Monday, November 17, 2014

Haiyan - One Year Later {+Giveaway Winner!}

So... Giveaway winner. I am please to announce that the winner of the Freedom Creations giveaway is Tara! Woot! :)

Today, we're heading back to the Philippines, as this month marks the one-year anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan...


The day my family and I roll into this coastal Filipino town, the sun is shining and the light ocean breeze is the type that lightly dances across your skin, providing a short reprieve from the humid air. A few storm clouds occasionally threaten to let loose, but our day stays relatively dry for a Filipino rainy-season day.

The ocean is calm and skies are clear today, and by the innocence of the lightly bouncing waves and rolling clouds, you'd never be able to guess the havoc those same waves and skies wreaked on this town just months before.

But Haiyan's mark is still evident in Daanbantayan. An occasional pile of wreckage, a home nobody has bothered to repair, or blindingly shiny roofs - replacements of the ones that blew away - are reminders of the infamous Typhoon Haiyan

In some ways, everything has changed for the people of this coastal town. Yet in other ways, life has gone on, and the resilience of the people of the Philippines has never shined brighter. 

We enjoy lunch at a local restaurant with a staff member from Habitat for Humanity Philippines, Love, who tells us first-hand about being one of the first NGOs on the ground after Typhoon Haiyan hit. 

I never cease to be blown away by those who implement the work on the field for organizations that I hear, speak, and write so much about back here at home. As someone who hopes to work in the field one day, it's both inspiring and challenging. As an advocate for these organizations back here at home, it's something I want to share again and again - give, volunteer, spread the word! Because there are people working so. hard. day in and day out and how could we not support them?!

We were able to visit some of Habitat for Humanity's build sites, and see the homes (at various stages) that will be given to victims of Typhoon Haiyan. The willingness of the staff and volunteers to give of themselves is absolutely incredible. We can all learn from their servant hearts and radical generosity.

You see - amongst all the wreckage, there is hope for that broken and beautiful country. I believed that before Haiyan, and I will continue to believe that after. 

Yes, one year later, the scars still run deep. How could they not?

But one year later, this country has also begun a resilient rebuild. 

One year later, there is hope that can be found in the shambles, and that is a beautiful thing. 

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