There are now three micro-relief projects underway that are serving our hometown area — the coastal barangays of Lawaan, Samar, which were devasted by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda). The three projects, with links to the project sites, are: Rena Sellers’ project in Guinob-an, Rose Neely’s project in Bolusao, and Josie Desmond’s project in Maslog. Of the three, Josie’s is the biggest. She and her husband Tim Desmond, who are the owners of Ocean Adventure in Subic Bay (a wonderful marine park with dolphins and other marine mammals) raised $18,000 in Subic before going online with their efforts. They have used that monty to get a team o the ground in Maslog with food and medicine. Meanwhile, Rena’s project has a truck en-route to Guinob-an, her barangay, with 25 sacks of rice, enough to feed the village with population of 1,000 for three days. And Rose is working on getting her aid to Bolusao. All of these are tiny, citizen originated micro-projects — and all are having a real effect in communities that are not getting aid any other way. The pic at the top of this post is the Maslog truck being loaded out in Manila.
Report from Maslog by Tim Desmond:
Jo was able to connect with me about 10 minutes this evening to report on the status of things in Maslog before we lost the signal as she traveled back to Rudi’s house near Paranas/Catbalogan. The town of Maslog is as devastated as all of the reports we have received. All the homes between the highway and the water were demolished. The high school which is 4m above sea level and about 2.5m below the road was flooded to midway up the windows in the classroom and the roof was torn off in most parts despite being in a relatively protected site. Towns people got the reports of a storm surge of over 5 meters that was projected by Weather Philippines; the JTWC (US navy typhoon watch center in Hawaii); and other weathers services. However, all of the oldest people in the villages says that this event surpasses anything in their experience or in the experience of their elders before them. However, their instincts prompted them to plan and implement an effective evacuation that did not use the school as would normally have been done. Rather, community leaders chose the church across the highway which was well out of danger.
Hopefully we will get a picture of the village in a day or two.
Amazingly, no one, including Jo’s 85-year old grandmother, wanted to leave. They were all busy rebuilding their homes. Everyone has moved back into their homes, even if all that is left is a bare pad where the house used to be. On bare pads they have driven stakes into the ground and strung up canvass and started rebuilding there and then. The entire community, if you can imagine this scene, is working together to sift through the debris and whenever a piece of furniture, a tool, or piece of a home is spotted that can be identified, it is brought back to it rightful owner! Wow! Jo actually mentioned this without a lot of emphasis as though in her town this is what was done. I was blown away.
Our donations that are on board our truck were right on the money. They have received a relief delivery but is it just a drop in the bucket. People only got a little package of rice and some white bread. People are desperate for food of the type we are bringing, medical supplies, soap for washing and laundry, and all the other stuff on our delivery. J
One thing that we didn’t bring that they need is canvass for temporary shelter while rebuilding their lean-tos, that will become sheds that become homes. That will be on the next load we send down.
Our relief truck made it through the Matnog ferry terminal bottleneck in less than 7 hours. It arrived about 12:30 and at by 7 pm I got a report that it was onboard a ferry headed for Allen. By now it should be well on its way from Allen to Catbalogan. Jo is waiting for it to arrive and plan the trip into Maslog tomorrow. We have plenty of security and personnel to distribute the items to the community.
Tomorrow the planning team for the Bayani trip to Samar meet to conduct an inspection of the work in progress and begin the planning for the trip down to Samar and an ops plan for when we are there
With help from Martin Kurer and Mike Sellers I will begin work on the on the medical mission to Samar tomorrow.
There is lots to feel good about tonight.
Thank you everyone!!