Hey everyone! My last post on my time spent with Child Hope was full of lots of great info and lots of text so I thought I would throw in a picture-centric post to change things up a bit! I still have a lot to share details wise…but for now I’ll leave you with a picture recap of my last few days!
Sunday we had a semi-free day and one of the girls and I went gift shopping for our families at a market that’s famous for its fresh water pearls…hint hint for the women in my family 🙂
Then on Monday we had a full day of lectures on the college campus we are staying near. One about Filippino history, one about poverty, and one about Filippino culture and traits (which I will be talking more about this weekend!). That night we had the best meal I’ve had on the ENTIRE trip. Most of the food we eat here is fast food unfortunately and nothing is freshly made…so having a meal that was entirely made of fresh ingredients and that tasted delicious was awesome! Also, it was my first time having lobster sashimi! No one else liked it so I got the WHOLE lobster to myself! They even came out to show me the lobster they would be using before they prepared it! So cool.
Tuesday and Wednesday we toured hospitals in Manila. One private, St. Lukes, and one public. St. Lukes is an internationally renowned hospital known as a hotspot for medical tourism. It is incredibly expensive and state of the art and serves mostly foreigners who come here because it is cheaper than their own countries medical procedures. Almost no local Filippino’s go there however because it is so expensive by the country’s standards and because there is no health insurance here, people simply can’t afford it.
In great contrast with St. Lukes, we visited Philippines General Hospital, the biggest public (or government) owned hospital in the Philippines. Even though the building and amenities weren’t as modern, the building wasn’t air-conditioned, and we were allowed to walk through the open air wards without masks or special clothing, this place looked like a REAL hospital instead of a hotel and spa like St. Lukes. It was busy, teeming with people, and the staff was actually going around and attending to the hundreds of patients everywhere. Another good thing is that this hospital serves all socioeconomic groups and even has charity wards that treat people for absolutely no money. For the severe lack of funds they have, PGH has some of the country’s top doctors and does an amazing job with patient care. One thing that surprised me however were the huge difference in health and safety standards that PGH had in comparison with St. Lukes and American hospitals. No real sterile environments, no restrictions on entering patient wards, and such close proximity between patients. I guess lack of space and resources sometimes causes a lessening of precautionary measures.
Very cool to see.
Tomorrow I am headed to prison. Got in to some trouble here and I’m being taken to New Bibilid Prison south of Manila…
Just kidding of course! But I am in fact going to tour the prison. We will then meet with inmates and have lunch with them in the Maximum Security ward. Should be interesting and truly a once in a lifetime experience!
Talk you soon!