“Home is where the heart is.”
It has been nearly a month since my arrival at site! The time has definitely flown. I feel like I just arrived. I’ve completed my observations and now I’m teaching G10/G11 English classes with Ma’am Jera. Teaching is definitely a bit of a struggle. Just like in America, there are students who are excelling in their studies and there are students who are falling behind more and more each day. I hope to help establish programs within the school to assist the students in their studies. I do have to give all the students credit for being in an education system that implements three languages into its curriculum. Although some might not understand English, they do have an understanding in Visayan and Tagalog. Switching languages isn’t easy. I’m here to help! So I will do what I can! I do understand where they’re coming from though. Learning Tagalog then trying to learn Visayan has been such a struggle for me. Aye!
I’m still trying to explore the island! There’s a lot left to see. But! I took a day trip to Dumaguete to do some shopping. I didn’t take pictures, unfortunately. The boat trip over was beautiful though. The deep blue ocean was a stunning sight. It was a chill trip because I was able to meet up with other Peace Corps Volunteers. It’s always nice to catch up. We grabbed some pizza at Nera’s and some drinks at Casablanca’s! Good time. I, also, was able to take a quick beach trip with my host family! The waters were really rough though but it was still a chill, relaxing time. Definitely going to try to make another beach trip to another beach! Hopefully, haha.
The school continues to be welcoming! I had the honor of being a part of World Teachers Day. The students organized an entire day’s event for the teachers. They designed this “Freedom Wall” where they could write notes to the teachers. Most of them just said, “Happy Teachers Day!” but they also handwrote personal notes to the teachers that were handed to us later on. Before that, each class organized a little celebration for their teachers. Here’s a few pictures of my counterpart’s (mine now as well) class event for us. I didn’t expect anything since I have just arrived here and only just begun teaching, but some even wrote notes for me. It was a cool feeling. There were even some performances by each grade for the teachers as well. They were quite entertaining! At the end, there was a time for students to hand us any remaining notes they wanted to give us plus give the teachers hugs. It was funny to say the least. Some of the students were shy to give me hugs so their friends would push from behind to give me hug then the rest would rush in to join. It was a good day!
Student athletes are a thing everywhere you go! I, somehow, was assigned as assistant coach of the chess team. I haven’t really played chess for years and quickly realized how rusty I was once one of the students beat me in a match. Whoops! All in good fun! These kids are really talented and have a lot of potential to be great chess players. I attended their District Meet where all of our athletic teams participated. Still have to figure out how many of our teams made it to the Provincial Meet, but two of our chess players made it! All four of them performed very well but the competition was tough! Good job everyone!
My adventures are pretty awesome so far! I hope that I’ll have more for everyone next time!