of 'interesting dishes!
Balut - A fertilized duck egg with a nearly-developed embryo inside that is boiled and eaten in the shell.
Dinuguan - A stew of blood
and meat (typically stomach, intestines, ears, heart and snout) simmered
in a rich, spicy dark gravy of pig blood, garlic, chili and vinegar.
Papaitan - Beef innards stew flavored with bile
Pinakbet - A vegetable stew with some VERY bitter vegetables and shrimp paste!
and Karekare - A peanut based sauce with traditionally oxtail, but im not sure what was in mine!
After all this excitement, we returned to Hyde Park, to meet up with another Global Xchange going on with Egypt at the moment! Here, one of our team broke his nose playing football! It was the most broken nose I have ever seen! Almost a right angle!
And then there was Monday! My GCD! We started off early, with a tour of Westminster at 9, followed by an hour chat with Alan Keen, the local MP. After this, we got on the tube to a nearby room we had booked to use in Putney. Unfortunately we got off at the wrong stop, and were quite lost! After an exhausting random 20 minute power-hike, we found the place, and initiated the rest of the activities for the day: a petitioning exercise, a voting exercise and a debating exercise, so hopefully everyone learnt a bit more about democracy!
As for Tuesday and Wednesday this week, our work has been noticeably lacking, often spending hours at a time in the office with little or nothing to do, whilst our boss was busy in meetings! Even Boredom was a bit of a weak word to describe this! I said I wanted a bit of a rest, but this wasnt exactly what I had in mind! Luckily as of today, work has stepped back up a little, and there is a lot more exciting things to do again!
Tomorrow we go on our Mid Phase Review, to the New Forrest for a bit of a 4 day weekend! Yay! I cant wait, It should be awesome fun, and it will be nice to get out of the borough for a little while!
I will write again when I next can, as I'm sorry to say, my hour in this internet cafe is coming to an end!