June 17th: Swiss Emmaus School, 9th Standard

Happy 30th Anniversary mom and dad! Today we went back to the school after breakfast and this time spent time with the students in the 9th standard. After we introduced ourselves, we asked the students to tell is their names and their hobbies, and most of them decided to tell us their career aspirations as well. These students spoke a little louder than the 10th grade, but it’s still a little hard for us to understand everything they say. Still, we were able to communicate with each other well enough. A lot of the students said they wanted to be software or aeronautical engineers, and there were also a couple aspiring doctors. In our talks with some of the young doctors here we found that being a doctor is not nearly as lucrative here as it is in the States and Canada, and as such I don’t think as many students are pushed in that direction as you might find in Canada. Mario even told me that he got paid more when he was working and studying in Australia many years ago than he does now. Anyway, after we went through introductions, we got to hangman. That was fun and helped break the ice more, and then their teacher came in and said that we cold go outside for some games, and the students all asked me and Ajay to please come out and play with them. There is a large dirt field with a couple of cows tied around the outside beside the school. As soon as we got out there, it was segregated into boys and girls, which probably would happen in Canada as well. The boys first played a bit of cricket but then moved to soccer, and Ajay and I played on opposite teams. That was fun, but then an errant ball I was chasing landed right in a fresh cow patty. Gross. I tried rolling some of the poo off but that didn’t help too much so I figured I might as well just kick it far away from me. Not the smartest idea. Though I did kick a clean part of the ball (I think), the poo on the rest of the ball decided to spray on my shoes and new green khakis (which were about the same colour). I went back to the room to change my pants and clean off my shoes and when I returned the boys had started playing cricket. Not really my bag, so I joined the girls in dodgeball. That was fun though quite the workout in itself. After that I played a little cricket, managing to get an out while fielding and hit a single while batting before the equivalent of striking out. That cricket bat is heavy. I saw the girls were playing Dog and the Bone, one of my favourite games, so Ajay and I decided to play with them too and we all had a lot of fun. For those unfamiliar with the game, the rules are somewhat like the ones explained here. After that the kids went home but asked us to return soon, and we went back to have lunch, quite tired, sweaty and dehydrated after a morning out in the hot Palamaner sun.

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