Posted June 2, 2018 from Philippines
The sun, sea and sand makes us happy too :)
Tents pitch on the holy ground in Buntang Nepal
Tents pitch on the holy ground in Buntang Nepal : When we go on the field we pitch our tents where we are welcome to complete our work for several days during the response made after the earthquake in 2015. (1/2)

You can read the same post of the same title here 


I'm officially jobless and at the moment disabled. So you can say I have time on my hands, so I am going to update my blog site.

Actually, I still have work to finish for my last mission, but I am happy to finally break-free from the so-called "cursed" mission and will start fresh as a consultant. I am not at liberty to talk about the mission itself (this being a public platform) nor of the people I worked with. But the reason some of us called it a cursed mission was because of the strings of misfortune it had during the year, the stress level can be through the roof and of course my unfortunate accident in the place that I had misgivings to move from the moment it was offered to me.

In fact, the move to Tunisia made me realized how badly my position and myself was regarded by those I thought to believe in what I do but I forged ahead because more than myself, the people we help needed better services  as a consequence of war more than the accident that happened that brought me back in my parents home. I remembered something that was told to me last December.


I trusted the guy, though we met only a couple of times, the meeting was always very productive. I guess he was able to see the efforts we put into what we were doing, he appreciated me as a person and saw my passion and wit in all the interactions we had. And acknowledged what our team had done in the country in spite of the context and the challenges we had to face.

While at the same time, my organization was ready to drop me by threatening me because I wouldn't accept to live in a house not livable according to my standards and to the cost they are willing to pay.

There are thankless job around and being a humanitarian aid worker can be one of them. I say that from experience because there are a lot of things that happen within the scope of this work that is hard to explain. And yet people whose not been in the same situation are easy to judge.


How many of my friends really understand what I do? Unless they worked with me directly, they will not know that sometimes I write procedures that nobody would care to follow or I give advice that has no guarantee it will even be considered.

We only see the surface of the crisis once reported in the news, but we don't know the aftermath of it, the effect on the people that before are progressive and because of the war or calamity become vulnerable.

They would not know the amount of work needed to get things off the ground, the get services accessible, the number of negotiations and paper works required to get access to funds to keep our work going, and many more.

How many people understand the word vulnerable? Not many, because most of us are consumed with our own problem that we don't see beyond them and feel for others who have more significant issues than most of us.

We sometimes live in a bubble that when it burst we don't know what to do next. Well the people I encounter didn't ask to be vulnerable, their situation made them, that's why I don't accept the reactions of Europe to the migration crisis happening from the Middle East to Africa and Myanmar.

In my organization, we kept talking about inclusion, in fact, they even changed their name to it because they said it reflects more their values than its current name (which somehow I agree) if only people really understand how inclusion works. How it is translated into viable action, resulting in sustainable change.

It is hard, it is thankless, but despite the non-understanding and misunderstanding, I continue to do what I do. Because early in my career, I made a promise to myself that I will do this because I believed that this is what God wants me to do - to build lives including mine, one brick at a time.

I also decided to only do my best and with passion even if the best that I know is underappreciated or not even considered at all as long as the end results improvement in the lives of the people that really matter. Passion is another subject hard to measure or quantify. I cannot explain it as clear as I could especially to friends who already told me to quit but I wouldn't, and I leave it at that.

So even with my current state - being confined to home strapped to my cast, not able to move with our personal assistance, I am happy that I had contributed something to the work done in my last mission. My friends keep telling me it's a sign that I have to slow down and force myself to rest now that my contracts finish and take time to think about my future.

Comments 6

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Jill Langhus
Jun 03, 2018
Jun 03, 2018

Hi Coolasas. Thanks for sharing some more about your work. It's definitely intriguing to me. I wish I could no more. I'm really impressed by your drive, too. I kept thinking of my favorite, new quote that I learned a couple of weeks ago while reading your post, "You can't fail at being you." This means in in relation to what I read, that it doesn't matter what other people think about what you do or what you have achieved. What matters is that you are doing what you need to do and that it has meaning for you. To me, that's living on purpose. And, yes, I agree with your friends about your accident being a sign that you need to slow down and reflect:-)

Jun 03, 2018
Jun 03, 2018

Thank you for the kind words. I am happy you picked up something from my stories. I wrote this not long ago -- it should give you a little bit of insights into the kind of work I did in the last two decades.

Here also is a story on how it all begun
I didn't know what I was getting into but the moment I stepped out into the realities of where I was I knew this is the path I wanted to pursue.

Now I am rested, I want to see where my disability journey leads me.

Jill Langhus
Jun 03, 2018
Jun 03, 2018

You're welcome:) Oh, I'll check it out. Thanks:)

So, do I:-)

Shine on...:)

Karen Quiñones-Axalan
Jun 03, 2018
Jun 03, 2018

Hello, D,

Somehow being married to a humanitarian worker, and being a development worker myself, I could say I understand the frustration, difficulty and challenges attached to this line of work. It may not be in an international scope (yet), but we witness the arduous recovery of Typhoon Haiyan-stricken areas. We're still until now because after the emergency response, there is still the rehabilitation stage. And the unending storms aggravate this rebuilding process.

It is hard to explain to others why we move from place to place, why we live in areas that are vulnerable to disasters, and so on.

This time of rest for you is a blessing in disguise; a time to assess and reflect, and a time to recharge. Burn out is part of this thankless job.

I salute you for your passion, commitment, grit and resiliency. The world needs more people like you.

Mabuhay ka!

Jun 03, 2018
Jun 03, 2018

Thank you for the kind words Karen.

It takes one to know one ika nga. I believe our purpose is to help and whatever reward we get out of it is something to be cherished. For me, despite the accident, I was able to rest and that is something many people had no opportunity to do, so yes it's a blessing.

In the WP sisterhood, we are stronger together!

Karen Quiñones-Axalan
Jun 03, 2018
Jun 03, 2018

I read some of your blog posts, D. You are so courageous!

You can even write a book about your 2 decades of experience.

In behalf of the people you serve, I want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for laying down your life to us. There is no greater LOVE than this.

Again, Mabuhay ka! And may your tribe increase!