Permanent Site Placement!

Hey People!

Week 6 has been one of the most stressful thus far. The Education sector has finished up our TCFs observing our final lessons in our classrooms for final notes of our technical skills in the field. We have been preparing for our Youth Camp that ultimately got cancelled. On top of that, we have been studying Tagalog for our Language Performance Interview (LPI). It has been nonstop teaching, planning, and studying since we got to Orani. Sorry for continually writing that, but it’s so true! Oh, I forgot to mention our Participatory Analysis and Community Action (PACA) project here in Orani as well. Overload!

Aside from the usual teaching and studying, we were able to experience a little bit of how it would be to plan a camp here in the Philippines. Although we didn’t do the grunt work, we had to plan the overall logistics of the day. Since my group (Secondary Education) was assigned to Orani National High School, we were appointed the lead group to the other two groups incoming to help us, CRM & CYF. To clarify, Peace Corps split the groups so one-third of each sector would be in each town (Orani, Bagat, & Morong). It was crazy yet worth the experience to be able to layout everything. We had picked a theme of “A New Chapter”. For Education, since I wasn’t able to see the other presentations due to cancellations, we were going to introduce elements of a short story to the students. It was gonna be awesome but whelp!

MORE CANCELLATIONS! The typhoon last week had really affected the Bataan area. Classes were cancelled along with our Environmental Camp we would have done in collaboration with the CRM sector. Sad times, but it happens. Rain cancellations are real. Classes have been cancelled for a few days now. Fun times. Well, we do still get to experience our PACA. However, the details are all over the place. The day of the camp is during the student’s semester-end exams. Peace Corps and the District Supervisor collaborated to pull 50 students out during these exams to either have their exams earlier or later, depending on their instructors. Although these will be the top performing students in their grade level, it still isn’t right to possibly force students to take exams early for our own agenda. Life isn’t fair, right? The phrase, “shit happens” really applies here. We’ll see what happens.

In the time “off” that we get from these cancellations, we’ve all been studying Tagalog since we have to pass our Language Proficiency Interview. Oh, and for the record, there is no such thing as time off during CBT at the Peace Corps. As you can probably tell by my previous post! I will miss my language class. We bonded so quickly and meshed together really well. Ah, Orani/CBT will never be the same without seeing them bright and early for language.

MORE EXCITING STUFF!

For our Language Proficiency Interview and Site Announcements, we all came together at the Vista Venice resort. It definitely sucks that the Peace Corps didn’t let us go until the morning of our LPI, but we gotta do what we gotta do. Mine was bright and early, 0830….just when we arrived! Talk about having no time. On top of that, lots of things happening around Batch 275 kept me distracted. I didn’t do as well as I wanted on my LPI, but I did pass! So that’s a plus.

Okay, so about that site announcement! I will be on the island of SIQUIJOR (See-Kee-Hor)! I am still learning about the island, but it is one of the most beautiful and the most enchanted island. Look it up! Some of my fellow volunteers are jealous, but most are saying they’re going to come visit me for New Years, haha. There are some amazing waterfalls, cliff jumps, and, of course, beaches around the island. I’ll be assigned to Campalganas High School. This is the first time this High School will receive a volunteer. No pressure, right? The school is really excited to meet me. There were four potential candidates for me to be my counterpart at the school. Peace Corps chose one for me, but I do look forward to meeting the other candidates at the school because I do want to work with all that I can! The more the better!

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Sorry for the lack of pictures, I’m not good at taking pics in the Philippines apparently. I’m sure I’ll upload more as time comes!

Until next time!

-Alex

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