Philippines – Day 4

Day four’s theme was “A Day in the Life of a Sponsor Child and Their Family.”

After we got to the center, we got grouped into groups of 4-5 and we went to visit some of the children’s homes. I went to visit Chrizel and Christian’s home that was a few minutes away from the church. A brother and sister were sponsored and the family also had two other children who were not sponsored. The dad worked as a tricycle driver, and the mom worked at home by selling things at a little store they set up in the living room (through the wire windows) and doing other odd jobs like laundry. She also bought a big sack of coal, divided them into smaller bags, and sold them. She made one dollar from doing that. She also gets like 200 little pieces of bread and sells them for like 1 cent each through the window.

As soon as we got to her house, she brought out soft drinks for us… as well as some fried fish. The kids were getting ready to go to school. The local elementary school has SO many kids… that they divide all the kids into two shifts, morning and afternoon. There isn’t any space for all the kids to go to school at the same time. Chrizel and Christian go to school in the afternoon. Preson, Nelly, and Jillian were in my group. We all sat around in the living room and the mom turned the t.v. on for us. It was a little awkward cuz we didn’t really know what to do. We asked about their sponsors and they brought out some pictures and letters to show us. The TV was really really distracting… so I turned it off when the mom went into the kitchen to do her coal work. All the neighborhood kids came to the house to look at us visitors. =)

This was the first day that I heard Jillian sing. She has an awesome voice! She sang with the kids and led them with some hand motions. It was cool!

After a little bit at the house, we went back to the center and they gave us a tour. The center was three stories high. Here is a picture of a bathroom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During lunch I sat next to Victoria. She currently goes to college and has had the same sponsor for ten years. TEN YEARS. BUT… it was super duper sad because she has never received a letter from her sponsor. She doesn’t even know what her sponsor looks like. She looked SO SAD when she was telling me this. I was heartbroken for her. Later, I found out that I could write her a letter and that the Philippines Compassion staff would make sure that it got to her so I plan to write to her very soon. Here is a picture of me with Victoria on the right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the CDC, we got to go to a local high school. Some of us took the jeepney there, and some of us took a tricycle. I got to ride on both (one on the ride there, one on the ride back.)  After riding them, I couldn’t believe that this is a common mode of transportation for most of the people here. The smog that comes out of these vehicles is SO SO bad. I could feel the film of gunk lining my lungs. It was that bad. And I’ve lived in Seoul and LA so I know a little about smog but this is like the worst smog I have ever ever seen. Apparently, the rates of asthma here are really high. Here are what the jeepneys and tricycles look like.

When we visited the school, the kids went CRAZY. We were walking in and all the school officials came out to greet us. All the classes were jam packed and there were classes in the courtyard, under a big tent. The student body president came and greeted us too. All the kids kept yelling and screaming… it was quite the raucous.  After a tour of the school, we went back to the development center.

Saying goodbye to this center was kind of hard… we all got to see what they did for a living and some of us on the tour even got to participate. This lady made snacks and sold them to kids. One of the sponsors help her make them that day and she was able to sell every single piece!  Another guy painted little trinkets as his job. A woman did nails. Some of the jobs that the men had were jeepney driver, tricycle driver and security guard. We got a tiny little taste of what a day in the life of a sponsor child and their family might be like…

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