Off I go onto the next chapter of my life volunteering as a Peace Corps Coastal Resource Management Extension Worker

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Helping Nehama with her project in Ormoc in April

Nehama is a Batch 270 Children Youth and Family (CYF) Volunteer in Ormoc, an hour north of here. She's been working at the Hayag Family Development Center there.

 Nehama and Vanessa have both COS'd (Close of Service) and are tripping around SE Asia and beyond as they work their way home now. Less than a year and it will be me.
Nehama Rogozen 
Vanesa Reneee Batch 270 CYF came from Sogod to help out too

I was happy to help out with her Swim Camp and Disaster Preparedness Training of Children and Youth project. She needed a life guard. How fun. All I needed to do was hang out by the pool all day. It was really fun to see these kids progress over three days, from not knowing how to swim to being able to swim the length of the pool. And really cool was watching their fear of the water transformed to loving the water so much they didn't want to get out.
These wonderful folks, certified swimming instructors, came from Visayan University (Visca) in Baybay and volunteered their time to teach these children and youth to swim. 
the first day everybody kind of scared and anxious and the pool isn't filled all the way.
Teach Filipinos how to swim is important because most Filipinos don't know how to swim and are afraid of the water. This seems strange given that the Philippines is an archipelago of over 7000 islands and most of the population live on the coast. With climate change, flooding and land slides are occuring more often and many people drown because they don't know how to swim.

everyday the pool got deeper

Local disaster response people came and taught CPR and what to do
 during an earthquake or other disaster situations.

 Ormoc is a much bigger place than Inopacan. We ate pizza and there's a hotel with a restaurant where I found ceasar salad om the menu. You bet I ordered it!  There's even a cinema but I haven't tried seeing a movie there yet.
On the last day we made a camp fire and showed them how we make smores. They liked them.

Nahama had money left over so called everyone back in June for a one day Water Safety Training Follow Up at a beach resort outside of Ormoc. This way they got open water swimming experience and some fishermen came with their boats so the kids could practice jumping in the water with lifejackets and getting back in the boats.My camera'd been stolen so I was camera-less, so thank you Nehama, Laura and Nina Yuniz for the use of your pictures.

Sal's Beach Resort outside of Ormoc

starting the day



Laura Mudge came from Baybay, yeah!

Project Development and Management Training

Lina Bisnar, our Municipal Planning and Development Officer
 After a week of Reef Check training we were sent to a second week of I-Service Training (IST) and Project Development and Management (PDM) training at Lima Park Hotel where we had our Supervisors Conference In August, 2012.

 We knew what we had to look forward to; hot showers, comfy beds, air con, swimming pool, good food and being together with all our Batch 271 batchmates. Still. it was kind of a let down from heavenly Bontoc on Batangas. We were able to tell the second CRM group ALL about it and I know they enjoyed it as much as we did.
Everyone, CRM, Education and CYF Volunteers with there counterparts
We had a couple days of In-Service training before out counterparts joined us for the project development part of the training.I thought Lina was awesome. We worked well and hard together developing an alternative livelihood project. I know she enjoyed the stay at Lima Park. I think all the counterparts enjoyed it.

Once back in Inopacan we continued working on the Small Project Assistance (SPA) grant proposal. Without going into too much detail, the grant would train people to run a new facility funded by the LGU housing a new bio-reactor that speeds up the process of turning bio-degradables into compost/fertilizer and a concrete hollow block making area where plastics and cellophanes are shredded and added to the process.

Lina left for an extended visit to the US but  I presented the proposal to the Solid Waste Management Board and was told the funding for the machinery wasn't yet approved and there's a problem with finding a site for the facility.

This has become one of those PC learning experiences I've read about. At this point there are too many roadblocks and not enough support. I've shelved the idea for now at leas,t and have pushed forward with another proposal on strengthening Marine Protected Area (MPA) management.