CAFOD’s Maggie Mairura is in the Philippines visiting partners and offering her expertise. Read the latest instalment of her experiences overseas below…
We were ready and waiting at 10am for Gen, however it was our faithful friend, Elmer, who arrived to take us to the airport, collecting Gen on the way. Our flight was at 12.55. We sailed through check-in and into the departure lounge of the Domestic Flights terminal. At the Krispy Kreme stall, Gen was getting a box of donuts for Father Eric, our host, as they are his favourite. We persuaded her to let us pay for them as our gift to him.
Our gate number was called and we proceeded out of the building, being slam-dunked by the heat! As we followed directions to our plane we had to wait a while as a disabled passenger was physically lifted, in her wheelchair, up the narrow staircase by 3 staff. It was a small aircraft, two seats on either side of the aisle. As we took off it was amazing to see Manila from the sky, looking down into Laguna Bay and all the fish farms, so many islands and so much water!! The flight lasted 50 minutes and as we approached Naga City the views were of patchwork rice fields, mountains in the distance and beyond that water – like I said, lots of it!
CAFOD Nottingham’s Maggie Mairura has headed to the Philippines to see CAFOD’s work first hand. Read her experiences of her first few days in the country below…
Hail Mary’s abounded on the 14 hour flight to Manila as there were a couple of instances of bad turbulence! We landed in a very humid Manila and warmly greeted by NASSA staff Jing and Gen who accompanied us to our hotel.
Maggie Mairura has travelled to the Philippines
Monday was a rest day so we took time to wander the neighbourhood Intramuros, heading for Manila Cathedral for 12.15 Mass. The various modes of transport are fascinating; bicycle’s with sidecars, motor bikes with sidecars, jeepneys. All uniquely decorated.
The narrow lanes of Intramuros were busy with pedestrians, vehicles and animals; scrawny dogs and cats, cockerels on leashes secured to walls and gates. We passed the Seaman’s Mission; a large group sitting on the steps passing the time of day while another large group smartly dressed waiting to be collected to be taken to the port.
Cake sale in action
With a large Filipino element to the school community of Saint Teresa’s Primary, Aspley, the school felt was extra important to work together to help their brothers and sisters in the Philippines at this sad and difficult time.
The Chaplaincy Team, along with the House Captains, organised a liturgy which they led. They also organised a cake sale and a non uniform day, where the children and staff wore red, yellow, blue and white – the colours found in the Philippine flag.
All children have been using the CAFOD prayer in their classrooms and writing prayers for the prayer wall in the school hall.
The efforts of the school community raised £332 for the CAFOD Typhoon Haiyan Appeal and they will continue to pray in school and at home for the people of the Philippines.