They say it takes roughly 3 weeks to settle down and adjust to the cultural difference. Looking back from when I first arrived, I have learnt a lot about culture and their values. But I have not settled down - at least not yet. I can't go out without feeling paranoid and unsafe; I don't think I ever will!
Tomorrow will have been 3 weeks since I left home. Whether that went fast or slow, I'm not exactly sure.
My FSL has improved a great amount; living with two Filipino counterparts definitely contributes to that, as the only way to communicate is through FSL! I think I'm going to forget some
BSL by the end of the 3 months!
I was telling the grandmother of my host home about my birthday coming up in October, and that I'm going to be 19.
"That's the youngest volunteer I've ever had! You can't be 18? Your parents let you fly here?!" I get asked that question a lot. In the UK, a lot of 18 year olds are independent, but here, it's different. Most of the Filipino volunteers are at least 22 years old.. And even their parents hesitated when they asked to go to Cebu for 3 months. It's in the same country!
A lot of the UK volunteers have reached the point where they're missing home. All the excitement of something new is now wearing away, and the reminders of home are starting to appear. We were warned this in our pre departure training, there were several stages that we all will experience in the 12 weeks. And right now, we're in the stage where our emotions go downhill. But after that, it's acceptance. Accepting the fact that we're here for a reason, and we're going to be here for 3 whole months. But we wouldn't be able to do it without the support from each other. In the 3 weeks, the volunteers have all laughed together, cried together, argued, been through hell and back - and we all can say we've been there.
But I know for sure when I'm back in the UK, I will look back and see that this was the most challenging thing I've ever done.