We headed through the city to drop off our bags and have a day of "Stress Debriefing." Basically relax and have fun! We stopped to eat some chocolate rice - a very normal breakfast in the Philippines.
We took pictures.
went to a historic site
and then went to the beach.
The sunsets in the Philippines are the best I've ever seen.
We went out to eat at a fancy restaurant. When we entered, a bakla was guiding people to a table. A bakla is a Filipino man who has become a woman, and they are over the top in makeup and mannerisms. The bakla was hollering at me to come to the table, and I froze in fear. I couldn't look away, or step forward, or think, or anything because I was so afraid of it! So Mace had to grab my shoulders and guide me forward.
Later that night we went shopping for more relief goods. We were running low on donation money, so I logged in to my account so see if any of my friends had donated. A number of my friends had! I broke into tears and called Chelsea Cunningham, barely being able to talk through my tears. I was so touched by the friends who were so eager to support me. I had been feeling so disconnected and experiencing so much that I greatly needed their strength. To all of you, THANK YOU!
(Brice Hessing, Chase Hessing, Jennifer Steele Gessel, Jeanette Ockerman, Nora Ballantyne, Joanne Bird, Molly Aufdermauer, Chelsea Cunningham, Reta Cunningham, Hilary C Johnson, Amy Watson).
After Mace and I purchased two sleeping bags, because let's face it, our bony backs couldn't take much more of the hard floors, we decided the shopping bags were large enough for humans like myself. So we tried it out...
... It didn't work so well.
I withdrew the donations from my account so we could get more medical supplies in the morning. What a load of money. Also, this picture depicts just how exhausted I was. Crazy eyes!
Then we all went out to dinner at our favorite place Mang Inasal, where you can get an unlimited amount of rice! (But let me just make it known that I will not be eating any more rice for a year...)
And then I fell asleep hours before everyone else. And this became such a common occurrence that the team would tease me often. "Oh look everyone! Chantel's not asleep in the corner." But really, I could NOT stay awake, no matter the amount of noise, children jumping over my head, water dripping on me... nothin.
Upward and onward,