Typhoon Haiyan devastated the beautiful country of the Philippines roughly two weeks before my planned vacation in 2013. The week leading up to my trip, I told anybody who would listen that I was planning on volunteering while I was there. I didn’t have any official plans yet of where on the morning of my trip.
I was watching some YouTube videos about the situation as I was waiting to leave for the airport. That was when one of the most beautiful things that happened to me in the last five years came over me. The buckets of tears started jumping out of my eyes. The crying felt amazing actually.
However, I suddenly realized that I was going to have to be dealing with first-hand experience of brutal hardship. I ended up not volunteering. Here are some of the reasons why.
#1 Terrible planning
I’m not quite sure why I thought calling volunteer organizations the night before was a good idea. It was a major operation. I suppose I thought the world would stop for Josh Dent.
Like I said, I cry about once every five years. The thought of sitting there with young children who may have lost their mothers, fathers, etc, scared the daylights out of me. I am quite honestly not sure I could have stayed strong enough for this.
I’m terribly embarrassed by this. It quite honestly came down to the fact that I was too selfish to give up my precious vacation time to spend the day working with others. It makes me sick to realize this. It is still the truth.
#4 The Spirit of the Filipinos
You may be asking yourself how could their spirit cause you not to volunteer. That should make you want to help them. I was nowhere near any of the major inflicted areas from the typhoon. However, you could just gain an overall sense that they were okay with or without me. They seem to just accept life for what it is.
I still feel bad for not actually going to any of the volunteer shelters while I was there. Most of these reasons are shameful. But I can only live and learn now.