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MY EXPERIENCE AT PREDA AS AN INTERN

August 7, 2014 · 

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MY EXPERIENCE AT PREDA AS INTERN.
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Nicholas.

July 2014
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I arrived at Preda Main at 8 o’clock and the first meeting started at around nine. The Preda building made a good and clean impression and the staff seemed very friendly and greeted me while I was waiting. The meeting discussed what progress they had made in the last week, regarding legal cases of legal aid they provide and help and contact they had with the parents of the boys and girls of their homes. They then went on with the schedule for the next week, talking about what and how they would do things. The meeting ended with a motivational speech and prayers.

JOINING THE   CHILD PROTECTION SEMINAR  
A volunteer who happened to stay the same time as I did and I then joined together for a more detailed introduction to what Preda does, how they do it and what they want to achieve. We then proceeded to visit a kindergarten where we set up a puppet show and and some Preda workers put on a funny and energetic show with puppets that explained the principals of abuse in a soft and strict but also enjoyable and funny way to the children, who were happily watching with their parents. This puppet shows purpose was to prevent and teach about abuse in a way that would make it fun and interesting for the kids, which seemed to have worked. They then had a small lunch where we were offered pizza and soft drinks and handed out comics to the parents about abuse, which they could read with their children to bring the matter even closer to them in a fun way.

I thought the puppet show and the comic were put together very nicely and I think that teaching about an important matter like abuse in young age is very beneficial and useful, especially if it is brought over in a way that the child enjoys learning about it. At the end of the day I was very impressed with the good show that was put on for the kids and had a lot of fun watching the puppet show but also actually seeing how a kindergarten in the Philippines looks like and what they do.

PLANTING COCONUT WITH THE AETA PEOPLE .
The next morning I arrived at Preda at 6:30 in the morning because we were going to visit an Aeta village to bring and help plant coconut trees. We got in the jeepney with some 200 sprouted coconuts and stopped in the Aeta village in a mountainous area. Unfortunately the jeep could not make it up the mountain due to the heavy rain and the therefore very muddy and slippery ground so we unloaded the saplings in front of the chiefs house. We then proceeded to carry them up the mountain by foot, being guided by two Aeta villagers who showed us where and how to plant the coconuts. Unlike I expected the Aetas did not have fields in the mountains, they just planted them in more or less random free spots in the wilderness. We walked in the heavy rain for about half an hour, climbing up and down steep slippery hills and crossing rivers until we planted the first trees. The view from the top of that hill, overlooking rivers and other Mountains and parts of jungles was definitely a great and unforgettable moment for me.

The Aetas might have thought the planting of the trees might seem like work, but with a view like that and an adventurous path to the planting spot the actual digging of holes and planting did not seem like work to me at all. Unfortunately we were all soaking wet and muddy from crossing the rivers and climbing through the hills, but the scenery and the experiences of the new culture made all of that forgotten. As a thank you the chiefs family invited us to a lunch in their two-roomed home and they served chicken tinola with rice. Eating with the Aetas and seeing the villages kids trying to hide from us and laughing with us was another unforgettable experience of that day. It felt like I was in a live National Geographic documentary only that I was seeing and actually helping them in real life. After the food was finished, we got back to planting in the rain and we finished planting half of the 200 trees at around five. We left them to plant the rest of the trees and headed home after a wet but also very exciting and informative day.  to be continued

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