Monday, December 23, 2013


As our time nears to a close in the Philippines, I cannot minimize the heaviness in my heart. Nor can I ignore the heaviness upon the hearts of my family-both here and back in the United States. As I was thinking about our situation, what happened to the people of the Philippines, my parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins...I came up with a phrase-I know it's not original, but "the plight of a people", or more specific, the "plight of a family".
We heard my folks retell the story of that dark, wet, and terrifying day-how there was no indication that this weather was going to be of any consequence, significance, or magnitude. To this day I am still amazed at the fact that they had no idea, how no one knew, what was going to hit them. We now know of the situation for many though, those who took the opportunity to get on planes or helicopters and fled their region for the safety of Manila are now stranded. This story isn't isolated to a few, it included family members as well. While many, like my folks, have relocated to other areas near Manila, as they were able, many are still trying to find ways to get back home. Some of my aunts and uncles-along with cousins, need money to return to Tacloban, Samar, or Guiuan as the Philippine Government has said there is aide money to help them rebuild. While there has been that declaration by the government, there hasn't been any specifics-on how much will be offered to each family. In spite of that news my folks are hoping that someone will purchase the land. They plan to stay in Laguna and restart their lives. There has even been discussion between my mom and her younger sister about renting the apartment behind them so that they can live together/near each other.
The plan so far, for my family here in the Philippines is to gather in Laguna for a Christmas meal at my parent's apartment. Our plan, once we are in the U.S., December 25th, is to drive to Pocahontas, IA for Christmas with her family. I have no idea how much jet-lag will factor into our plans either as I know how wiped we were when we got here to the Philippines, but I am grateful for our time here.

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