Last December 18, 2011, we paid another visit Ayutthaya. This time we did not just give people on the road, but we went deep inside small roads to find real needy people that are recovering from the flood. People that are still affected have no proper homes to keep them warm during the winter and their shanty homes are not enough to shield them from the cold.
It was an afternoon filled with adventure. We were not familiar with the area. We felt the need to go into those remote areas because people there barely have access to any relief aid. We made our way through narrow dikes to reach the people in the villages. Doing so was both fun and scary but the best thing was we were able to give to the people what they needed.
Some people are still living on the streets as their homes are still under water. For some, they have no home to go back to. Despite what most of the people have gone through, they are still positive that they will be able to rise above the devastation brought about by the flood.
Each grocery pack consist of rice, noodles, canned good, coffee, chocolate drinks, packs of bottled water and instant rice porridge and noodles. Each one also got new changes of clothes. Such as pants, shorts and shirts for the men, blouses, skirts and pants for the women. The children were also given children’s clothing. Some were lucky to to get new pairs of shoes, sandals and slippers.
Andreia packed cookies for the children of the villages we visited. Not only that, she also packed assorted candies to give to the kids. Each child was so happy to receive the cookies, candies and lollipops. Seeing the smiles on their faces was refreshing for Andreia. She enjoyed giving the goodies to each child we met.
On our way out of the village we passed by an old woman living on the street. She was pointing at where her house used to stand. I couldn’t understand what she was saying but I felt her need for somebody to talk to and to listen to her so I stayed while Bernie and Andreia were waiting for me in the car. Finally Andreia got out of the car and helped by translating what the old woman was saying. She’s been telling me that she’s got nothing left. She even showed us where she sleeps at night. That’s when she started crying. It’s winter and the temperature at night could really get so cold. the place where she sleeps had only the clouds for her roof and the stars and the moon as her light. It sounds fun, but for an old woman it is not. So we gave her everything that we had left in the car including the rest of the clothes and some blanket.
Just before we left, I gave her some cash that she could use. She then held my hands and thanked us profusely. With tears in her eyes, she asked if we would still go back to her place. I couldn’t answer her because, I have no idea how to get back there again. We just randomly followed any path that led us to those villages. If we could, we would.
We are so grateful to our friends who helped us in helping those people:
Candy Somoso Layson who is now based in the United Kingdom together with her husband, Hefer Rey Layson and their two girls Kari and Heca. She even thanked me for sharing the information and for asking her to help.
Seldom do we find people such as Ate Candy who are grateful to be of help. Thank you so much – you have our gratitude and our love.