Recharged Peens

It has been 7 months since our placement has ended in Cabiao, Nueva Ecija. 7 months of rekindling our experiences, our counterparts, our host homes and what keep us busy at the moment.

#Clingypeens

So strange, that I took the courage to ask for my boss if it would be possible to take an half day break, and he affirmed. With high conviction and determination, I rushed to meet those  who have been my sister, brother, a friend, a special friend, a close friend and for sometime a foe, for the past 3 months of placement. As if social media does not suffice ourselves with the usual hello how are you, I found myself being energized again. It is so strange that for the past few weeks I have been down and yet just seeing these guys physically and having a nice chat made me feel as if our placement just ended yesterday. I am sure it is not only me who feel that kind of ‘kick’, I am certain my lil bro’s, sistah’s and even our PS’s, felt the same way.

Out of the box Peens

I haven’t use that phrase “out of the box” for quite sometimes. But with these guys, it was as if in a snap I could think a lot ‘out of the box’ ideas, spur of the moment thing and voila!

Celebrating an advance birthday party with a co-volunteer with a bang of cake, pizza, chicken and of course drinks, was a de ja vu.

I certain believe that there were no accidents in life. Perhaps one of the reason that I love my work at the moment is because I am being inspired by my external clients, In development world- the community. People will not judge you if you wear a shirt, a jeans and a backpack. People tends to give you positive vibes aside from the sunlight.  A simple chat could create a beyond the surface level of friendship, of trust and certainly a friend to call in time of need.

Inclusivity is the key

Our placement was simultaneously being conducted in other parts of the country. Cabiao for disaster risk reduction management, Cebu for deaf community and Bohol for environmental sustainability. Seeing volunteers from Cebu-deaf community, I found myself as blessed and at the same time challenged. These deaf volunteers wants to make a change in their own way, while I, on the other side, keeps on questioning things if not moaning.

One of the speakers said, ‘if you are having a lot of negatrons consider volunteering, it will give you tons of electrons to be on the beat.

A Chat like a Gunshot

It was week 10, and nearly down to week 11 when I got this opportunity to have a nice chat with a volunteer placement staff.

Well, out of the blue, while siting in our veranda waiting for my free data to logged-in, kuya Tom had this nice question for me. ‘what will you do after the program?’, what do you get from being a volunteer?

I replied in enthusiastic way and kicked it off! Well, basically, I want to search for myself in this program which I assure myself that I was able to do so. Also, I want to have that ‘kind’ of experience that I want before I enter another field (e.g. Corporate v. Development world?). If I fail to find a nice job, I’m opt to take my board exam which would entail a year and hopefully to pass it before I reached the maximum age for the position.

All it takes is that ‘bang it on’ attitude and out-of-the-box!

Basically, he kept on saying that job hunting in the country (and even my host dad agreed on me about it) is as tough as going to gladiator war 🙂 . Who would have thought that after you’ve finished you’re degree say IR, you’ll gonna get your dream job.

If you really want something, be assertive that you can have it, rather than staring at it from afar.

There is this nice opp which is up for grab, either I’ll take it or leave it, it is entirely up to me.

The same thing goes when HHC keeps on telling me instead of staring why not face it? If you fail, at least you’ve tried. You will never now that you can do it unless you try.

Perhaps, until now, I’m still struggling to face my fears. Yes, it is really a roller coaster ride feeling once you face your fears, or face the world of I wish I did this and that when I had the chance to do so.

Exit Plan

In search of tranquility and silence, I found peace and serenity on our favorite coffee shop in town while having a nice cup of coffee and writing this blog entry.

I really don’t know why I am having this feeling. So strange, I really don’t know what is happening to me. I’m scared, I worry, I am excited and I am happy, rolled into one.

The exit plan

To welcome week 10, two weeks from now, we will go back home, to the lives we left before the program, before this roller coaster ride.

I could still remember what our supervisors told us during our in-community orientation. He told us, that the first 2-3 weeks will be a community integration, and the last 2-3 weeks will be formulation of our own ‘exit plan’.

Am I ready to make my own exit plan?

Seeing the word ‘exit plan’ made me realize:

  • I built relationships that will lasts and some are just the surface level, which is a fact of life (like you can’t please everyone).
  • Inspiring someone is like having a nice trip to nowhere-scary at first, yet, once you ‘bang it on’ all you can feel is a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.
  • Drawing back to past does not mean dwelling on it- I tried to review my ‘Japanese listening exam’, and got a bit stressed out(worry to be specific) about my upcoming examination; seeing how I built relationships with my Nihonjin friends and how it fades made me think, will it be the same thing for my counterpart?(hope it will not).
  • A nice chat with someone you’ve just met is as fantastic as exploring the other side of the world- I thought, having a surface level conversation is enough to formulate your own ‘stigma/brand’ to someone. Sometimes, it takes weeks or even months of conversation to end up with a nice person.
  • Being alone does not mean you’re lonely or anti-social- I love doing things with someone(a friend, a random stranger or even a driver or a vendor) in a random place at a random time. But, today, I spent most of the time having my own ‘me time’ without my counterpart, without anyone from the group of friends that I was able to build during the program, and I enjoyed it! I felt, again – a stranger looking for an oasis in a desert. Yet, similar peolple who will come across, will recognise you not as with counterpart but as individual-which I loved most!
  • It is okay to be immature- I love the way I am exploring this journey called life- I acted as immature (most of the time) and my counterpart can attest to that, the same way that I acted mature in several ways as well. Before, I thought, once, you received this thin paper called ‘diploma’ you’ll become mature, yet, when I entered the ‘professional world’ I find myself in a total lost. When I got my first work, I thought I am good enough to take a bigger responsibility/ am I overqualified(that’s why I resigned), yet, when I went to the business district, I find myself too little for big boss’s to spare their time to engage a nice chat with me. Now I was given the luxury to talk, to chat with the community, yet, I found myself taking aback from this good opportunity! Why? Perhaps I’m still scared to try- so what if I fail? Failure is part of life. So easy to be said yet, so hard to live it up.

It may not sound as a perfect plan (there’s really no structure in it). To be honest, I don’t want to leave the community yet, I love the community, how they accommodate us, how friendly the people are, yet, there are times that ‘missing home’ and missing my comfort zone strikes me. Perhaps this is just one of those days.

I thought, I won’t feel this kind of ‘missing home’ thing; I’m in my own country, living my life as if out-of the box, yet, there are things that will remind you that your past/background is not your benchmark to move on. It is just a pretty much reminder of how you progressed in this journey called -life.

T-shirts, Anyone?

I’m not really good at selling something, not even selling myself for a promising job.

HHC and I had this plan of selling shirts in front of the Municipal Hall where the people just come and go.

Turned down, not now

I really find it hard to approach someone to buy something that you’re selling.

I’m supposed to give up, not in the upbeat of doing out of the box, all I want to do is go home, hit my pillow and have a good day sleep. It was just right in time that a teacher from one of the barangays in Cabiao approached us and bought a shirt and ask her colleagues if they fancy buying a shirt.

Why I find hard to sell one?

I don’t know, perhaps, I’m really not into ‘marketing’ and selling, but I also should take into consideration that Cabiao is at par different from the vibrant Makati City’s Business District. It is far from having the diverse culture and what else? Nationality? What we’ve got were very dynamic and genuine individuals who were willing to take charge..

Community Work

Personal Development starts when you do things out of the box.

Doing things which is out of the box-again (let me emphasize the phrase out-of-the-box, it is not to say that I am bragging about my experience in the programme but it is really what I am doing-so far and so good!)

It is a series of ups and downs and even extreme emotions which made me think-everyday is like a box of chocolate, you’ll never now what you gonna get-forest gump.

Yesterday, when we had our survey in the first 2 brgys, we felt losers in the game, we can’t even smile anymore from the exhaustion and all of us in the group were drained, extreme heat+challenging brgy.+walk around or say goodbye to your allowance stuff.

We redeemed our spirits when we finished our survey with flying colors (we exceed the target of 100)!!! In a particular barangay. We even had this opportunity to roam around the barangay and even had a small talk with the people. I felt fulfilled that I was able to talk with them and even extract information from them.

Community Work Community Work1

Tips and must haves when you conduct your baseline survey:

(disclaimer:this purely based from experience);

1.cap/umbrella/sunglasses/sunscreen – this is to protect your precious skin from the tormenting heat of the sun.

  1. A gallon of water-you will never know when thirst and dehydration strikes, be sure to have a tumbler of liquid if not a gallon of water with you.
  1. Mint candies/any sweet-to freshen up if not alleviate your tiredness-sugar intake will give you an energy. 🙂
  1. always wear your precious SMILE – people from all walks of life will know if you are genuine with what you are doing, if you smile as genuine as you are they can feel it, and if it is just a poker face, I’ll assure you, they can also feel it. Always smile and greet them, you’ll never know,that particular person can help you in your future activities.
  1. Do some chat-if you will conduct a survey, always ask questions like:what is your name? How do you want to be called? What is their age? In my case, I always asks these questions and do more follow-ups for them to gain their “trust”; it is important to establish some rapport with the locals if you want them to be involved in any activities that you will conduct.
  1. Speak the language/if not familiar with words ‘ask’- there is no harm in asking questions, and I assure you, the people are more than willing to extend their help as far as thousand miles just to make your work convenient and comfortable.
  1. Ask probing questions/cite examples-you should gauge your respondents if they can answer your survey without probing questions or needs to have the former, just gauge, you can feel it as well. 🙂
  1. Be more personal- I know this is a bit out-of-the-box as well, but try to involve yourself in the community, remember, the more personal you are the more impact you will get-this thing is definitely my opinion no one is forced to follow it though. 🙂

The list is a bit personal, as what I have always mentioned in my previous blog entries, it is a fulfilling experience to have a chat and gained the people’s trust rather than doing things because it is being told you to do- sort of for compliance purposes. – 😛