Wednesday we packed up for our stay at the Nipa hut style staff house in Janiuay.  It is a traditional bamboo house that we warmly refer to as home for the remainder of the weekdays.  This part of the immersion promotes individual skills such as cooking and cleaning for many of the students have not lived on their own for very long, or at all.  The cooking is also done over hot coals outside which is the way that many people in this area live.  The educators want their students to learn how to live without all the amenities that we sometimes take for granted.  We have also acquired a new appreciation for these things such as a hot water from a shower head rather than cold stuff from a bucket.

The staff house in Janiuay

Our 4th year companions cooked many traditional Philippine dishes for us throughout the week.  One traditional dish, that we tried, happily purchased by our clinical instructor was bolut.  This is a 17day fertilized egg, boiled to perfection, with the chick still inside.  It was interesting.  The next night we decided to cook a traditional Canadian one for them, or as close to it as possible.  Our garlic mashed potatoes, chicken, salad, and make-shift moose poop (also known as haystacks) were a hit!

Leah about to taste the Bolut yolk

Cooking our Canadian meal! 

To conclude our first week in the community we participated in a specific type of post conference called ARAS (Action Reflection Action Session).  Within this session we reflected on our community experience in the Rural Health Center and with the  Ati community discussing personal thoughts and feelings as well as critical analysis of certain events.  ARAS promotes collegiality and teamwork and brought all of us Canadians, and Paulinians closer not only as duty mates but also as friends.