Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Apology for An Abrupt Absence


By the time this post gets published, I would have been gone from the blogosphere for over two weeks. Sudden disappearances have been part of my life, not as a matter of personal choice, but largely forced upon by circumstances and events in the type of causes I have pursued. But I have always managed to bring myself around conditions that restrain the need and desire to communicate, and this is no exception. The problem is, it may take a little time.

I apologize to my dearest friends in the blogging community, my buddies, my readers, and those whom I have just recently been in contact with through blogging; for the abrupt and unannounced departure.This is actually the third post on the subject, starting with an announced leave from blogging, to a sorry for the 7 day silence, to this post. The carrier of this post could not leave immediately to get the posts encoded. I hope this one makes it.

Our team has been commissioned to do a rationalization program for relief operations, then a survey of resources and skills in our assigned area to develop a rehabilitation program, then a strategy for the reconstruction and development of sustainable mechanisms for education, health care, livelihood and income generation, and skills training. This is in a country recently ravaged by a cyclone whose government remained unmindful of the suffering and took their time accepting much needed aid. We have been deployed in a province that is so backward and primitive, and thrust immediately into the process of getting our hands and feet wet, as we merrily slush through the waters where decomposing bodies still abound and our arms swelling from injections to prevent disease.

The sad part is, my laptop crashed just before our departure for this country, and my techie son determined that it was a virus (trojan) obtained from one of the sites clicked for Entrecard. He noted that Entrecard hardly screens any application for membership and it's approval is instantaneous. In addition, the spam comments began to appear on the comments box after a day of heavy clicking.

Our departure has also been moved two days earlier, so we rushed to this country on July 9. There is no electricity in the area where we are, it is as primitive as Tarzan's tribal contacts - thanks to the long rule of this Military government who are attempting to legitimize their rule rather shamelessly. We have assigned vehicles with military drivers, our quarters were built by the military, we have only battery power for lights at night and for the electric fans - making computers useless, we were not allowed to bring our batteries and satellite communication equipment so we could at least get to the internet. Typewriters are available but the soldiers will do the typing, thus all reports we have are read before it even gets to the Aid agencies we are connected with. The photos on this post ( if it could be uploaded) were provided by the citizens, some of which are being sold in the black market. We only get to the capital city once every week, but power supply even there is intermittent.

So to my friends and readers, I apologize for the absence. At the rate we are working here, and much needs to be done fast, I could be doing regular posting by the end of August. Until then, I will attempt to smuggle out posts but I am unsure if I can answer comments as much as I used to. Perhaps a week's delay in response if I'm lucky at the Capital City. The truth is I miss blogging a lot and miss all those blogs I greatly admire. I will also not be able to make posts about this country as I may endanger the messenger of the article. The risk for this particular apology post is minimal because they find our team hardworking and dedicated. I hope you keep the faith as I have, and thank you for the concern you have shown and the support you have provided. And for those I have commitments for guest posting, I will meet those commitments even if they are late. If the late posts are `refused, I will understand. In the place where I'm at, there is so much that needs to be understood that my perspective is inclined to be very open and enduring.

Harrrrrrrwwwwk...Twooooooph...Ting!

26 comments:

SheR. said...

Hey mate!
Take good care! :) Will be visiting your blog regularly fo updates!

Jena Isle said...

Hi Durano, No problems here. Anytime you feel convenient, and I will still visit your blog regularly, I've been missing your "explosive" posts too. (smiles).

The way you describe that place is unnerving, like you are some place really primitive.

Anyway, take extra care with yourself lest you'll contract those diseases, and all the best.

Zhu said...

Take care, no worries, we will be back the minute you start posting. :$ Like now, basically.

{girl}forallstatus said...

hi durano, hope you're ok over there minus the conveniences of city life.

btw, the comment you made about my post made me analyze how I'm raising my son. I hope he doesn't turn out to be a jerk.

The Fitness Diva said...

Hey, Durano, just glad to hear you're still alive! Had me worried there for a few...

Kudos to you on this brave work you're doing. Stay safe, and know that you will be sorely missed out here until your much appreciated return.

God Bless

angesbiz said...

Well it sounds like you are on a great adventure not having contact via internet (I know what that's like but under different circumstances).

Wherever you are Durano, stay safe and return home. I have missed you of late and am myself getting around to all my friends in the blogosphere to see what they are up to.

I'm looking forward to your return.

ZenDenizen said...

Your educational posts shall be missed. By the way, I didn't realize you had a son...

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Sher,

Thanks a lot. You have become one of my closest buddies on the blogosphere.

I'll attempt to post as often as I could, but that depends a great deal on how often we can go to the Capital City and how stable the power supply there is.

Right now, I am typing this response and several others on a CD after viewing all those who commented. This will be sent to our home office for my secretary to retype into my blog's comment box.

I guess I'm addicted to blogging, and I'm even giving others extra work. Ha ha ha.

Thake care and thanks for the visit. :-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Jenaisle,

Thanks for your concern. I couldn't stay long on the internet here in the City as I have to view so many things, make notes, and go to a computer to encode what I want posted on a CD.

This will be sent to our home office. I have to do it this way because the current just might disappear in the middle of a post. Putting it on CD while there is current would be better in terms of volume. Besides, other people are lined up on the dial-up service.

It's difficult but I guess it's something to live with.

I haven't read the updated chapters yet but I'll get there. The guest post will be sent to you this week. Thanks for the wait. :-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Zhu,

Thanks Zhu. You're site is one of my favorites and one I also miss a lot.

I have lost some ground on some of the events world wide but on Sundays, there are fewer people using the dial-up internet connection at the City hotel, and I have more opportunity to view the news sites as well.

The other problem is the power is intermittent and not all of us can go to the City every weekend. But I'll try to post as often as I can until the first phase of our engagement is completed. Thanks for the visit. :-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Girl FAS,

I'm fine and doing OK, except that the activities we're doing is really physically and mentally taxing, plus it can get very emotional too.

Teach him to respect women and how this is done in concrete examples of daily living. The attitude is the most important as it holds the orientation he will express when he's into a relationship or when he thinks of getting into one. Also, give him responsibilities like keeping order in his room, things, hygiene, cooking, supermarketing, cleaning, like there is no such thing as "for women only tasks". Tell him to wash his own underwear or teach him how to operate the washing machine. If he can operate gadgets, he certainly can learn a washing machine. Tell him in different ways that if he goes abroad, he would have to do all these himself so it's better to learn it now than be sorry later.

Oh, and teach him to eat healthy food. :-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Fitness Diva,

Thank you very much for your concern, much appreciated. I guess I'm eating rather healthy too because of the vegetables and fresh food we're having. There's none of the pasta and the pizzas that you're so fond of. I don't eat the fish though since the corpses being removed may have contaminated all life underneath the waters.

We are safe with the farmers and the fisher folks, it's the military we're more worried about. But I'm sure we can handle them, most are simple people too who merely enlisted to have a job.

Take care too and I don't expect that avatar of yours to change much! :-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Ange,

I want to read more of your own adventure but I'll have to wait awhile to do so.

I've missed your posts on that extraordinary trek you have described in detail.

Thanks for the visit and I will make a point of visiting your site too as often as I can. I'm addicted to blogging and there's no way that primitive conditions or extensive work will deny me from doing so, even if it's not as regular as before. See you! :-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Zen,

Thanks so much for dropping by again. You're one of the sites I miss too!

Do you realize that you were one of the first if not the first to comment on my site? Amazing! And you didn't know I had a son? That fact is well publicized in Mybloglog and Blog Catalog. I don't know how you got to my site the first time but I cannot recall right now if you are listed in either of these communities. I have so little time on this very slow connection but here's more:

I actually have four sons and four daughters. Six have graduated and all working, one is graduating this October, and the youngest at 18 is on her second year in college. I turned 58 last June, have a full head of hair and complete set of original teeth, am 5'9, lean at 148 lbs, with a body like Brad Pitt's and a face similar to Andy Garcia. The last two items are a fantasy...Ha ha ha. But I am well built, no big belly, can sing and dance quite well. You should see me do a head spin! (another fantasy, Ha!)

Hope you are on track in a new career and your life is moving smoothly. I'll visit your site this week and you will probably receive a comment 2 or 3 days later. I have to send it via CD to our home office for my secretary to encode. she has all my passwords by the way. If she writes anything nasty, you post it here. ha ha ha. But i doubt she will. take care Zen! :-) --Durano, done!

Kim said...

oh do look after yourself Durano !!
I will be thinking of you and your endeavours.....
your effort and work over there sounds like a mammoth task...and I wish you every success possible..
thank you so much for the update...and take good care of yourself :)....

Layne | Reward Rebel said...

How much we take for granted - all the technological trappings and internet access at the click of a mouse. I'm going bananas if the internet goes down for 5 minutes.

You've always presented the most humanitarian disposition and you couldn't do what you do if you weren't robust mentally, emotionally and spiritually. You mention finding the physical exertion taxing, so maybe you've neglected your physical aspect? Ha ha!

Be strong, DD, I just threw a ball of love and courage to you, so be sure to catch it. RR x

Tapline said...

Brad, I'm finally back for a week or two......Outstanding read.....You certainly have your work cut out for you. I would hate to have to address all the concerns you related in your report. One has a tendancy to forget how the other half lives without the luxuries we have become accustomed to in our daily lives. Responding to crisis, is quite another story.
The sad part of your concern also concern me as one never knows what goes through anothers mind, if you know what I mean.....Please keep safe and stay well.....

BK said...

Remarkable work that you are doing. When it first happened, I wished I can be involved in some form of works like this and yet there isn't much I could do except a little donation. However, besides monentary aids, there are urgent needs to restore their lives also. My heart is with you on the ground. Wishing you and your team goodness in all areas.

KCee said...

Hi Durano,

You are truly missed! Hope everything turns out well on your end. We'll be praying for you.

Keep safe, 007! :)

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hello Kim,

I don't really know when this response could be posted, it's actually extra work for my secretary.

The good news is my laptop has been reformatted and I've asked my secretary to use it and bring it to her home so she could refer to some of the files I have for blogging that's in the hard drive. I've also asked her to click entrecards at least when she's free during weekends. I had given her a handwritten manual on blogging and all my codes and I guess I have to pay her extra for this.

There are 8 of us in the team and we already have 1 casualty in terms of disease, the stench is unbearable at times. It takes 6 to 12 hours by boat and land to get to the Capital City, so to get there at & AM on a weekend, we have to leave by 12 midnight. The danger is that despite the permits, drunken soldiers at checkpoints can be a little unnerving.

The tasks are indeed mammoth sized but we have divided these into manageable chunks and scheduled accomplishments well barring any unforseen events.

Thank you very much for your concern and good wishes. Take care too. :-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Layne,

Thanks for the ball of love, I caught it firmly. :-)

The thing that zaps our energy is the overwhelming smell of decomposing bodies that need to be picked up and buried. It's like being inundated with chemicals that could make you throw up. The sight of the corpses lingers in the mind for sometime too, especially at night. The absence of proper burial and identification is the saddest part of all. These are people who have never had much in life and are part of the faceless, nameless non-entities created by the greed of men in uniform. Justice cannot even be made for their burial. It's as if they never existed and never walked this earth. Someday, the retribution will be as overwhelming for those responsible for this neglect, I hope it happens soon.

Thanks for your concern and for the good wishes. :-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Tapline,

I appreciate your comment a lot and I am keenly aware of what you refer to when you say "we never know what goes on in another person's mind".

Thanks for the kind words and we have cut out our work small manageable pieces, and we are going through each piece to achieve a level of success that is an input to the next piece. Conditions of work are very far from ideal but we live with it. These people have had practically no lives compared to what we have often taken for granted.

Thanks for the well wishes, and I am very grateful for the visit. :-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi BK,

Thanks a lot for the kind comments. We had prepared to assist from Day one when the event first happened, but it was on and off and touch and go.

The conditions are tough and the government is not doing much to make things easier. Not everyone was allowed to enter.

Donations are most welcome and would be largely appreciated. There are groups on the internet that handle these quite well, or, you can simply direct the donation to any of the internationally credible aid agencies that are involved in the assistance here.

Thanks for the visit and the concern. :-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Kcee,

I've missed your site and your little princess.

Thanks for the well wishes and most specially the prayers, we'll certainly need all we can get.

I'll visit as often as i could. I just need about four hours of blogging during the weekend to do justice to all those who have expressed support. You're one of them. Thanks. Keep praying! :-) --Durano, done!

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