Here, There, and Everywhere

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

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Flag of Philippines  , Eastern Visayas,
Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Hello All,

Wednesday was a day of traveling around Palo and Tacloban, not to mention one of the hottest days in the past week. When I got home I was again exhausted, but thoroughly fulfilled from a day of work.

I began my day by going to our Attorney's home, so he could explain where everyone needed to sign on what I thought was our last document to be completed. When I left his house I headed to Cangumbang, riding on the motorcycle for the first time. 

The landscape is breathtaking every time, the beauty is unparalleled in my travels. I guess the beauty of Cangumbang is only part of the reason I find myself smiling on the way there, without even realizing it. I fell in love with Cangumbang during my last stay, and to be honest I fell in love there too. Being there brings back so many joyful memories, and I am so excited to continue my work there. Since I came home in December 2011 those memories, of the energetic, smiling children and their gracious families, have fueled my devotion to this project. I have never been able to forget their silent plea to me, and I so thankful that so many people were able to understand their desperation through my stories.

I met with Nanay Elay at her home in Cangumbang, so she could sign the last documents, and then I took a jeepney to the mall to meet up with Ate Wimwim because I needed her signatures as well. Yet again I headed to the lawyers home, and waited over an hour for him to return from a visit to one of the local communities. I think I have mentioned he is quite a busy man, running for vice mayor while maintaining his attorney practice, and at the same time he is a recognized musician in the area. While I was waiting for him Ate Wimwim texted me to inform me that when she arrived at the Bureau of Internal Revenue to start the processing of our documents they told her we were actually missing one. We had a affidavit to replace a death certificate for the old female owner of the land, but apparently we needed a separate one for her husband as well. So as soon as the attorney arrived he prepared that document for me.

As I said this was a day filled with thing I knew I was on the motorcycle to Cangumbang again. This time to visit the two elderly women who agreed to be witnesses to the death of the deceased landowners. Luckily, both of them were at home and available to sign the papers right away. Then I had to stop at a Municipal Office to hand off a document to ate Wimwim and miraculously, I made it back to the attorney's home before lunch at 12. After I waited for about 10 minutes, he signed on the dotted line, or lines rather, and I headed to the Bureau of Internal Revenue to drop off the last documents to Ate Wimwim.

My morning work was complete, but I still had another task to complete as the first part of my internship. Children sponsored through the VFV Sponsorship Program receive a grocery subsidy on a monthly basis. So my job in the afternoon was buying all the items for subsidy of the 11 children sponsored near the Dump site of Tacloban. Just over a year ago VFV built their second community center, to help serve the community outside the local dump site (aka land fill). VFV has worked very hard, especially Ate Wimwim, to develop the dump site program which helps bring children out of the dump via sponsorship.

I took a pedicab to the nearest grocery store and picked up most of the food items for the subsidy. Then I had to make a stop next door a a rice shop to get two bags of rice. I did not anticipate their size when I first paid for them. And when the sale woman took one look at my 14 year old pedicab drivers she asked where my companions were. When I pointed to the pedicab driver the other pedicab drivers around us began to chuckle and one of them instantly came forward to help carry the sack to the pedicab. With two sacks on the pedicab and the box of groceries I felt terrible for the young driver, so I took a separate pedicab. By the time we got back he was drenched in sweat and I helped him push the pedicab through the small walkways to the center. Then again one of the local teenagers helped him lug the rice sack into the center.

My last trip of the day was downtown to search for cheap blankets to be included in the subsidy this month. After searching two stores without any luck I decided to call it a day and head home. However, on my way to catch the jeepney I saw a very skinny elderly man begging for change with the biggest smile on his face. I couldn't walk away from him so I ran in to the nearest restaurant and ordered him a large meal. When I walked up to him and said, "Kumakain ka, Mano" (You eat, Sir). He looked up at me a grinned, though he was missing nearly every tooth, and said "Salamat" (thank you). I replied "Walang anuman" (No problem), and I meant it completely. The meal cost me just over 2 USD, and it was well worth it to the old man's health I am sure. 

It was the perfect end to a long day of hard work. Although I rewarded myself with a movie in the evening with my friend Rodelette, I still collapsed to bed and slept like a rock.


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Suzy on

Awesome. :)

mom on

Have I told you how awesome it is to have children who's hearts are open to the power and urgings of the Holy Spirit.

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