Thursday, April 14, 2011

Allison's visit to HCBN :)

Back in January, when David Gates came for a visit, he had talked to Allison about visiting the Filipino 'Hope' Channel down in Iloilo. He's Coming Broadcasting Network (HCBN) is a faith-based organization. The people who keep the station running are all extremely dedicated, unpaid volunteers who only receive on the job training. David contacted the head of the station, Boyz, and told him to set up a time when Allison could come and visit. Right away, Boyz emailed back and after hearing about Allison's education and previous work history asked if she would be interested in teaching video editing to the volunteers. Though Allison had never planned to be a teacher, she figured if she could use her talents and education to help further God's work in any way she should be open to whatever challenge came her way.
We were all wearing green, so it
was a photo op. lol.
So on March 21st, Allison said goodbye to Sam and the rest of the missionaries and caught a shuttle to Puerto. The next day she caught a flight to Iloilo City, Iloilo and from there the work began. Everyday she held a training seminar about video editing and observed the day to day activities of the volunteers. Never in her life had she seen such dedicated volunteers. They worked from sun up to sun down with a smile on their face. You can just see in every fiber of their being that they love their job, they love their fellow volunteers, and they love the Master that they serve. It was so inspiring to be amongst such amazing young people (and by young we mean older than Allison was also excited because they gave her editing projects that she could work on while she was there. She really enjoyed being able to feel like part of the team for a couple weeks.
The HCBN compound is quite small, but every area is used to its full extent. Cooking/Eating was always quite the adventure. They use coal burning stoves to cook, but the stoves were on the ground level of the compound and then you had to walk up these steps to get to the "kitchen" area where the food was prepared, served, and eaten. One of the volunteers, Weng, would say, "When its my day to cook, I don't have to worry about exercising that morning. Because I get enough exercise running back and forth from the kitchen to the stove." The volunteers ate every meal together, like any good family should.

The studio and editing room are located right next to the kitchen. Allison was very impressed when she saw the HCBN studio. It almost looked better than the News studio she worked in back in Green Bay. All the training seminars were done in the studio. So she spent a lot of time there. The editing room was complete with 2 iMacs and 3 PCs, all of which had been donated by generous viewers.

Another interesting part, was the Prayer room. This room was one of her favorites. It served as an office by day, where most of the programming and paper work is done. But as the sun went down and the day drew to a close, up went the mosquito tents and the mattresses and TADA! The office suddenly became the girls' sleeping quarters.

Welcome to my Humble Abode.

The Sunday before Allison left, the volunteers decided to do something fun for her last day. We all caught a boat to Guimaras island. Allison was very excited to do something out of the ordinary. Upon arriving, she learned that Guimaras island is well-known for its agricultural crops, particularly mangoes. The Guimaras Island is famous for producing the sweetest mangoes in the world; mangos that are reportedly served at the White House and Buckingham Palace. 
When we first arrived, Lyn-lyn asked Allison (in her Filipino accent) "Have you ever had Fish-pa?" Allison couldn't quite understand her, so she put the word fish and pa (which in Tagalog usually means More) together and thought she was asking if she wanted more fish. So Allison answered her saying, "No, but its ok. I'm a vegetarian." Lyn-lyn gave her a confusing look and replied, "That doesn't matter, you can still have Fish-pa" Allison was confused for awhile after can I still eat fish if I'm a vegetarian?? We finally arrived at this house where there was a little pond of fish. "Here" said Lyn-lyn "you stick you feet in here and the fish will eat the dead skin off of your feet. Its a Fish-pa" "OH! You're saying Fish-SPA! I get it now" Allison replied in embarrassment. It was really cool though. The fish would come right up to you feet and eat all the dead skin. It tickled a little bit, but it was like a free pedicure (minus the painting of the nails, of course)
Then we hired a Jeepney, to take us to the "most expensive beach house", or so the volunteers called it. When we arrived it was merely a gorgeous, empty beach that no one else knew about. First we had a small picnic lunch on the beach (with some AMAZING Guimaras mangos! Yum!) Then we spent the rest of the day chilling. It was a beautiful day to just swim and lay out on the beach. 

Allison really enjoyed her stay in Iloilo. She really hoped that the volunteers were able to learn as much from her as she had learned from them. Upon leaving, there was the ever-budding question, "Will you come back someday?" Hmm...only time will tell...:)

~Me OR Her


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