Today was an exciting day! We finally got to go shopping and spend some of the $1,841 that our friends and family have donated so far. We were pretty gutted that we can only take 20kg worth of baggage on the flight,which seems like a drop in the ocean, but at least its a start and we still have a huge amount of money left. Many of the things we still need to can be bought in Tacloban and so the rest of the money will be spent locally, with the added benifit of stimulating the local economy.
Today we got some basic building and school supplies based on the wish list our volunteer agency IDVolunteers gave us. We also have with us a few things generously donated by our family and friend back home such as pens, clothing, toys and art materials. We mentioned in an earlier post how we will be putting up photos and videos of what the donations have bought along with a dedication to those who donated the money. So here we go with the first dedications…
Donated by Selina and Jessy. Thanks to your donations we were able to purchase school and art supplies for several classes including over 300 coloured and lead pencils, 1000 sheets of paper, rulers, erasers, sharpeners, scissors, glue and a stapler!
Donated by Renee R. At first it might seem trivial but for many in the worst hit areas of the Philippines seeds are expensive and in short supply and growing vegetables is one of the most cost effective ways of providing healthy and nutritious food in the long run. Thanks to your donation we have obtained Pumpkin, Capsicum, Carrot, Cucumber, Tomato, Beans, Cabbage, Cauliflower and Peas. We will be flying to Tacloban tomorrow so
We are flying to Tacloban tomorrow where we will officially begin our journey as disaster volunteers. Things are about to start happening so keep checking back here to get the latest!!!
If you haven’t already done so and would like to donate to this cause check out our donation page by clicking the link below.
After much anticipation and preparation it was finally time to make our move to the Philippines. We had two flights and an 8 hour layover in Singapore’s Chiangi Airport between us and Manila, all of which ran very smooth despite the lack of sleep! We arrived in Manila at 6am after almost 24 hours in transit and proceeded to the immigration desk.
Unsure of what the immigration officer would say to our plan to stay for 7 weeks (instead of the standard 30 days) we approached the desk and were unexpectedly greeted with a smile as she took our documents. As she read through our immigration cards she looked up and asked where we were staying and the reason for our trip. After giving her the details of the organisation she asked us to wait whilst she spoke to her supervisor. She returned after a short while and informed us that they were happy to grant us the visa extension with no fee or need to visit the embassy. Although this is not uncommon for volunteers it felt like she had gone out of her way to help us and as we walked away she thanked us and said “we appreciate your help”. Wow! Those few words and the sincerity in her face gave us a lump in our throats, the reality of what we are about to experience and the realisation of some of the things we are likely to see is starting to feel more real.
Just 3 days to go until we make our way to Tacloban, just enough time to go and spend some of the money we have raised so far on school and hardware supplies.