Tuesday, March 16, 2010

It was a bit different this time.  After a great experience last time, the expectations were all high. However the law of averages always catches on with the group.  It was still quite good.  Raymund organized another great experience, some among us who saw it, grabbed it.  It was good for me and Laure who had all of Raymund's time.

The saplings that we nurtured last year, a few thousands of them were along the highway and for two days we supported some saplings where needed and watered them. The heat was the highest in Manila of the summer and we just landed from the cool of HK (and heard that part of HK island were at 5 degree centigrade while we were melting).  This time I confirmed it to my utter disbelief that I just cannot do hard work that I could a decade ago. So much for a comfortable lifestyle that is too disturbing for comfort of mind. Raymund took us away from the gruel for a day and we participated in the 100th year rally of Women's Day on 8th March and then a small trip of Old Manila city. It was a good detour!

However, my heart was completely at the tree nursery in Montalban, Rizal.  Raymund was kind enough to take us to do the usual work at the nursery for the next two days.  It was quite nostalgic to be back among the saplings. The hut looks all new and green, the nursery is full with saplings and looks quite green. The 'holes are fun' are still hold the supporting bamboos for the shade and I caught a beautiful spider with its net on my camera. And not to mention the wonderful tender coconuts. I had to open one for the nostalgia sake and to prove to myself that I can still do it. Makes me feel better! The hammock is shifted to a place in front of the hut and BTW I also bought one for me :-).

This time we had a trip to local market and it is a very interesting place. A good spot for many photographs. Lot of fruits and other things. It was fun.

Thanks to Pom and others who provided good food as usual. They tolerated us through our stay and rants. I had thought that I would shed some 'tyres' but it only inflated more. I cannot blame the heat though. I love to stay at this dorm. It is quite homely, always open and lot of space.

We also played cards but this time it was restricted to only two nights and never in the hall. People were too alert and the 'g-bows' or 'Hi Queen' never happened. Some even studied! :-(.

As usual Raymund does not stop inspiring and Laure is already planning next year's PW to Romblon for working with mangroves and painting classrooms and benches. That is the real success of going at 'CERV-Philippines' to Raymund.

What more can I ask from Raymund? He was helping me as usual.  This time in finding a place for the IFP conference in Manila. That may be the place for future conferences if not this year.

So, I'm now completely looking forward to go to Romblon next year. I can only wish that it was next week.

Donations to CERV Phillipines are more than welcome. Their immediate need is to buy a vehicle to carry water tanker.

Raymund is still buying lottery tickets so he can call you guys to paint his new house sometimes when he's lucky. We should do it as a group sometimes within the next 10 yrs! Hopefully it'll be earlier.
Magan Savant is a Physics teacher at Li Po Chun-United Word College in Hongkong, SAR.  He has led two student volunteer groups since last year.

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