I made the draining flight back to Manila yesterday and what is better than a service project welcome party? One of the goals of being a Consular Officer with the Foreign Service is to reach out every year and have a leadership day. This year the team planned a service day to give back to the community—Corporate Social Responsibility. I was happy to get in time to join in!
We spent the morning on a large soccer complex playing games with the Special Olympians. Since I was not here for the planning portion of the day, I roamed around and enjoyed watching colleagues interact with the athletes. They played soccer, bocce, and other team games for several hours. I had fun in hearing the joy as their bocce ball got close and they gave everyone around them high fives!
One of my favorite things about the morning was listening to one of the Special Olympians give her welcome remarks. She was full of enthusiasm and spunk. She concluded her speech by saying, “My name is Brina and I have down-syndrome. Is it a challenge sometimes? Yes. Is it a problem? No, we all have struggles we need to overcome…oh and just so you know my family got their visas!” Haha! What an inspiration.
In the afternoon we split off into four groups and did service. I ended up with the group that painted for an NGO—Reach Youth—that feeds street children and does an after school supplemental education program.
We had a blast painting…even if it was HOT!!
It felt good to do some service, as it always does. It was also fun to see all the friends we have made here in Manila. So many people that we love, it is hard to think my time here is coming to a close.