Volunteer @ Kindred Nomad’s Activity in Camotes, Cebu

It could have been just another Friday but it wasn’t. Early in the morning, volunteers of The Kindred Nomads and representatives of No Colors, a Japan based organization, gathered at the Quest Hotel, in Cebu City, Philippines, getting ready for the gift giving activity at San Francisco SPED Center in San Francisco, Camotes. 2 vans left for Danao port at around 4 am carrying fifteen volunteers, gifts and essential vitamins for 68 Special Kids.

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Early morning assembly at Quest Hotel bound to Danao Port for Camotes.

It was my 2nd outreach of the year. I wasn’t supposed to go ’cause I have an event at dinner. Despite Boyfie’s million reminders, I followed my heart. So happy that I did. 🙂

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Jon showing us the KN tarp. – Photo from a fellow volunteer Rox at http://www.roxannetamayo.info/
Volunteers arrival at Camotes Port.
Volunteers arrival at Camotes Port.

It was drizzling when we arrived so the program didn’t start as planned. Despite the cold weather, I feel surprisingly warm. When the rain stopped, the program started. Unlike my previous outreach, it feels different ’cause everything was laid out already. The gifts were already wrapped and packed. And the program was already handled by the school. It kind of made me feel useless. But not for long!

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Wet grounds when we arrived. While waiting for the program to start, prepared the additional gifts from Ro. Coffee and breads were served after.
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Getting ready for the program!

I made the most out of my freedom by taking pictures. And when it’s time to distribute the gifts, me and my new friend Liz volunteered for the list control.

Each gift was different ’cause they are based on the student’s wishes. I was so amazed seeing someone receiving an organ. Another a cell phone. In fact there were several cell phones. Then some transistor radios. Solar lights had also been provided as well. It was my first time to witness so many wishes granted all at once. I can see and feel how happy the recipients are but what touched me the most is the gratitude in the parents’ eyes. They are most happy that their special children were treated more special that day

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Some kids shared their talents with us!
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Natsu, representative of No Colors Japan, despite not feeling very well gathered up her remaining voice to sing a Christmas song. She played the violin as well.
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Gift distribution! 🙂
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1) Jella showing me her new watch. 2) Local kids flashing me their smiles. 3) Ro and Maria interacting with the special child.
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1) Fellow volunteers Gelo, Rox and Liz! 2) List girls: Liz, Te Tsari and Me. 3. ) John holding the plaque of appreciation
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Ro, her husband Patrick and Mam Ellen of the SPED Center.

After the gift distribution, lunch started. And soon after it was time for the 7 out of 15 volunteers to go back to Cebu. Lyn and her daughter Danielle, Jon, Yumi, Natsu, Rox, Rohini, and her husband Patrick remained to enjoy the island. While me, Liz, Maria, Te Agnes and daughter Lys, Te Tsari and Angelo left for Danao Port.

My time with The Kindred Nomads team, the school staff and the volunteers was short but just enough to know that we have something in common. Aside from the smiles and highs I got from helping to grant wishes, I am happy as well to have found people that I share the same passion. 🙂  Those and more made my volunteerism meaningful. I will truly look forward for more. 🙂

See more details of the activity in The Kindred Nomads Facebook Page. More pictures at my page as well: Kring’s Place.

The LISTs

To Do 2015: 
Be More.
Dwell on the things that you can!
Abhor the thoughts of wallowing on the things that you can’t.
YOLO!

  • Enjoy the beach with Cebu Board Gamers.
  • Do free lance climbs with new mountaineer friends.
  • Be aware and volunteer of Kindred Nomads projects.
  • Be a part of LDIPh’s advocacy.
  • Rock climbing with Maria, Liz, Roxanne
  • Craft day with Analyn (crochet). Invite Ms. Alvie.

Bucket LIST

Outreach Climb @ Mt. Babag w/ Tribu Lapukon & Friends

Today, I help make it happen, making an almost a hundred kids beamed in delight as they munch on the food and drink we serve for lunch. It was heartwarming. The 2-hour walk and climb that we had to endure to reach the place was a little hard and tiresome but it was all worth it. Seeing so many smiling and giggling children as they line up and receive their gifts were euphoric. I definitely will join again. 🙂

YPRO and friends didn’t have their yearly sharing. Being a little busy at work and personal, I just had to let go of the yearly habit. Hope next year will be different. This year was supposed to be our 5th gift giving. 🙁 Instead of totally giving in to my hectic schedules, I asked a number of friends if they knew people organizing sharing activities. I badly wanted to join. I couldn’t keep still. A friend at my climbing group told me about a yearly outreach in his previous workplace’s climbing group. And so he introduced me to Tess.

I didn’t really mind the thought of going in alone but my friends are into these stuffs as well. Unfortunately, the first schedule was December 13. It was our close friend’s wedding. No matter how I want to join, I couldn’t be absent in Corie’s wedding. I love her too much not to be part of a new chapter in her life. I had to chose. But as if the gods heard my un-prayered thoughts, the schedule was moved. I didn’t have 2nd thoughts of going. I just had to even if I partied until 12 AM after the wedding.

I was actually a little scared since I only have 3 hours worth of sleep. The call time was 7 AM but I had to think it was 6 AM ’cause I don’t want to keep them waiting. Despite the late notice, I had 4 other friends who planned to go. But it ended with just me and Charina. We arrived at Guadalupe church at 6:30 AM. While eating our breakfast bought at Jobe, Charina called my attention. She saw another climber. And as usual, I act without thinking and immediately assumed he was with Tess. Haha! Turns out he is from another group. Awkward  but of course, I made it through. “Miss baga gyud diay ka ug nawng!”. Charina said with a smile after the guy left. So I told her about the times that I had to make the first steps to know people. It is not easy but you have to think that others find it hard too. If nobody will break the ice, then you’ll go through life wondering how that awkward first step put you a step farther.

It wasn’t really that hard at all. I feel that every Mountaineers have this sort of connection. He even told us the story of his Apo trip. And of course, I did too. But not really the juicy detail that’s in here. Just some.

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Pics at the start of the trail. Napu drop off!

I’ve never been to Babag. It was Charina’s first climbing activity. Her spirit is determined but I know from experience that sometimes, determination and will is not everything in the mountains. You have to be physically fit in all aspects. I have no doubts on Charina but it was my first and I had doubts. My climbing group has a bad experience in Babag. From their stories, I knew they underestimated the climb by starting it late in the afternoon but still it didn’t change the fact that I don’t know anything about Babag at all. It feels scary.

Charina has a backpack. It was a little heavy cause she brought school supplies  for the children. It makes me more scared cause I know how hard it is to carry things uphill. Good thing, another guy from another group offered to carry it for her. Wew! Something was lift off my worries list. I was tempted to have mine carried as well but it was lighter than my usual pack so even if I’m worried I know I can do it. But just in case I couldn’t, of course, I have a backup plan. 😀

The first hour of the trek was just plains and a little uphill. I had no qualms but I kept on asking Charina of her well being. Oh well aside from I tend to be motherly at times, it’s her first time. I kept talking and talking and talking to  keep me off my worries. Haha! I think it works. 😀

The next hour was the assault. It was definitely an assault. Charina tried on my backpack. I was happy. It’s good to have another girl power in the team, hoping for a new recruit. 😀 I told her to tell me if it’s too much. She did after a while but I sure did catch a lot of my breath having that pack out of my back. 🙂

Charina with Tito and Tita!
Charina with Tito and Tita!
Broke my nail. Huhu!
Broke my nail. Huhu!
This is where the real assault start. The "habal-habal's" drop off point.
This is where the real assault start. The “habal-habal’s” drop off point.
Charina starting to carry my backpack!
Charina starting to carry my backpack!

And then we reached the place. We saw other climbers on the mango shade. The mango tree has a platform over it’s branches. I couldn’t resist climbing it. There I meet a new face. I forgot his name. Maybe it was Coran? LOL But he’s from the company of a new face I’ve known from our previous Apo climb. Asked him if he knew him. Unfortunately, he didn’t. He was so gay telling me about his group. Even showed me their cool banner. That is after I laughed at the name of their group. It was “Hubo” which means naked in vernacular. I even asked his number. Oh well now that I remembered, I have 3 numbers added on my phone book. 😛 I’m totally is the girl. 😛

The kids are all ready.
The kids are all ready.
Yummy foods waiting for us when we arrived. Wew! The mango was so sweet.
Yummy foods waiting for us when we arrived. Wew! The mango was so sweet.
Charina with the kids!
Charina with the kids!
Tribu Hubo's Banner
Tribu Hubo’s Banner
Hello new face!
Hello new face!
Tribu Hubo Members
Tribu Hubo Members

And then I got busy with helping and forgot about them. Charina and I were a team. And I felt as if they considered us part of their team as well. We helped in almost everything. I didn’t feel like an outsider. I sure hope Charina feels the same.

Smiling for the camera!
Smiling for the camera!
Go! Go! Go!
Go! Go! Go!
Busy as a bee!
Busy as a bee!
Busy! Busy! Busy!
Busy! Busy! Busy!
This was after I arranged the giveaways!
This was after I arranged the giveaways!

While Wilma and Anne are busy with the program, the others prepare the giveaways and the food. I am amazed at how Tess did the tasking. Haha! Maybe I should be more like her. It kind of remind me of a friend’s bad experience in a volunteer organization. She talked about how the execom seem to boss around. I wanted to tell her that I usually do bossing too since it makes people do things. But today, Tess just proved me wrong. 🙂

There were games and prizes. And everyone seems to enjoy their part. We started the program at around 11 I think so the sun was burning hot. I didn’t actually remember how hot it was until I feel the burning sensation in my face and nape. Oh boy! My face and nape still feels hot when touching them now. Waaaaaa! Hopefully the sun burnt skin wouldn’t peel off until Thursday. Huhu! I don’t want to attend our company party with that face. 😐

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The kids with their packs!
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Posing for Ate Kulit!
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Busy with their presentation plan!
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Aileen with the kids preparing for the presentation
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My favorite kid! 😀
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Giving packs in progress!
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Me and my friends!

After we wrap-up the party with the kids, we started our own party as well. I just had my first boodle fight. Yahoooo! The “lansang” and “hipon” were yummy. I believed I ate more than I had to but it was so yummy, I didn’t mind the extra pounds. Wahaha! And then it was time to go! I really have so much fun. I hope to join with them again. 🙂

Me in action! Plastic is my role. :P
Me in action! Plastic is my role. 😛
Aileen handing out the lates!
Aileen handing out the lates!
Charina in action!
Charina in action!
Wilma & Tess gicing foods.
Wilma & Tess giving foods.
Getting ready to feed the kids.
Getting ready to feed the kids.

As a challenge, I will list the new names I have today. 

  1. Henry – the guy I assumed from Tess’ group, the one I called out when we had breakfast at Guada church.
  2. Wilma – I forgot the time when I actually knew her name but I feel a good vibes from her immediately. 😀
  3. Anne, Lorraine, Aileen – asked their name on the trail. There was a 4th girl. Sorry it totally goes off my mind again. 😐
  4. Athan – he offered to carry Charina’s backpack.
  5. Tito Emil(?) and Tita Lorde(?) – Mistook them for a couple. My bad. Oh no, when I called them Tito and Tita, or Kuya and Ate, their names totally goes down the drain. Bad! Bad me.
  6. Julius – he hitch hike with us in Tito’s ride. He has an awesome go pro. I hope I have nice pics there. 😀
  7. Sister, Brother and Father – Oh gosh! I remembered I asked their names but totally forgot about them. My brain capacity is betraying me again. I again mistook the sister and brother as couples. Bah! Lesson learned. Do not immediately assume things. Huhu!
  8. Gru – the foreigner!

I hope I didn’t miss anyone. 🙂

So that’s it. Happy to have returned from my hiatus with this story of my outreach and a climb. Love! Love! Love! Good vibes!

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The food is almost ready!
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Boodle! 🙂
Food!
Food!

More pics at my page! Post by Kring’s Place. Enjoy! 🙂