On Wednesday, May 4, 15 children from Bahay Bata Foundation headed to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in preparation for their 1.30am flight to Bristol, England. A product of almost 12 months of preparation by the PRFU and the Foundation, the trip is a project of Touraid, a UK based charity that offers support to UK schools and clubs wishing to host activity based tours for disadvantaged children from overseas, in cooperation with Clifton College, the tour host.
The children were extremely excited and overwhelmed by their coming adventure and at the same time suffering with the strict rules and regulations of having to navigate through the unknown territory of an international airport. Luckily Mercy, the boys’guardian at Bahay Bata and PRFU Consultant, Matt Cullen were on hand to make this transition a little easier.
Upon boarding the Etihad flight, all the boys forgot any fears they may have had of flying, and instead became immediately addicted to the personal TV screen that came with the Playstation packages. They took full advantage of having their own personal theater and game station with all of them playing games for practically the entire trip.
During the stop-over at Abu Dhabi, the group spent a relaxing 2 hrs in the airport lounge and then departed for the second leg of the journey to London, England which would take another 7hrs. The boys continued to enjoy the games on the Playstations, and it seemed as though they were never going to sleep.
Mr. James Breeze from Clifton College and Mr. Andy Berry of Touraid were on hand to meet the boys upon their arrival at Heathrow Airport. The two were absolutely ecstatic that the PRFU had managed to bring all the Bahay Bata children on the tour without any major passport, Visa and travel problems. The boys jumped on a bus that would take them across England from Heathrow to Bristol, and with the Playstations now gone, the boys finally fell asleep and enjoyed 3 hrs of rest after the epic 20 hrs of travel.
On arrival at Clifton College the boys were greeted by a group of equally excited parents and students who were waiving a large Filipino Flag. John Milne, the Prep school Principal, was on hand to welcome all the boys and the boys then met their respective home stay families.
The Clifton College students immediately welcomed the Bahay Bata children and from first observations it looks as though some very worthwhile relationships will be formed between the children from differing countries, cultures and socio-economic backgrounds.
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