It was the second day of training and we focused mainly on cultural differences. The UK volunteers were asked to work together and wrote down what they think the culture is like in the Philippines and what life in the UK is life. The Filipinos were asked to do the same. This was interesting, the Filipinos drew pictures of trains, and wrote how much we loved tea, that's definitely correct! And then they assumed we had lots of tattoos and piercings! We had to explain that wasn't necessarily true.. But then they drew pictures of beer. Of course, the UK drinks much more regularly than in the Philippines so we had to accept (we didn't want to!) that we do drink quite a lot. I was really interested in their perspectives of the UK, it's interesting to know what their stereotypes are - apart from the obvious ones of course!
We then learnt about their food. As the Philippines is a developing country, they would eat anything to save money. They have a soup called number 5 - which consists of cows balls.. I was amazed! The interpreter told me it tasted nice and slimy - that's enough!
They eat treeworms, chicken's intestines and so on. I don't want to go there right now! But then they mentioned something called balut. A balut is a developing duck embryo that is booked alive and eaten inside the shell. The Filipinos explained that when you eat it, you can feel the small hair of the foetus and it's very chewy! I was stunned when they told me about it and they insisted that I should try one. And so I did. I was so nervous and scared, but in the end it was okay.. Tasted like a mixture of egg.. And chicken I guess. I wouldn't mind trying some more crazy things, just to get a little taste of their culture!
On Sunday, I will be moving in with my host family, so I will fully indulge in the Filipino culture, living with a family for 3 months whilst on my work placement. Very nervous about that but all this is experience!