Some of us walked out from our own life because we want to look for something. That something that is clearly missing and somehow disorientating our life. We are all in constant look for something. I remember the day that my “real life” started, it was, ironically the worst day of my life. Scratch that, it was not my worst day of my life, it was my family and relatives’ worst day of their life. You see my relatives believe that I should have a successful life and their perspective of a successful person is no other than me getting a scholarship to go study overseas, graduate with honours, get a fancy job with a fancy pay and nice house. That wasn’t for me, as much I tried to believe it, it was clearly not. I started traveling because I wanted to see something but deep down inside I was just praying that it will eventually show something or point me a direction to somewhere, anywhere.
It pointed me to volunteering travel, something that I thought impossible considering how expensive it is usually to volunteer abroad (I blame commercialism and jackass who thinks that charity should be a money making industry). I found my first spot to volunteer abroad with All Hands Volunteers, a disaster relief response organization based in Massachusetts, USA. AHV responded to last year Bohol Earthquake as well as the biggest typhoon ever hit human kind, Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda as it known locally).
When I arrived in the Philippines on 15 December 2013, I told myself “If you don’t like, just go back aight?”. Little that I know I would ended up spending 7 months here from one project to another. It was unbelievable, almost unreal at times. All my life, I was finding things to make me happy, not all those superficial happiness. This was real happiness, not only for me but am sure for the rest of 507 volunteers who came by Project Bohol. The happiness of calling this place home.
It became real when everyday, instead of calling it base, most of us (long-timers) will use the word “Home”. Everytime we need something or left something behind, we will usually say “Darn it, I left my stuffs at home” or “I’ll get you the cream when we get back home”. That’s how real it was. I was really and still happy. Come to think of it, you put this group of strangers together and pioneer them to volunteer and live together, somehow it become a perfect concoction of miracle.
That was my house, and all my 7 months worth of stuffs packed into 2 bags.
When the time finally arrived for us to close down Project Bohol, I had a severe separation anxiety. This was my home, where I feel comfortable being who I am and these people who love me unconditionally. Nonetheless, all good things must come to an end. As we packed up, shipped and donated our stuffs, I realize that we have done something big here. Not only that we help them with their houses but our presence here give them hope that one day their life will be alright. Little that they( the locals) know how much they have changed me (us) for better.
In true Boholano spirit, Daghang Salamant All Hands Volunteers ng Filipinas. So these are some of the things that I will miss about calling Punta Cruz, Bohol my home.
Saying goodbye to the cabana that holds our laughter, tears and love. Or the staffs call it their office!
p/s and someone taking piss by the bush!
Yes people, that’s how we poop and peep. We built that 2 weeks prior to moving it.
Bucket shower is the best, especially when it’s the clear sky. It’s like dancing with the stars, naked.
Or people opening the curtain while you are showering naked, priceless!
Taking our regular pink-music box tricycle!
So, like our Accountant/IOM staffs Sinah Mamaduck Keller always say everytime our jeepneys rolled out “BYE NOW!”
|I will miss you Bohol, thank you for sheltering me. I will be back|