Friday was such a full day I don’t know quite where to begin. Between jetlag and culture adjustment, I think I’m doing pretty well. It’s interesting to be here for a second time. Things aren’t overwhelming, and I can notice things more specifically. I recognize a few places we visited two year ago, which is nice, and I have a lot more confidence than I did on that first trip.
We started the day driving to the Compassion project where our group first went four years ago, on their first trip to the Philippines. I’m still struck by the huge gap between the wealthy and the not here. People live in such tight quarters, making a living if they can, and general existing in an almost unfathomable state.
The kids I remember have grown a lot in two years, and the program has grown, too. This particular one includes a child survival program that provides prenatal and then early childhood care for kids until they reach sponsorship age. Lots of families depend on it.
We once again rode in “trikes,” motorcycles with tiny cabs attached, so go through the narrow, winding streets and alleys that lead to homes no more than 100 square feet and often housing six or more people.
It really is like walking into another world.
After leaving the project, we met up with some kids who are sponsored by people in our group. Two of them were meeting their sponsors for the first time. We took them to a mall with an arcade (including rides! more like a carnival, really) and plenty of places to so some gift shopping (clothes are always needed).
On a side note, I rode the (very small) roller coaster in the arcade and I’m very proud of myself for that. Good job, me!
After dinner at Jollibee, we headed back to our hotel to get clean and rest before continuing our journey Saturday. We’ll get to Palawan in the evening and see how things go from there!