Saturday, 24 November 2012

Day 16 - Last TWECS Team Banquet

When my dad asked me to join him this year, I jumped at the opportunity to travel to the Philippines and work beside him and my mother. As gratifying as that was over the last two weeks, it became about the people I met during my stay here. We all have basic needs in life, and unfortunately not all of us are able to have that. Without sight, how does a child go to school, learn, graduate and then work to provide for their families? How does a parent raise their child not being able to see them? So I came with no expectations with the exception of working hard and help people who truly appreciated us being there. I heard it time and time again. They stood in long lines, waiting, and when they came to me for registration, I greeted them with a hello and a smile. It's all I had really. I don't speak their language of course, and my quirky sense of humour didn't always translate (to my dismay ) but laughter and giggles did. I don't think I ever laughed so much in a two week period. With my teammates, the translators, the patients, it was endless. That kind of laughter kept me going. There were days I was so exhausted, but it wasn't about me. To watch a child kiss my father because he could see clearly for the first time, moved me much more than the stories he brought home from his past missions. As great as they were to hear them over the years, watching it, in front of my eyes is something I'll never forget. NowI understand. There are many stories of course, and I even have a few myself to share with anyone who is willing to listen. I had many friends back home say I was doing a good thing. I didn't understand what they meant. Two weeks of my life, helping others who need it should be "natural". I got so much more than I expected. The people of the Philippines are beautiful people. I've met so many new friends who all believe in the same cause. I want to say Thank you to the volunteers that helped us in every aspect of this project. A lot of them became close friends that I've now added to Facebook. They shared their home cooked meals with me, which I thoroughly enjoyed by the way, and it has given me a chance to truly experience the Philippines and the people here. Salamat Po. I'll be back! ;)
Christina Dawson,
TWECS Team Member
Goodbye banquet at the Makati Shangri-La, hosted by Andronica Roma.



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