Back to school!

While Faith Academy and the US rejoice with the arrival of June and the end of school, the Philippines gets a little nutz with the back to school rush. The malls are busy and the roads are busier. The heat is [supposed to be] subsiding so the unairconditioned classrooms are becoming more bearable. The rainy season has begun which can be both a blessing in bringing down the temps and a nusicance depending on how much water and mud end up between where you are and where you need to go. I took a sort of 2 week break as school at Faith ended, spent some of the time prepping my computer lab for next year, and then began my adventure to Mindoro.

As many of you know I’ve been involved with Threads of Hope since the summer of 2007. If you’re just joining us and you don’t know what Threads of Hope is, click back on one of those yellow links and check out beautiful work of our bracelet makers. It’s been TEN YEARS already! It’s amazing to walk around Aninuan now and see what $100 and a little bit of thread became. First with pastor Al, his family, and the Aninuan Christian Church, then the Lola Florencia Memorial birthing clinic and Ate Jen, and now the Aninuan Christian Training School.

Since Sir Ben and his family, who have helped start the school needed to spend some time in the US this summer I was tapped to come, use some of my skillz in helping out and generally hold down the fort for a few weeks.  I’ve already been “teacher” in 5 different classes, installed a bunch of stuff, learned how to set up moodle, researched copy machines and a handle full of other crazy things in the 2 weeks I’ve been here. We’ve also already had a team come for a week as well as a full day of dental and medical mission by the local military complete with a boodle fight.

The Boodle Fight is a Philippine Military Academy tradition where cadets gather around a long table full of food and rice is spread over banana leaves and eaten with bare hands. I failed at taking photos so the first one is Jojos and the second is just for reference so you can see what it looks like. I am unable to not make a mess, meanwhile they are all able to successfully eat with just the fingers of mostly one hand. HOW?! 🙂


Here are some more photos by Ben and Jojo.

Sir Mark begins computer class.
The team from Washington leads a sports camp.

How school begins and ends every day.
My new friend Ma’am Yza introduces the office/library.

Ma’am B. Jane begins AP and Esp class.
Sir Ben gives opening thanks at the Medical Mission.

Life is a different pace in the village and I realized it’s a little bit more difficult for me to slow down than I expected. Things take longer to do because tasks are more manual and technology (particuarly internet) is less relied upon. I am thankful for Jojo and her letting me stay in her extra room and for all the yums that Ate Marina cooks for us. I look foward to seeing whatever crazy things happen in the next couple of weeks before I head back to Manila to prep for school there.

Please pray that for the month the school is running on it’s own without administrative oversight. There are 5 teachers and an office manager all of whom are recent grads and in their 1st month or starting their second year teaching. Generally speaking we all need someone to look to help us along but being new it could be extra difficult for them managing without help. It would be great to see them doing well not just hanging on for dear life when Ben and his family return in August. I wish I could stay until they return but responsibilities for Faith won’t allow me to stay here that long.

More on life in the village in my next post. 🙂

Happy July!

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