The first community immersion is now over. One month stay in the community that one is not used to, was at first a real struggle. But then again, learning and adapting to the living conditions of an environment is an instinct that one has instilled in body, mind, and soul. In the beginning the impression I got upon inspection of the area we will be staying at, is that this will be a tough month. We were alarmed upon learning that there was no water source within the house where we were staying. We were to get water from a type of shallow well known in the visayan dialect as “tabay”, a couple of meters downhill passing through cornfields. We also learned that we were to take a bath at the “tabay” as well. At first it was difficult, but then we got accustomed to walking long distances and thus, a couple of meters downhill was a piece of cake.
The people within the barangay gave quite an impression on us. From the very beginning upon arrival giving us a warm welcome, to constant visits of the barangay captain and our neighbours at the house. Then afterwards several invitations to do some karaoke sessions, eating snacks or at times lunch that they have prepared in large amounts with several viands, playing volleyball, and even riding a horse were given to us. One organization in the community even moved their Christmas party to the morning of the day we were to leave just so we can be with them on the celebration. Indeed, the people in the barangay were one of a kind.
Despite the first impression of difficulty and doom that one will get upon a glance at our assigned area, it was a month that was lived through simple means of living that was at times tiring but filled with happiness and excitement. A month of stay and we or rather I learned that no matter how flashy or simple one’s life is, living it the right way, difficulties will be conquered.