Monday, December 15, 2008

final city

Cast B 2008 is saying goodbye. We finished our semester in tropical Subic Bay, Philippines, and its sister city, Olongapo. It was a whirlwind 10 days... closures, fantastic CI days, an incredible last show with an overflowing audience of over 3,000 people, a fantastic staff banquet celebrating a team we were lucky and grateful to work with, and just now, finishing with a beautiful cast banquet to celebrate our triumphs and say farewell.

We waved goodbye to the bus full of Europeans, who are already on the way to the airport in Manila. The North American flight leaves tomorrow evening at 8pm, to arrive in Los Angeles three hours before we left.

Scott and I will be in Colorado for about a week before driving home to Minneapolis to move back into our lovely house.

We'll post a little more about the end of our trip in the next few days. Thank you for following us on this adventure! Soon we'll be on our way home.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Habitat by the numbers...

In our eight days of CI in Manila at Habitat for Humanity – Baranguay Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City, we:

□ Made 593 CIB (Cement Interlocking Blocks)
□ Laid 2,303 blocks
□ Poured 21 bags of cement grout
□ Hauled 132 Jackbuilt blocks
□ Hauled 400 CIB blocks
□ Completed 2.5 cubic meters of gravel bedding
□ Bent 325 pieces of rebar
□ Cut 660 pieces of rebar

We also…

□ Were a team of 11 people from five countries (Ethiopia, Germany, Mexico, Singapore, and the USA) who helped to build the first story of a four-story, 120-unit housing complex.

□ Watched other volunteers come and go, just carrying blocks and hauling dirt, while we learned to make CIB blocks, lay blocks, level walls, extend rebar, make cement, mix and pour grout, shovel and bag gravel, haul mud on the chain gang, move gravel in the pit, and to cut and bend rebar.

□ Worked alongside the Boss, Mario, George, B-Boy, Glenna, Ching, Anita, Elaine, Mr. Perfection, Engineer Noel, Volunteer Coordinator Ving, and many others…

□ Ate a delicious lunch everyday at Delia’s.

□ Drank more than our fair share of Coca-Cola, Royal Orange, and Juicy Lemon sodas, and snacked on Chocolate Pillows, Choco-Pretzels, and Combis.

□ Rode in taxis, tricycles and jeepneys to get to and from our site each day

□ Visited a partially completed Habitat site in Paranaque to see the housing units that last year’s UWP crew helped to build.

□ Met and played with the children of our home partners, the beneficiaries of our team’s hard work, including visiting Rainforest Park with them.

□ Were invited to visit the current homes of our new friends, Anita and Elaine, and were welcomed warmly by their families.

□ Learned that of the 18-20 families that live on stilted slum housing under the bridge in C-5 (including Anita with her husband and five children) only four of those families are currently eligible and approved to receive a Habitat home unit.

It was eight sweaty days full of hard work, and I am proud to have been part of such a great team.