2 weeks to go!
Current mood: Excited
Friday 2nd March 2007
"Two weeks to go! I'll soon be jetting off to sunny Tacloban City!
Strange to think that in just a matter of days, I'll be on the other side of the world, staying with and working with strangers and trying to communicate in a language I can't speak. The cultural difference is going to be amazingly, and I don't think anything is going to prepare me for the poverty and conditions I'm going to experience, both at the orphange and in "my new family's" home.
Details of my new family arrived in my inbox a few weeks back. The agency place all volunteers with nearby families so can fully experience Filipino life. Whilst I think this is a great idea, I might not have been so keen had I been travelling alone instead of with Grace!
The family we are staying with are called the Llanto family. It's a large family compared to our standards - 9 people living in one 4 bedroom house! This includes the Mother, Father, Daughter, Son, Son's wife, Son's baby, 2 granddaughters, sister-in-law, niece and 2 nephews. Phew! And if that's not enough, another volunteer will also be staying with the same family! The more, the merrier eh?! Anyway, I've been informed by the agency that the house DOES have running water and electicity and all family members can understand and speak English. However, showers rarely exist out there - I am to expect a tub and a bucket. Washing my long thick hair is going to be a nightmare!
I've been racking my brains for weeks trying to think of a good present for my hosts. Novelty teapots in the shape of London double deckers, tea towels with a map of Britain on it, that kind of thing. The agency suggests in my pre-departure information packet that something from my home town is a good idea - a book from my town, special 'candies' or delicacies, foods from my hometown etc. Now, as far as I know, I don't think Milton Keynes has any delicacies! So I was considering typical British food - baked beans, tomato ketchup, Yorkshire puddings, tea, Marmit! However, I'm not convinced these would go down too well so I may stick to good old chocolate! So plenty of Cadburys, Galaxy etc will be going into my suitcase, particularly Easter eggs!
Anyway, back to packing (remember Joy, less is more)..."