Great last week and flying home today...
Trip Start Jul 07, 2011
6Trip End Aug 17, 2011
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I had an event filled last week here in the Philippines. Starting with spending the beginning of last week visiting two current Peace Corps Volunteers, Tom and Leah Ferrebee. Tom and Leah live in Tarlac Province, which is about five hours south of Baguio City. They are extremely dedicated volunteers that have done amazing work at their sites. Tom is a trained teacher and works at the largest college in the region, Tarlac College of Agriculture as an English professor. Leah works at a fantastic non-profit home for orphans called Rehoboth Children's Home (http://rehobothchildrenshomes.org/). Leah being a trained horticulturist has helped her center develop a very impressive organic garden that is now feeding the kids at the center and helping all the residents learn the importance and fun of growing your own food and tending a garden.
Tom and Leah also traveled to the US in July for two weeks with eight students and two staff members from Rehoboth where they represented the Philippines and the Peace Corps during the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington D.C 50 years of Peace Corps celebration
Here is the link to Tom and Leah’s blog about their time in D.C. check it out: www.tiklingbirdsvisitDC.blogspot.com.
I am also happy to report that the Benguet Tivangdal official bank account is now open! This was quite a process with many official forms to complete and hoops to jump through, but we now have an official organizational bank account! While the planning and visioning of our work and future projects has only just begun, I feel very good about how everything is progressing. It is wonderful to help play a small part in the conservation and preservation of this beautiful land and deeply rooted culture and I am always hopeful and excited to see where each of these steps take us
I spent the weekend at the farm with a few of my host cousins where we cooked delicious food, and enjoyed a brightly moonlit campfire into the wee hours of the morning. Plus as we were leaving on Sunday afternoon while the sun was still shining a light trickle of rain began to fall…, which of course meant a rainbow was soon to follow, and it sure did. As we looked back towards the farm there was a beautiful rainbow that started on the top ridgeline of the property and led all of the way down to ENCA Farm! It was truly breathtaking and something I had never seen before. I later told Auntie Olive and Lola Carmen that the pot of gold is clearly at ENCA Farm after seeing that! A wonderful departure snapshot for this trip and indeed a good omen of the future!
I spent the last two days in Manila, visiting with Joyce (former PC Staff and dear friend) and John (current PC Staff). While Manila is always hectic it is wonderful to have good friends in the city to relax with, enjoy conversations with, and experience the other side of Manila through. While the tall buildings and rather posh developments are always a bit of a shock, I have to remind myself that while the majority of the country does not live this way, there are those that do, and even this is the Philippines
I am eager to continue our partnership building efforts in the States over the next few months and hope to return here at some point early next year!
As always thanks for your support and stay tuned for the Friends of ENCA Farm Summer e-newsletter and other events to come in the US to support our efforts here.
All my love,