Thursday, June 27, 2013

Boracay!

Boracay was the 
P.E.R.F.E.C.T
 place to wind down after our many hours of sweat, downpours, teaching, mixing cement, and digging in Antique.

The beach was the prettiest any of us had ever seen!
I don't think I could describe in words how gorgeous it was.
The water was light turquoise, crystal clear, and swimming pool temperature. 
We could have stayed for a week!

Yesterday we took a ferry to a beautiful place called Ariel's Point. We had the best time. There were four platforms coming out of the cliffs and most of us (even Joel and Rick) braved the highest one at 15 meters. It was pretty nerve raking and such a thrill. The best part was the unlimited soda and water all day and the Filipino BBQ that was all included. We kayaked, snorkeled, relaxed and jumped/dove/flipped. Yes, Austin Anderson was doing flips off the highest board, the whole place was in awe. It was an absolute blast. We did not want to leave.

After leaving Ariel's Point we came back to our hotel - located directly on the beach 
(I'm telling ya, this place was amazing)
and Dewey, Libby, Austin, and Cici all joined some locals in a Soccer game on the beach while the others swam in the perfect sea. 

Dinner was my favorite. We ate at a lovely outdoor Italian restaurant, but the best part was the fresh shrimp and the live band. We were in heaven. They serenaded us with everything from James Taylor to Simon and Garfunkel, to Eric Clapton. 
I could have stayed for hours. 
It made me miss my Dad and brothers because the band was playing songs that were sung to me throughout my childhood. In fact, I loved it so much that I even joined the band and sang some James Taylor with them. Then, with our full bellies and huge smiles, we were entertained by fire dancers. I wish you all could have seen how fun this was. The dancers were spinning fire right in our faces and over our heads and completely around us. It was indeed a night to remember!

We ended the night out on the beach with the starry sky above us and the constant tide in our toes. Honestly, we were sad to leave. It was such a perfect stay.

Here are some pictures to give you just a glimpse! 




















Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Let The Games Begin... The Tears Might Come With Them

Yesterday.... We had our cultural exchange and it was a great celebration!  Performances, games, laughter.  What everyone loves to have!  They were Filipino games... what ever that means.  There were four games and they were hilarious.  Eat What You Get, which as you can tell from the name, whatever is on your chair you have to eat it!  I felt so bad for one of the kids, he had to eat these weird purple eggs (which apparently are disgusting) plus a tub of butter!!!  I felt so bad for him.  He ate it almost like it was nothing, well almost puking three or four times.... Anyway, then climb the pole.  It was about a fourteen foot tall bamboo pole covered in lard!  We had teams of 9 to get to the top.  Can you guess where I was?  I was the base, and all the little kids were climbing on top of me and stepping on my head, and it was just crazy!!!!  But hey we won!!! That's all that matters!  Plus chasing the pig!! Although we ran out of lard so it wasn't greased but still a little difficult to catch!  We had two to catch and Cici Topham caught one and Alena Cloward the other!  It was really cool.  After that we had one last game!  It was a carrying game where we were assigned numbers and depending on the order of the numbers called, depended on whether you carried or were carried!  It was so funny!  All in all, great day!

Today, it was our last day at the schools and all we did was just hang out, have lunch, and say goodbyes.  I had to comfort a lot of little girls trying to get them to stop crying... It was really sad and I had to get lots of pictures with them!  Before we got there, all the kids made notes to all of us and so I literally have a stack of notes.  Kids wanted me to promise to get back, but we all knew we couldn't do that.  Although, I told them I will keep in touch with them with email and FaceBook!  Luckily we have technology and they have internet cafes!  Haha... Although when I told them I couldn't come back next year, that made a few of them cry... It was a sad day, and I wish we didn't have to leave. But It's good for us to leave... Although, I think today was the first time I had cried for an actual sad reason in years...

Well let's go to Boracay!!!

-Austin Anderson

This isn't anything, at one point I had five on top of me, but they were stepping on my head if you can't tell!  Haha

Brown Outs and Goodbyes

Today was probably one of the hardest days for me, but I knew it was coming. We went to the schools for a few hours and basically spent the time playing games with the kids one last time and saying our goodbyes. It was the hardest thing ever for me. I have grown to love these children as they are all my brothers and sisters. They are like family to me and it breaks my heart to leave them. When we left, all of the children just stood there crying and waving goodbye. I hope and pray I will be able to see them again someday. I am so grateful that I was able to have them as a part of my life for this short week. But in the time I have known them, I have gained some of the greatest friendships that I've ever had in my life. I know I will be friends forever with these children.

Today was also very hot and the power went out when we got back to the DepEd, so we were all dieing of heat. I don't think I have ever seen anyone so happy to here and air conditioner turn on before haha

Tomorrow we are off to Boracay!! I am so excited!! :) Love you all!

Alena Cloward



Monday, June 24, 2013

Just Everything




I haven't blogged yet because it is incredibly difficult to describe this experience. It has been amazing in so many ways and challenging too. Although I have only been here a short time, this experience has changed me and I will cherish the memories I made here forever. 


The food here is really good. I am on rice overload and might have withdrawals when I get home because we have been eating it for every meal. It seems like we are always eating and almost everything I've tried has been good. Different but good. 

The people of the Antique are incredibly gracious and kind. They are so happy we are here and treat us like kings and queens. I am overwhelmed by their kindness and goodness. The schools held a celebration yesterday to honor us. We are the ones that should be honoring them. 

The children...it's especially difficult to describe the experiences I've had with these amazing, smart, kind, hardworking children who don't have much, but are happy. The unconditional love they have shown us will never be forgotten. Although it was stressful to prepare and teach the lessons this week, I can only hope we made some sort of lasting impression in their lives. Saying goodbye today will be difficult. 

Time has flown by and I can't believe we will be coming home in less than one week. We are excited to explore other areas of the Philippines and go to the beach! 

Thank you to all the parents and donors for your continued support. We wouldn't be here without you. We only wish you could be here to experience the Philippines with us!

Miss you and love you mom and family. Can't wait to see all of you!  

Libby 



It's Almost Over

Hey everyone! I miss you all and want to be home already so I can see you all, but I really do love it here and don't ever want to leave. The people here are literally so amazing and I love the kids; even though sometimes they get really clingy.. It makes me so sad that we will be leaving tomorrow and leaving these great kids. Even though the kids are younger than me they truly are my inspirations. They have taught me to be very independent and to also be a very hard worker and work hard to achieve my dreams. I really look up to them. They amaze me. They really don't have much of a force to go to school, but they still go because they want an education and they know that if they want to achieve their goals in life that they need to go to school. Most of their parents work in Manila so the kids stay with caretakers or grandparents while the parents send the money to them to pay for their kid. Some of the kids haven't seen their parents in over 3 years. That would be so hard for me..I couldn't live without my parents. I LOVE THEM WAY TOO MUCH. So tomorrow is our last day with the kids and it will probably be the hardest day of my life. I have come to love each and every person I have met here whether I got to have a conversation with them or if they just gave me a smile. I really cant wait to be home, but i will really miss it here.  Thank you Antique for the memories.


Love -Megan Ajer

I Love the Philippines!

This past week has been amazing, it has been such a honor to work with these amazing kids and my second family. I have had the time of my life and it's sad to think its coming to an end. We had our culture exchange today which was so cool. We got to climb a greased pole, chase a baby pig, have relay races, and watch the game called eat what you get (that was a little sketchy). I have fallin in love with these kids, I have never met such smart, hard working, and always happy people. We have made a lot of progress on our service projects at the school and we can't wait to see the finished projects. Being here has made me so greatful for everything and has changed me for the better.

Megan Poulson

A Day of Celebration

Today the people of Antique and ROW came together to celebrate the Cultural Exchange. We sang, dance, and cried. The people of Antique have touched our hearts more than we could have ever imagined and will be remembered forever. I cannot express enough how much good Reaching Out Worldwide does.  It blesses the people back at home in Utah; by having us do community service and doing creative things to fundraise in order to make this trip possible. It blesses the people of Antique; the community has been more than helpful and you can see in their eyes how truly grateful they are. Last but not least, it blesses my own life. I have learned what hard work truly is, that service makes a life changing impact, and that I can make the best of friends worldwide. Mabuhay!

                                                                          Maddy Hayes


*Libby and I actually having fun while working hard (Mom don't get any ideas)*

*Most of the gang helping organize school supplies*