A warm Manila welcome

On Monday the 11th of May, I departed from Amsterdam to Taipei, Taiwan. The flight was long but comfortable. After a fuel stop in Taipei, we took off for Manila!!!

Sunset arrival at Manila airport - by Jordi Johannisse
Sunset arrival at Manila airport – by Jordi Johannisse

At 18:20 I arrived in Manila, took a taxi to the hotel and had a nice dinner with Dean and Jordi. Due to the time difference, sleeping proved to be difficult; I fell asleep at 4 and had to get up again at 7.

In the morning, together with all my fellow IWitness participants Nayana, Shambhavi, Damien, Dean, Jordi, Julia (from Save the Children Australia) and I had breakfast. Here Dean also introduced us to IKEA Teddy, a soft toy from IKEA Perth, who we instantly embraced as our ambassador for this trip.

Dean, Marielle, Teddy, Shambhavi, Damien, Nayana and Jordi are excited to start the trip! -  by Julia Curtin
Dean, Marielle, Teddy, Shambhavi, Damien, Nayana and Jordi are excited to start the trip! – by Julia Curtin

At nine we were picked up by Kate and Lori, and we went over to Save the Children’s national office in Makati. At the office, several presentations were given to us about Save the Children’s work in the Philippines.

Presentations at Save the Children’s national office - by Jordi Johannisse
Presentations at Save the Children’s national office – by Jordi Johannisse

We met a lot of staff. Most of the presentations were interesting but a bit technical for me and required more background information.

Dean and our “ambassador” IKEA Teddy - by Nayana Chowdhury
Dean and our “ambassador” IKEA Teddy – by Nayana Chowdhury

The past two days have been one huge exciting experience. Travelling alone for the first time to Asia was fantastic; the people we met are lovely, warm and kind, and the food is amazing! I am excited to see more of the field visit in the coming days to see more IKEA Foundation-funded Save the Children projects.

Marielle - by Jordi Johannisse
Marielle – by Jordi Johannisse