Aug 20, 2004
Aug 28, 2005
. As we walk through the village all the kids are peeking through the windows and doors and saying "Americanos", it doesn't matter where you're actually from b/c apparently if you're white and in the Philippines, you're American! After saying bye to the English girls, I decide to wander around the village and end up chatting with Iris, a local teacher and then I chase some kids across a bridge and play around the river taking a few photos. I come back up to the village and decide to park near the bball court and just hang out and watch a little only to turn into the main attraction. As the kids feel more comfortable they inch closer and closer and closer until I finally get up and call for the ball and say "Lets play". To their astonishment, they finally throw me the ball and 4 boys and I start shooting around, actually mostly I'm just distributing the ball and then 2 more boys come and then 2 more and then the main classes let out and there's about 20 boys around the basket and about 45 boys and girls watching! There's this one kid kinda being a hog and taking the ball away from others and acting cocky, so I tighten up on him and block a few of his shots and 5 minutes later (I only blocked him twice) he suddenly grabs the ball and runs off...guess too many others were enjoying themselves and I'd bet he's the village "rich" kid. Haha So I go and sit by my bag and am surrounded, so I pull out my camera to take some photos and videos while the kids run and hide from it. The videos are hilarious as the kids run as I pan around the court to catch them on film and then somehow I get this group of teenage girls to actually sing an English song, but I decide to put the camera away b/c 1) some older boys start pushing everyone when I have it out and 2) I don't want to be keeping them from something such as class or an activity, so I head off for lunch at the guesthouse restaurant only to be followed by about 10 kids, mostly shy little girls
. As I'm sitting at the table in the screened room, I keep seeing little heads pop into view and quickly fly away, so I play around with them for a bit and they eventually run off to school and I finish and then head off back to Batad. So I'm backtracking along the ridge and through the terraces and its very solitary and peaceful and as I get closer to Batad I run into Rita's son and carry back 8 liters of water for the family and I take the wrong way and am too stubborn to go back so I find a small ravine and water path down a 70 degree slope and claw my way downhill trying to balance myself with no hands b/c of the water jugs. After about 5 minutes I stumble near someones hut, much to their surprise, smile and keep chuggin along, reaching the guesthouse a few minutes later covered in sweat. That night we all had dinner and Stefen and I played a few games, cards and chess and such and called it another good day.
It was just so nice and peaceful in Batad that I decided to stay another night, as did Karolyn. The only problem was that we had gone in with this group and hired a guide, thought the cost wasn't really all that much. Since we had already paid, we decided to head out with the group to the next village, Kambulo, about a 2hour hike from Batad. In Kambulo, we can split from the group and make our own way back. The hike is great as much like the first day, mostly I talked with Hannah about random topics and it was nice to converse with an intelligent and well-spoken woman. Anyway, we arrive in the village and hang out at this guesthouse restaurant, perpetually being offered cokes, and Karolyn decided she wants to hike to the next village as well and eventually arranges a guide to take her and after a bit the girls and Gene head off and I go with them for a few minutes to hike a little more and see some of the village. The village is interesting and more centralized than Batad, it also has a rather large school which is K-8 and has many classrooms and a full-sized basketball court