Arrived in Tacloban on the 3rd January 2015 after a 24 hour journey, I flew from Manchester to head to the Philippines to work as a volunteer media intern, with the brief of producing photographs and a film to be used by the charity Volunteer For The Visayans to promote the work they do around the relief effort following Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda). We’ve had an orientation around the city, it’s absolutely devastated still one year on from the typhoon, and with little funding coming from central government they are relying on donations and volunteers coming into the area to try and improve the situation.
I’m staying with a lovely family, you have to call the elders Nanay and Tatay (mother and father) and they’ve been so welcoming and generous, even though they have next to nothing. They have a dog called Dice so that’s helping with missing my own dog, and they took me to the local mall for dinner on my first evening, before heading to bed for a good rest!
The next morning Winston and JR from the charity gave me my induction session, and a tour around the city. Everyone uses the Jeepneys to travel around, a journey costs about 20p and will take you anywhere in the city. I’ve also met up with a group of French Canadian Police trainees who are here to volunteer too, so I’m heading out with them tomorrow for their tour to photograph and film their experience, hoping for a sunnier day!