Monday, February 25, 2008

Golden Birthday...

So, I just realized the other day that today is my golden birthday. I am turning 26 on the 26th of February. I am not so sure when to think it's my birthday this year. We are 14 hours ahead of central time, the time zone I was born in... and well, I was talking to my family, but it is only Feb 25th there. So, I guess I just get two days to celebrate my birthday, today while it's Feb 26th in the Philippines and tomorrow, when it's Feb 26th in New Orleans. Ok, I know... I am over thinking this.

For my birthday this year, Rob took me to Pearl Farm, and VERY NICE resort here in the Philippines. It is on a different Island than the one we live on, so we had to take a 45 min boat ride to get there. It was very secluded and very nice. We spent two nights there Friday and Saturday and enjoyed a nice relaxing time. We have been really busy lately, so it was nice to just spend some quality time together. We got to sleep in late, eat great food, relax on the beach, go snorkeling, go kayaking, and swim in a beautiful pool with a great veiw of the ocean. Oh, it was so nice. Here are some pics:
On our way to Pearl Farm!!! We were really excited!
When we got to the resort, there was a man waiting with two pineapple juices for us as our welcome drink.
On Friday night, we went to Pirate's Night at the restaurant. They had dancers and gift giveaways. At the end, they had all of us limbo.
Doesn't my husband look good in that snorkeling gear!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Teaching English...

For the past 7 weeks, Rob and I have been teaching English to a group of Korean students on Monday and Wednesday nights. Rob was teaching 12 high schoolers, and I had 11 elementary/ middle schoolers. They came here for their "summer break" from Korean school just to learn English. We taught at a Korean pastor's house. Rob's class was in the dinning room, and my class was in one of the bedrooms.
For most of the Korean students, we are the first Americans they have ever known. The first few classes we had were quite interesting. All the students wanted to stare into our eyes, Rob having blue eyes and me having green eyes, they were quite mesmorized. Some students wanted to touch our nose. For some reason they think that our noses were so pretty. Anyway, we have enjoyed getting to know the students and we hope they we have helped them learn some English! They were learning a lot of vocabulary from Philippinos tutors during the day, so Rob and I's main job was to work on pronunciation. It was quite interesting some of the sounds they really had a hard time making. L and R were the hardest. Well, last night was our last class. Most of the students are flying back to Korea today. Here are some pictures we took last night:

Here is Rob, with his class.
Here I am with my class. As you can see in both our class pictures, the kids are eating cookies. We brought chocolate chip cookies for everyone for our last class.

Here I am with two girls who liked to talk to me after class. Their English was probably the best of all the students we had.

For our last class, we played pictionary, boys against girls. We had a lot of fun! This is the classroom I taught in each week.

This is two of the students with the Korean pastor, who brought all of them from Korea to the Philippines to learn English.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

OE Slideshow

Ok I figured out how to post this video. This is the slideshow Rob and I made for the Jr. High OE chapel. Enjoy!

This weekend...

Rob and I are involved at both the high school and the Elementary/middle school. Because of this we are involved in/ go to almost every event that happens at each school. This weekend was a pretty typical weekend for us. Friday morning, the middle school was in charge of chapel, presenting to the rest of the school what they did on OE. Our squad reinacted the traveling days. They did a good job, although they were a little stage fright compared to their exaggerated acting when we practiced! Rob and I also put together a slide show of a bunch of the pictures from OE. It was fun to make. I tried to see if I could post it on my blog, but for some reason it just won't work. I will try again. Maybe the video is too big??? Anyway. Chapel went great!

On Friday night, the middle school had a game night where Rob and I were in charge of pictionary and capture the flag. After getting to know some of the middle schoolers over OE, it was fun to play games with them. They are a really silly group of kids.

Saturday was filled with getting ready and doing the annual Community Banquet. This is a banquet that the student council is incharge of, where anyone from the community can come (parents, teachers, etc.) and the students cook and serve food! So, the day was filled with decorating, cooking, and serving. We did 2 seatings so Rob and I were able to sit and be served at one of the seatings, while another couple coordinated the kitchen! This is a rare opportunity for us as I am the Student council advisor!At any other student council event, I am often running around, making sure everything is going smoothly. It was sooo nice to sit and relax for a little bit! And then the other couple sat and enjoyed the food, while we were back in the kitchen. We had a few little adventures that evening. Some of the tables were outside where you could enjoy the veiw. As soon as we were about to serve the salad, it started pouring raining!!! So, all the kids ran out and rescued the tables and chairs, and brought them under an overhang. They moved quickly and did a great job. It was quite the storm. As we were just about finished serving the last few main courses, the electricity went out! Yeah, so here we are in a dark kitchen, trying to finish doing the desert and washing dishes by candle light! It was quite the adventure, but the students came together and cleaned up! All-in-all, it was a great success! On Sunday, we were able to relax, which was really nice. Here are the pics of the weekend:

Here is our squad reinacting the travel days (can you tell they are on a plane??)

Playing pictionary at JR. High game night

This game was hilarious. It is a game where all the middle school boys get together and cling to each other. Then all the girls have to try and pull them out of the group any way they can! Amazingly enough, no one got hurt and everyone loved the game. It was so much fun to watch!

The boys clinging to each other!

The girls could do anything to get them from the group!!!

The Community banquet was at this location on a hill where you could see all of Davao
city. It was beautiful! This was the table Rob and I sat at!
It was so nice to have the students serve us!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Killing Chickens

One of the most memorable things about OE was when we killed the chickens. In case any of you are interested in this, I am posting a video of one of the students killing the chicken. I will warn you, it is not the most pleasant sight, so you probably should not watch this if you pass out at the sight of blood. Actually, there really isn't that much blood. I found it pretty interesting how they taught us to kill the chickens. You want to make the chicken dizzy first, so that it does not know what's coming. Then, well... you will see in the video. I thought we would have to chop the head off with an ax, but we didn't. Anyway, here it is if you are interested:

Monday, February 11, 2008

Jr. High OE

Well, we survived a whole week with Jr. highers! We really did have a good time. The kids on our squad were really great students. We had 3 6th graders,2 7th graders,and 4 8th graders. Here's how the trip went:
Sunday, Feb. 3- Fly to Manila, go to a cemetary with a WWII memorial, a mall, and to Faith Academy Manila to sleep.
Monday, Feb 4- Load into buses and head to the National Philippine High School of the Arts to hear a concert, and then on to Taal. All 150 students and teachers stayed at a camp together on Monday night. One of our girls got pink eye, yeah, I thought we were all going to have pink eye by the end of the trip, but we took care of it, and it got a lot better. No one else got it!!! Monday night we had a session with a speaker and them performed squad cheers!
Tuesday, Feb 5- Get up early and head to the volcano. We had to travel by boat to an island that had quite a few volcanos on it. We went hiking out to this huge sulfur lake. It was amazing, the trail we took is one that is only really used every 3 years when Faith Academy hires Philippinos to clear the path for OE. Talk about a hidden treasure. On the way to the volcano, there was a part of the trail where everyone had to swim in the sulfur lake for about 50-60 yards! (Putting our shoes in big garbage bags to keep them dry). On the other side of our swim was amazing. There were all these hot spots where steam was coming up from the ground. There were spots where water was boiling and even a huge hole where there was mud boiling. It was so amazing! After our hike, we went back to the camp, hung out and slept in these tents, well more like lean toos. Our whole squad was in one tent together. It was quite the bonding experience.
Wednesday Feb 6- We packed up and left the camp by the volcano and took a boat and jeepney back to base camp. Once we got there, we had to make our own chicken lunch, from beginning to end. And I mean from the VERY BEGINING. Yeah, from having a live chicken to roasting it on a fire. Our squad had 2 chickens so 2 of the boys killed the chickens, we plucked the feathers and took out the insides, cleaned them and roasted them! We made potatoes, bisquits, and even cupcakes on the fire as well as roasted the chicken! Then we ate our yummy lunch! It really was very good. the kids did a great job. In the afternoon, we played a game with the kids and then we went to do our ministry. We walked to a local village, and played basketball, gave out wordless braclets, shared the gospel, and sang songs in Tagalog. It really was a great time. After our ministry came dinner, an evening session and squad time. Then off to bed.
Thursday Feb 7- We packed-up and headed off to the reef! This was the most relaxing day of the whole trip. We went to marine biology class, where the kids learned about sea creatures and dissected a squid, we went snorkeling, and we even got to do scuba diving!!!! Rob and I have wanted to try to do scuba diving since we got here and we finally got the chance. Although it was only for a ver short time (there were a lot of students that needed their turn), we dove down about 5-10 feet and got to feed fish! So cool! After all our reef adventures, we ate dinner and went to the evening session. Although I really liked the day we went hiking to the volcano, I think this was one of my favorite days. There was a lot of down time, so we really got to spend some quality time with the kids, playing cards, talking, and just having fun! On Thursday night, the boys got to sleep out on the beach on coral under the stars (good thing it didn't rain) and the girls got to sleep in an open building.
Friday- Feb 8- Traveling home. We all met up back at base camp and loaded buses. We headed to the mall of Asia (the biggest mall in southeast Asia), which the kids loved (they all bought about 3 boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts) and then headed to the airport for our flight home.
We really had an amazing trip. I am so glad to have had the opportunity to get to know some of the jr. high kids. I mostly work over at the high school, so I really didnot know the jr. highers very well. It was also really neat to see how great my husband is with jr. highers. They really love him. I love to see how my husband flurishes in this environment!