In the September school holidays in NZ, Aimee (aged 14), her mum Kylie and friend Kris, had the opportunity to visit our partners in the Philippines for approx 10 days.
For me, the Phillipines trip was an amazing, eye opening experience! Where we went was very different to what I had expected prior to going. The people that we met were very kind to my Mum, Kris and I. I made lots of friends with the youth at ACCF and I hope to see them again next time! We played lots of volleyball (which increased my skill because wasn’t very good at it), and they loved to ask questions about what it was like in New Zealand and what I liked to do. One time they made me try cheese ice cream, which I thought was weird at the start, but it ended up being yum! It didn’t take me long to get used to their culture, but is definitely different to ours! I like how they keep a lot of their history by using monuments such as the Quezon memorial circle to celebrate a former president and Jose Rizal (a national hero) with the spanish city. Seeing both of these monuments helped me understand more about what the people there had been through and now celebrate. One thing I loved was riding in a Jeepney and sitting in the front! It was fun seeing the streets and seeing what people do on a daily basis. One of the hardest things for me while I was there was the heat. My body was definitely not used to the heat or the temperature. Another hard thing was seeing all of the people who didn’t have much, since New Zealand definitely has a lot more. It made me feel like I was very blessed with what I had. Something that surprised me was that there was a lot of thunder and lightning compared to New Zealand! Another thing that surprised me was the size of the beetles and ants when we were staying at the Word Of Life Campus situated in the forest. I tried my best to avoid them because I did not want to touch them! I really enjoyed meeting my family’s sponsor child, Trixie, and her family because I got to learn more about her and what we were allowing her to do with the money given. We learnt a lot of sad things that are happening to their family currently, so I hope that they will keep persevering to move forward. I really enjoyed the experiences that I had in the Philippines and staying with Ate Gina and Given who were our tour guides while we were there. I can’t wait to go back because I had so much fun!