Day 05: We are so blessed that so many people played a huge part in making our team’s GCP trip a success. Dani Zamar, her family, and Silliman University have gone to a whole new level to make us feel at home here in the Philippines. Today we had the chance to tour SU and see, first hand, the programs/majors they offered. Almost every major in our group was seen and accounted for from nursing and physical therapy to business and performing arts. For lunch, Dani’s family invited us to her home for food, laughter, and singing. That night we attended a cultural show put on by Dani’s extremely talented mother and the Silliman music program (pictures to come) that was unlike anything I had ever seen. I think I can speak for everyone when I say the most memorable part happened at the end of the show as we were invited onto the stage. Rhonda presented a Shenandoah banner to Silliman in the honor of creating new bonds and friendships- from one SU to another.
Today we had the opportunity to experience even more Filipino education and ways of life. Half of us made bread and the other half worked in a daycare reading and playing with young children. The language barrier was a challenge at first, the children recognized very few English words. But amazingly this did not stop us from being able to connect with these 3 and 4 year olds, speaking the same language is only one form of communication. Today we used laughter, smiles, and play to relate to one another, this skill is irreplaceable.
We drove up a high mountain (a part of Silliman’s campus similar to Shenandoah’s Cool Springs campus) to plant trees symbolizing the birth and growth of our new connections made with this wonderful place. Afterwards we all took a break to discuss how the trip has influenced us to change our lives upon our return home. Here’s a brief summary of our thoughts: