First day at work.

 Posted by Kari Gravdal at 12:54 am  Philippines
Nov 032014

3rd November
Yesterday afternoon I took the little boy in the house out for a walk, or he took me, more likely. We ended at the basketball square where there was a match going on. How the young men could run and keep such a high tempo in the afternoon heat, I do not know. My little boy wanted to play on the playground and some of the kids around chatted me up. They are interested in the volunteers; some of them are trying to sell themselves in as kids to be sponsored.
Back in the house again for supper and the other volunteer living in my homestay turned up after spending the weekend with friends. She has stayed in this house for 2 months and will leave the same day as I do. She has a lot to tell and I will learn a lot from her.
Thunderstorm and rain ended the day yesterday, sun and the rooster started this day.
My wish for my volunteering was actually to do building and construction work, but I was told I could not expect that kind of work here in November, so I accepted “community centre” as my task, without actually understanding what kind of work that would be. This morning as I turned up at the office I suddenly joined a group of three other volunteers who were doing house building. I do not know why I has been told there would be no such opportunity for me, but I am very pleased it turned out to be an option after all.
Off we went by jeepney to a similar community to where I live. This community is situated 25 mins by jeepney form here. There we met a family with a sponsored child and we are supposed to help them build them a house. We were not presented any drawing or plan of the house, but after a while I figured out that it will be about 3,5 x 3,5 meters, standing on 9 pillars 4 feet above the ground, being 7 feet high from floor to top beam. They put us to dig holes for the foundations for the pillars, cutting iron for the concrete foundations and things like that. We were not prepared for such dirty and hard work at all today, so our shoes and clothes will definitely be more suitable tomorrow. We will also bring more water and something to eat during the day, because we cannot drink the water or eat food supplied where we work.
What amazes me here; is how fresh and clean everybody are in spite of living in such environments. Had I put my children (when they were younger) into such surroundings to play, they would have been dirty within five minutes. Here the children jump around in their flip-flops with mud everywhere and their clothing are clean all day. Their mothers must put quite an effort into dressing their children properly and to keep the clothes clean and presentable.
We were only meant to work half day today, so we left the site about 12, guided by two young girls that was told to show us the way to the jeepney pick up. These girls had entertained us for hours with their videoke singing and chatted with us  during our breaks. Had to wait quite a while for transport, all jeepnies were filled to the roof (yes, people sat on the roofs and hang outside the vehicle, and we are told not to do that…) In the end a taxi passed by and we could not resist the temptation of air conditioned transport into Down Town for lunch and some shopping for snacks to bring for work tomorrow.

The rooster at worksite


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