Monday, 26 November 2012
Arrival At Vancouver International Airport
Sunday, November 25th, the team returns home (or close to home), arriving at YVR or Vancouver International Airport.
Prior to our first clinic day, I will never forget Dr. Marina Roma-March letting us know that throughout the trip there will be numerous times that our patience and tolerance level will be tested which I now definitely agree with. Whether it was during the clinic days or even during the 5 rest and relaxation days we had, the most challenging part of this trip was coping with the various types of personalities, backgrounds, and living traditions.
HOWEVER, we were all aware of the purpose of this trip which was not to have a vacation and socialize but to spread our positive energies and our "fortune" to those who live their entire lives on survival mode, with occupations such as scavengers, housewives, drivers of tricycles, etc. I believe our team not only made a difference in the 5000+ patient's that we saw during our clinic days, but also within the towns that we set up the clinics in. I've learned in the Philippines that word spreads around very quickly as the communities and families are so attached to each other, so when one patient speaks of Canadian's being in their town, this resulted in 50 more patients for us and a whole bunch of "spectators" who stopped by our clinics merely to greet us and thank us for visiting them.
As unfortunate as the lives of the majority of the citizens of Philippines are, I believe us Canadians can also learn a very important rule of life from them. In the first world countries, we've been raised to honour money and wealth whereas in their community the one obvious or common quality was respect. There was respect for the elders of the community and there was respect for those poorer than yourself. Ultimately, I think the love and respect is what resulted in the thousands of thousands of smiles that I saw upon Filipino's faces, whether I was at the Mall of Asia, or the luxurious Makati City or Smokey Mountain in Tondo, where my bottle of Gatorade was kindly shared between 14 different children. THERE WERE SMILES EVERYWHERE!!!
Speaking on behalf of the TWECS 2012 team, I can safely say that we all learned a lot on this trip, and hopefully will be sharing our experiences with friends and family worldwide, and spreading the word about the good deeds of TWECS.
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