It's a wrap. For now only :)

Time flies. It's true.
And while waiting for our plane to celebrate the succesfull completion of our first program 'Growing Up' at yet another beautiful island of the Phillipines, Marieke and I conclude we are proud.

Proud because we did it!

After weeks of preparation, five weeks of meetings, yesterday we finish the last official day of the program. In two weeks we have one last meeting, but no more new topics to teach though, it's just a follow-up. The girls so often asked why we only have five meetings, so we decided to create meeting number six. Why not :)

This week is interesting. With one group of constant chatting teenage girls and one group of non communicating shy girls, our teaching skills are put to the test. For me, the latter is more difficult. Asking as many questions as possible, but getting nothing more than a stare in return.. That's just depressing. No one who's willing to share their thoughts or not even wanting to read an assignment out load. I feel desperate really.
Finally, when at the end of the meeting we hand out beautifully, customized certificates, this group cheers up. The girls are genuinely happy. They are grateful and seem to look forward to another meeting. Thankheavens.

The chatty group is a whole other challenge. Two girls are obviously having a lot to talk about together; it's a never-ending disturbance this couple. Every other minute we need to interrupt our class to ask them to be quiet. We have a real laid back ambiance in classroom. No tables or chairs, we sit on the floor on pillows and carpet. It's cozy and comfortable. We end up commanding one of the girls to sit apart from her bff. This kinda helps, but since we have such a relaxed setting it's hard to keep them really separate. Luckily the humiliation to be set apart is apparently reason enough to hush, mission succeeded.

After we advice the girls about family planning (Philippino style in a nutshell: study first, find a job, a husband and not earlier than from thát moment start to think about sex), we treat the girls on some snacks.
'Healthy snacks' of course. Mango juice and homemade chocolate rice with bananas. With their certificate proudly stored away in their notebooks, the girls enjoy this last moment in our classroom.

Marieke and I are trying to find a way to maintain the questionbox at Papaya Academy. The girls eagerly use it and it would be shame to leave all their future questions unanswered. We're not yet sure about the how's and where's.

Meeting six will be all about bonding (a word the girls use a lot when they talk about friendship). Opportunity to ask any last face to face questions, sharing stories and some girls asked if they could do a dance performance. How cute!
I believe we're all looking forward to this extra meeting. We actually indeed really bond with these 41 girls. That's a great feeling!


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