Day 4 – El Dorado Community Clean Up

Today we were super excited to get back into service mode by visiting a community called El Dorado. The plan is scheduled as follows.

10:00 am – Arrive at El Dorado GK village
10:30 am – Opening Ceremonies & large group activities
11:00 am – Small group games and distribution of Christmas gifts
12:00 pm – Serve Lunch
01:00 pm – Community Clean-up

But first, we were treated to a delicious home cooked breakfast at the Lasola residence.

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Thank you Mr. and Ms. Lasola (Chase’s grandparents) for making all the arrangements with the El Dorado barangay (translation – community leaders)
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The student leaders couldn’t resist the opportunity to sing karaoke (which was invented in the Philippines)

Off to El Dorado (5 min drive away).  After setting up and before the opening ceremonies, the student leaders had some time to meet and interact with the children of the community.

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Kevin and Hilary making new friends
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Hi Five… international greeting for hello 🙂
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Teacher Diane Ignoto sporting her Camp Olympia t-shirt
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Teacher Merle Gonsalvez teaching the kids how to do a “hand hug”
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The kids loved taking photos and rushed to see the back of the camera after every shot to see themselves
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Wow, I like your hairstyle 🙂
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We presented the community leaders that helped set up the festivities with a Canada t-shirt

Let the opening ceremonies begin… below you see only a third of all the children there… over 300 in total.

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The opening ceremonies started with the singing of the Philippines National Anthem
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The head of the GK Barangay said a few words of welcome

The students individually introduced themselves and performed the 12 days of Christmas.

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On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me “A partridge in a pear tree”

For the large group games we felt it was easiest to just dance starting with the Macarena.

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“Hey Macarena”
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The kids learning how to do the Cha Cha Slide
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The kids blew us away with their own dance moves
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They new the Gangnam Style better then we did!

We needed to get the 300+ kids into small groups so we played the game Molecules.

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“Everyone put 10 feet together” (Student Leader Karol Ba-lut did a great job translating the instructions in Tagalog)
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“Three knees”

In our small groups, we played a series of games. The challenge was trying to explain the games to them without knowing how to speak Tagalog.

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First game was to get to know each others names by passing the ball around (easy for Kevin who’s fluent in Tagalog)
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The next game was Duck Duck Goose a game we knew would be a hit from our past experience at the St. Martin De Porres Orphanage
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The next game was Ladders which was a little harder to explain
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Diane, who doesn’t know any Tagalog, just made up her own games 🙂

After all the games we gave out Christmas gifts to each child.  Each student leader was responsible to pack their luggage with toys and donations.

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Who has number 16?
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Mmmmm… I wonder which one I want?
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Anxiously awaiting their number to be called

After distributing gifts, we served lunch to all participants (hotdog, drink, and a dessert snack).

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Student leaders devise a system for distribution
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There seemed to be two long lines (this is one of them) as far as the eye could see
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Krystal collects the ticket as Britney hands out the food with a smile
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That look in her eyes is just precious

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After giving out lunch, each student leader put on a pair of gloves and picked up a plastic bag to do a community clean-up.

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First we focused on the GK complex
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Then deep into the community of El Dorado where we really got to see what life is like for those we were serving
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“Don’t worry, come through here… I know where I’m going”
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The kids from El Dorado also gave us a helping hand as they asked for their own gloves and garbage bags

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Our team of community cleaners

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One last group shot before departing back to the hotel.

Prior to celebrating New Year’s Eve festivities, we went back to the hotel to freshen up and have dinner.

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Thank you to Karol’s family for making us a group dinner and delivering it to the hotel. It was delicious!

We celebrated New Year’s Eve at the Mall of Asia (the biggest mall in all of Asia).

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Located right along the shoreline, we had a beautiful view of the water and mall from the top of the ferris wheel
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Anxiously awaiting the count down and fireworks to bring in 2013
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We literally couldn’t have got a closer seat to the firework show.
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Sometimes the sky was so bright it looked like day time
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Our first group photo of 2013!! HAPPY NEW YEAR everybody!!!

Tomorrow we get to sleep in a bit as we journey on our Manila city tour. Blessings to all in 2013!!

4 thoughts on “Day 4 – El Dorado Community Clean Up

  1. Pictures certainly speak a thousand words! It is inspiring to see students connecting with our brothers and sisters in the Philippines. It seems so appropriate that you do so at this time of the year given the great promise that we have through the birth of Jesus. Keep up the great work and I look forward to you sharing your experiences upon your return. Safe travels.
    Bruce

  2. The people of the Philippines are in my thought and in my prayers…

    Your presence this year will be especially important…

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