The EXECUTION 2: Happy Heights

It’s been exactly 52 days since I first thought of the idea of a day hike outreach for underprivileged kids. After approximately 2 months, the project is mounted and it’s happening tomorrow.

Realizing that it’s actually happening is overwhelming, especially because of all the things that have happened along the way. There have been obstacles and adjustments but, it’s nothing that I didn’t expect. Of course, expecting things and dealing with the reality of the situation are kiiiinda different things 🙂

Here are some of the developments since I last wrote about how the execution of the project was coming along:

 

  • A Facebook page was born! Accompanied by its twin page on my blog where people could learn more about the project. Since I get to monitor the stats on my blog, it was extremely gratifying to see that people were actually looking up Happy Heights on search engines and landing on the project page 🙂 This may have been helped along largely by the beautiful poster that Tippi Sy made for me.
  • All the kids were sponsored in a snap! In this case, snap means a week. Which is still extremely fast and completely unexpected. What I learned here is that, in my own personal network, there are a lot of people who are willing to help out and get on board. 4 of the 6 people who donated were people close to me, and 2 of them were people I’d met on a climb with Trail Adventours. Admittedly, because crowdfunding went by so fast, I didn’t promote the Facebook page as much, which in hindsight is something I think I should have done.
  • Got relevant tips. Particularly from Malds Menzon of Initiatives for Social Action. Through the blessing of social network, Malds was able to gave me a lot of advice re: crowdfunding and how to get people on board, things that are extremely helpful for someone like me who hasn’t had a lot of experience with projects like this 🙂
  • Met the parents! Because of a tragic fieldtrip accident that had happened recently involving a bus, the previously confident parents began to have their doubts – something I completely understand. To reassure them, to make sure that everything that was going to happen during the hike was clear to them, and to address any concerns they might have, Guido and I went to MLQS to have a parents’ orientation. With the kids :)) Most of the softball team girls tagged along and it was cute to see them all giddy and excited. Thankfully, we were able to explain everything clearly to the parents and they were back to being game.
  • Had a preclimb with the girls. Which is basically where we oriented them on what to bring, what to expect, what to do and what not to do 🙂 I also got my friend AJ Villar on board to teach the kids basic Leave No Trace principles, so that they could carry some environmental awareness along with them on the climbs.
  • Dealt with more doubts. Right after our orientation with the parents, another terrible car accident happened to some students on a fieldtrip to Baguio 🙁 It was some very sad news that again had repercussions on what the parents thought about the project. To address it, Guido and I spoke with the principal and the teachers. What we noticed from the recent events were that they all involved transportation, so we gave them all the details of the transportation and routes we’d be using. We also gave this information to the parents themselves and, if they still didn’t feel confident about it, we were ready to move the project to a later date.

 

Needless to say, the parents were up for it and we are climbing tomorrow!

I’m nervous and excited, but really more of excited. The most important thing is that the kids have fun and that they learn something.

We’re finally here and the mountain should get ready! 🙂

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