Final Post in the Philippines

Hi Everyone.

Sorry for the lack of posts recently, it has been a hectic last few days at the Tuloy Foundation and then Typhoon Glenda hit so I haven’t had access to Wifi for some time. I’ll try and quickly recap everything that has gone on since I last blogged.

Tuloy: The last week at Tuloy consisted of us finishing up proposals for future workshops. I created the structure for an interpersonal skills workshop which will teach students how to healthily interact with coworkers, peers, bosses, and family members. The last day of work my basketball students played a championship game in front of about 500 of their peers. Kylie also had her dancers perform. The students then performed various dances for us and President and Founder, Father Rocky, thanked us for our work in front of the students. Later that night, we all went out to celebrate our work over the past two months.

Family: I was able to meet some family in Davao which was a great experience. We were able to visit a beach, a crocodile farm, and also visit Cebu and Bohol. They were extremely hospitable and it was great to finally meet my uncle and cousins on the other side of the world.

Adventure: Here are some pictures from my trips to Cebu, Bohol, and Davao:

Chocolate Hills

Chocolate Hills

Tarsier Conservation Center

Tarsier Conservation Center

Family in Davao

Family in Davao

 

Last few days: When I got back in Manila, I saw a lot of the destruction of Typhoon Glenda. Many places still do not have power or water. We only lost power fortunately. Here are some pictures:

IMG_1827 IMG_1824I also got to spend some time with my relatives from China. I cannot thank my family in Manila enough for hosting me for the past two months. They have been extremely hospitable and I would not have been able to plan this trip without them. I will see you all soon! Mahal Kita!

IMG_1719All I have left to do is complete my Capstone project which I will inform you all about once I get back to the states. Thanks for reading my posts for the last few weeks!

Random Musings of my Mind and Proposed Workshops for the Tuloy Foundation

Hi Everyone: Here’s a pretty long post. I would appreciate it if you took the time to read through some of my random thoughts and the proposed workshops we came up with for the Tuloy Foundation. There are some parts of this post that are very inspiring and force you to reflect on your life. Also, there are some parts of my volunteer work that you (hopefully) can help me out with!

Random Musings of my Mind

Over the course of my trip I have had a lot of remarkable experiences, cultural epiphanies, and introspective reflection. I’d like to share a few of these moments with you:

  1. The first day I arrived to the Tuloy Foundation, I began having some conversations with the kids. I usually would ask them if they enjoyed school and most of them would reply “yes”. Many of them said I work hard because I want to give back to my family and lead a better life. The most touching thing I heard came from a few students who have said: “We work really hard because we see volunteers like you. You travel all the way across the world just to be with us. You being here shows us that we must be something important. This lets us know that it is possible for us to lead better lives if we work hard”. I’ve never served someone/some group appreciate volunteerism so much. It was one of the most memorable moments of my trip.
  2. President Father Rocky and I, along with Kylie and other staff members, were having lunch one day when he asked us if Kylie and I knew how to eat rice with our hands. We replied “no” since we have never really had to do such a task. The first thing that popped into my head was, “Why would someone need to ‘learn’ how to eat with his/her hands? Isn’t it just a simple thing? And eating with your hands is considered inappropriate in the United States”. He then showed us how to perfectly bunch the rice up into a little wad on the tips of your fingers and then place it in your mouth. It is much harder than it seems. After practicing once or twice I finally got the technique down and I thought, “Great, now when am I ever going to use this?”. But then Father Rocky told me one of the most amazingly simple stories I have ever heard. He said, “My mother once told me why she chose to eat with her hands. She said: When you eat with your hands, you know how dirty they are. When you are given a spoon at a restaurant, how do you know how clean it is?” This little story really nailed home the idea that one should always make an effort to learn why someone chooses to his/her life in a specific way. This story really helped me derive an eagerness to learn more about Filipino culture and embrace, rather than compare, the differences between culture here and culture in the United States.
  3. I went to a movie with Kylie and my friend Camille and we saw the newly released 22 Jump Street. It was a packed house and we were, to no surprise, the only Americans in the entire theater. Throughout the duration of the movie, the actors/actresses would make jokes that anyone who understands humor would get. For example, in the movie Jonah Hill gets attacked by an octopus and begins to show a colorful array of expletives. Everyone in the theater began to laugh hysterically. However, later in the movie, there is a short cameo by Queen Latifah and she makes a witty and subtle reference to the 1980’s song “Straight Outta Compton”. I start laughing….by myself. Literally nobody else in the theater understood the joke because they are not too familiar with American rap music / rap culture. It was definitely one of the strangest experiences I’ve had here.
  4. The place to hang out during the day here are the malls. The malls are literally the size of universities in the United States and you could easily spend three days navigating every shop if you wanted to.
  5. My grandfather bought my Balut today. I didn’t eat it yet, but I will. If you don’t know what Balut is, have fun.
  6. The corruption of the police on a local level is extremely obvious and open. Many of my friends have told me that instead of getting a driving ticket, police officers will simply ask for a bribe and be on their way. It’s pretty amazing to see.

This is all I could remember right now. If I think of anything else, I’ll add it in later.

Proposed Workshops

So this past week Kylie and I have been working to come up with some proposed workshops to solve some of the issues we discovered from our interviews. Here is what we have come up with:

  • Professionalism in the Workplace
    • Teach students proper etiquette in the workplace including dress, posture, and table manners
    • Address values such as responsibility, work ethic, and punctuality
    • Discuss different communication skills necessary for relationship with coworkers and bosses
  • Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Workshop
    • Help students develop a better understanding of themselves in order to build self-confidence and lessen shyness (Intrapersonal Skills)
    • Teach communication skills for different groups of people including friends, family, classmates, teachers, and elders
    • Improve the students’ ability to resolve conflicts
  • Family Life Workshops
    • Teach Biblical values that will help prevent unwanted pregnancies after leaving Tuloy
    • Promote the personal benefits of abstinence
  • Self Direction Workshop
    • Allow students to recall goals and dreams they outlined in the Self-Discovery Workshop conducted June 2014
    • Allow students to measure progress they have made in their “adventures” and dreams for their future they developed in the Self-Discovery Workshop conducted June 2014
    • Discuss challenges they have encountered ways they have addressed them
    • Discuss specific ways they can continue to reach their goals and dreams for their future
  • Social Ethics Training
    • Emphasize the “Golden Rule” (treat others the way you want to be treated)
    • Teach and practice proper interaction with elders, teachers, bosses, and leaders
    • Teach what it means to be respectful to elders, family members, classmates, and coworkers
  • Preparing for a Job Interview
    • Discuss proper interview attire
    • Teach proper posture and body language including eye contact and appropriate mannerisms
    • Allow students to prepare answers for common interview questions
    • Encourage students to prepare for their interviews by researching the company and job description
    • Conduct mock interviews in partners and/or groups
  • Budgeting and Money Management
    • Teach the students the importance and the skill of basic budgeting skills
    • Provide the students with a “managed savings option” for their first two or three years on the job
    • Connect key concepts to four of the requirements of emotional maturity: self-awareness, self-direction, social competence, and resilience

Our next step is to research and collect material that we can put into these workshops. Then we will write out the framework for each workshop, determine the appropriate time to teach them, and then teach the workshops. Once the workshops are completed, we will evaluate their efficacy and determine how we can make them better. Unfortunately, I will not be present to see these workshops come to fruition since I have to return to the United States. However, we are looking for any materials, content, and/or knowledge regarding these workshops. So if you have any background in any of these areas, please feel free to contact me so you can help us out!

This weekend I will be going to Punta Fuego to do a bit of relaxing on the beach and then visit my friend’s flower farm. I’ll post pictures when I get back!

Dylan Eiger

More Interview Results and Summary of Self-Discovery Workshop

Hi everyone,

Here are a few updates I have from the interviews with the On The Job Training (OJT) students and graduates:

  • The past week I have been working to analyze the data using different statistical tests (Stat 102 finally coming in handy!).
  • We found statistically significant differences for the following information:
    • The level of comfort between those who live in the Tuloy Foundation and those who do not live in the Tuloy Foundation with those living in Tuloy being more comfortable. This is a great finding to reaffirm that the Tuloy foundation is providing quality residential halls for the students
    • The OJT’s and the graduates level of comfort with one’s coworkers. The graduates are more comfortable with their coworkers than the OJTs. This could be because the graduates have more experience in their jobs and comfort comes with time, but we cannot make this conclusion because the data was not a paired before/after ample.
    • We also performed test comparing sex (male vs. female) and location of high school equivalent (inside Tuloy vs. outside of Tuloy) but found no statistical differences. This means that one’s gender is not directly related to his/her success at the Tuloy Foundation. In addition, we know that the students who get their high school education from Tuloy are just as equipped to enter the work force as those students who receive their education from a public school.
  • In addition, here were some of the most common sentiments we found from the interviews:
    • Students lack knowledge of new equipment/methods and about conflict-resolution.
    • Students lack the ability to adjust to workplace/apply skills and lack English communication skills.
    • Students lack patience, self-confidence; they are shy and emotional.

Kylie and I are working on putting together an extensive report for the entire Tuloy community to read. As for the programs we will suggest, I anticipate them revolving around behavior in the workplace, self-confidence and emotional stability, and/or working/adjusting to new people.
I wanted to take this time to give you all a little more information about the self-discovery workshops. Each vocational technology course will go through our workshop which takes one day and runs from 8AM to 4PM. In the workshop we focus on the following areas:

  • What my life looks like today
  • What I want my life to look like 5 years from now
  • The difference between Intelligence Quotient and Emotional Quotient.
  • The different types of “intelligence”: Musical, Visual-Spatial, Verbal-Linguistic, Logical-Mathematical, Bodily-Kinesthetic, and Artistic.
  • Learning what we like about ourselves and what we dislike about ourselves and how we can improve as human beings.
  • Understanding the values we live by
  • Turning our challenges into adventures
  • The importance of giving back
  • Resilience and Teamwork

Throughout the session we incorporate short miniature lectures along with individual and team activities. All of the activities are discussion based in groups of about 7-9 students with one facilitator. We have run the workshop with the culinary/baking, automotive, and welding students so far and will work the with air conditioning/refrigeration students tomorrow. Here are a few pictures from our workshops!

Student presenting her team's artwork

Student presenting her team’s artwork

The student's artwork

The student’s artwork

IMG_1972[2]

Student's working as a team to build a 3D art project in 30 minutes.

Student’s working as a team to build a 3D art project in 30 minutes.

Students working in their groups

Students working in their groups

Some students performing their team cheers!

Some students performing their team cheers!

Me and the other facilitators of the Self-Discovery Workshops

Me and the other facilitators of the Self-Discovery Workshops

Last weekend I just stayed in Manila and did some present shopping for my friends back home. This weekend I will hopefully be visiting the history and art museums in downtown Manila. Let me know what questions you all have!

Tuloy, Adventure, and Culture Update

Hey everyone!

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, I’ve been very busy. I’ll try and walk you through what I have been up to lately.

TULOY

  • Kylie and I have almost finished working up the results of our interviews. We came across a few conclusions which we will implement into our programs that we propose to the orphanage. First off, in our findings, there was no difference in any of our results when comparing students who completed high school in Tuloy vs. those who completed high school outside of Tuloy (students can receive an education elsewhere and then choose to come to the Tuloy foundation for their vocational education). We found that students who live in Tuloy vare much happier with their living conditions than those who live outside of Tuloy. The biggest issues that students face in the workforce are lack of knowledge or technical skills related to their job, ability to adjust to the new work styles of their coworkers, and self confidence. As for the lack of knowledge or technical skill, that seems to be something that Kylie and I cannot personally change because that would involve improving the entire Tuloy curriculum (we will forward this finding on to the administration so they can look into the issue a bit more). As for the other two issues, Kylie and I are thinking about creating a workshop that teaches kids about inter and intrapersonal relationships. We hope that this will teach students to not only learn from, adjust to, and respect others, but also themselves. We want to teach students how to be flexible when working with new people while also being confident in their abilities and talents. More to come from the interviews soon.
  • I also began working on the aquaponics system here at the Tuloy Foundation (You can learn more about aquaponics here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquaponics). I had to plant, fertilize, and water different plants and vegetables. The aquaponics system is great for a few reasons: It provides fresh food and vegetables to the orphange, it recycles the water put into the system, and teaches the students about sustainability.
  • This week I started teaching basketball to about 20 of the students at the foundation. They are very very energetic but need to work on their skill. They told me that a lot of the time they are ready  to play, but they do not have a coach. As a result, the players are very disciplined and eager to learn. This week we are focusing on dribbling and passing. This clinic will go on for about 5 weeks.
  • Tomorrow we are starting a self-discovery workshop for the incoming vocational technology students – around the age of 16. This workshop will focus on the following topics
    • What does my life look like today?
    • What do I want my life to look like in five years?
    • Multiple Intelligences (Emotional Quotient vs. Intelligence Quotient)
    • Turing our challenges into adventures
    • The values I live by
    • Teamwork
  • The workshops will run from 8AM to 3PM and each vocational technology course (dress making, automotive, culinary, etc.) will have their own session. I, along with other volunteers, will present different topics of the workshops. The sessions are meant to be lecture based but also very interactive. For example, in the topics “What does my life look like today?” and “What do I want my life to look like in five years?” the students will be drawing pictures to answer these questions and then we will discuss their drawings. We hope that this workshop will teach them about core values, setting goals, and tackling new adventures. This is a great orientation to them to their life as a vocational technology student.

ADVENTURE

  • This past weekend I traveled to Baguio City which is about 7 hours north of Manila. It is very cool there, with the average temperature being about 75 degrees Fahrenheit. There, I visited sites like Mines View Park, Camp John Hay, La Trinidad for strawberry picking, and many others. I also ate delicious food like fried milk fish, chicken intestine, strawberry ice cream on a hamburger bun, and much more. Check out some of the pictures below.

Baguio City

Mines View Park

Mines View Park

President of the Philippines Summer Home

President of the Philippines Summer Home

Baguio Botanical Garden

Baguio Botanical Garden

 

Chicken intestine!

Chicken intestine!

Strawberry fields in La Trinidad

Strawberry fields in La Trinidad

 

 

CULTURE

  • Something that I’ve noticed here is the strong presence of religion. The overwhelming majority of the Philippines is Catholic. Many of the students ask me if I am Catholic and I am really struggling on how to respond. My mother is Catholic while my father is Jewish but neither of them raised me to follow any religion. As a matter of fact, I really had complete freedom to choose my religion as I grew up. While I don’t really associate myself with a religion, I tend to gravitate towards agnosticism which is the idea that there is no belief nor disbelief in deities and such information is unknown or unknowable.
  • Many of my peers that I talk to actually have no idea about religions other than Catholicism. In public schools, they only learn about Catholic history and never really about other religions. My peers are shocked to learn that there are people in the world who don’t believe that a god exists. It’s very interesting to engage myself in such a religious area growing up with little to no religion in my life.
  • It’s been great learning about new cultures and religions because it allows me to learn to accept other cultures and people more than I did before. It also teaches me how to be sensitive to people who choose to live their lives another way but also forces me to reconsider how I choose to live mine.

LOOKING FORWARD

  • I will continue with my basketball clinics and vocational technology workshops this week. This weekend I will be staying in Manilla to rest and probably do some shopping. In a few weeks I will begin teaching English too.

Sorry for the long post! So much has been going on. I hope that you all comment and ask me questions! Thanks.

Tuloy graduate interviews and a little bit of exploring

Hi Everyone!

Today we had our interviews with the students and graduates of the Tuloy Foundation. About 30 OJT (On the Job Training) students and 14 graduates came to the orphanage. OJT students are those who have completed their vocational education and currently live at the Tuloy Foundation, but they are now entering the work force. Many of them have started working, are currently being trained, or are in the interview process. The 14 graduates have already completed their OJT experience and are now completely separate from the Tuloy Foundation.

Our director, Connie Arboleda, Kylie, and I each conducted about 15 interviews. Kylie and I focused on the OJTs while Connie focused on the graduates. The interviews were broken up into six sections:

  • Section I: General Information
    • Name, sex, birthdate
    • Years spent at Tuloy, Highest level of education reached at Tuloy
    • Course taken at Tuloy (Automotive, Dress Making, Culinary Arts, Aircon Technology, etc.)
  • Section II: Living Conditions
    • Where the students are living
    • Whom the students are living with
    • The level of comfort within their residence
  • Section III: Job information
    • Company they work for
    • Main responsibilities at their job
  • Section IV: Job Interview
    • How comfortable the student felt during his or her job interview
    • Explain why they felt this way
    • List what skills, knowledge, or attitudes the Tuloy Foundation gave/failed to give the students to help prepare them for the job interview
  • Section V: Job Difficulty
    • How comfortable the student feels at completing his or her job
    • Explain why they felt this way
    • List what skills, knowledge, or attitudes the Tuloy Foundation gave/failed to give the students to help prepare them for their responsibilities at their job
  • Section VI: Relationship with Co-workers
    • How comfortable the student feels interacting with their co-workers at their job
    • Explain why they felt that way
    • List what skills, knowledge, or attitudes the Tuloy Foundation gave/failed to give the students to interact healthily with their co-workers

We will be analyzing the results of the interviews starting tomorrow and I will let you all know what we find out. Some of the responses to the interviews are in Tagalog or Taglish (hybrid between Tagalog and English) and we will need to translate those responses first. After a very quick look, it seems most people struggle with their interactions with their co-workers. But more about the results of these interviews will come after this week.

Once we figure out the major strengths and weaknesses of the Tuloy Foundation’s curricula, Kylie and I will work to create programs that continue the great work of the orphanage, but also address the areas where the foundation can improve.

The Filipino mens national football team is coming to the Tuloy Foundation on thursday to play Futsal with the kids. Being a huge football fan, this will be fun for me too!

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First few days at the Tuloy Foundation

Greetings from Manila,

Sorry I have not posted recently, it’s been a crazy three days. Aside from suffering through the jet lag and the intense humidity, being at the Tuloy Foundation has been an amazing experience so far.

My first day at the orphanage involved meeting the other volunteers who I will be working with. I am working directly with a student from the University of Richmond, and the other three volunteers come from Singapore and Alabang, Philippines. They are all around twenty years old so it is nice to have some students here to interact with that are my age. After meeting the volunteers, we were given a tour of the facilities by one of the students at the foundation. We were able to see the culinary school, the chapel, dormitories, football field (no, not american football), Aquaponics system, gymnasium, and administrative meeting rooms. We were introduced to all of the staff members here who were all extremely welcoming and grateful to have us help them out this summer.

Kylie and I began working on our main projects the second day at the Tuloy Foundation. Our main duties involve creating a general manual for future volunteers to help instruct them on how to create, organize and lead various educational clinics. In addition, come next week, we will be interviewing graduates of the Tuloy Foundation to assess their success after leaving and entering the work force. Once we interview them, Kylie and I will analyze the data and create educational programs that will hopefully teach current students how to handle the problems they will experience once they leave the orphanage. In our free time, we have been playing football and basketball with the students as well as learning more about Filipino Culture.

Here are some of my first impressions of the foundation:

  • The students are extremely well behaved and proper. They greet any visitors in english and tagalog and are very open to learning more about you and your background. They follow very strict rules and schedules and have an honest and burning passion for learning. They are also pretty good at football for such a young age.
  • The facilities are in great condition. I was not expecting to see very modern and state of the art building and equipment for the students, but Father Rocky, the founder of the Tuloy Foundation, believes that in order to receive the best education and opportunities, you should have the best facilities you can obtain. In fact, Father Rocky has told us that the Board of Trustee Members have suggested intentionally making the place look worse than it actually is in order to obtain more donations from benefactors. However, Father Rocky is very proud of these facilities and believes that just because it is an orphanage for street children does not mean the facilities need to be shoddy.
  • The staff members have so much knowledge to share. At the Tuloy Foundation, you are surrounded by adults who come from all walks of life whether that be business, science, religion, or are retired volunteers. Their unique backgrounds allow you to learn about the different perspectives of life and reflect on who you are and what you choose to do with your life.

The most amazing component of the foundation has been its strict adherence to it’s mission statement. Everything they do revolves around teaching the students to be independent, hard working, and successful members of society. It’s extremely admirable.

The Gymnasium at the Tuloy Foundation

The Gymnasium at the Tuloy Foundation

A portion of the aquaponics centers at the foundation.

A portion of the aquaponics centers at the foundation.

 

On the lighter more fun side, I’ve eaten a lot of great food! So far I have gotten to try lanzones, pig knuckles, pansit, traditional ramen, fresh mango, chicken adobo, white cheese ice cream, mango smoothies, and many other great dishes.

The weather here is a bit rough. We are entering the rainy season and it is about 90 degrees fahrenheit every day, but the real killer is the humidity.

Driving here is a scene I can’t even begin to explain. It is the most organized chaos you will ever see, it’s quite remarkable.

Tonight I went to a Ballet Recital at the Cultural Center of the Philippines to see Academy One preform their annual recital. Between 12-14 Tuloy Students were given scholarships to join this academy and we all came out to support them. It was a great night to see that these children are still able to  use their talent even after coming from such harsh backgrounds.

 

Fountain outside of the Cultural Center of the Philippines

Fountain outside of the Cultural Center of the Philippines

Performance stage inside the Cultural Center of the Philippines

Performance stage inside the Cultural Center of the Philippines

 

I will make sure to keep you all updated about my adventures!

Dylan Eiger

Welcome to the Philippines!

Hello from Manila!

I arrived in the Philippines late saturday night at around 23:30 and was greeted by my grandfather and grandmother. On Sunday, we drove around Parañaque to see the location of the Tuloy Foundation and to also visit some of the malls to pick up a few items.

Streets of Parañaque

Streets of Parañaque

Entrance to the Tuloy Foundation

Entrance to the Tuloy Foundation

Later that night, I had the opportunity to have dinner with member of my family that I have never met before including my uncle and three cousins:

Uncle Miko, my sister Sophie, me, and my three cousins.

Uncle Miko, my sister Sophie, me, and my three cousins.

Tomorrow I begin my service work at the Tuloy Foundation. My project director has this whole week scheduled for orientation so I can better understand the physical layout of the Tuloy foundation, how their program works, meet some of the students, etc.

I’ll post about my first day at the Tuloy Foundation once I get back!

 

 

Travel, travel, and more travel

Hey everyone!

I’m currently at a food court in Tokyo, Japan waiting for my final flight to the Philippines at 17:40. Here is what my day has looked like:

  • 5:00 – Wake up and go to the airport
  • 8:00 – Get through security and make it to my gate
  • 9:44 – Fly to Chicago International Airport
  • 11:00 – Land in Chicago
  • 11:05 – Purchase coffee from Starbucks
  • 11:06 – Awestruck that the sales tax in Chicago is 9.5%
  • 12:45 – Flight from Chicago to Tokyo
  • 15:00 – Served Lunch/Dinner on the plane?
  • 20:00 – Served Breakfast?… Not sure why it was served at 20:00 or if it was even breakfast but….
  • 16:30 – Land in Tokyo (Saturday May 24th)

I have never flown using Japan Airlines or ever flown for 13 hours straight. Here are a few pictures from the flight:

Dinner...? Miso soup, fruit, some lox type of salmon, bread, coleslaw, chicken and rice.

Dinner…? Miso soup, fruit, some lox type of salmon, bread, coleslaw, chicken and rice.

13 hours later and I'm finally in Tokyo!

13 hours later and I’m finally in Tokyo!

Not sure if this is breakfast, but.... Some noodle type dish, yogurt, fruit, and a side salad? Yeah I'm pretty confused right about now.

Not sure if this is breakfast, but…. Some noodle type dish, yogurt, fruit, and a side salad? Yeah I’m pretty confused right about now.

 

Finally made it to Tokyo!

Finally made it to Tokyo!

 

I will be arriving in Manila very late at night. The first day there, I will be exploring Parañaque and Manila with my grandparents and sister and will post about my experiences then!