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Michael in the Philippine's Update #16: Final Week Coming Up
We had one big and one small distribution today, but because I still don't have all of my energy back, I spent my time co-ordinating with all involved parties about getting the food Bob shipped over to Cebu prepped to be sent here to Tacloban.
I won't bore you with all the details, but it hasn't exactly been smooth, starting with another aid group attempting to steal the food for its own distribution purposes (true, as crazy as that sounds), getting it shipped to the correct location leaving the day before thanksgiving, getting the rice for the meals in Cebu as other agencies are buying it in bulk, then getting it here to me, then getting it distributed to those who need it most. It has been a wonderful learning experience, and with Craig leaving and mentoring me from a far, I am getting extremely valuable first hand experience in disaster aid logistics.
This afternoon Andoi took a load of food up into the mountains to deliver to 27 or so families that hadn't received anything - it turns out that at least the last family was most likely the leader of a rebel group. Andoi had asked I not come in this distribution in the event something like this turned out to be the case, and we are both glad I wasn't with him when he did.
A lot of people are leaving tomorrow, including Bob Poff, Andre and even Andoi will be gone as his wife is having their new baby on the 6th. (he should return on the 10th). Until my food gets here, I'll still be working with the salvation army, in their operations. They expect to see another ~1.2 million meals distributed through the pipeline we established in the month of December.
My main focus now is making sure the food gets here ok, and then documenting its delivery. I'll also continue to help Aban with anything else he needs. I have a flight leaving next week to Manila, I'll spend a half day there getting cleaned up before I come home.
Looking forward to a hot shower and pepperoni pizza
There are so many times in the day we can't really take pictures for whatever reason, but we do when we can. It's such a cool experience to see how they react to strange visitors, they are very curious.
I had to direct traffic today for about 20 minutes during a delivery. Our big truck blocked one if the lanes in the road. Everyone followed my instructions, no accidents. Never did that before