We've been working at the orphanage for 3 days now. We work from about 7.30-8am until the kids fall asleep at naptime after lunch - about 12-1ish. That feels like a day in itself, it's that tiring, and the afternoon is a new day where we do what we want. Monday and Tueday afternoon, we spent hours preparing colouring sheets with both the Waray-waray and English words on it, and wordsearches, after the panic from one of the orphanage staff telling the children to sit down and listen to Ate Joy and Ate Grace! We had nothing prepared that first Monday morning and both stood there speechless. It's pretty hard to communicate with the kids when they don't know much English and I know very little Waray-waray (the local dialect). We've had a couple of Waray-waray lessons at the centre with Ethel and Lorena so have learnt a few phrases such as "good morning", "you're good!", and some necessary childcare words such as "don't!", "no!" and "stop!". Anyway the colouring sheets and wordsearches have been going down a storm and have kept them entertained for about an hour or so every day.
I've just realised that I haven't yet mentioned the bathroom situation just yet... Well, remember I said I would have to prepare for a tub and a bucket? It's worse than that. The bathroom is a simple small downstairs toilet with tiles on the floor and a dim light. A low down toilet with no seat/cover - and, more importantly, no flush! The shower (I use that term very loosely) is a bucket underneath a low down tap and a small scoop. This doubles as the flushing system - you have to put 2 or 3 scoops of water down the toilet after you've been... For a shower, you have to brave the cold water (well you didn't think it would be warm water did you??!) and just pour it over you. It certainly wakes me up in the morning (and Evan, whose bedroom is above the bathroom, can probably hear me yelp) but in the afternoon, it's really nice and cools me down after sweating buckets at the orphanage.
Natasha has left the Philippines and returned home to Dubai after having to go to hospital with stomach pains. Hopefully she gets better soon and continues her travels in Cambodia etc later in the year...
Oh and we're getting the hang of the jeepneys! I can confidently pay the driver, tell him where to turn left and when to stop!
And I finally had pancit yesterday, hooray! My favourite...