I feel like a lot has has happened in the last week here...
1. Last Thursday/Friday
Took the boys at the center camping at Meridia "Little Hawai'i" about a half hour outside of Ormoc. It was great, the boys had a great time and so did all the staff here. Everything works a lot different here in the Philippines, after the kids went to sleep around 9 or 10 Thursday night, all the staff and volunteers stayed up and sang A LOT of karaoke and drank A LOT of Red Horse beer. It turned into...yes, A LOT of fun. The other two volunteers and I sponsored the whole thing, which included the rental of the whole camp ground and all the food bought for 30 people. It actually only ended up costing us about 40 USD each, so it was well worth it. We are all planning on going out Friday night too.
2. Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Made a trip to Biliran Island, just north of Leyte a short causeway connects the two islands. Biliran was beautiful, incredibly lush, mountainous and awesome. There are a lot of great hikes and the interior has a lot to offer if you are willing to make the effort (and pay the moto driver). On Saturday, Sara (Swedish volunteer) and I rented a kayak and headed over to Dalutan Island, which only took about 20 minutes to kayak over to. We layed on a deserted white sand beach for awhile, and met some medical volunteers from Manila who had worked for the last week at the Biliran hospital. They were incredibly nice and hospitable, and we ended up being invited to the feast that they had brought over as well as a couple San Miguels. Took the kayak around the island and found a cave to kayak into..we could hear the bats inside it...kinda creepy, but awesome. That evening, took a motorbike up into the mountains where there was a fiesta going on, with makeshift roulette and other gambling games, as well as a disco where we did a little dancing. A lot of fun, and met some very nice Filipinas who tried to teach me the cha cha (unsuccessful, but worth a try).
Saturday we rented three motorbike drives and were able to explore the island. Hiked to some gorgeous waterfalls, where I actually climbed part way up one and dove off! It was pretty awesome, and the water was so clear and clean...absolutely awesome. The moto driver befriended us (for a cost of course) and took us on a hike to his grandma's house. where he and another driver proceded to climb up a palm tree with a machete and hacked down a few young buko (coconut) then made an amazing buko desert that consisted of milk, ice and the buko "meat" which is essentially huge chunks of coconut. I didn't think I really liked coconut...but I was definitely wrong, because this stuff was to die for.
On Sunday we finally made it back to Ormoc, with sore legs, arms, back, and butts (from hours on the back of a moto), just in time for dinner at my home stay. A great weekend, I'll post some pictures soon!!