Leading up to the MPR...

Trip Start May 05, 2010
1
11
Trip End Sep 16, 2010


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Flag of Philippines  , Visayas,
Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hello hello!

So its come to that time of the week where I have set aside a few moments to reflect on the past seven days and to tell you all about what a wicked time I'm having (no intention to rub it in there!)

My last entry was Tuesday 10

Since then, in my spare time, I have been researching child labour for my GCD (Global Citizenship Day) that is going to be on Friday 27. I'm working with April and Chris and we're all really excited about it. I won't go into too much details as to what we'll be doing but blimey, the facts and figures about the issue are just awful. Like right at this moment, there are said to be 218 MILLION child labourers in the world, and of those, 8.4 million are involved in the worst kinds: child pornography, child soldiers, slavery and prostitution. And the thing is is that most documentaries you might see, i.e. Blood Sweat and Tshirts, only really focus on those making clothes, but there's so much more to it then that. Like in the fashion industry for instance, its not just the people putting the clothes together, its also those who have to decorate the material, or collect the cotton in the first place! 69% of the child labourers in the world work in agriculture, whether that be farming cotton or cocoa, or fishing and farming animals to help makes ends meet. Stopchildlabour.org aims to achieve the Millenium Development Goal that every child should have access to quality education, and this in turn will allow a huge number of children to escape the vicious cycle of poverty. This ties in nicely with our One Goal campaign that again aims to eradicate poverty through education, do your bit and PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION AT WWW.JOIN1GOAL.ORG

But day to day activities have been pretty much like this...

Friday 14
Dani, Mike and Toni's GCD on the environment. This was a really good day! We had many activities that made us think about our contribution to global warming as well as Toni's presenation about when the town he lives in flooded, which was the first time ever or something. There was also clips from the film The Age of Stupid which I've seen before but its just as great an impact as it was the first time i saw it. We had lunch and a tour at Elicon Cafe which is a little cafe that is all about the green. For instance, no plastic allowed anywhere in the building, natural lighting via skylights, natural air conditioning via waterfall, and loads of other quirky features.
We also had a team talk to see how everybody was feeling and although it dragged on, I personally felt like the team was stronger afterwards.
That evening we all went back to Elicon for a night of Scrabble and ice cream :)

Saturday 15
The girls in my house all woke up early to go to the PBSP's tree planting activity. Us four and Rachel, alongside about 50 volunteers from San Miguel and other large companies, all travelled to the mountains and were given a briefing as to how and why we should plant trees. The main reasons were due to increasing the bio-diversity in the rainforest as well as improving the water system, by tree roots sucking up the water and doing something amazing- I can't remember exactly! Although it was a great experience, it also felt kind of like a photo-op since the holes were already dug and the seedlings were already placed there, all we were required to do was take the seedling out of the plastic and put it in the hole and pat it down with more soil. However, even if it was a photo-op the big companies had paid for it all to happen and so whether it gets done for tokenistic reasons or not, it still does get done and it still helps the environment.
After the activity, Reji (from PBSP) took us on a detour around the mountains. This was BEAUTIFUL! I loved it so much. The scenery was fantastic, we visited a village that helps PBSP's organic farming or something and we got to try some fresh fruits that i had never had before, and there was puppies!! We also stopped by for some sweetcorn on the mountain-side and i even managed to get a picture of Rachel that makes her look fat! (will be uploaded soon!)
When we were dropped off at Ayala, we met the other teamates and set sail for the ocean clean up.
This activity was depressing. The sheer mass of rubbish was just unbelivable, and Mario later said that this was light in comparison to other locations! It just seemed never-ending and even after we collected 70 recycled rice sacks of rubbish, it still looked like we had never even touched it. However, there were a group of little lads who came and helped and they had pet spiders that they got to fight each other on sticks. Not very nice for the poor spiders but the kids were great! Me and Elsie even tried teaching them totti-totti but they didn't really understand lol
That night, the boys in the team had a lads night so the girls in my house as well as Rachel and Trix came over for a night of moderate alcohol and well sleeping...again (we're really not good at the whole sleepover thing lol)

Sunday 16
We had a bit of a lay-in, yay! That day, Ren Rachel Trix and myself went to the mountains again but this time it was to help with Ren's drama workshop that she's been leading for the past couple of weeks. It's with her work with Share A Child Movement and it's in aid of raising awareness of the potential human traffickers that may approach children and young girls in the local area. It sounds very serious and emotional but we just got the kids playing drama games and exercises and it was so much fun :) I got to act like a complete goof for 4 hours and the kids were just so creative with the still poses etc that they come up with in the different activities. Not only this, but in order to get there we had to go on a habal-habal which is basically a motorbike that they allow up for 4 people on the back of. We were on the back of one each so there was no squashing needed and it was so great! I'm so at home on the back of a motorbike and after five minutes i was able to get my camera out and start taking awesome shots and a couple of videos.
That evening, Des's sisters and friend Christina (who had come to stay with us for a couple of days) made us a delicious dinner of garlic prawns, mashed potato and gravy, cheese and brocolli soup and lechon, mmmmmm!!!

Monday 17
Des Karl and I went to a green movie event at SM (an even bigger mall!) which the winner of Miss Earth helped to present. For those of you who don't know (like I didn't), Miss Earth is a beauty pageont for eco-warriors who are also incredibly stunning! The winners also get a voice in the Miss Earth Foundation that helps create education materials for schools about the environment.

Tuesday 18
Funny story...
right so since the very beginning, me and Des have attended a couple of meetings with 'sea pharmacy' and Mario has mentioned the group a few times as well. BUT, it was only yesterday that I looked at their agenda and saw that the group was actually called 'CFARMC' and was an acronym for cebu's fishing authority bla bla bla
What an idiot lol
Anywho! So, we went to a meeting with CFARMC! Then we went to Shang for lunch and we met Antonio, who is the head of Ocean Care and spoke to him about our experience with ocean care so far, what we think we could do in the next couple of weeks and i also got to give him ideas as to how to bring in new members and sponsors. It was really interesting just talking to him and his relative James cos they're both born-and-bred Filipino's, yet they have Spanish decendents or were a mixture of all different heritages, but basically, they looked American, and it was interesting just listening to their experiences of the Philippines and the world. Also, when we dropped off James to his house, the compound where he lived was just a completely different reality to the rest of the area. It was just a series of brand new, clean houses with big shiny cars outside. It was just surreal.
We then had a meeting with Island Souveniers who are planning a big ocean clean up for September 18, but we won't be here :(
Its starting to sink in just how little time we have here
Later that evening we went to Elicon and I met with April and Chris to work on our GCD. This was good and I think we've pretty much got it planned, just need to actually make the presentations etc now.

Wednesday 19- TODAY!!
This morning me and Des met Malou at shang, had a second breakfast, and then went to the Hilton with an engineer and his wife (who kept talking about their daughter who is in the top 10 achievers for the Philippines and who is in the running for Miss Philippines or something :S was really nice hearing of parents that were just sooo proud of their child, i felt kind of bad for their other children though because they hardly got a mention!) and we had a third breakfast (which also happened to be my first maccy d's here!)
So, feeling extremely bloated, we got a boat to Orlango island to the Tingo community to see how the construction of a new toilet-block in the school is working out. All seemed to plan and I thought it was amusing to learn that the builders wages consisted not only of 3 free meals each day, but also their cigarettes!
Now I'm off to Ayala to buy some shampoo, batteries and a malong (like a sarong but way better!) for our weekend away...

MPR (Mid Phase Review) is tomorrow! We're going to this island 5 hours away thats meant to be LUSH! I can't wait! Although we have evaluation sessions etc, we're going to be right next to the beach for 3 days and I can work on my tan, FINALLY!

Wishing you all my love
Mwah!


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