Busy, busy, busy! I recently returned from another work trip to the Philippines. This past trip was one week, a little longer than the last, because Stop Hunger Now Asia had two events there the first week of October. October is WHAM, World Hunger Awareness Month, so we literally have meal packaging events every weekend throughout October. We packaged a total of 40,000 meals just the first week! We had one event in Bulacan, and another in Lucena City, both with rotary districts from the local areas. I feel very fortunate I have gotten to see many parts of the beautiful Philippines. I have also met some wonderful people through working there. One woman I met, Geri, was actually born and raised in Vineland, NJ and moved to the Philippines 22 years ago after visiting and falling in love with the country. Vineland is approximately a half an hour from where I live back home, so it was pretty crazy to have met her halfway around the world from New Jersey! It truly made me realize what a small world we live in.
We also had a meal packaging event with Taylor’s University in Kuala Lumpur upon returning last week. It was nice working with ambitious college students. They were so motivated to reach their goal of packaging 30,000 meals. They found many creative ways to fundraise, a few examples being selling hand-made bookmarks and holding bake sales. They got up early on a Saturday morning (big ask of college students) to package meals for the less fortunate in their community. It was inspiring to see their commitment and dedication. As the saying goes, where there is a will, there is a way!
After the Philippines we had to head off to Singapore again the following week. We did an event with the Food Bank of Singapore packaging another 30,000 meals! These meals went to local needy in Singapore as well as some refugees living on the Laos/Thailand border. So far I have been to four new countries these past three months, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines. Being assigned in Malaysia has been great because there are so many interesting and unique places close by that are quick plane rides away. The hard part is deciding where to go. I still would love to travel to Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand. I’m more than halfway through my PULSE assignment though, so time is running out. Never know where I might end up being next! Stay tuned…