First of all thank you to all of you who prayed for everyone here in the Philippines! The Lord spared Tacloban from any serious damages thankfully! There were more severe damages in Samar which is slightly north east from Tacloban, but we are still awaiting reports for definite answers about how severe the damages and how many lives were lost. I had expected with so many NGOs, non-profits, charities, and the like it would be a quick process to assess needs and see who needed which kinds of help, etc. but actually the mass amount of people on the ground seems to have slowed the process as they figure out who will provide what types of aid and in what regions. Seems so crazy, but everything takes more time abroad. Thankfully there don’t seem to be a lot of reported deaths or missing persons. The problem seems to be more related to displacement and destruction of homes and businesses at least from what we are hearing here. At any rate I have made it known I am interested/willing to help if I can be of any assistance, will keep everyone posted if I will do any traveling or assisting outside of the Tacloban region.
Post typhoon everyone was happy that the damages seemed to be minimal. Most things returned to a sense of normalcy in just a few days. The thing that has taken the longest to come back were power which just returned this morning (Fri.) and even then has been off and on a few times today as they adjust and work on it. Also, although we still had running water for about 24 to 48 hours after the typhoon after that it disappeared and when it has been coming back it is very slow and the water is not clear. Today the water is the best it has been since the typhoon and we hope it will continue to get stronger and cleaner with each day! This morning when I woke up because my electric fan was blowing on me it was the most amazing thing I’ve experienced in awhile! As hot as the room is with a fan, it is so much hotter and harder to rest without one, so an electric fan working is a miracle on it’s on! I am so excited to sleep tonight with a fan blowing on me, provided the power stays on. 😉
During the typhoon we went down the street to a friend of my nanay’s house because it was 2 stories and our home is only 1. We remained safe there even overnight when the storm was the strongest and when the wind made it sound as though our roof my give out. I again was thankful to be with folks who are also believers. The other members staying in the home with us were all of Catholic faith, and I was glad to be in a home of praying folks regardless of the fact that it looks different than my prayer! It felt good knowing we were all able to trust in the safety and provision of Jesus! I truly never had a time where I felt fear or worry and remained at peace, but was a bit anxious when I knew others in the home were very stressed and worried about the roof and I had no way to comfort them outside of reminding them that we are not to worry and we would be fine because the Lord was with us!
We went on Sunday to check out the placements at which we have been working and to see what damages there were beyond Bliss. Here in Bliss there were many banana trees down, fences down, minor flooding in homes, flooding on alleyways/paths, and many roofs that needed repair. People began with the cleanup as soon as it was light outside even while the rain was still going strong off and on. We moved home as soon as my Kuya and Nanay checked out the house to make sure there were no major damages and then began cleaning the floors up as they were the most problem inside the home. Our backyard was flooded like a pond and the fencing was all knocked down, but as soon as the waters receded about 24-36 hours later, they began repairing outside also! Our home is back to before the typhoon now with the power back on and water getting better all the time! 😉
Around some areas south there was indeed some flooding, but again no major damages. Downtown seemed to have the most destruction with many of the homes closer to the water being broken again. These homes are not structurally sound buildings for the most part, so this is not necessarily uncommon. I am very thankful everyone in real potential danger was evacuated and there were no deaths! 🙂 That is always happy news after a potentially dangerous storm. I didn’t take a bunch of photos preferring instead to soak in as much as possible myself and honestly unless you had seen the places before the storm and after you may not know what was damage from Yolanda, damage from Ruby, or just part of natural life for them. The only reason I could recognize some of the places that were further damaged is because I ride to work Monday to Friday every week so I have a decent idea of what things look like before the storm. I will try to post a few pictures for you here though. Thanks again for the prayers and hope you are all getting excited for Christmas and are enjoy the seasons celebrations as much as possible! Although very different there are lots of celebrations and preparations going on!