Sunday, March 23, 2014

Apocalypse Now Redux Part ....

I chaperoned the 9th graders on their overnight geography field trip. We went to the Lagunas area, a huge inland lagoon about 60 miles SE of Manila. The Splash Mountain Hotel provided our accommodations and each day different groups of students shared their time between the Makiling Forest Preserve, the town of Pagsanjan and the rural area of Magdalena. Students investigated each area relating to various concepts learned in geo class back at ISM. I went to the forest on day one, which was fabulous, old growth, primary tropical forest sprawling down the side of a dormant volcano. It is a watershed for the surrounding community and serves as the research center for various universities. The second day, I went on a recon mission up the river where Apocalypse Now was filmed - the scene when the crew ventured into the area where Marlon Brando had gone native. No way Vietnam was going to be open to filming back when the movie was made so much of it was done in the US friendly Philippines. Interesting how politics/history makes its impact on our world in so many unexpected pockets. Will take me a while to get all the photos and relating stories up but here is a start.

These are all from the Apocalypse Now Recon river trip.

Beginning of the mission. Mr. X ready to embark on the recon mission. Mr. Fellow in Orange, our local contact.

Buffalo?? Perhaps, perhaps....

Buffalo and accomplice.

Mr. Fellow in Orange taking us in ...

Going in!

What we do for the cause - full on recon...... 

Random local kid swimming - I think not. 

Brando territory.

Full on into it.

The "Waterfall"

International Day at ISM

I missed the elementary International Day as I had an overnight field trip. I returned just in time to meet up with the girls after school on Friday and take a few photos of them in their USian oufits. The flags only show half of those displayed and each represents our student body. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy Birthday Papa/Dad!

The girls wanted to go a bit more public with birthday wishes for their Papa. They are quite adept at working the whiteboard in my classroom so opted to use that as a medium to create a Happy Birthday message for their Papa.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Skooter Girl

I decided to get Emmerson a skooter for her birthday and allowed her to pick one out from the local sporting goods establishment. It has been difficult for us to get out and ride bikes and this is a much more manageable and doable option. Lots of kids have them and zip around so it is accepted in most public areas. Emmerson is quite adept already and can operate in some pretty tite spaces. Here is our skooter girl.

Emmerson and Kianna skooting around in the Fort. 

Working the break.

Managing the High Street crowds.

Hanging out on High Street.

Skooter girl! Ada in the background with a curious pose.

Chelsea Sucks

Chelsea is so lame, Emmerson and Ada could make the team - that's about all I got ... not much of a smackdown but had to include some sort of justification for allowing the girls to pose with these Philippino members of Chelsea.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Emmerson's Birthday

Emmerson turned nine the other day (more of the home party to come). I told my kids in class about this and they created a white board message for her. Emmerson responding with her thanks.

Krispy Kreme Excitement in the Fort

We received a Krispy Kreme certificate for some free goods from the Battle of the Bands promotions team. Whilst its popularity and power in the fried confections market in the States has waned, Krispy Kreme remains a popular item here in Manila and occupies some prime real estate - one address being in "the Fort", the swank, new neighborhood that has been built up around the area where my school has existed for quite a while (indeed, for years, it and the Japan and Brit schools were the only significant institutions in the Fort - land once owned and occupied by the US military). I still am on a Krispy Kreme ethical boycott - actually its more the fact that I have never eaten a KK donut and now see it as a streak if you will, and breaking it might result in certain things .... but the girls have no such dilemma to deal with so will gleefully eat the confections when gifted the opportunity. One of the promotions was for the customer to "create their own donut". I believed this to mean that one would be able to ask for different toppings and such to be included on their donut of choice. But to our surprise and delight it actually involved us donning KK official employee hats, going back into the production room and making a chocolate glazed, sprinkled donut. The following document our experience.

In the production room getting ready to glaze and sprinkle.

Sprinkle bin - Ada was not a big fan of the gloves.

Sprinkling - for those who could not figure that out.

Ada, maxing out the surface space.

Surface space maxed.

Ada showing Emmerson how to maximize surface space.

Skills ... not quite sure how Alicia got in on all of this.

Manila Fire

I was doing some work in the spare room Thursday afternoon and realized it looked quite hazy out. Upon inspection, saw quite a conflagration down near the river. From my vantage point it appeared to be either the train station or market area under the train station that was on fire. It ended up being neither - there is a powerplant tucked away in that area and it had caught fire.