Tracking "Ramil" - Northern Luzon, Philippines

By Mary Riedel, KF9, Philippines

This is how my morning started…woke up around  5 am – packed and ready to go – off on my first trip to meet the Kiva borrowers after 2 weeks in the Philippines! Started humming a little tune to myself…”I’m on my way, I don’t know where I’m going, I’m on my way, taking my time but I don’t know where….( shout out to Simon and Garfunkel)”

We all met at ASKI, the Kiva MFI Partner, got in the car, supplies were handed out (water, a roll of toliet paper for rest stops, and mints)…we were on our way!  We talked, someone mentioned something about a typhoon and laughed asuring us it was static – it was just going to hit Tuguegarao- no need to worry. I didn’t think much of it. We traveled for about 2 hours (7 hour journey) had breakfast at Chow King, and then took a nap (well I took one anyway).

While napping, apparently things got a little more serious….

“MANILA – Weather bureau PAGASA on Monday said residents of Cagayan and Isabela provinces should brace for the effects of Typhoon Ramil (international code name Lupit), which is expected to make landfall by Thursday morning.”  ASBN NEWS

Guess where we were going? ….yup you got it! Cagayan and Isabela! I awoke to chuckling and then someone said “Mary, we’re going back.”  (internal voice: hmmmmm, did we forget something? Surely we can buy whatever it is when we get there.)  ”Really?” I said. “Yes, we turned around. Ma’am Aida called the typhoon (Ramil)  is expected to hit Isabela. Boss Rolly called Aida, we have to head back it’s not safe.”

So, it looks like it’s just not in the cards for me to get out there right now, so weird.  Actually I guess it really isen’t that weird… as I mentioned according to statistics we (the Philippines) are actually due for about 5 more typhoons this season (May – November). Who knew the final month of the season could be so busy! I can’t believe what the Filipinos have to deal with every year! In fact to deal with the increasing severity of the typhoons ASKI is creating a special department within ASKI Foundation (there are 2 parts of ASKI – MFI and Foundation)  - Disaster Relief Coordination to help logistical and financial planning.

Thank God we don’t have an earthquake “season” in San Francisco.

Stay tuned….

LOAN – To ASKI Borrowers!!

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