Having my sister over for a few days in the Philippines was an experience. Seeing her was so weird, I feel as if in the Philippines, I'm in a completely different world, and to see her here made me realise how much I've forgotten things at home. The small things, she'd remind me - and I'd be like oh yeah.
Watching her behave around the family and the house, getting used to showering with a bucket and struggling with the heat was like watching me when I first arrived. I know how it feels.
On her last night here, we went out for dinner. I told her how it is, how DIFFICULT this has been for me, because she now knows how I live, what I go through each day. She said that before she came to the Philippines, she had some imagination of what I go through, but nothing like what she experienced here. It's so nice to be able to have a member of family who now understands - I told her no one else would understand.
I told her to imagine coming into the house on her own, with a Filipino family, two Filipino volunteers, lack of communication, trying to learn FSL, living in their culture. She admitted she would never do it. She would never be able to live here for 3 months, and asked me how I did it.
Of course my response was "really?!" But then I look back to how I felt the first few weeks. All I wanted to do was to go home. I struggled, it was a pain but now, I'm unsure about going home next week! I told her I think I would feel guilty. Guilty for returning back home, having all the things that I have, and in the other side of the world, there are Filipinos struggling.
Yes. NEXT WEEK! Time has flown and it's my last week of work. They're planning a farewell party for me here on Friday!
On Monday, we had our ACD, discussing poverty. I found out that 27% of Filipinos live below the poverty line. But then I found out that the poverty line was living below 16000 pesos a year. That's equivalent to £222. I told my sister and she was shocked.
"That's what I would spend easily, in a few days."
Exactly. We spend so much back at home. I don't think we appreciate the little things we have.
So, to think that over a quarter of Filipinos are living on less than £1 a day - that's heartbreaking. I don't know how they do it - but I've seen it all over here.