Observations

Trip Start May 02, 2009
1
8
46
Trip End Jul 27, 2009


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Where I stayed
Mascail Family Home

Flag of Philippines  , Visayas,
Monday, May 11, 2009

Hi Everyone,
This blog is going to be kind of random but I have a lot of little experiences, observations, and interactions that I thought I'd share with all of you.
The other day i went to an internet cafe to skype with some friends and I met this little boy Ty.  When I walked by him on the street he said hi to me, like all of the children and men who I see, and I said hi back but didn't continue talking to him.  Then I went into the cafe and shortly after I sat down there was a little boy who came up and stood next to me watching my computer screen.  I smiled at him and just kept doing what I was doing.  He continued to stand there the whole time I was there, a whole hour. I left to try to go to a different cafe but they were closed so I came back finished up online and then went outside to wait for a jeepney.  That's when Ty came up to me and started talking to me.  I realized the boy I had said hi to on the street, the boy in the cafe, and Ty were the same boy. I talked to him as much as I could.  Normally the Jeepney would be there really soon but it took forever.  I felt compelled to do something for Ty.  So I decided to give him money so he could go play games at the cafe.  He was just sitting in front of his house/family's store all by himself so I figured it would be something fun for him to do.  When I gave him the money and told him it was enough to play 1 hour of games he started jumping up and down and screaming.  Then he ran to the back to get his mother and tell her.  I had to get on the Jeepney but as I was driving away his mother and his came out and I waved goodbye to him.  I think it was a really cool experience and I feel drawn to go back a visit him.  I'm not sure how much I want to do with him or for him but I can't forget about him.
Today I had to wait for some other volunteers to meet me for lunch so I stood outside the McDonald's for about a half hour.  While I was there 3 street children came up to me asking for food.  When they com up to me I want to give them food or money so badly but we were told not to ever give them anything or thy will never stop bothering you.  They also will remember you if they see you again.  I feel so bad ignoring them but there isn't much else I can do.  If you guys have any suggestions let me know, it's heartbreaking.
On my way to my placement the other day a mother and her small infant got on the jeepney and sat across from me.  The baby started staring at me as soon as she got on.  I saw her mother turn her head or adjust the way she was sitting to try to block th baby's view of me.  But the infant kept staring.  I just kept looking at her and smiling and the mother laughed a few times.  It is very strange feeling like such an outcast when I am so used to fitting in, besides my height I guess.
I have come to notice that Filipinos are very honest people.  For example the payment on the jeepney rides.  When you get on the jeepney you enter from the back.  You are allowed to pay the driver at any point during your ride.  You pay by passing your money up and then over his seat.  I find it to be a very trusting process because you could easliy get on and get off without the driver noticing when there are alot of people on.  But I haven't seen anyone do it.  You are also handing you money to many different people, of which could easily take your money.  But that too has not happened, and doesn't happen according to the locals.
That's all for now :)
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Comments

sarahchell2
sarahchell2 on

jeepney rides
the money thing was similar in trinidad. you could pay whenever and there was no payment sign or anything that said how much your ride was.

why did you decide to give money to ty versus money to the other kids? it doesn't sound like ty was asking for money...
i feel silly asking this, but what sort of schools are there for kids? are there public schools that all children can go to?

betsie
betsie on

Children Begging
Hey Elsa.

I've been reading you blogs and completely understand what you are going through with children begging, it is very hard to say 'no,' but if you give them anything, you'll be victim to more forceful requests all summer. I have a couple suggestions. You can count or estimate the kids you encounter each day that beg and offer a silent prayer for them in your downtime, a hail mary or our father, etc. I'm not sure how easily accessible gum is, or how cheap, but I kept gum on me at all times and when I started to crack, I'd share gum with the children. It's not a healthy snack, but it's better than nothing. You are in my thoughts and prayers, love you!

shmopy
shmopy on

Children Begging
I was thinking you could teach them some kind of clapping or rhyming game... to at least help them pass the time. Remember that- along with food, air, shelter- love and interaction is something vital to them too. Just learning their names and having some kind of passing ritual may be enough... MAYBE. (I know it works with annoying kids, but I haven't tried it with begging kids!)

No matter what you do I think they will keep coming to you and begging- it's part of how they survive. Of course, Betsie's ideas are awesome too. Love youuuuu!

elsat
elsat on

Re: jeepney rides
Ty wasn't a street child. And yes he wasn't asking for money but I just felt like i should give him some. I don't know I'm weird. Maybe it was because he wasn't asking for it that I thought he deserved it. who knows, I'm weird. haha
They have public and private schools. They go grades 1-6 then 4 years of high school and then 4 to 5 years of college.

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