Saturday, October 26, 2013

Camp Benjamin - Day at the Farm

It is a wonderful blessing that we came to know about Optimal Academy, soon after we came back to Manila, last May 2013.  We did not doubt that this will be Kevin's new second home, and that he will have an enriching and fulfilling teenage life with them.

Kevin had plenty of opportunities to join outdoor recreations and educational activities since then. Like the class field trip, for instance. The out-of-town field trip was held at Camp Benjamin in Alfonso, Cavite.  This camp offer teambuilding activities for corporate and school functions.  They also have facilities for overnight events, an in-house coffee shop/café and pool. Instructors joined us throughout the day to assist in the teambuilding activities.

Here are a few pictures of Kevin's class activities for the day tour...

First stop was tomato planting.  The in-house instructors demonstrated the proper measurement and premixing of soils and fertilizers.  The children proceeded to follow the same, assisted by adults, scooped a portion of the soil premix into their pots. This was followed by the tomato plant and finishing it off with a water shower.

Kids get to take home their plants
For the morning snack, the children get to experience a cooking and food preparation challenge ala Master Chef :-)   The staff provided home-grown ingredients and a menu that the team of children and parents can follow.

Cooking and Food Preparation Challenge:
Veggie Burger
Squash Fritters
Pink Lime Cooler (Talbos ng Kamote extract with Kalamansi)

Taking his turn to fry the fritters

Gently turning over the patties
The team's final presentation.
Incidentally, this ended as the morning snack.

The Bamboo Bowling was a hit! We had to transfer in-doors due to the slight drizzle.

More fun games and team events...

Team Frisbee Challenge

Time for the hoops!

Kevin's first experience for a Boodle Lunch

After our fill of lunch, we prepared to visit the farm...
Harvesting peanuts at the organic farm

Kevin harvested a handful of peanuts

And finally, cooling down to refresh after a day's work and play! Kevin and Dad were the first to take the dip while I satisfy my caffeine fix at the café.

It is great to be back home! Kevin is now able to join a school with boys and girls of his age group especially now that he is a teenager already.  We feel so blessed to find this school where Kevin is in an environment where children genuinely care and support one another and the belief that every child can improve even if a little bit more, day by day, is championed.
At one point, I look at the children playing... they were all so happy, they cheer for each other and they are cloaked with simplicity and selflessness. I can only say to myself, "this is how truly beautiful people are like."

Monday, October 14, 2013

Plant a Tree Today for a Greener Tomorrow

It has been five months after we settled back home and its time to start updating my blog once again. Last September, we participated in the Tree Planting activity of our company for the first time. This has been an annual event sponsored by the plant in partnership with Haribon Foundation and this is being done several years now. I learned that the plant already contributed at least 16,000 trees from the tree planting activities that benefited municipalities in Laguna and Rizal. This year, the chosen site for the tree planting was at the Barangay Casile in Cabuyao. The descent to the tree planting site was quite an adventure! Due to the monsoon rains several days earlier, the 20-minute hike over muddy earth proved to be a test of stamina and agility. Our kids joined the tree planting and I am proud that they did not have a single complaint during our hike.

We were able to plant close to twenty trees that morning. Although we went home sweaty, a bit muddy and with strained muscles, it was nevertheless a worthwhile experience especially for the kids to be able to take part in an activity that helps save Mother Earth, in our own small way!