Yolanda. She changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in just a few hours. Each and every person here has their own story, and although a lot of people have been left in similar situations I still come across a completely unique story on almost a daily basis. Like 44 children who, although attending school, have no place to use the bathroom; meaning that they use the two-foot wide area between school buildings or they wait through a full day of school until they can get home. It is those kids that we decided to visit today in hopes that within the next couple weeks we would be able to get a CR (Comfort Room) together for them.
After dedicating our morning to a few other projects Stephen, Amber, Kulia, Bekah and I made our way to Barugohay Norte Elementary School in Carigara. Let me just say that one of the most heart warming things you will ever hear is a classroom full of Filipino elementary students say in unison "HELLO VISITORS" as you walk passed. It never ever gets old. Your first instinct after that is to turn around to say "hello" or "thank you" in return, but what you may not realize is that the second you do the classroom full of students will scream with joy, jump from one foot to another, and then throw their hands over their mouths in excitement. I only offer this advice on the matter: do it anyways. Not only will it make you day, but it will make theirs too.
When we first got there we were greeted by Veronica, the teacher for those 44 students. She is the one that originally contacted us about the project, and also happened to be one of the people I was able to spend my very first full day here in Tacloban with. After a few introductions we made our way to her classroom to see what kind of work was in store for us. Over the next 30 minutes Amber and Mhytay entertained all 44 children while Veronica explained to the rest of us what it was that they need. She showed us the area they would need to place the CR in and gave us a general idea of the supplies we would need. She then took us elsewhere to show us a different CR that we could model the new one after. She even asked if it would be ok for the parents to be involved in various part of the project. It couldn't have been any more perfect.
After getting all the information from here that we needed a few of us went in to talk to the principal. We wanted to make sure that he approved of the CR before we got to far in to it, and also ask if there were any other projects the needed a hand with. I personally never heard about other projects, but I did find a few I wouldn't mind doing if they will allow it. I can't think of a single child who would object to few more playground items or a mural on this wall. One thing is for sure though, as long as the office approves it these kids will have a CR :)