Monday, February 17, 2014


I realised I hadn't really posted any photos of Joyful, our first canine friend here in Tacloban. She used to be very squeaky, not really whiney, but vocal in drawing attention to herself for pats. That seems to have calmed down a bit now. She had puppies a while ago, but we never saw them, so I don't think they survived very long. 
 She's a very sweet dog, and spends most of her days lounging on a chair outside the office.
 That chair is now covered in dog hair, so no-one else sits in it.
 She misses Lucky too.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Farewell Lucky

We first noticed the dog we named Lucky upstairs outside the restaurant. She kept to herself and seemed to sleep all the time. At some point, I don't remember when, she started hanging around with Joyful outside the office. She quickly became my favourite. 

Every morning as I rounded the corner to approach the office, she'd be standing there with her tail wagging. As soon as we made eye contact she'd come loping over for her morning pats. There was no better way to start the day than to have someone so happy to see you. 

She'd spend most of the day curled up sleeping. We later found out this was because she would spend her nights leading a pack of other dogs on all sorts of adventures I can only imagine. 
Whenever I went outside during the day, she'd lazily open one eye and as soon as she realised it was me, she'd immediately roll over and request belly rubs.
She was also very inquisitive and gentle with a new teeny tiny puppy.
But mostly her and Joyful would just pal around and play.
When we moved into a bungalow in the hotel grounds they found us before too long. Even with the door wide open, Lucky knew to stay outside as she'd be rewarded with more tummy pats.
Lucky was poisoned two nights ago. We'll never know if it was accidental or intentional, but it was a terribly distressing thing to witness. I couldn't bear to stay with her until the end, so part of me wants to believe that she shook it off and is now out there somewhere leading a new pack of dogs around Tacloban.

But mostly I will remember her as my happy little furry friend.
Farewell Lucky. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Hard to keep track of the days

I've been busy. I can't believe it's February! I get to the office at 6:20am and plough through emails. During the day I'll spend time in internal meetings, like finalising budgets for the WASH programme, or talking to the monitoring & accountability team about our hotline, or in external meetings on shelter, camp management, protection...the list is endless! I usually finish around 7pm, when I can no longer ignore the growls of my stomach. Most evenings we eat in the hotel restaurant, where we have seen a big improvement in the food in the last week or so, but some evenings we muster up the energy to go out to eat. Don't get me wrong, I'm really enjoying all of the challenges my new role brings each and every day. There's a lot of problem solving, a lot of creative thinking, and I'm learning so much from my boss who's an experienced programme manager.

It rained for about 2.5 weeks a couple of weeks ago. We didn't really see the sun at all. Then there were a few beautiful days, until another tropical depression came through. There were rumours flying around that another typhoon was coming, but thankfully (particularly for the families living in tents) it was only one windy rainy night. The next morning the sun was out again. It's been a bit weird weather wise.

The Sunday before last I went on a bit of an adventure with two colleagues, to try and find some hot springs. It took about an hour to get to the town, but unfortunately our adventure was foiled by a gaping hole in a bridge we had to cross.
Last week I accompanied some high level visitors to one of our project areas. We've donated chainsaws and table saws to coconut farmer's cooperatives, so they can help families in the area to not only clear their land of fallen trees, but also turn the trees into lumber for reconstructing houses.
The chainsaws aren't the usual small type I see at home, but a good few feet long!
Finally, every night we are treated to the vocal and guitar styling of Miss Linda (2nd from right), who is extremely talented. She lets people get up and sing with her, or play her guitar, and is just great. Her 90 year old mother is always with her, and she's such a sweet woman (see if you can pick her out in the photo...)
She's also my biggest fan. After my roaring success with Pusong Bato, which I sometimes sing with Linda, her mother always demands that I sing it. She even followed me into the bathroom the other night to request it!! :-)