Seven Months to a Lifetime - On Being a Humanitarian Worker

It has been more than six months now since I signed that contract last

February 15, 2012. It was my first time to actually put my signature
into something especially that knowing myself, I easily lose focus on
things and often times , I lose my interest along the way. One thing
that I had put in my mind as what was spoken in my heart is that I'ts
an opportunity for me to give back to Iligan after the years of
generosity it has given me when I was in college.I treasure this place
and the people in it and if I would find a very familiar place aside
from Bayugan - it would be Iligan City - a second home.

Now, I am sending you all not a Goodbye but a warm  "Thank You"  with
my biggest smile on my face. I wanted to be a Social Psychologist. It
was one thing I shared with Doc Khas and ate Jane during the interview
we had in front of the Psychology Department at the CASS Grounds. I
wanted to be involve in research. Maybe now, I'll go and find
opportunities to fulfill my dreams. But, to be honest, I am still on
look on what I really want in my life or into the discernment of What
is His destiny for me. I have lots of interest. If you ask me a
particular genre in music, I like rock, rap, mellow, alternative and
reggae. If you ask me my favorite food, I actually eat everything
except for Squid. (haha). In Cebuano term -  walay libog.

I treasure the friendship I had build with you and the learning that
HOM shared to me through the experiences I had. I will always miss our
jokes with ate Hanna , ate Isabel and my deep discussions with ate
Malou. I do believe that I had gained more confidence over time in
dealing with people. Within the Humanitarian realm, I find a box
filled with treasure. I came to understand and be inspired by other
Humanitarian Workers on the Ground. I am not the same Francis as

After this,I am sending application letters to different organizations
and be in look for another Job. It was our passion, love and God's
grace that sustained us to do all those things especially ate Malou
who have done a lot of sacrifices for the team.

I had always expect Nothing in life but I always make things as much
as I could to give Everything I've got. Though at times, I had fallen
short but whenever I get back on track -  I know what I have to do.
If I would sum up my experience in HOM, I would name three:

Serenity - It is acceptance based on trust. There are lots of things
that cannot be changed and yet, we should accept it and move forward
towards the goal. And what is the Goal? It is to win together with
those who are thirsty of our help , of our services. We can't deny
that we lack finances, but it's also a fact that not all the things
you can do as a volunteer will be limited to such lackness. I believe,
that the months we survived were fueled by our passion to love.

Simplicity - Its the child-like capacity of astonishment. We were
happy just to see our clients gain improvements over the days of
consultation. We were happy to have our Sta Claus ate Milfe bringing
some food to the office after a days work. Its fun to just see the
kids play and even adds more joy whenever they ask us to play with us.
It's such a cloud nine to hear a sweet and sincere thank you from
them. We came to know them as friends and family more than just
clients and patients. It's when we learn to live each day and not
expecting another day to come - giving always our best. We have each
other. It must have been that the small trip we had after Saranggani
was more than enough - it was already overflowing because we have
learned to live in Simplicity. That we can share even if there was
seemingly nothing left to give. We give our time and talents.

And finally, Sincerity - when we lovingly speak the truth. It is now
that I speak to you that we can never continue like this and we have
to find someplace to grow and really does imply someplace to earn
because sooner or later -we ought to live independent lives. My 7
months if I may say until September 15, 2012 was like a dream of
Ethiopia. It's like being able to volunteer with not much worries.
Just like my SSEAYP experience, we all have to leave the Ship but
what is amazing is that even though I left , my Journey never stopped.
Because being an HOM Volunteer doesn't stop from being a Mental Health
Specialist but it has given me the strength and motivation that I
should grow more and capacitate myself , learn new knowledge and
skills for me to be of more help to more people.

Thank you Shim for the support. Thank You Doc Khas and ate Jane for
the Opportunity. Thank you ate Mayo for the Knowledge You have shared.
Thank you Doc Afrah for being there to aid us! Thank you tisoy for the
funny moments we had. And, thank you Ate Malou, ate Hannah and ate
Isabel for the good times and the bad times. THANK YOU SO MUCH HOM for

I am Francis Alain L. Ebardo, signing off as a Mental Health
Specialist and Signing on as your Humanitarian Volunteer. :)

God bless us all!
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