Our guest took her daughter with her to experience our Tribes and Treks experience. Here, in her words, are what they took away from their trip.
Since we moved back to the Philippines we’ve tried to celebrate my daughter’s birthday with a simple party and then giving back to the community.
This year, some of her birthday gift money went to buying some seedlings for this Aeta tribe in Zambales. Thank you to our friends who bought seeds and this experience for her.
After a month, we were able to visit them and spend a day with them.
The day after the trip, she drew a tree and said: “I have to protect it.”
I asked her: “So what did you give for your birthday this year?”
“I played with the kids. I ate with the kids. And I planted the rainforest. When they get bigger, the kids will have food.”
Spending the day with those kids gave us more happiness and peace than one could imagine. They opened their home to us, shared meals with us, laughed, sang and played with us.
Amidst all of it, we planted 1,072 seedlings together with 40 other people. What one day and many hands can do.
It’s been decades since they’ve been able to live off the land. Imagine a world where you live off the land and it’s for everyone and money is not an issue. They had this once upon a time. We can really learn from our ancestors. They lived simple sustainable lives for hundreds of years.
A simple life is all we need.
There is wisdom there that is dying. As a parent, I feel blessed to sit with the mothers of these children as we watched our kids play together and they held their sleeping toddlers under the shade of a tree. I felt blessed to watch children run barefoot on the sand and in the little village where my own child could run barefoot and wild. For a minute as these children waved good bye yelling “I love you!” As they ran through the river laughing and playing with a backdrop of green mountains and blue sky, I was envious of their childhood, but also wanted so much to protect them from the realities of survival their elders face. My heart replied silently “I love you too.”, but all I could muster was a smile and a wave good bye as my daughter yelled with all her heart across the valley “I looove you! Thank you!”
And later she said as we rode the Carabao going home: “Mommy, I won’t have friends like that. I’ll miss them.”
“Ya honey. I’ll miss them too.”
I thank God for today. For strength in our legs to walk, to work, to love, to laugh. I thank God for the people that make days like today possible.
To join Tribes and Treks or to find out when the next ones are scheduled, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org