Day 5 – (pt. 2) – AVANAI

It’s December 30th, 2015.

So far today we’ve seen the drastic difference between the ultra wealthy side of the Philippines versus the poverty stricken slums of Tondo that we experienced the day before.

Now instead of analyzing the difference, we want to make a difference.

After the memorial cemetery, we travelled to the 2012 build site of AVANAI, a place that we heard so much about from previous participants.

19b off bus
We arrived over an hour late and we were told the kids have been waiting for the bus for 90 minutes
20 Ryza
So many kids greeted us as we departed the bus
21 Walk
Such a warm welcome!
21b lap
Not enough chairs for everyone so we had the kids sit on our laps
22 speeches
Community leaders welcome us t0 AVANAI
22b student speeches
We introduce ourselves to the community. There were oohs and awwwes every time we gave our age.

In 2012, teacher supervisor Merle Gonsalves taught the AVANAI community the choreography to Firework (Katy Perry). Here we are 3 years later presenting the same dance.

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24b dance party
It turns into a dance party. “How low can you go” (Cha Cha slide)
27 chicken
The leaders modify the “Bird Dance” and add a modern twist.
26 Performance
Girls from the community show us their dance

All the kids then sing a song to us called “Community”

28 snacks
Time for a snack before we start playing games


29 Circle
First we get to know each other and then play Stella Ola Ola
30 London bridge
There are so many more kids here
31 duck
There’s also a massive crowd watching us have fun. Here we are playing duck, duck, goose.
32 gifts
Time to give some gifts
32b gifts
There are so many onlookers outside of the circle
32 bball
In 2012, we hard our first Canada vs. Philippines basketball game in AVANAI. The Philippines has a 3-0 series lead.
32 bball3
Time Out, motorcycle coming through!
32 bball2
The game was intense, but our leading scorer Olivia Matthews puts us on top.
32 bball4
Look how massive the crowd is as they witness Canada’s first ever win with a final score of 11-10 in favour of Canada.
32 bball5
After the game we gave hundreds of hi-fives to the fans as they chanted, “N-B-A, NBA, NBA.”
34 leaving
We sign shirts, books, papers, and even arms before we leave.
35 dinner
After AVANAI we have dinner at Green Hills
36 greenhills
We go to the outdoor Christmas market after dinner where bargaining is the name of the game.

Back to the hotel.

Thanks for following our travels.

Please comment below and read our responses.

Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve!

19 thoughts on “Day 5 – (pt. 2) – AVANAI

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  1. I love kids. I absolutely love, love kids. Visiting Avani reminds me of my desire to become a teacher & work abroad. The children there are so incredibly patient & loving. When we leave places like these, the goodbyes are endless. The kids wait by our bus until we leave, & I give a piece of my heart to the kids there. I’ve said countless “salamat”, “maganda ka”, “mahal kita” & “engat”, but each time I say it to someone I may not see again, my heart breaks. These are smiles that I’ll never forget, & only hope to carry with me until years after this trip. The interaction itself with the kids bring so much joy, & I am so thankful to meet so many young children who are so compassionate. In exchange for my heart, they give me happiness, & that’s all I can ever ask for.

  2. Playing the the kids today showed me that spending just a few hours with them will give both them and myself memories that will last a life time. There was a little girl named Shaylor that I just wanted to take home! She was the sweetest little kid ever. She had just a good voice when she sang too, but she was so shy when she say but her voice was beautiful. When we left she just kept giving me hugs and saying I’ll miss you. It broke my heart to leave because I just wanted to be with her all the time. It was a world wind of emotions because these kids have such a huge effect of me emotionally! I loved it so much, I wish we could go back everyday

  3. All of the kids look so happy and excited to be there with the student leaders and its so nice to see such joyous faces. Seeing all of these pictures of the kids dancing and playing games makes me feel over joyed knowing they are having such a wonderful time. I hope the student leaders are having tons of fun and are learning a lot about what goes on in other parts of the world that aren’t as privileged as Canada. Stay safe and enjoy your time 🙂

  4. I am very happy to witness that. People selflessly dedicate their kindness with those kids.You people did a great job! Continue the great work.

  5. The kids in the photos look genuinely happy. This just shows how close the poor community is. I am very impressed and happy to see the leaders selflessly helping and playing with the kids.

  6. I liked how kind and hospitable these kids were. They seemed so excited and happy to see you guys. I like that wherever you seem to go, everybody is so welcoming and neighbourly. Keep up the good work!

  7. The energy today was unmatched!!! When we arrived, we could hear some cheers on the bus, this truly, was one of the highlights of the trip. I absolutely admired the support of the community and their terrific participation in our group games. The basketball game was also fun, because the spectators where so into the game, which offered us a unique experience.

  8. These people are hospitable, while the kids are active. I like the basketball game, although we were lost. Good job! philippines

  9. Avani was a really fun village, when we got there they had already been waiting for us for apparently an hour and a half which is dedication right there haha. I really enjoyed avani they were really energetic and they taught us a dance that was really great because we then got to teach them ours that some of them already knew from my sister’s year! there was one boy who looked so familiar i swear my sister might have known him from when she built here a few years back. This was definitely one of my favourite villages they were so nice and fun, there was one little boy who was really attached to me, he was the cutest thing ever!! I really liked avani.

  10. The energy was so amazing!!! As soon a we got off the bus kids were cheering and giving us high fives! I just loved dancing and playing with all the children in the village. Their energy put me in such an incredible mood that I wish I could experience again! There was this one little girl who I got attached to. She was so shy and sweet. These kids gave me amazing memories that I will carry with for a very long time.

  11. It was so energizing to see so many smiling faces. Their energy is so contaigious that we made so many meaningful connections after only 1 hour. I will always look back at Avanai as one of the most inspirational parts of the trip. To see so many laughing and smiling kids and adult despite their conditions will always be in my mind and remind me of being truly grateful.

  12. Avani was such an amazing place. There was so much energy the second we got off of the bus. Going in, I thought that we would have to get the kids energized but they totally gave all they could into our games. It was also incredible to see them share the toys among themselves. I wonder how we could we, in Canada, could become more supporting of each other.

  13. Hanging with the Avani children was so much fun and it was something I would love to do again. I wanted to spend the rest of the trip there but I knew we needed to see others. I had so much fun at avani and seeing that they were waiting for us all day. It feels good to feel like a superstar with the children.

  14. This was our first village, and I wasn’t totally sure what to expect. Right from the beginning, we were welcomed and felt like we belonged to the community. The fact that the kids waited an hour and a half for us to arrive was really touching. Seeing how much of a positive impact ANCOP has had on this community made me excited to start building and contribute.

  15. The energy of the entire village was ecstatic, they were all so excited to see us I couldn’t stop smiling. The kids continue to surprise me, all they want is just to make a new friend. When we were walking through children would randomly hold my hand even if they didn’t talk to me yet, they’d just smile. Something I’ll always remember is their little song, Community. “It’s me, it’s you, it’s us, it’s love, it’s God that build community”, so simple yet so true. Seeing how developed their community is makes me want to go to our village even more!

  16. ?Boy did the team ever pack in a lot during this trip!

    Peace, Joy and Hope, Steve De Quintal Teacher, St. Mary’s CSS, 66 Dufferin Park Ave. Toronto, Ontario M6H-1J6. 416-393-5528 ext. 84293 “that they may have life and have it the full.” “Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look at what they can do when they stick together.” – Vesta M Kelly ***You can always email but a call or a visit will get a quicker response*** ________________________________

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