DAY 187: WE ARE STILL WAITING FOR THE MAYOR – NO WONDER ANIMAL CHARITIES HAVE A HARD TIME MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Trying to get anything done in the Philippines can take a LONG TIME.
No wonder animal charities take a while to make an impact. Today I had a hard lesson in Filipino efficiency
Whilst having lunch with Andrew – yes, we are STILL waiting for the green-light on the dog truck raid – I asked to use the loo.
No big deal.
I was told to walk down the street two doors and use an affiliated establishment. I did so and was greeted by four men and two women, all seemingly in charge of opening the door and greeting people, like me, who presumably also wanted the loo.
There was no toilet paper in the loo.
I asked the first man if I could get some paper (awkward hand gesture from me) and he asked the next man who pondered a little and then asked the woman who then walked off. The toilet chain of command, as it were, had been pulled.
I waited. As each minute passed my knees turned inwards by ten degrees at a time. Somewhere off stage was a toilet paper CEO who would sign some decree and give the go ahead to restock the men’s loo…assuming they were not out to lunch.
Finally my helper came back. She was empty handed and looked at me as if she had never seen me before. Did I want anything?
I shuffled over to her and explained that i really did need some toilet paper …right now. I was aware I had walked into her building off the street as a stranger so I could hardly complain abotu her toilet paper stock or lack of it but i really did want….then another woman, who seemed her superior stepped in and said she would help and went to get paper.
But five minutes later, when it was clear she had probably been sacked by the toilet CEO and would never come back, I coudl bear it no more and shuffled as fast as my bent knees would take me into the women’s toilet and there found some paper.
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO GET YOUR BUSINESS DONE IN THE PHILIPPINES.
If you do, you have to break the rules.
Only today did I see a man trying to see a 6 foot tall metal coat stand IN THE MIDDLE OF A BUSY DUAL CARRIAGE WAY. He wasn’t selling roses, he wasn’t selling sandwiches or even a windscreen cleaning service but instead a vast 1970’s style hat stand to people passing by at driving speed.
But, frankly, if I wanted a hat stand I would have bought it from him. Cut out the middle man. To get business done over here you have to break the rules.
Charities have to be wily.
But my point is serious
As a naive person I imagined that to make a difference to the lives of animals in countries like this all you needed was a good charity and some money.
What you need is patience and wiliness.
Andrew, from Network for Animals, has an unenviable job but he does it brilliantly.
Not only does he have to rescue dying dogs off the back of trucks bound for slaughter but he has to try and organise the rescues too. The latter may be more demanding than the former.
We are still waiting to hear from the mayor about where we can place the dogs that we rescue. You can’t just leave them by the side of the road.
And the mayor, who is presently plucking his ears, brushing his hair or hosting a dinner party, has the power to micromanage everything that goes on in vicinity. Although we have FOUND a perfectly good dog shelter he has not given his go ahead for us to use it.
Not make sense?
No… neither to me.
So instead Andrew has found our own makeshift space. We visited an abandoned lot where will have a local carpenter build some walls and where we can feed and water the dogs and give them space. it is far from ideal but you have to make things happen.
We are still hoping we can rescue some dogs but I’m getting seriously worried we won’t be able to. We are waiting to hear from the local police as well as the mayor. Please let’s hope it comes together. Only a few days left here.