Well, my monthly expat living in the Philippines journals haven’t had much in them lately because nothing is going on. Then came November of 2013 and the month of change and trauma. There has been a lot of change. Most of it brought about Typhoon Haiyan. There was also a lot of nice things that happened for me in November. In fact, this article just might surprise you. As I recall the month of November 2013, I see it as mostly happy time for me. Though difficult, it was still a good month for me to live in the Philippines. So this month, I have to something to say for my living in the Philippines expat journal.

I’m not going to rehash everything I’ve written about Haiyan but there were some good things that happened. Though Haiyan was traumatic, stressful, caused loss of life in Jessie’s family, caused extreme financial hardship and totally disrupted my life. All of this tired me, grew on my last nerve and I’m still a bit worn from all of it.

The Month After Typhoon Haiyan was Good for Me

There was something good though. Jessie and I grew close again. We spent a lot of time together. Her presence is something that I’ve missed daily for the last two years. She’s here but she’s somewhere else. This entire year has been especially bad, a lonely year for me.

With the financial issues of November it wasn’t always easy to fully enjoy her presence like I might have but it was theSanta in The Philippines happiest month of the year for me too. Despite all the hardships it was still a good month. It was the best month in a long time.

I couldn’t take her to a movie or sight seeing around Cebu City. There are still many things in the area that we have not seen. I was happy even though I was stressed and worried. As long as Jessie is close, I’m always okay.

She went to see her family that live around Cebu City. Her brother came into town for a few days and she has an aunt that lives in the area too. She spent time with them. She also went back to Bogo City two or three times. For me, I walked around the area a bit and took pictures. It was nice to get reacquainted with my camera. I also had a chance to being to learn how to use some new processing tools that I bought and begin to do more with black and white photography too. If you’re a long time reader, you probably know that problems with my feet have been keeping me from walking much. They are still a problem but they are clearly better than they were. I am able to walk some without them splitting open now. So, I will walk a little at a time.

Mom and Child in Haiyan Evacuation CenterI enjoyed most of November despite all the problems; in fact, I wish I had problems like that all over again.  Of course, I don’t really want that.  Many people lost a lot.

I had about a dozen people send me cash during this time. That’s what I needed the most. I remember once a guy that I respect a lot, who happens to be preacher said once; when you see someone in need, don’t ask “What can I do for you? Just do it.” I understand now. I really do. I want to thank those people again that made the month bearable. I was very close to taking a free room with no furniture but that had electricity. That would have been better than returning to Bogo City that had no electricity. At one point, I felt pretty alone. I don’t have anyone to turn to in times of need, I’ve pretty much been on my own since I was sixteen years old. It was really heart warming to not feel so freaking alone.

Helping Others Lifted My Spirits

Also during the month, I had the chance to provide a little help or support to others in need. Most of those people are living in far worse conditions than I was experiencing. After all, I was sitting in a hotel room with satellite TV, had air con and a decent bed. While others are sleeping on the streets of Tacloban and Cebu Cities, I didn’t have all that bad really. It is nice to be able to write a positive article about living in the Philippines. I haven’t been able to do much in recent months and have been spending a lot of time by myself. November, I wasn’t by myself and that part of the month is what I remember the most. For that reason, it was an outstanding month.

Rusty Ferguson Expat Life Philippines

Will this continue into December? I suppose you’ll just have to wait and see but I think the answer is already out there for those that are observant. There is still lots of time for things to get better and be as fulfilling as November was.

I think Typhoon Haiyan and Santa Claus have changed my life. A few people on Goolge Plus have also opened my ideas to some possibility to do good.  Something I’ve wanted to do for a long time but I didn’t think it was possible. It is possible but it isn’t going to be easy. I don’t know if I can pull it off but I am sure the average person with the will and still has their health could do a lot of good using social media.  More to come on this later. If you have any questions, please leave a comment.

By Rusty Ferguson

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