Swim lessons have been getting better each session! All the groups are at different levels, and within the groups some kids are more advanced swimmers than others. So our job is trying to help all of them and making sure everyone is learning something even if they’re already more advanced. My favorite part is seeing how excited all of the kids get when they get to go in the pool and learn, and how appreciative they are after lessons. When I walk around the community now, the kids often stop me and ask about swim lessons or thank me for teaching them. It makes me very happy to see how much they enjoy learning from us.
We had another meeting with Joni, who’s in charge of social education. Our meeting was supposed to be at 8am and she finally made it at 9:30am. I’m still getting used to the lack of punctuality and the relaxed ways of the Filipinos. However, our meeting went well. There’s not too much that’s new, we are still working out some things on the documents and we are looking to launch the money management workshop we’ve been working on. We also discussed continuing swim lessons past our departure from the farm. So, hopefully some of the other interns will take over so the kids can keep swimming.
Rice planting is going to start soon at the farm, so currently we are in the process of fortifying the rice beds. Pretty much, this involves everyone standing in the muddy water and throwing the mud on the sides of the rice beds. It’s a very messy process but it’ll be helpful once the rice is planted. It’s a fun experience too since everyone comes together to work, including farmers, interns, volunteers, etc. and everyone gets completely covered in mud. This will go on until August 9th when the actual planting starts. Unfortunately we won’t be here to help anymore – I’ve heard from many people that it’s a great experience as well.
We started a new weekly session this week where everyone gathers on Monday mornings for a solidarity session with Tito Tony (the head of the farm). He talks about what’s going on around the farm and talks about some goals and ideas, especially to the SEED students. For example, he was focusing on purpose this week. I think these meetings are a good way of gathering everyone and sharing a sense of community.
Yesterday was Chris’s birthday, so the guys at the bakery let some of us come in and decorate a cake they baked. It was really fun and the cake was delicious! We are planning a trip to Manila again this weekend. We heard about a local art tour, so hopefully we will be able to make it to that! Other than that, I will continue helping with the rice, the swim lessons and the social education documents.