Tuesday, July 18, 2006

All Hail The Ambassador!

On July 5th, 2006, we had the wonderful privilege of having the Canadian ambassador, Peter Sutherland, at our primary site in Malibay, Pasay City. CCT organized a welcome committee and assisted the whole party through the slum area. We had the barangay police and the ambassador’s bodyguards following us and watching every move we made. I was nervous and thought that we were quite safe in our area…but then I remembered that a diplomats work in a different system where protection is necessary and normal.

We were all very excited by the visit. The ambassador had brought some of the media with him, which from our point of view, was a great way to promote awareness about the needs of the people we’re working with - CCT and the nanays of Malibay.
I must say that I really appreciated speaking with Mr. Sutherland. He actually asked us questions about what and followed up our answers with comments on the nature of the projects. He showed an interest, and for that I’m grateful.
The visit was primarily the establishment of relationships. It was nice to find other Canadians in a culture that only knows "Canos" (americanos). For future projects of this nature, these contacts are very helpful.

I must say as a side note, that the evening on the town that David DaSilva, the head of the department of political affairs and communications of the Candian embassy, invited us to share with him on the following monday, was really nice. We all ate at a Middle Eastern restaurant in Makati and lounged in good company and good conversation. That gesture on his part went a long way to make us feel welcome. It was a much needed taste of home and relieving to discuss the differences of culture that have marked us during our respective stays. I know for sure that no one back home will understand the way we've lived here because they themselves have not experienced it. And so it was good to get the cultural differences "off our shoulders!"

I am very honored to have met all these people!

Ohh.. I missed David DaSilva! Nice guy, but he went back to Canada couple of months ago... wonder anyone has a forwarding email of him?

http://xxxriainxxx.multiply.com to contact me..
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