September 7, 2003 - Personal Web Page: Peace Corps Volunteer Lane Ogawa serves in the Philippines

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Philippines: Peace Corps Philippines: The Peace Corps in the Philippines: September 7, 2003 - Personal Web Page: Peace Corps Volunteer Lane Ogawa serves in the Philippines

By Admin1 (admin) on Sunday, September 07, 2003 - 5:39 am: Edit Post

Peace Corps Volunteer Lane Ogawa serves in the Philippines

Peace Corps Volunteer Lane Ogawa serves in the Philippines


My name is Lane Ogawa. I will be serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines from January 2003-April 2005. I will be working in a program called Business Advising for Youth Development. This web page will be one way to keep in communication with family, friends and partner schools while serving in the Philippines.

Here's a link to learn more about the Peace Corps:

Here's a map and link to some info about the Philippines.

Click on a page to see some pictures and read about my experience.

Last Updated-August 31 2003

<----Greetings from Carigara, Leyte! I will be living and working here until April 2005. (Tacloban is the capital of Leyte, Carigara is a town in the middle of the northern coast)

See other volunteers from group 261:


I am partnered with Moanalua Middle School of Honolulu, Hawaii in the World Wise School Program. Click here for a look at our project with Holy Cross College of Carigara and MMS.

A little personal backround - I was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1974 and grew up in the community of Salt Lake. I attened Moanalua Elementary, Intermediate and High School, which I graduated from in 1992. I attened college at the Illinois Institute of Technology and graduated in 1996 with a BS in Accounting. I attended school on a full scholarship awarded by the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps. Upon graduation, I received a commission as an Ensign in the US Navy. I completed Surface Warfare Officers school at Newport, Rhode Island in Dec 1996. I then reported to USS FIFE (DD 991) homeported out of Yokosuka, Japan and Everett, Washington. I served as the Auxiliaries Officer and Fire Control Officer and participated in a 4 1/2 month deployment to the Western Pacific and a 3 month counter-narcotic deployment. From January - June 1999 I attended AEGIS schools in Virginia and San Diego to prepare for my next assignment. I served as the Fire Control Officer onboard USS PAUL HAMILTON (DDG 60) homeported out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii from June 1999-January 2001 and completed a 5 month deployment to the Arabian Gulf. In March 2001, I reported to Navy Region Hawaii where I served as the Foreign Ship Liaison Officer until December 2002. I completed my naval service with an honorable dishcarge on December 13, 2002.

In thinking about how I could best serve the world, I looked to the Peace Corps as an opportunity to engage in service of a different kind. I am looking for a way to participate in the world community - and hopefully help other people improve their lives. I chose to work in a business development project because I believe in economics and money as an essential element to personal freedom. Its only one piece - but it is where I felt I could make a contribution.

My family - My parents live in Las Vegas, Nevada and enjoy playing tennis, golf and traveling the US and abroad. I am an only child.

February 5, 2003 - Greetings from the Philippines! Our Peace Corps Group 261 is now in Manila. We arrived here on Febraury 1 after 2 days of initial orientation in Seattle, Washington. Our group numbers 48 volunteers and its members will service in provinces throghout the Philippines in programs such as Environmental Education, Coastal Resources Management, Water Sanitation and Business Advising for Youth Development. The volunteers come from a variety of states across the United States (Colorado, Oregon, California, Massachusetts, New York, Wisconsin, Florida, etc) and with a variety of backrounds - Americorps, Business, Goverment Service and college. There are people from different ethnic groups including 2 African-Americans, and 2 Asian Americans. The split in gender is approximately 60% male/ 40% female.

We are in Manila to get an orientation to the Peace Corps including medical treatment (vaccination shots for Rabies, Hepatitis and begin taking malaria medications), introduction to the US Embassy in Manila and the Philippines. Its an exciting time for all of the volunteers as only a few people have ever been to the Philippines before.

Manila is a busy city with crowded streets. We are not able to see much as many of us are tired from the long travel and have been asked to limit our explorations due to our inexperience in the country. We will be moving to Bohol, an island in the southern part of the Philippines for 8 weeks of Pre-Service Training. The training will encompass language, culture and specific job information. It sounds like a beautiful place to be for a few weeks.

We were also given our assignments for the next 2 years. I will be assigned to live in Malaybalay, a city on Mindanao island in the southern part of the Philippines. Malaybalay is in the mountains and is supposed to be quite beautiful. I will be working for the Department of Social Welfare doing community development work. The community requested a person to assist with working with out of school youth, and the peace corps has assessed that I might be able to be of service to that community. Malaybalay has been assessed as a safe environment for volunteers as there is no MILF or Abu Sayyaf activity in the area. Going to Mindanao is special because there is a great need for social services in that part of the Philippines. I am excited because I will be asked to perform as a social worker and it should be a very challenging experience.

On Friday (Feb 7), we will take a 30 hour boat ride to Bohol. It may be the last time I am in Manila for a while. But Bohol should have internet acess. The people in the Peace Corps have been very kind and welcoming to us. The older volunteers have also been very happy to share information with whoever will ask. Everyone in the group is excited about their site selection and is looking forward to training and heading out to do good work.

February 13, 2003 - Greetings from Tagbilaran City, Bohol! We have arrived safely and have started Pre-Service Training. Pre-Service Training will be 8 weeks long and will consist of language, technical and cultural training. Training is held at a site called Dumadag Farm, about 15 minutes by jeepney away from the city. It is a nice and peaceful place. We have started our language instruction - I will be learning the Bisayan dialect (sometimes called Cebuano). It will be challenging, but very interesting.

I have also been assigned to live with a host family for the time here. I live with the Ramos family in Booy province. They are very nice people. My host father sells peanuts at the Agora Market (main city market) and my host mother is a school teacher for the deaf. They live very modestly, but have a firm belief in hard work and I admire them greatly. They were married very young (21 and 17) and have worked hard all their lives and have given their children some wonderful opportunities. They have 2 daughters - one lives in Cebu and the youngest daughter lives at home and attends the local university where she is a junior majoring in Education with an emphasis in English language. She speaks fluent english and is very enjoyable to talk to. She has been such a great help to me in finding my way to live with a new family. Their home is very neat and clean and I am very happy to have a room of my own. They have running water (sometimes) but I prefer to take a bucket shower because it is faster and the pressure is not very much. The comfort room (restroom) is a toilet where you must add water to flush. Its really not such a hard adjustment.

Training itself is not as intellectually challenging as I would have hoped. I feel that I understand most of what they are lecturing us about - Filipino culture, how to be understanding, community work, etc. It feels quite slow to me, but I will try and learn what is new and prepare for the work ahead. I get the feeling that I will be more of a social worker - facilitating the opportunities for young people - whatever that may be. I'll do whatever is asked of me by my host organization (Department of Social Welfare). I am here mainly for the opportunity to be of service through my work. I am interested in the "adventure and travel" experience, however, it is secondary to the work that needs to be done. Thus I am quite anxious at the lack of efficiency in the training when I feel I want to be working.

I am enjoying the Philippines, it is an interesting place to be. Many people think I am Filipino, so I feel I blend in very well with the locals. Hopefully I will learn the language so I will be able to bargain for food, shop and do other chores. Mangoes here are wonderful, they are very smooth and remind me of the Pirie mangoes from Hawaii. There are no strings when you eat them and they are very sweet.

This is a picture of my host family - Mr. and Mrs. Ramos, Lolo (grandfather), Mrs. Ramos's sister, and Riza. They are a very kind family and I am fortunate to be with them.

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Story Source: Personal Web Page

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Philippines; PCVs in the Field - Philippines



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