All over but the crying ……

Well we blinked again and it is graduation. We are all back to the fire station in our GlobalFire uniforms where we are met by the students in their dress uniforms. Very sharp uniforms and they are wearing them with pride.

All the GlobalFire donations are laid out in front of the fire station. The fire station is being rebuild as it was destroyed during Yolanda. There is no roof and many walls missing, the crews sleep in tents left by the Koreans.

We have been accumulating gear and supplies since we got here for them. We shipped some, we brought some and we bought some while in country. But seeing most of it laid out was a great feeling. GlobalFire donated 155 different types of equipment or supplies for a grand total of over 1200 pieces that are being left for the fire fighters of the Bureau of Fire Protection. The fund raising efforts by GlobalFire and its team went far in improving the capabilities of these fire fighters.

The graduation ceremony was a formal affair in front of the fire station The Master of Ceremonies started the event off with greetings and prayers. Followed by the singing of both national anthems. The GlobalFire team sang with pride when it was the Canadian anthem. Pride however does not translate into improving the way we sing. In other words, it did not appear to be many members who could belt one out, but that did not stop us.

Next each student was called to the stage to receive his or her certificate. A BFP fire fighter who had registered on line to be a GlobalFire volunteer before we even arrived here designed the certificates. This was his first assignment and he did an amazing job.

The next day the BFP was holding a fun run and the proceeds were going to the families of the five fallen fire fighters from Region 8. Each entry was around 100 Pesos. Unfortunately the GlobalFire team will not be attending so in lieu of that a team member took to the stage and made a cash donation. Each member put in their own money, which was matched by GlobalFire for a total of 30000 Pesos. Fire fighters helping fire fighters.

Once the formalities were done, it was picture time. Each GlobalFire team member pulled in every direction to get their picture taken with students. The gratitude that was relayed on a one to one basis from each student was heart warming.

There were hugs, hand shakes, back slapping and even tears in front of a fire station that is being rebuilt and now in a small way so are their fire fighters.