Every Friday night, Casa students have a standing play date with neighborhood kids, and you can be sure that our diminutive friends don’t let us forget it! This past week, Steve and Lauren organized a special Friday night that included water balloons and ice pops for our neighbors. In the above picture, students are playing Drip Drip Drop with the children. The game is a version of Duck Duck Goose with a little more H2O - the goose gets drenched! Above, Steve chases Luis after getting a healthy dose of water on his head.
L’Arche Luau and Punla Palm Sunday Mass
Casa Bayanihan is in its second semester partnering with L’Arche Punla, and we had the pleasure of attending not one but two events at L’Arche this past week. On Wednesday, L’Arche hosted a daycare recognition day to celebrate the achievements of the members as their year comes to a close. Hawaii was the theme of the day, and of course, luau attire was encouraged! Amanda and Bea, students of Casa, danced with the assistants and core members and put on quite the show!
On Sunday, we celebrated Palm Sunday at L’Arche, and rather than leis, we brought palm branches. What made the day even more special was that representatives from Casa’s other praxis sites were invited to attend, making the morning a meeting of so much of the Casa Bayanihan community. Palm Sunday also coincided with L’Arche Punla’s 26th Anniversary, so the core members, assistants, and Amanda & Bea treated us to an interpretive dance of Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror.” It reflected all the hard work and dedication of the assistants and core members and showed us how Amanda and Bea were a part of the community. At the end of the day, the Casa Bayanihan students were able to perform L’Arche’s jubilee song and dance, but only with guidance and help from the core members!
It was a complete blessing to have two very full days in L’Arche this week! Maraming salamat to the core members, assistants, Fr. Roger, and Ate Let Let!
A joyous finale to an enthusiastic performance during a great daycare recognition day at L’Arche Punla! Casa students Amanda and Bea are dancing their hearts out on the far right. More pictures to come from two great events at L’Arche!
As evidenced by this blog, one of our most beloved communities is Calatagan, and Batch 5 was fortunate enough to return to this community this past weekend. What made our time in Calatagan even better was that our Filipino staff - Ate Fe, Ate Edz, Ate Jane, Kuya Edwin and Kuya Arnold - were able to join us, bringing together the Casa family in a beautiful halo-halo (mix mix!) in Calatagan. The ates especially had a wonderful time swimming and snorkeling, while the kuyas opted to go fishing. Everyone, students and staff alike, were able to play with the kids, talk to the nanays and tatays (mothers and fathers), and enjoy the beauty of the day!
The Bicol region was the spring break destination of choice for many of our students. They visited Sorsogon, Naga City and Ateneo de Naga University, the home school of our four Filipino students. Bea, Cecille, Karla, and Steve were generous enough to play host and allow their Casa batch mates to meet their families and visit their homes. In addition to getting to know the lives of the Naga students, there were waterfalls, waves, and sunsets galore, and it made for a marvelous five days to see the beauty outside of Manila! Many thanks to James for the great photos that he shared with us from his vacation.
The USF delegation saw a meeting of the two presidents of our host schools - Jett Villarin, SJ from Ateneo de Manila and Steve Privett, SJ on the side of the University of San Francisco! In celebration for the coming together of all of these people, we were so grateful to be able to share Mass in our beloved Dagani House with the warm and funny Fr. Jett. With Fr. Steve, Fr. Jett, AND Fr. Mark, the normal Jesuit to lay person ratio was a little bit different than its usual 1:19; we all loved it! After Mass, we had a delicious dinner of bistek Tagalog, and everyone, staff and students alike, relished the chance to not only share a final meal with all of the delegation but also to get to know Privett and the Jett a little better.
Thank you to Fr. Jett for joining us in Barangka and once again to the USF delegation for visiting us in the Philippines! Maraming maraming salamat po!