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February 2014
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January 2015


The Africa trip left me changed in many ways. When I came back home to Sydney in August 2012, as you would expect, everything was very exciting. To catch up with friends and workmates, having a familiar and stable home again. Where power points and drinking water no longer are any issues. And comfort creeps back into one's life.
I must admit though, after this initial period of excitement I fell into a deep hole. Things have changed. Or actually they hadn't. But I had. All of a sudden the daily routine felt so uninspiring, life felt so predictable, so inflexible. And most of all: out of control. There was so much potential for excitement, so much energy inside me but no outlet valve. I felt like losing control over my life to an overwhelmingly unchanging and uninspiring daily routine. So a new plan needed to be developed.

Another thing that has changed - I no longer aspired traveling just for traveling's sake. There was a much deeper interest in people now, and in their ways of life. In forming friendships with people in other countries and live there for a while with them. Focus being not to just to visit but to live.
More and more I found myself studying websites of development agencies. Spent much more time in volunteering here in Sydney. Followed the international news like a religion. Always keeping in steady contact with the people we met during our Africa journey, keeping up the contact by phone, email, Skype or Facebook. It is now just over one year since the completion of the Africa Journey and excitedly I can report the new plan is ready to go and confirmed.


The Australian Red Cross provided me with the opportunity to participate in the “Australian Volunteers for International Development” (AVID) program. A 10 months assignment to support the provincial government of Aklan province in it's flood disaster management program. Although the original plan was to start in November 2013, 'Super Typhoon' Yolanda devastated the Philippines to a degree that my assignment was no longer feasible. It got postponed by three month. Three long months of waiting followed. And then finally the 31st January arrived and I found myself in a plane bound for Manila. It's in the Philippine capital where I needed to stay for another 10 days to attend the 'In Country Orientation' training. And then my new life as an international volunteer finally started. The following will be the story of my life in Kalibo, written live from the Philippines.

(c) 2014    marco hoffmann