Jody's Peace Corps Experience

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Site Assignment

I learned where I will be living for the next two years (starting in June!!!). I'll be heading to La Trinidad in the Benguet Province. It's right by the biggest city in Northern Luzon...Baguio City. My language instructor said that it is the best place in the Philippines, but she's a little biased since she lives there! The temperature averages around 80 degrees and I'll be surrounded by mountains. It's exactly where I wanted to be!

The program I'll be working with is called the Research and Study Center for Children (RSCC). It is a government funded program under the Department of Social Work and Development (DSWD...have you noticed how many acronyms I have to learn???). The facility is a residential placement for kids ages 0-14 who have been abandoned, surrendered, abused, Out of School Youth (OSY), maltreated, etc. I'm really excited about the programs they want me to assist them with. The first is an early educational program for toddlers to help with socialization, drawing/scribbling, etc. The second is to help develop the Foster Care program for the facility and prepare a module outlining the program. Should be a lot of work, but interesting!

This past week has been so busy! Monday-Wednesday I was back at NVSU to the hub site for more group training. Everyone had heard about the basketball game that took place on Saturday evening. Our cluster group was asked to play the Barangay Kagawads (city counsel members), but when we got to the court, we found out that the kagawads had gotten younger, faster replacements for themselves! 3 other volunteers from another cluster site came up and 2 helped us play. It was quite the seemed like the whole community had come to watch the Americans play the Filipinos (they named us the gatas or milk and the other team cape, or coffee). The game started at 7p.m. under the bright court lights. This was serious business. They had 2 referees, an announcer and music to play during timeouts and halftime! The announcing was almost as important as the game itself and it wouldn't have been complete without a dog fight in the middle of the game! Our team ended up losing by 1 little point and there's already talk in the community about the next game!