Friday, February 11, 2011

Festival Season

So the days have been going by much faster lately (as is evidence of my lack of posts). Along with continuing to have community meetings in each of the coastal barangays in my municipality, it has also been festival season in the Philippines, filling up both the week and weekend with lots of activities! So here is a recap of some of the goings on:

Tour of Guimaras - 
Old lighthouse left over from the Spanish rule. The markings warn it is not safe to climb the stairs.
Among the lighthouse ruins.
The Pas-Pas, our tour vehicle around Guimaras.
Historic Navalas Church
Buenavista Foundation Day Festival - 
Motorcross racing for Buenavista Foundation Day Festival. It was very muddy!

Yeah Fireworks!!!!

Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo City - 
Posing with some Ati (indigenous) dancers.

Biking around Guimaras -
At the top of the falls.

Makopo falls, right down the street and a short bike ride away from my house.

We also stopped to do a bit of mini golfing... on a cement course. But I did get a hole in one!

And just to prove that I really have been getting work done amongst all the festivals, some pics from some of my community meetings - 
My wheels for work activities.

Barangay Sinapsapan community meeting.

Barangay Lawi community meeting.

Barangay Morobuan community meeting.

I have also been spending time with my host family. Volunteers are required to live with host families for our first three months of service, at which point we can choose to move out. As my three months mark is coming up, and I have found a nice nipa hut to move into, I have decided to stay living with my host family for a few more months. I have come to really feel apart of the family as I help out with cooking dinner, play games with the kids, and have cultural conversations with my host parents, not to mention that I have my meals bought for and a pretty nice room to stay in :)

My host mom, Helen, also works at the municipal office, as the head treasurer. Dennis, my host dad, works the family farm, which includes pigs, chickens and Dobermans. Sometimes in the evening I play with my host siblings, Tricia and Andre. Tricia especially likes playing the connect-4 game that I bought the kids for Christmas. She is very smart and has the highest math scores at her school. Andre is always getting into trouble but he is definitely entertaining to say the lease!

Sometimes in the evening I go with my family to Helen’s sister’s house. Lots of Helen’s extended family lives in a compound down the road from us; we go there a lot for birthdays and other celebrations, where we eat a lot of good Filipino food! And because it is a sin to not have enough food at a fiesta, there is always plenty of food to be sent home with afterwards J
My host dad says Hi!

Tricia is so cute!

Andre, probably up to no good!

My host mom with her niece.

I do want to try living on my own in the Philippines and look forward to moving in to my nipa hut, but I am not in any hurry to move out of the house yet. Though the hut I will be moving into is conveniently located right down the road from both my current host family and sheila, my language instructor. That way I can still come by the house and participate in celebrating all of the family birthdays and holidays that I enjoy so much!

And to end on a side note, Helen bought me and the kids some Lays packs the other day. I was pretty excited for some American chips, or any chips that don't taste like some kind of seafood.
Yummy Lays!......

However upon closer inspection of the chips......
Nevermind. yeah that is def sushi flavored......

Well that's all for now, I will try to post again soon!
Halong everyone!