Adventure to Cangumbang

Trip Start Feb 20, 2013
Trip End May 09, 2013

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Flag of Philippines  , Visayas,
Friday, February 22, 2013

Hello Everyone,

My second day in Tacloban proved to be an adventure from the beginning. At 9 am Ate Wim, the director of VFV, and I left for Cangumbang via car. We got just outside Palo, the town closest to the village, when we ran in to the first area of flooding. The water was too deep to drive through safely so we resorted to riding in a pedicab, a common mode of transportation in the Philippines for traveling short distances. A pedicab is a bicycle that has been fashioned to have a cab attached to it which comfortably fits two people, but often carries 4 or 5 people at times. It is driven, or the bicycle is rode rather, by males ages 13 and up. So we jumped in the pedicab and our driver pedaled through the floods. Although by motorcycle, the usual mode of transportation from Palo to Cangumbang, it takes about 10 minutes to get out to Cangumbang a pedicab takes at least 20. So I had plenty of time to document the flooding and get my first pictures of Cangumbang.

As we rounded the last turn towards the village, seeking a document needed for purchasing the land, the water level rose. We had to hug our knees to our chest as the water rose over our feet; luckily it never rose higher than our seat. When we got no more than 50 yards from the landowner's home the water was too deep and we had to resort to calling out to one of the children to get the landowner for us. The landowner, although in her 70’s I believe, waded out to meet us with the documents in hand. Then we began the ride back. Thankfully it was early enough in the morning that the sun did not bake us in our pedicab (although pedicabs do have roofs), as there is not much shade along the way.

Our next stop was visiting the attorney who is helping us gather the required documents to purchase the land. The attorney is quite a busy man as he is also running for vice mayor in the area so after a short meeting we agreed to come back Friday morning to meet with him further. Apparently we still have about five documents left to gather, which I will probably spend Friday afternoon searching for.

Lastly, we dropped off a bookshelf to the nutrition project in one of the rural communities VFV serves. The only bad part of my entire day came on the way back to Bliss. We unfortunately hit a dog that decided at the last minute not to move out of our way, even though we were honking loudly. The dog went right between the tires and he yelped but was able to limp off the road fine. However, he must have been in shock or something because he weaved his way back on to the road…there was lots of traffic so I decided to turn around at that point. There is a great overpopulation of stray dogs and cats here, so I tried to tell myself maybe he was sick or starving. I still felt sick to my stomach the whole way home though.

The rain held off yesterday morning and afternoon, but after sunset about 6 pm it began again. It let up here and there but in the middle of the night it poured again. I was relieved to see the children embracing the floods in Cangumbang. By now they are accustomed to living literally in water. Everyone seemed to be in good spirits and in good health. Nevertheless I hope the project can commence in the next week or so.

Greetings from the Philippines J

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Suzy on

Say a prayer for the doggie. God will take it from there. Love you!

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