A race for experience on the post-Haiyan solidarity tour of the Philippines

August 20, 2014
by 
Fran Lucas, Second Vice-President of the Catholic Women’s League

Fran Lucas, of the Catholic Women’s League, is a member of the Development and Peace delegation visiting Typhoon Haiyan-affected communities in the Philippines.

A few days ago, I began my version of the Amazing Race with Development and Peace! It is a ‘race’ to see and experience as much as I can in 10 days so that I can better understand the good works of Development and Peace in the Philippines.

The scheduled race activities of our first day included meeting Deveopment and Peace’s very efficient in-country support team; visiting a housing project for the urban poor; meeting with Bishop Pabillo, National Director of Caritas Philippines-NASSA, at Santo Niño Parish; attending the 11th mass of the day at the parish, which was concelebrated by Archbishop Miller of Vancouver; and dinner with the entire delegation.

Some of the added unexpected adventures of the day included a walk through the very large market led by Bishop Pabillo, seeing the Black Nazarene statue, having a young girl of no more than 8 years old come up and give me a hug around the waist in a tight grip, and observing a group of young children having a shower by scooping small buckets of water from the sewer and pouring it over their heads.

My first leg of the race ended with a reflection on what I had witnessed that day, and with prayers of thanks that the Catholic Women’s League of Canada is working in partnership with Development and Peace. Now on to the second leg!