Jody's Peace Corps Experience

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Training and Hospitals

So, it's been another busy 4 weeks! I spent the better part of early September getting ready to help with technical training for the new batch of volunteers (newbies). Myself and another social work volunteer from my batch worked along side a staff member of the training unit of the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development). For some reason, "crazy" was the theme of our preparations. Anytime all three of us were together the DSWD lady would start singing "Crazy For You" by Madonna.

One day, we had to go to the mall to get supplies for the training. I know that I've explained what videoke is and that it is everywhere. We walked into the mall's department store and there in front of us was a videoke display area...yes, you can buy a home videoke system. All of the store's employees seemed to be singing instead of working. The other volunteer and I got the idea to have the employess sing "Crazy For You" for our counterpart. Instead of them singing, they threw the microphones at the other volunteer and I. We called our counterpart over and started rocking out in the middle of the department store! It was fun and everyone got a kick out of the two Americans singing.

When I got back to Baguio after training, things didn't slow down at all. Instead, it's just as crazy busy here. On Wednesday, one of my sitemates texted me and said that she was being admitted to the hospital. I became her "kasama"...her companion while she stayed there. A kasama is responsible to buy medications that are prescribed. For some reason, not very many hospitals here in the Philippines have their own pharmacies. Instead, the patient's kasama is responsible to purchase necessary medicines.

My sitemate was said to be placed on a high fiber diet during her stay. I don't know if you call a breaded and fried pork chop with white rice high fiber. I know I wouldn't! She was also told to fast for a procedure the following day. The procedure was scheduled for 10am but we didn't get there until 2pm! We were transported to another hospital for the procedure and got to ride in the ambulance.

I'm also excited to announce the arrival of my host sister's baby girl!!! She was born last night, September 28, 2006 at 8:39 p.m. I was able to get to hospital 10 minutes before my host sister devlivered. Both mommy and baby are doing great. Baby doesn't have a name yet, but I'll keep everyone posted.

Monday, September 04, 2006


Well, I know that a lot of you were giving me a hard time when I was home about how much actual work I do over here. This entry is going to explain just how much work I do!!!

I think I mentioned that I'm working on a developmental curriculum for the toddlers at the center. Another volunteer and I are writing the lessons and have been preparing grant proposals for our respective centers so that we will have the funding needed to implement such a curriculum.

A few months ago, I put the other volunteer (Erin) in contact with an Australian volunteer who is working at the UNICEF offices in Manila. Well the Aussie and Erin got to know each other because they live a lot closer to each other than I do. Erin got the Aussie to set up a meeting at UNICEF offices to talk about the curriculum.

The meeting took place last Thursday. The guy asked a lot of questions, we talked, it wasn't a very long meeting, but he said that our project was exactly what UNICEF wanted to fund and instead of funding just Erin's and my centers, he said that he would fund all DSWD Reception and Study Centers in the country...IN THE COUNTRY! This is turning out to be a way bigger project than anticipated and I think that Erin and I will be the ones to go around the country to train staff on how to use our manuals that we are creating.

My life just got a lot more busy...THANK GOODNESS!!! Plus I'm in the middle of planning the training week for the new volunteers. I was asked to be a technical trainer for the new social work volunteers. Their week of training is the 11th-16th. Then there is a meeting with the DSWD Central Office in Manila the 18th-20th. Plus I have to find time to do everything else I've been doing.

Finally, I'm regularly busy! Plus this is what I came here to do...make some sort of significant change. Can it get any better? Not right now!!!