So it is my first day actually on my project. I am working the first 4 weeks at the women’s shelter. It is a government owned shelter for disadvantaged women. There are about 13 – 15 women and many of them have one or more children. The program was designed for women 18 and older, but often younger women with children are recommended as well. I think there are a couple women that are 15 or 16. They were very shy today since we just met, but I hope to get to know them a little more over this week. Next week I will begin planning some activities to do with them. Hopefully integrating some fun as well as some learning for them. They have very regimented schedules daily so I hope to be a little fun for them. I am not allowed to take any photos so there will be none this month about my work place. Eventually I hope to be able to share some photos from here of other things, but there have been many things to adjust to and try to get used to as I begin to settle in and get some sort of routine. I had thought I would be working mostly mornings and after this week I may be, but the rest of this week I will be doing afternoon activities because that is what fits their schedule. The women do seem to be very nice and I hope to get to know them better as time goes along. It is about a 15 min jeepney (public transportation here similar to a very small van/bus) ride from where I am staying currently. It is outside the city in a region called Palo I believe.
There are many volunteers in transition right now and lots of variety. We have several volunteers leaving this week or in the next couple. Sometime in early to mid November there will be a large influx of new volunteers. We are not at full capacity now, but they say we will be in November. My current homestay has 3 volunteers including myself as well as the house mom Nanay (respectful term used for mother) and older brother Kuya(also respectful term for older boy). Also Nanay has a daughter who is living in Manila since Typhoon Yolanda who is here visiting with her 3 children so we have many people in a very small house all sharing one bathroom. It is definitely a unique situation unlike any I’ve experienced before. The other female volunteer staying at my house leaves on Thursday and I’m not sure when we will get a replacement. The male volunteer is not leaving till the second week in November I believe.
Tonight I will get to meet up with my friends who have been living and working in the Philippines since June. They invited me to come to a volleyball tournament downtown so I am very excited to get to go and do some socializing as well. 🙂 Another volunteer who arrived just the day before myself who went through orientation and such with me will also be joining us for the game so we should have alot of fun! It is always great to meet up with friends! Well I think that will be all for now. I am going to begin researching and planning some activities while I have a little free time. I will write again soon! Prayers are always appreciated, but especially as I try to get acclimated to the new routines!