Huge thanks to St. Mary's, especially Mrs. Mansberg, for sending me to the Philippines with a school iPad for blogging!
GraceBethell's posts with likes
Our last day in Cebu was so sad for me! I hated to leave all of my new sweet friends. I went on the senior class field trip to the Tuneishi ship Yard to see a ship launching! It was about an hour long drive to get there. We had a wreck on the way! A huge dump truck side swiped out van! It was very interesting..we saw it coming, but obviously our squeals and screams didn't stop it! A huuuge crowd of locals gathered in the nearest yard to watch all of he excitement! Everyone was fine, so all is well! The ship launching was very exciting! It is very rare that ships are launched there! Tons of people were watching! We rode the buses around with the senior class, and as always I felt right at home, like a normal student! After we returned back to school, a closing ceremony was held for all of the exchange students. We performed the "stanky legg" and the "wobble" for the entire school. And just for all my St. Mary's seniors- I was in the front row for the wobble ;) y'all have taught me well! Then I went on a little adventure with a new senior friend named Jec. Rubie was feeling a little sick, so she couldnt come. Jec took me on my very first jeepney ride! They are brightly colored open air jeeps- a really common method of transportation here! It was so exciting. We did have to have a police escort though since I am a foreigner :) i had to take off all of my jewelery, and give my purse to my host mom! We rode the jeepney to a mall, then rode on the bench of a small tricycle to a little street shack restaurant! I tried my first street food- bola bola- like a meatball wrapped in a thin noodle! After that, we crossed a few streets- still with the police holding his arms wide out to help me safely cross- then got back on the jeepney. I practiced getting it to stop by tapping the roof with a coin and yelling "lugarla!". We got off the jeepney a few blocks away from school, and then got some street cotton candy! YUMMY! Later that night, we had a final dinner with exchange students, hosts, and siblings at Chateau de Busay- a yummy restaurant on a mountain with a very cool nighttime view! Fun night, but sad too!
Around 4 am on Monday morning we headed to a port to get on a boat and head to Bohol- a small, beautiful island! We rode a big bus around the entire island all day seeing various buildings, zoos, tarsier monkeys- just about everything! We were all very tired when we returned back to Cebu!
I'm back! Sunday morning I slept late! Yippee! Then I attended the neighborhood catholic mass- similar to my normal episcopal service. I felt right at home- as I have this whole trip! Then my family hosted a big lunch party with lots of traditional filipino food including lechon- the whole pig! Lots of families came and it was great fun! After that I went to the mall with some girls and mamas and we shopped all afternoon. My host sisters brother and his friend picked us up from the mall and took us home in the late afternoon! We took naps then ate dinner- more of the pig! Later that night we went to a few restaurants to see some night life! Fun day!!
means not waking up at 5 am! After a long night of sleep, we headed to a beach club in Cebu for the day! Absolutely beautiful! All of the hosts, their parents, and the exchange students were there. We swam in the ocean, swam in the pool, tanned, played some volleyball, went banana boating, some of the guys played the guitar and sang, and most of all we just had fun! We left around 5 pm, and I did something that I have never done before...stop reading now mama! I rode in the back of a big pick up truck! With 6 other girls! The weather was beautiful, we had warm sunny skin, boys were walking up and down the streets, and we enjoyed the ride for about an hour! We then stopped at my friend Rhea's dad's brother's bakery to buy some local Filipino cookies called Rosquillios that they knew I loved! Then we went to the grocery store which is always fun! The girls headed straight to the chocolate isle- they are convinced to have me try every local chocolate before I leave! I am not opposed to that plan at all! As we were heading towards the cash register, a previous little girl maybe two years old came up to me and hugged my legs! I do love kids!! For dinner we had chicken that had been roasted on the streets and it was FABULOUS! Rubie and I stayed at the dinner table talking for nearly 3 hours! I love her and feel so lucky to have her and her family as my hosts! I am so blessed!
National Science High School holds a chapel service on thirst Friday of every month. I was surprised to find that many of the prayers and songs are similar to the ones we use Bach at home. I felt particularly at home when they stared singing "here I am lord"! The rest of the half day at school was spent watching my section practice for their match dance contest. Each dance had to contain a certain amount of mathematical equations. The winner was....EINSTEIN!!! (my section) Here, you har a set group I students who are your classmates, and the love from class to class with you! YAY EINSTEIN!!! Then I ate pancit caton in the equivalent to our school cafeteria. Yummy! There was more singing at lunch today..even a little Justin Bieber! From there we proceeded to load the bus-hosts and students. Because it was taking so long, some of my classmates and I walked down the street to get some icecream! Then we left and had a meeting with Governor Gwen Garcia. After we finished that, we came back to school to be present for the dinner and karaoke session! It was HILARIOUS! Once I figure out how to upload videos on, I will!
This morning, we made it to school on time to see the 7am daily flag raising ceremony! Students stand in many short lines separated by boys and girls, but they all face the flag. Some students in uniform march in the middle of the lawn and raise the flag, while the student body recites the Lord's prayer, the school vision, the school mission, and of course the national anthem. This flag ceremony sure wasn't as good as the last one when one of our American exchange students threw up incredibly loudly in the middle of the ceremonThen I went to physics. I took the same test that my classmates were taking, and was only kind of embarrassed when the teacher asked me to report my score out loud! It's amazing how much you can forget from a class after just a few months! In English class, the English teacher requested for me to read aloud one of the English passages that the class was answering questions on. English is my favorite class because I know I will for sure get the answer right with no doubt!! After that, the Americans and hosts were excused from class for the rest of our school day to choreograph a dance that we were requested to perform for the school at the English festival closing ceremony tomorrow.. Should be interesting to say the least..many teachers were being evaluated today, so a ton of students had a lot of free time. This led to lots of the students coming to watch the Americans practice our dance, and some of the brave joined in on the fun! We left school again midday, and we went to meet the head of the science department for their Public School Board of Education here in Cebu City. Then we headed to one of the big malls in Cebu-fun! Then we went bowling! All 24 of us-hosts and students! We had so much fun bowling and playing pool, but we are all worn out! I went to dinner with my sister Ruby, her little brother, and her dad. We ate at a Japanese restaurant-yummy! After lots of games on the bus rides, we are all starting to get to know each other more (hosts and students) and it is safe to say we are having a ball! Now I am going to sleep to rest for our big dance performance and karaoke BBQ night tomorrow! Xoxo
Good evening! This morning we had full family breakfast again, then headed to school. I feel just like family! I am given an allowance just like my sister and two brothers to cover food during the day an transportation that I might need. The classes at Cebu City National Science High School are very impressive. However, just like in America, when the teacher leaves the room, chaos begins! Here in the Philippines classroom chaos means one of two things- 1. All twenty or more students crowd around the American to ask questions and examine him or her orrrr 2. Have a whole class jam session- one on guitar, one drumming on a random surface, one singing, and the rest harmonizing. So fun! It's not everyday when you're serenaded by an entire class! We left school at 12 noon today to eat lunch and tour around Cebu. We went to the Department of Education, a taoist temple, an old fort from WWII, and city hall where we had a meeting with the mayor. During our meeting with the mayor, we all ended up breaking out into song three times! (mayor included) he started the singing with some Whitney Houston. After that we went to the mall for a few spa treats given by the parents of our host students. I got my haircut! She was fast and it looks great! When I pointed to my foster mom and said "that's my mom!" the woman believed me and kept asking me questions trying to figure out our situation! Very sleepy! More to come later!
Today was our first day of school at Cebu City National Science High School! It was wonderful! Everyone was so nice and welcoming. I attended classes with my host, Rubie. At the end of the day they hosted a formal welcoming ceremony for all of the entire school. All of the exchange students processed in, and we were given gifts of t-shirts and shell necklaces. School wore me out, but I will post more tomorrow!
Today we flew from Manila to Cebu city. In Cebu, we were greeted by tons of parents, school officials, city officials,etc. people were taking pictures and screaming..it was wild! Then we went to the school where a formal welcome dinner had been set up for us! Candles, fancy tablecloths, and traditional Filipino food. Yummy! Then I left with my host, Rubie, and her father and younger brother. We went to the grocery store and ice cream store! Then I came home to a beautifully new painted room finished literally minutes before I arrived. (painted by the older brother :) ) Her mother made me a custom mug with my face on it, and had lots of fresh mangoes for me! What a sweet family! Tomorrow the school is hosting a formal welcome introduction ceremony for us, so more pictures and details sure to follow! Goodnight! Magandang gabi! Xo