On November 8th 2013 ….. the most powerful storm in the history of the Philppines, levelled communities in Samar- Leyte and killed over 6000 innocent people and children….3 of them were my relatives. I was born in Samar and many of my relatives live in Samar Leyte. Hearing the news was disturbing but the photos really hurt. It hurt because I have visited with these beautiful people many times and have served them on two eye care missions. I recognized all the buildings, roads and neighbourhoods that are now totally levelled. I was brought to tears when I saw the faces of the people and children who were suffering from so much loss. Like many others it's hard to comprehend why these disasters happen to such innocent people who have little to begin with; but I told myself, we can't understand everything and we can't dwell on it either. So when the opportunity came for me to lead an international eye care team to help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, I couldn't turn it down.
We took great comfort from friends and family, but it was the overwhelming generosity and humanity from strangers that touched me deeply. The compassion from people helped to fill two containers full of relief goods. And tomorrow, 18 individuals from around the world are leaving their homes and businesses for 3 weeks and are prepared to accept difficult living conditions, work long days just to help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan.
I am nervous…...I know it will be hard to see those disturbing images with my own eyes. I will continue to blog when and if we have access to internet.