Philippines - November 4th to 9th - Shelley
At the beginning of November 2013, I traveled with Engineers Without Borders (EWB), back to Apatut, a small farming village in the Philippines northwest of Manila.
It was a homecoming of sorts, as I reconnected with many people I’d met there in March 2012; greeting me with smiles and hugs and home cooked meals.
During the week I was there, I worked with several colleagues to hold community workshop meetings in each of the seven sectors; we presented a brief history of the water project, as well as possible options for long and short term solutions moving forward. The geologist working on the project, Bob DeFilippo, worked with locals to perform testing on the borehole our team drilled in 2012; our driller suspected that the borehole was dry and would not produce any water. However, on later trips, our team discovered water there.
Bob reported that the amount of water bailed and the rate of recovery were both encouraging, indicating that the borehole may prove to be a viable water source for the village.
We took tricycle taxis to the local marketplace, the internet café, and to a nearby village for a basketball game. On the Friday before we were scheduled to fly home, Super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) made landfall in the central Philippines. Thankfully Apatut and Manila were safely outside of the storm path; however Haiyan devastated southern parts of the Philippines, particularly in Visayas. Our nine hour bus ride from Apatut to Manila during the storm was both rainy and windy, but we made it safely to Manila.