Category Archives: Philippines International Trip

The Odyssey of the Crew 2 – Hunt for the Legendary Dragons

This story is an expanded version of one that was produced on the spot by one of the rovers. It has many details which, while funny to the average reader, may break us out into laughter. Yes it’s an embellishment.

ONCE UPON A TIME,

A group of young Rovers heard tale of the legendary Dragons that could grant them three wishes. They sat a gasp in their chairs, realizing that they could finally find the silver bullets to their problems. One of them stood forth and announced that the rovers should form a search party, for he “never fails”.

So off they trekked, leaving behind family and friends on the stroke of Christmas. They traveled over ocean and seas, with only the guidance of a wise old mentor. He claimed to have prior been to this far off land, but he had traveled to many lands. The crew had to trust that he knew which land was the right one.

After finally arriving in the distant land, the locals greeted them with live music, food, more food and much happiness. The Mayor even gave them his personal chariot in aid for the search. The rovers started in a territory that has suffered much flooding, having known that the dragons were mischievous and fans of water. The crew took shelter in homes of the locals. Two of the rovers were visited by the first messenger of the dragons; the mighty mallard duck. They were chased around the humble abode, warned not to search any further. After a daring escape by swinging to the rafters, the two rovers made their plight known to the others. The crew knew that they were on the right track, but began to realize what toll the search may take on them. Many had gone with little to no sleep for days on end, and sickness began to creep into the ranks.

How will the adventure finish? Will our heroes achieve their goal of three magical wishes?

My lessons from the Philippines

Five months.  That’s how long it’s been since the trip. It fells like yesterday.
Memories will quickly fade if not cycled on. So this, in no particular order,  is what I learned on the trip.

  • The human body can survive off of average four hours of sleep over a week.  And thrive.
  • When traveling to a foreign country that has limited cellphone coverage (or your phones frequencies don’t work in) there are other forms of communication.
    • Paper. Seriously. At one point in the trip, the day’s schedule would change so much from the original printed schedule that we didn’t trust it. Ok, I lied. Every day ended up like that. At home, we could all just text each other, update the Google doc, or email each other. No such luck in the Philippines. Ended up using the most ancient system that still works (besides speech). A small group of us would plan the next day based on all the new factors and we would post hand written schedules in each dorm or house. The solution was almost too simple that we overlooked it for too long. So long as everyone knew to expect it, handwritten paper works.
    • Buy a few handheld radios once you get there. Each country has their own set of frequencies and rules on radios, so don’t bring ones from yours expecting them to work. We didn’t go this route, but a half dozen radios wouldn’t have gone amiss.  However, having not used them, I’m not sure if they would have become a distraction though. There’s something about radios that gives a free license to talk way into them, for everyone to listen to you. Used correctly and they will allow dissemination of information down a chain. Used wrong and they just turn into a social distraction.

See the rest

Meet the Mayor

I’m finally going to be loading some pictures, videos and stories from our international trip to the Philippines

When we touched down in the Philippines, we were greeted at the airport but our good friend Mar Cruz.

He had brought a surprise along with him. The Mayor of Parañaque’s had donated his bus to pick us up. Parañaque is to Manila what Richmond is to Vancouver.

All our bags went into one vehicle, and we all jumped into the bus. As we pulled out, we found out that we had more surprises in store for us.

What that video didn’t show was the second one escorting behind us.

So where was our first stop? Continue reading