One of assignments in July was to attend a conference on human trafficking with a member of the church who is opening an aftercare center for children who have been rescued. We rode together to the University of Santo Tomas to attend. We listened to lectures and watched videos. It was hard and heartbreaking. Friday we visited an aftercare shelter. It was hard and impressive at the same time. The girls we met showed the resiliency of the human spirit as they shared their stories. Those who had been their the longest had light in their eyes. Those more recently arrived would smile a bit and then you would see a deep sadness in their souls. Their faces and stories still haunt me. Sister Cecilia was at the conference with other nuns. She works with this center and others that are part of the. Visayan Forum. She sat near me and translated for me.

That night I wrote about the crazy experience Julie and I had on the way home.-

Tonight-on the bus from Antipolo to UST Julie and I decided that we needed to follow the example of a nun on the bus with us and hop off halfway there instead of going all the way to UST. We had just watched the nun hop of the bus and hurry to jump in a jeepney. If we hopped it would be faster to get home or so we thought. We crossed the two lane service road wove through the jeepneys under the over pass and across two more traffic lanes to the 7-11 to request an Uber pickup. Just as we got there it began pouring. We sheltered under the awning and waited and watched 5 or 6 other groups get in their Uber’s. Then we realized that it looked like ours had passed us. We were watching and never saw it. The map now said it was 17 minutes away. This happened twice. While we waited two trucks with open beds filled with pigs went by. We cancelled that Uber and ordered another one. It did exactly the same thing! Why couldn’t they find us! We requested another car and it looked like he was right in front of us. Fortunately, he texted and said he was at the MiniStop. We told him to wait and trucked across the traffic and jeepneys back to the other side. Yay! The rest of the trip home was uneventful. That one night in the rain when we could’t get a ride and trucks with pigs kept driving past!