It's easier to bear the misery with a smile on one's face

by Margret Müller/SHU,  2011/11/09

"If I started thinking about my situation, I would go mad. For weeks, we have been living on roots, leaves and grass; all my vegetables and fruit were blown away by the typhoons. Our fishing boat is broken. Everything is gone. How are we supposed to live on? I suffer from diabetes and I haven't had any drugs to treat the disease for three years. But we are happy. If I didn't laugh an entire day long, I would get wrinkled cheeks and then everything would even be much, much worse."

Despite the difficult situation, Esther focusses on the positive moments of life. Photo: humedica/Margret Müller

Laughing, and in the same tone, Esther (63) goes on. She tells of good times, when she earned up to 100 pesos (1.50 euros) by selling her vegetables and fruit on the market and was able to buy some meat of this money.

She also tells us of her daughter, which is her one big hope. For years, besides doing her own work, Esther has been working as housekeeper in order to be able to finance an education for her daughter. Now her daughter is doing a police training and maybe some day she will be able to support her parents a little.

Esther renders me speechless. She is radiating a strength that simply is overwhelming. She made the long way to our last mission location in Esteves by foot and under pain. Without any drugs to treat her high blood sugar level, every work and every way becomes an ordeal.

For the first time this day I am glad that this is the last day of our mission. It means that we can give her all diabetes tablets we have left. They will last her for an entire year.

The all-purpose transport means in the Philippines: A tractor. Photo: humedica/Margret Müller

Gratefully, and a little exhausted we start our trip back to Manila and from there back to Germany. We could offer urgently needed medical care in eleven different towns and villages of the Aurora Province. For many children, Dr. Rashid Al Badi was the first doctor they had ever seen in their lives.

Besides the insufficient medical care, most of the farmers we met in Aurora also lacked the necessary means to repair their fishing boats, to buy new fishing nets or seeds for their devastated fields and thus they lacked any possibility of rebuilding their lives after the disaster.

Therefore, we are very glad that the coordinators Judith Kühl and Fabian Walter are taking over from us in order to prepare the distribution of essential goods that are aimed to help the farmers take up their work again and to give them an opportunity to overcome the disastrous consequences of the typhoon.

Also back home in Germany, I am still thinking of the encounter with the many persons whom we could help, who supported and assisted each other in an impressive way and obviously refused to also sacrifice their smiles to their often desperate situation.

Please support our work in the Philippines by means of a targeted donation: Thank you very much for your support!

      humedica e.V.
      Donation reference “Flood Relief Asia
      Account 47 47
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You can achieve great things by means of pressing only a few keys and sending a text message: Simply send a text message containing the reference DOC to +49 8 11 90. By doing so, you will make a donation of 5 euros, with 4.83 euros of this amount being directly channelled into the humedica disaster relief projects.

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