Saturday, October 24, 2015

Manila Diary | Week Seven | Things Are Falling Into Place...

Pasig really is beautiful, especially the sunsets. I remember being very little when my Aunt revealed to me her love for sunsets. She told me that my grandfather kept a journal of all the sunsets he's ever seen. He would describe the shapes, the colors, and wrote down every thought that came to mind. It's one of my favorite ways to take a moment and reflect, on the life you are living, but to realize the every day beauty set right in front of you. 

Pasig is a city crowded with families, interweaving between alleys and riverbanks. People who struggle to make a living, but are no stranger to hospitality. The people we meet with every day are usually kind and caring and welcome us with a bright smile. In regards to work, we have reached a set schedule of places we go for each of us during the week. We have been building friendships with the women we teach as we teach them week after week. Along with teaching them about business, we usually find time to joke and laugh and speak what little Tagolog I know to them.

I packed my camera with me this week to take pictures of the places I go. All the centers are very different from one another, each with a different set of problems and personalities. Teaching people about money management (who are essentially in survival mode) has proven to be more difficult than I imagined. Teaching is about getting the right combination of reaching to their emotions and genuinely helping them understand the basic principles of financial planning and goal making. Financial planning will probably be what we teach most about.

Practically all of the clients we have are Mothers. Some have newborn children who clearly need their undivided attention. Some mothers have their parents in the hospital, struggling to cover the cost of medical bills, and some mothers are putting their kids through school, making sure that they have what they need every day. They all have their own story and come from different backgrounds. Yet, they are all here, together, and it is our job to help them in anyway we can. 

I taught a lesson this week about managing money, and ways to record where your money is going. One woman was asking questions during my lesson and asking for a specific way to keep track of her income. Not only was she listening, but trying to understand. She was so responsive and even replied with "I need to tell my friends about this!" It was so awesome to talk to her! I felt that boost in confidence when you have someone get excited about the things you teach them. It's that moment when things begin to click, is what helps make all the hard work worth the struggle. That's why are here, to help. Plus, it makes me all the more excited to see her next week.

Thanks for Reading!
Love, Nick

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