Jody's Peace Corps Experience

Saturday, May 28, 2005

I'm Actually Doing Some Work

When I read through some of my past entries, I realized it sounded like I was traveling and having more fun than actually working. I am actually doing some work though. One of our requirements was to do a community project in our cluster site. Well, my group tried and tried to get a meeting set up with the town officials, but it never would get cancelled or rescheduled and nothing would get accomplished. Finally we decided to go through a different venue and talked with the youth councelman. We decided to clean up the basketball court with the help of the youth in the community. You might think that this is not such a big project, but seriously, there are no garbage cans in the area and kids are taught to just throw wrappers and everything on the ground. We were really impressed with the turnout and participation. There was a fear that there were going to be people who showed up just for Merienda (snacks) and then leave, but that wasn't the case at all. 27 people came and stayed the entire time. Everyone worked hard and things just fell into place. Just have one more thing to finish up this project. Tomorrow we are going with the youth chairman to get some garbage cans for the court.

There is one more first I can add to my ever growing list! My family was telling me about how bugs are a delicacy here. I thought to myself that I don't think I could ever be able to bring myself to try them. Well, the teenage boy that lives in our house came home with a bottle full of beetles. He deshelled them and tore the legs off and then fried them in oil. Added salt and vio la, Sipaweng! My host mom said that she didn't like them, but after trying them, said, Oh, these are good. You should try. Yes, I gave could I not? She cautioned me, Don't eat the heads. I followed her advice and found the abdomen to have a nutty flavor and quite salty. Can't say if I would try again, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

A Taste of the City Life

Hello all! Sorry it's been so long since I last wrote, but I've been busy getting ready for a site visit to La Trinidad. Actually, that's where I am now! I met the people at my center on Monday morning. Very hard working people. I spent a few hours in the about cute little babies! I was wrong about the age range...7 years old is about the oldest they get. I also met with the social workers and center head on Tuesday morning to get a sense of what exactly they want me to help with. I think it will be great working at the RSCC. The staff love to joke and laugh. They told me, "We mix work with talking, texting, eating." Those are the three main things Filipinos like to do from my experience.

My host family in La Trinidad wasn't quite ready for me so I got to bunk up in a dorm hall at Benguet State University. My host family had scheduled their vacation time for this week so they invited me to go with them for one night. The mother is from a town about an hour away from here so I decided to go. The bus ride was amazing! I never thought I would see bamboo and pine trees growing in the same place. The ride was a little scary too! It was a dirt road that wound through the mountains. In some places there were no gaurd rails and we came extremely close to the edge when another truck or jeepney came from the other direction.

Life is a lot more fast paced here than in Vista Hill. The traffic is going to take some getting used to. There's also so many American influenced businesses...McDonald's, KFC, Pizza Hut, 7-11. Not to mention a huge mall called the SM that has many of the same stores you'd find in a mall in the states. I suppose that's about all for now.