Typhoon Yolanda: Lessons Learned From the Mayor

Typhoon Yolanda: Lessons Learned From the Mayor

Today was a strange day. I started feeling a bit sick yesterday. I spent most of the night wishing I had a sit-down toilet. I’m a big fan of Pepto Bismol. It really isn’t fun to sleep under a mosquito net when you have to keep getting up. The worst thing is when you think you're ready to go back to bed, you climb back under the net, get the net repositioned and stretch back out for a good night sleep and then, nope, I have to crawl out from under the net and tiptoe across the room so I don’t wake the rest of the team as I go back to the bathroom which is now leaking from a panel in the ceiling despite the fact that it isn’t raining outside. I’m not sure that I really want to know why. I’m not sure if the floor above us has filled up like a swimming pool or if there is a broken pipe or what. I just don't want the panel to come swinging open and have 50 gallons of murky water come down on my head! Focusing on the job at hand, I hurried up and went back to bed only to repeat the exercise four or five times last night.

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Typhoon Yolanda: Maryann

Typhoon Yolanda: Maryann

Out in the middle of nowhere and our bus couldn't go any further. So...we just set up clinic in the middle of what used to be a coconut farm. One of the first people that we met was Maryann and she could speak English! She volunteered to serve as my interpreter. You won't believe her story.

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Typhoon Yolanda: Unstoppable

Typhoon Yolanda: Unstoppable

Today is Thanksgiving! It really doesn’t feel like it. Usually, at home I’m up early and starting my day long relationship with a couple of turkeys. Today, most likely, we are going to have MREs (Military Meals Ready to Eat) and maybe some special freeze-dried desserts from REI. In a storage, simplistic way, I was looking forward to it. And… I was thankful. After all, it is Thanksgiving. There are so many things that I take for granted: Toilets that you can sit on and that you don’t have to flush with a bucket, water the comes out of the faucet that you can drink, Internet access, a bed, a shower with hot or cold water (that you can drink if you want to), sleeping without a mosquito net to get tangled in, and more. Yep, I’m thankful alright. Number one, I have a roof. Number two, it doesn’t leak.

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