Trip Start Jul 27, 2011
73Trip End Dec 14, 2011
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Where I stayed
What I did
I haven't had the chance to write a blog for the past couple of days due to a mix of being away from my homestay and having a dead computer battery. We are only allowed to charge our computers at the center and it was closed Monday and Tuesday this week, in celebration of All Souls Day and All Saints Day. I also didn't have any placement the first two days this week because of the holidays, Happy Halloween to everyone back home :)
On Saturday Erica and I woke up bright and early to go on a day excursion with three other volunteers to the nearby province of Samar. It took us just over an hour to arrive in Basey, Samar, at the tourism office where we organized our day trip. Our plan was to visit the Sohoton Caves, located about an hour off the coast of Basey, down a long river. The five of us headed out on a boat around 9 am
After we finished our cave tour we set out on a hike, where none of us really knew would take us. We went up and down steep slopes in the woods for apparently a kilometer. Before we got halfway to the "natural bridge" our guide described, it began pouring rain. Luckily we all had our bathing suits on so it wasn't too big of a deal. The trek did become a bit more treacherous though. We finally made it to the natural bridge, which was a little less than amazing, and it continued to rain. Again I couldn't stop laughing and decided to just swim in the river since were soaked anyway. We all swam around for a while, most of us jumping off some large rocks in to the cool water. Then our guide told us it was time to go and we made our way back to the cave "checkpoint". Instead of taking the wooded hike like we had on the way there, we walked in and out of the river banks back to our awaiting boat
Shortly after we dropped off our tour guide the engine began working and we began our ride back to the tourism office in Basey. The sun came out along the way, for the first time since we arrived at the caves. Erica and I are seriously bad luck for good weather, we haven't seen the sun conveniently for a couple weeks now.
On Sunday we took our host mother and her two sons to Leyte Park Resort to enjoy the pool for the day
I spent Monday at a beach just outside Tacloban and Tuesday shopping for housewarming gifts for the new Build-A-Home with Mark. Ron was generous enough to leave us 100 dollars to buy the family some home basics. We were able to buy a new thermos, dish/glass set, silverware, knife, washing basin, mat, and laundry/dish supplies for about 50 dollars. With the leftover money we are going to buy some household items for the last build-a-home family, who are still in need of some things.
Today, Wednesday, was my first day back at the orphanage. I missed all the adorable babies, they really have a way of sweetening my mornings. I was happy to see all three babies who had been hospitalized back in the nursery, safe and mostly healthy. I really do love spending time just cuddling one baby at a time, dancing around the room, or tickling them until they giggle loudly, I can't think of anything more innocent.
This afternoon Mark and I took our gifts to the new house to give to the family. They were all visibly happy with their new home, and much more relaxed than during our initial meeting. It was really great to see. All the children ran to our tricycle as soon as we arrived swarming us and calling out our names. We held them off for a little while so we could take pictures of the family and give them their presents. Then two of the kids told us their grandfather had passed away due to unknown causes. We paid our respects in their home for the wake and sent our apologies for what had happened, he was only 66 years old. Then we took all the kids outside and gave them lots of stickers, some suckers, and took our last pictures with them for a little while. I am really going to miss all of them, although I know I will be back out there soon enough.