Yet another 5am departure... yesterday we flew to Cebu. There is a great group of WYA committee members there who arranged for us to speak at two different universities and also to visit a Gawad Kalinga site.
We arrived around 8 and stopped by McDonalds for breakfast. I've eaten more McDonalds here in Asia than I have in the past few years in New York! The breakfast options here come with rice, aside from the usual egg McMuffin. Upon arrival at the airport I learned that Ferdinand Magellan was killed there by the reigning chief of the time, Lapu-Lapu. We visited the site where Magellan planted a cross years ago in commemoration of baptising 400 of the indigenous people.
For lunch I ate my first sisig. Sisig is a dish made of pork meat, specifically the face of the pig. Apparently they carve the skin off the pig's face, boil the face, chop it into pieces and fry it. This particular dish also came with pig's liver. Despite the lovely description and I'm sure how appetising it sounds I wasn't a huge fan and needed help from the others to finish it.
Gawad Kalinga is an organisation which works to transform slums into communities and empowers those living in poverty to improve their lives. Late afternoon we stopped by one community on the outskirts of Cebu. We were supposed to receive a brief tour of the site and meet some of the key people there. We did, I also got distracted by an absolutely gorgeously fat baby and spent most of my time there playing with it, speaking with the mom and some other adults and being stared at by the kids.
Whenever I'm in situations of poverty time soars by. I want to get to know each person; to help the adults care for their families, to help the kids and youth reach their dreams, and to ensure the babies are nourished and played with so they can grow to their full potential. Just as we were becoming comfortable chatting I was dragged away as we had to catch our flight.
En route to the airport we stopped for some traditional Cebuanese bbq and another mango shake - I just can't get enough!!! We also took some pictures at the main mall and Ren cracked up at what she called my "acrobatics" in attempting to get a good shot.
Today, I slept in till 9am! Longest sleep I've had in weeks and met Cathy for brunch. I had an entire day to catch up with Cathy and relax. To celebrate I took a jeepney back to Des' place, two actually, and then walked quite a distance after my stop as I probably hadn't got on the right ones in the first place. Today has been beautiful. Tomorrow is yet another 5am departure as we meet the DDD participants early and drive together to our conference venue.