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2013 October • Philippines Peace Team Travel Log

Hello friends,

Joining the Friends Peace Teams to Bohol, Philippines from 16 to 28 October 2013 was a great experience. It was the first time I left home for a long time, the first time I left my kids at home with their grandmother, and the first time I visited Bohol and meet new friends that was so enjoyable.

Thank you to Friend Peace Teams who made all this happen! At first I was so scared about my

Nanik and Ninok standing in front of a church damaged by the earthquake. Ninok is on the right in the green shirt.

English, because I felt my English was not good enough. I said this at the first team building in Bohol and our friends in Bohol really helped me to overcome my language problem. They believed in me and gave me the opportunity to lead activities in each session. My confidence grew and I felt the language was not a big problem anymore. When team building finished, I read the manual and learned the activities that I wanted to bring. I made little notes so I didn’t forget. If I still felt I hadn’t mastered the material, I asked Valerie or Terry for help or to give me feedback. The results went well. I was confident when I led a session, even in English, with new friends and new activities.

Thanks to my friends on the team in Bohol (Valerie, Terry, Nanik and Ludwig), I really had fun and an amazing experience working together with all the team. Valerie is so quiet and motherly, a place to ask for activities that I don’t understand. Terry was so careful in setting the agenda and activities to ensure all ran smoothly. Nanik demonstrates so much self-confidence that I could learn from her. Ludwig’s energy and spirit was great. I hope I can have the energy and spirit that he had.

Bohol friends were amazing! Even though we had to practice and sometimes still felt small earthquakes, they still kept the spirit of the training strong from beginning to end. Even though I could see fear on their faces when there were more earthquakes, they still were able to smile and laugh together during training.

 

During the training we worked together with our friends from Bohol, through the gatherings, reflections and discussion as well as the light and livelies. I was increasingly amazed by the power of the heart of our Bohol friends. I heard lots of stories about violence and I was amazed that these friends were willing to tell their stories during the workshop. They were so open and trusting with everyone in the workshop. They talked about the violence they experienced that they were trying hard and struggling to forget and hoped it would never happen again. There were many tears during the workshop and lots of laughter as a refresher. For six days we practiced together. We became closer as brothers and sisters, because of our mutual trust and openness.

From Bohol I became more confident in what I can do. I learned new activities and how to create a schedule for each session with enough time for each activity. I learned to always prepare for the new material by reading the manual. I am more confident that I am now able and ready to lead workshops with new friends, new activities and with a new team.

Thank you to Friend Peace Teams!

Thank you to the Bohol Team, Valerie, Terry, Nanik and Ludwig!

Thank you to our friends in Bohol!

Thank you to our friends Peace Place Pati!

Thank you to my little family in Pati!

Love and Peace,

Ninok

[Translation by Nadine Hoover]