keskiviikko 4. joulukuuta 2013

Moving to Tacloban tomorrow

So dear all. I've sweat like a wet t-shirt. And therefore, of course, I've got a wet t-shirt. No, two wet t-shirts. It's hot, it's foggy because of all the traffic and grilled food. I somehow haven't had time to do anything today and still I've organized everything.

First of all, don't get now worried about me: I'm leaving tomorrow morning from Cebu City with a ferry to Leyte. Yes. The most damaged island. The most chaotic place in Philippines. Because the Children's Village is located right there. I tried to book a flight directly to the city, but couldn't – the next available one would have been on Sunday. So I have to take a ferry to Ormoc and from Ormoc a van to Tablocan City. The latest, relieving info is, that I'll be after all picked up from Ormoc. Earlier today I was scared, because I should have taken a random van and find my way to the SOS Children's Village. Anyhow, Tacloban is and will be a dangerous city.

Sorry mum, that I'm after all the promises not to go there, going there anyway. But I'll be okay. Nothing will happen. Even here, in Cebu City, one can see guards and police men carrying weapons in every corner, and in front of all the markets and restaurants and banks and stations - which brings a secure feeling - even in front of the hostel there is a guard. The hostel is located by the way quite far from downtown – I'm in the middle of ”real” life. It's dangerous to walk around all alone, especially at night. During the day time I've done that today the whole day long. Nothing happened. Nothing but people greeting me with a smile on their face.Yesterday I went to see some sights with 3 other girls staying in the hostel. It's all worn out and poor, but somehow the feeling around here, the atmosphere, is just warm. Not only because of the heat.

I just met the cousin of my friend (greetz, Conny!), and had a nice Cebuan dinner. He showed us (a girl from the hostel and me) a bit around to get a picture of the neighborhood, where we were dining. People here are by the way so very friendly. All of them smiling, all of them helping, if you need advice or are lost (as if I once again was lost – NOT). It's so amazing, how in poor countries and surroundings the people have more warmth in their smiles and hearts than in ”rich” countries, and how they are ready to help.

Right now I'm sitting on the rooftop terrace of the hostel (can't stay long, have to wake up at 5.30 latest, and its already 10 pm). Earlier I could here people singing on the street, the grills were and are still on, it smells like smoke, there's life around here even though I can see, that the life is full of hunger. When we were taking a walk just a moment ago, my heart was bleeding. So many children sleeping on a piece of paper without any adults around, without any shelter. The taifuun didn't hit Cebu City, but obviously there are too many people in need here, too. So so so heartbreaking many.

Today, other than organizing my trip to the orphanage, I bought toys for the kids in the village. They don't have many left and they can't get any from Tacloban City. From Ormoc I'll buy food and stuff. If it's for some reason not possible, the donations of all of you will end up in the orphanage and the hungry people in Tacloban.

Propably the next two weeks you won't hear much from me. I won't have any connection to mobile network, and can't therefore let you know, if I made it all the way, but please (especially mum!) trust me; I will take care of myself. If it's, for some reason, too much, I'll turn around and return to Cebu City. But at the orphanage it should all be alright and safe, and my main thing is, as planned, to help, help, help. 
San Antonio church.

So, once more; here it's as heartbreaking as everywhere else. So so many poor people on the streets, so so many homeless kids, so so much hunger. It hurts me to see that. I guess most of you think, that Philippines is just a paradise with white sand beaches and crystal clear water, BUT. It's awful not to be able to help all of the people. Normally I feel awful seeing poor animal suffer, which one can easily find here, too, but now it's just too many poor people around to feel sorry for the animals. It's nice to have met people, who help here, too, and not all the help is going to the most critical areas.

Yesterday one of the girls that I met here at the hostel, and I, were planning to go today to a nice beach or something just to relax a bit, but I was busy organizing, and in the end didn't even want to go anywhere. I still can't imagine spending a normal holiday here. No, not now. Therefore I'm planning to stay the rest of my Philippean time helping and volunteering. But hopefully in the future I could come back for holidays, too. Philippines IS a beautiful country with all its islands, and the people that are so warm. And oh...I don't want children of my own, at least so far, but I think one day, if possible, I will adopt a child. Maybe from Philippines. To give love and home and shelter to one of those, who have no future. Who have just the streets. Who are hungry, and who need a home. 
The "homestreet" from the terrace point of view.
If there's internet connection, I will let you all know, how it's going in Tacloban. Would be nice to at least inform you, if I land in the destination safely. If I can't, remember, mum and friends and all of you, that I'm not made of glass that would break down easily, and that I'm not stupid, either. It will all be good. And hopefully my help will bring something to someone. Greetings to everyone and take care. Me takes care of me too. And she goes to pack her bag, and then the bed is calling, because yes, sometimes beds can talk, like: "Hey babes, come on, I'm ready!".

XXXX
Maaria

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