|Marina & Derrick|
Our personal journey since Typhoon Haiyan is finally over. From the countless hours preparing for this eye care project, the massing of relief goods, the filling of containers, the hours comforting Evan and Emma that Mommy and Daddy will be safe, to the long days on our feet working in extreme heat and crushing humidity while listening to people begging to be let into the clinic and seeing the faces of desperation in the lines during the relief distributions…. it is hard to believe it's finally over, we are out of Tacloban.
We flew out from a broken shell of an airport with a hastily erected security and check-in. The concrete walls are mostly gone but the roof has been repaired. We patiently waited while the deafening roar of jet engines died down in front of us. Gone are the days of the body bags outside of the building and the putrid smell and the thumping noise of military choppers moving goods in and out. The flight to Manila was full with 25 people on the waiting list trying to get out. Is it because, they want to restart their lives elsewhere in a less dangerous place?
I wonder, will the Philippine Government follow through with the hundreds of millions raised around the world or will the funds be absconded for personal use? I wonder what will become of this place of homelessness?
We leave with images of incredibly resilient people, thanking us for coming, thanking us for helping, thanking us for giving them their sight. Although the destruction is everywhere and inescapable, their faith has empowered them to move through the devastation and live life day by day. We take home with us the spirit and strength of a simple people that must now rely on each other to survive.
To all those at home who gave their time, their money, and themselves, we thank you. You brought so many smiles and a little hope to these beautiful gracious and most deserving of people...THANK YOU.
TINDOG TACLOBAN (Rise up Tacloban)