Where we have visited........ where we would like to visit, whether in this realm or another.

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There are some comedians that seem to swear for the sake of it, their material is really funny without the use of the vile language, I don't know why they use it, perhaps some adults only think it fit for adults if it's got swearing in....... don't know. Some swear and it's not offensive as you say, don't know why that is, must be something to do with their delivery. Ross and I watched the Crankies a long while back and they were really funny, just innocent humor, but that was for tv, they are probably very different on stage.

I did not realise that WH was a rerun, never noticed it one before. I haven't a clue how it ends up, nice really as it's all fresh to me. I don't know how to feel about Heathcliff, I really like him one minute and then he is horrid to Kathy and I don't.
It might not be a re-run, possibly a new production, I'm not sure. It's a long time since I saw it.

It sounds like they have the Heathcliff character about right if that's the way you feel about him!
So that they are fairly close together, I'll post another Philippines journal entry here.
It's not as humorous as the first but I hope it gives some impression of what we were working with.

From Mindanao

I suppose it was just another of those bizarre snapshot moments that have marked our progress through the Philippines in the past three weeks or so. There we were slithering down a steep, deep-rutted, muddy track through the banana and palm tree forest in a pick-up truck with a Filipino priest, all of us singing along to a Beatles CD!

The day had started with farewells to our friends in Cebu and the short flight to Mindanao. There we were met by another friend, the young priest we had met a year previously in the UK. A tight schedule had been arranged for us so our exchange of greetings had to be squeezed in with a rough briefing on our way in the truck to our first appointment.

For most of this trip we have not known exactly what to expect at any of our visits and today’s was no exception. The City Government-controlled centre for minors was located in the grounds of the local hospital. We were ushered through rough barbed-wire gates into a bare earth compound, maybe the size of a football pitch, surrounded by a high barbed-wire fence. Along one side there was a low concrete building with small, barred, unglazed windows. In the far corner, under a makeshift roof but otherwise open, was a tap on a stand-pipe and a smoke-blackened pot on a small wood fire on which we guessed they were cooking lunch.

Inside the building were three bare concrete rooms, each equally dark and depressing and in one were a couple of beds – far too few for the number of boys who appeared to be detained here. In another room two or three boys were sitting on the concrete floor watching a TV.

At the far end of the compound, in a ramshackle collection of huts, sat two elderly people. We learned that they had been taken from where they were living on the streets of the city and placed here. We thought that there situation here, apart from being inappropriate, was probably no better than they had left behind.

In another building to our horror we found a young girl, sitting on the bare concrete floor of a tiny cell, measuring perhaps 3’x6’ and containing absolutely nothing. The barred door at the other end of the cell was open but the girl sat staring blankly out through the wall of bars where we stood. She gave a weak smile but could make very little response when we spoke to her. On enquiry we learned that she was 17, mentally ill (“crazy”, they said) and pregnant. She was placed here by social workers who apparently had nowhere else to put her.

We found it hard to comprehend the poverty of resources which had resulted in the chaotic and seemingly random use of this already woefully inadequate facility.

We determined that there were 27 boys, that the youngest two were just 9 years old and most were under 18 although one was 24. We were told that his case was still on-going from when he was 13 and he had therefore been detained for 11 years without being convicted of any crime! All who are under 15 are being detained in blatant disregard of the law.

Our interview with one member of staff did nothing to alter this dismal and depressing picture. We learned that he had been dismissed because he refused to go along with the corrupt practices in the engineering department where he had worked and that his placement at this centre was a punishment. He had received no training other than a day seminar and was totally unprepared to work in this setting. It was painfully obvious that the sole object was that of containment.

There is soon to be a new building on another site to replace this one and the staff suggested that this would make things better. As long as the present ethos and lack of commitment to bring about change continue it is hard to see that the move will make the slightest difference.
Unless you see these things first hand or read what a friend has written it does not have the same impact. What you have written paints a very good image of what is going on, and it dismal to put it mildly.
You really do have to see it, and hear and smell it!
I'll try to write some more of the experiences sometime. Unfortunately (perhaps?) I don't have photos of the worst places as we were not allowed to take any and I didn't want my camera confiscated. We had to tread a bit carefully as it was since we were in the country on tourist visas whilst actually doing research. I had a few anxious moments when we got talked into doing a local radio broadcast about the state of the law and conditions in the penal system. Clearly we slanted it about right since we are still here to tell the tale!
You do have to be careful with countries like that, look at the poor plane spotters and all the grief they get, so treading carefully is a must or you could end up in prison for decades.

I watched a programme about jails in India, in a certain part that is, not all jails in India are like it, where they are feed by the monks, the male population commit crimes to get put in jail for the good food. What they served up was better than most Indian restaurants in the UK, it look delicious, and I'm picky.
Wuthering Heights continuation.

They all seem pretty mixed up so far except for the father who was a nice man, Kathy does not seem to know what she wants and is a tease to Heathcliff. It started of quite scary, digging up graves an all, but soon turned around and told the audience what was going on.

I looking forward to tonights half, I do like it when they don't drag things out over weeks and weeks.
Yes it's much better like that, isn't it.
I have been known to record a two-part drama and then watch it straight through, especially if it's on a commercial channel as you can fast-forward through the adverts.
That is a good idea, Sophie used to do that when we had sky, we don't any longer, it was much nicer that way.

We had a Harry Potter day once and watched all the films that were out on DVD back to back, it was fun, though I much prefer the first films, the later ones became to special effects driven for my taste.
With your airline background you'll appreciate this. It's the last of the Philippines pieces I have for now. It just shows that our departure was along the same lines as the rest of the trip had been! I wrote it to a group of friends who had been following the journey and were very much my support group. They listened patiently and made "ahhhh" noises in all the right places when I felt in need of a rant or a whinge.

...yours truly is back on 'terra Britanica' after an interesting trip back yesterday/today. Due to fly out of Butuan in the morning, the weather closed in - torrential tropical rain and total cloud cover so the airline couldn't get anything in there. There's no techie-stuff at Butuan; if you can't see the runway from up topsides you don't come down to look for it! With an international flight to pick up at Manila we needed to DO SOMETHING so we took a three-and-a-half hour drive in the pick-up to Cagayan de Oro in the hope that things would be good enough there. Imagine our relief when we saw a Cebu Pacific plane land there shortly after our arrival. Dear old Cebu Pacific were good enough to do a rapid turn-around and take off again with only a couple of dozen people on board and they got us to Manila domestic in about an hour and a half. A short but no less frantic taxi-ride to the international terminal and we were able to scrape onto our original flight to Hong-Kong, en route for London! Phew!
I can appreciate it, and understand your relief on boarding the flight LHR bound. I have had my share of drama onboard an aircraft. I have even been in an emergency evacuation in India.

I don't know what tech stuff planes now have but fog would make it impossible for the plane to land in my day and we would sometimes end up landing in the wrong place. Some of the passengers would get very cross and some would take it in their stride, I always think any landing, where ever it is is a good one!
I'll go with that! If you've landed, you're ok.
After one foggy landing the captain said, "Ok, that's the easy bit done, an automated instrument landing. Now for the hard part, finding the gate!"


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