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Welcome to Michael's blog. Michael Andrew, (aka Michael The Maven) is a freelance producer, photography instructor, tech innovator, and when needed, disaster aid specialist. Disclaimer: Michael is a participant in Bhphoto & Amazon affiliate programs that provides an advertising commission if you purchase through links on this website.


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11.12.13         michael's insights  

Michael is Headed to the Philippines


I woke up Sunday morning to some emails from some friends asking me if I was going to the Philippines to help. I do not watch television, so sometimes I don't really know what's going on until it is really, really big, but when I started looking into it, this is pretty much the exact type of situation I want to get involved in. I get a very specific feeling that tells me to get going, kind of hard to explain.

Based on my experiences in Haiti as well as Japan, I look at these tragedies as great opportunities for good and positive. I would classify those 2 experiences as life changing and good for the soul as anything else I have ever done. Maybe that is a little selfish, but I cannot describe in words what an amazing, humbling experience both were.

It's like pushing the reset button on your perspective in life, all the little hassles and stress seem like nothing when you come back. You find tremendous gratitude in the little things, like a warm bed or a hot shower or a good meal or even a "bad day". You see amazing good in others and find that you are capable of more good than you possibly imagined. You see the pure love of your fellow man, regardless of skin color, race, language. You feel a tremendous sense of self worth and meaning in life when you can reach out and help people who really need it. Service to those in times of need are among the most rewarding I think I have ever experienced.

There are some things that can be quite stressful and even dangerous, but I never feel as much alive as I do when I am out there trying to make something happen especially when there is overwhelming need. I also realize that in the large scheme of things, what we will be able to accomplish is infinitesimally small, almost imperceptible on the large scale. But the difference it makes to those we are able to help, as well as myself, is just amazing.

I can also say that many times it really feels like I am in the back seat just watching. I realize that must sound crazy, but I do not think there is any rational explanation for how things work out the way they have in the past, or what I think will happen in the next couple weeks.

I don't have all the details of what Ill be doing, but I know that if I take a few steps in the right direction, the next few following steps will be known.

I will document my experiences as I have in the past. My friends in Tuscaloosa were able to get me connected with relatives in country whom I will be staying with the first day or two organizing. There are some resources they have available and if this works out the way I am hoping it will, we should be able to do a lot of good and bring some aid/relief to our Philippine brothers and sisters.

My flight leaves tonight, and I should be gone for a month. My assistant Kate will be handling all customer service, so if you need something regarding training videos please contact her: support(at)michaelthemaven.com

Ill be in touch here, on FB and on Instagram

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