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Flying

Updated: Sep 9, 2018

Flying. Most everyone seems to appreciate that feeling of loftiness – no strings attached, no obligations to attend to: freedom.

fly, boy, Philippines, faith, giving, play, volunteer, travel
This lucky shot captures the rewarding part of the work in the Philippines–the free flying part. Location: Tambulilid, Ormoc City, Leyte, Philippines

Part of the reason I volunteered in the Philippines after Typhoon Yolanda (Internationally known as, Haiyan) was to lay things aside: a slow-growing business, deadlines, the internet, even friends and family. Of course, we always take some of this with us wherever we go, but now and then, a significant break is warranted. On this particular break, I wanted to fly – to get away, to hop on airplanes around the world, to redistribute my efforts into something physical and tangible.


The funny thing is, volunteering is hard work – laborious and exhausting and not like a break at all – but so incredibly freeing. I recommend it.


"Learn to love without condition. Talk without bad intention. Give without any reason. And most of all, care for people without any expectation."

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Volunteering in a post-disaster area means difficult living conditions, sweat, a little blood, and probably a few tears, too – knowing that the communities we were helping had no way to repay us. With All Hands Volunteers on the Island of Leyte in the Philippines, difficult living meant that 50-60 people from around the world shared two toilets; lived in tents – or a hospital that we repaired, or a house that was mildly retrofitted for our needs. Showers of bamboo frames with tarps for privacy were complete with a bucket of cold water and a sunset view out the back over a rice paddy.


Difficult, but beyond rewarding.


bicycle, boy, fly, Hans Christian Anderson, quote, travel, volunteer, give
Flying by bicycle. This photo was captured from the top of a Jeepney. Location: Just outside of Ormon on the Island of Leyte, Philippines.

I love lucky shots–like snapping a boy's joy midair or a motion-blurred kid on a bicycle from the top of our Jeepney as we drove by. This window in time captures the rewarding part of our work in the Philippines – the free flying part. Smiles from people in the communities where we worked, children eager for playtime, working along side the Filipino people, and the ever-growing list of completed projects always kept our group going. Sometimes these things only amounted to a few minutes each day, but the gratitude of people around us and these moments of celebration and fun made our hard work more meaningful – unexpected repayment and graceful memories that we carried with us in our work.


These photos capture the absolute joy of our work.


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For more information about my work in the Philippines, please check out my blog: All Hands 4 Andrea.


Unless noted, all images and content © 2014 - 2018 The Earth Ink | Andrea Rip

*Orginally posted by the same author on 10 June 2014 at thearthink.blogspot.com.

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