Hey actually, on 4th of July my gift to myself to celebrate the good ol’ US of A was to watch episodes of The Office on DVD borrowed from my supervisor, Katie.
I did that after I went to Bacoor again for more pictures and video, plus I taught them some camp-style song and dance and games (“Flea fly mosquito!” and Simon Says were huge hits). It was awesome to interact with the children like that instead of just being behind a lens the whole time. In the evening of the 4th, my fellow American comrades (Jenn and Katie) and I celebrated with a BBQ… of sorts. We bought charcoal to grill chicken and corn on the cob but the charcoal was not working so Katie improvised and we toaster-oven grilled them instead. Not quite the same as the classic charred grill taste but better than nothing! We also had watermelon, chips and salsa, and lemonade to make our picnic complete. We only lacked fireworks and of course the family and friends to share them with. But hey we did what we could.
It did remind me of the other time I spent the 4th out of country in Poland the summer of 2007, when I taught English with a Highlands youth team. While lighting fireworks in a rustic Polish side street, our head pastor burned two Polish students with a malfunctioning firecracker. Ouch. But no worries everyone was OK and we really showed them what American 4th of July spirit is all about! Hehe
I have spent the past 2 days in the FH Philippines office in Manila. It’s actually in Chinatown, which is fun, but like many a Chinatown is not the most upscale part of the city. However, I love it down there. It’s right by the Quiapo church where the Black Nazarene is held and all around are signs in Chinese and traditional Chinese dragon, slopped-roofed entryways thingies. I take 1 jeepney from my neighborhood, 1 bus to the city, and 1 train to the area and then walk about 4 blocks to get the office, and yesterday and today I did that all my self. Yay me. I’m really feeling so much more comfortable in this place especially when commuting and I have a solid confidence in knowing where I am (which is unusual because I have a infamously terrible sense of direction).
I LOVE the office. All the people that work here are wonderful people of passion. There are not that many and they all have lots of responsibility and work but they are great at what they do. It’s encouraging that they, all Filipinos themselves, have hope for their people and dedicate themselves to the cause. Although Tuesday is the only day every staff member will be in the office (many work in their specific field community most of the week), there is a deep sense of community all the time. The office itself is filled with inspirational posters and pictures of what FHPH (Food for the Hungry Philippines) is doing, and worship music is usually playing in the background. It’s just simply a great environment and I love being a part of it (oh and they have wi-fi… yes!).
A benefit of being in Chinatown is the food! Yesterday I had delicious meal at a local restaurant with an amazing green tea shake for only P40, or less than $1.00 (Rach, Lee and Anj—almost as good as an Urth green tea latte!). This morning for breakfast I had Taho which is this soy, tapioca, and sugar syrup concoction that is warm and in a cup. Delish Mcgish!