Here I am! Yes, I'm in Cebu to start off my volunteer work adventure!
It has been a week since I left the UK. Originally, it was hard to find Wi-Fi since my hostel for week long training doesn't have Wi-Fi. However, at last, my host home for the next three months got Wi-Fi which I'm able to be online as much as I want to. Anyways, here's a blog to summarise the first week of my volunteer experience.
We were arrived at Manila at 9:30 on Tuesday night and we stayed there for a night before jetted off to Cebu. In Manila, It is overcrowded, polluted and chaotic with highly visible poverty and slums. Right next to the slums, there are plenty of skyscrapers, mansion, BMW, Gucci, and so on. For me, the Philippine's society can be easily define as 'the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Nevertheless, before I leave for Cebu, I experienced my first Filipino breakfast. It consist of 'a must have' rice, egg and fish. Also, I have never drank iced tea before and it was not that bad but I much prefer to British hot tea obviously!
After 18 glory hours journey, we finally arrived our destination, Cebu. I can see the difference between Manila and Cebu. My experienced of Manila was the traffic is always gridlocked and I feel like a concrete jungle whereas in Cebu, the traffic is much better and the road is spacious (More information on lifestyle in Cebu will be show on the next blog).
You may not believe it but we stayed at Betania Retina House, a nun home for week long In-country orientation training. This is where we met our Filipino volunteers for the first time. This training consists of information regarding our work placement, host family, understanding Filipino culture, health and safety and so on. It was a long and hard training but I enjoyed it! On the last day of training (23/06), I found out about who are my counterpartners for both host family and work placement. I also found out what project I will focus on for the next three months. My project is called Young Adult Health Education (YAHE), organised by Cebu Association of the Deaf (CAD) which will involve workshop and training to young Deaf adult in various placements such as school, college, university, and clubs.
The first week of volunteer is much more of training, understanding of our projects and get know more about our home, its culture/community, etc. This Monday will officially start my work placement and I am looking forward to this volunteer experience!
That's it for now. The next blog will discuss about my free time in Cebu, and its lifestyle. Have a good week!