Immersed in the Rural Philippines

Since arriving in the Philippines this past June 14th, Sarah Mascaro and Alison Loope have been living with Rose Andaya in Talaan, Sariaya in the province of Quezon, Philippines. Rose serves not only as their host but also their personal Tagalog language and Filipino culture tutor.  Learning the serene, simple life of the rural areas of the Philippines has been a fresh experience for Alison and Sarah.

With a focus in nutrition, Sarah studied and interned at Sariaya’s Rural Health Clinic.  She has travelled to 20 barangays (villages) throughout Sariaya, performing supervisory visits with the Public Health Director and local nutrition experts, midwives, and health workers.  During the month of September, Sarah participated in a nutrition workshop conducted by the Department of Health for all barangay nutrition scholars in Sariaya.  She also taught and co-facilitated a portion of the seminars.

Alison’s desire to work with impoverished children has been met by many opportunities to visit schools and learn from educators all around the Quezon province.  She spent her first two months in Sariaya tutoring a child with a learning disability at Talaan Elementary and  visiting Special Education classrooms and Alternative Learning Programs in the province.  Alison is currently teaching Kindergarten at Talaan Elementary each afternoon and tutoring several of her students each morning.

Currently, Sarah and Alison are travelling with friend and ministry partner, Rina Escosura, to Leyte (an island in the east of the country) for a short visit with her family.  The final two weeks of their mission will be spent in Olongapo City, Luzon where Sarah will train under the midwives at Mercy in Action and Alison will be volunteering at the Yokubari Foundation, an organization that works with neglected children. They will continue to focus on language learning amidst all their various opportunities and responsibilities.

By Alison Loope