“Live every moment as if it were your last”
My time spent here in the Philippines has been crazy. It’s only been a couple months and it has felt like a year already!
Teaching has gotten better! I was able to pitch the idea with my counterpart, Jera J, for the Grade 11 Oral Communication class to have memorized speeches for their final exam. I was even able to make the rubric. It turned out bigger than I thought. We gathered a few of the English teachers, my supervisor/principal of the school, and I invited Jess, my site mate, to help grade the speeches! We used to main stage with a microphone for the whole school to hear! The pressure was on for the students. They did really well. I was very impressed. I don’t have pictures, sadly. Some of the students looked great in their formal attire. As the Grade 11 students were freaking out for their speeches, I helped create the Grade 10 English class final exam as well. Talk about jumping right in. On top of that, Jera and I worked on creating a school newspaper for a Press Conference competition.
As for adventures outside the school, I made a couple beach trips! Same beach but still exciting. The water is absolutely beautiful. I was accompanied by my little host sister, Hiya, and her friends. It was a good time! Lots of splashing and throwing of seaweed. My host family also cooked some fresh fish on the beach and we were able to enjoy an amazing, fresh lunch!
I know I’ve made everything sound incredible, which it has been. I still miss home. Especially with the holidays rolling in, it is hard being away from my family. It’s only natural! I know they miss me too. I will get to see them in May! At least they said they’re visiting me then, haha. Let’s see if it happens.
The 2016 Division Schools Press Conference (school newspaper thing) was successful for Campalanas National High School. We had a handful of students receive Top 5 in their categories (Feature Story, Editorial, Photojournalism, etc.). Took a picture of some of the results as not all were posted at the time. The students who received top 5 will be going to Southern Cebu for the regional School Press Conference to compete against students from around Region 7. The pressure is on! I’ll try to help them as much as possible to prep, but we don’t have much time! Only up until December.
Overall, I never imagined the Peace Corps to be like this. Well, I didn’t really know what to expect when joining. I’m still adapting to the rural life. I’m used to coming back to my apartment, turning on my computer, and playing computer games all night with my friends. Or I would have plans to go out with friends to grab a drink, go out to dinner, or just hang out at someone’s house. Here, I can’t quite do that. I go to school, come home, and I have to find something to occupy my mind for the night. I don’t really have internet because the reception at my house is limited since we live at the bottom of the hill. Finding new hobbies is quite the challenge. I have picked up a few books that I’ve been reading, so that’s helped. I’m not sure how long it will last but one of the teachers, Ma’am Tessa, has generously offered to lend me books as I finish reading each book. Her brother collects novels, so she has access to nearly 300 novels. Awesome and convenient! I’ll probably have read a hundred books by next year, maybe. I’m debating, whether or not, if I should buy a ukulele and start learning how to play. A lot of my Peace Corps batch have bought ukuleles and I’m tempted to join them. I’ll decide next time I’m at the music shop in Dumaguete.
Keep in touch everyone! I miss you all!