A typical workday with VIDES

July 18, 2012 | Helen, AFS, Philippines, Volunteers International for Development Education and Services (VIDES)

Magandang Umaga!

I’ve been putting off writing this post for nearly two weeks now, largely due to the fact that I really did not want to acknowledge the small amount of time I have left here, and I’ve suddenly realized I’ll be leaving this amazing country in only 12 days: where has the time gone?

Before leaving for our internships, we were all warned that the last leg of our time here would probably be the busiest and fastest portion of our three months. That has become very true for me and I’ve found myself becoming incredibly busy working with VIDES and Don Bosco School in Manila. I think the only complete way to explain how time really has flown by is to explain my typical work day here.

Usually I will wake up around 7am to have breakfast with at least one member of my host family, because no one ever eats alone. I’ll spend a few hours in the morning at home, sometimes working on editing English documents for co-workers at VIDES, but most of my time is spent creating lesson plans and wracking my brain over new ways to engage the students that I’m teaching.

By noon I am heading out the door to meet VIDES (the exact time varies depending on how long it will take us to drive to the particular area that day). We spend about 2-3 hours outside with the young children, where we give short lessons on a variety of topics: usually pertaining to any big celebration happening around that time (i.e. mother’s day, independence day, etc.) or we will teach a lesson about certain good values they should adopt (i.e. generosity, kindness, etc.). After the activities are over, we collect their work and hand out bread and juice to everyone who completed the assigned task.

From the VIDES area, we will usually drive to Delpan (another VIDES area) to pick up a few of the students who are enrolled with Don Bosco’s Alternative Learning System (ALS). ALS begins at Don Bosco School in Manila at 4:30pm. Unlike the VIDES activities, ALS is in a classroom setting. We have about 150-200 students enrolled right now, they are split into 4 “classes” and rotate through 3 periods every night. The other Canadian VIDES volunteer and I usually teach classes together, as we’ve found it can be quite difficult to manage a class of 50 high school dropouts when they can barely understand what we are saying.

ALS is scheduled to run until 7pm, but generally goes over this time every night. By 8pm I arrive home, most nights in time to have dinner with my family. After dinner is when I have time for myself, to catch up with friends and family on skype, have telephone interviews for my upcoming co-op semester, or go jogging (although, I have to admit, I’ve been too exhausted for that lately), but I generally always use this time to hang out with my host family.

The days are jam-packed, and really does make the time “fly-by” and I love it. I’m beginning to worry about how I’ll ever adapt back to the regular 9-5 work days in Canada!

So, future interns, when Rex warns you how fast your last month will go by, trust me, he’s not kidding!



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