“The mystical islands of the Philippines- Manila, was my home for 6 weeks. Signing up for the Lifeboat Project by UPD had exposed me to one of the most unique situations I’ve had so far in 2015. This project aims to raise awareness and preparedness of the local population regarding disaster relief. As exchange participants, we were required to help these three organizations with their daily work, namely the Philippine Red Cross, Buk Lud Tao and the Department of Interior and Local Government. We spent most of our time with the Philippine Red Cross by helping them carry out their daily blood donation programs around the district.So people, are you ready to change the world by changing yourself?
Meeting and interacting with the locals was certainly the best part of our work. It was absolutely priceless to see the smile on their faces with pure gratitude and appreciation. Minimal time was spent at the other two organizations because most of the jobs have been completed and there was nothing much we could do to help out.
On top of everything, we travelled around the country with the other exchange participants and had a great time. The awe-inspiring views of historical and natural wonders of the Philippines was extraordinarily breathtaking. Not to mention jumping off moving vehicles or sitting on top of a jeep travelling at 70km/hour while hanging onto the railings, we had a lot of fun. The low cost of living allowed us to travel light and visit many destinations with a tight budget. From volcanos to jungles and beaches, this beautiful country definitely has a lot to offer for the adventurous.
From this experience, I learnt to be flexible while adapting to different circumstances as things do not always turn out as planned. From a more technical point of view, I also picked up some basic first aid skills and also event management skills. Frankly, it was undeniably tough to be in a totally different surrounding with limited level of knowledge and experience. However, to be courageous by taking the first step out of your comfort zone - that brings everything in your life to a whole new level. To sum it all up, I’d say this 6-week-experience was the best decision I have ever made.”
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