My name is Samuel Alibert, I am 20 years old and I am from France. I joined as a volunteer on my own, but I was fortunate enough to collaborate with six other scouts from France. Together, we embarked on this incredible adventure and had a life-changing experience.
My time in Digos City was very memorable. I made a lot of good memories that I will never forget. This enriching experience exposed me to a new culture and traditions. Interacting with the locals allowed me to meet open, friendly, welcoming, curious, affectionate, funny, and always ready for a good laugh people.
We left for 20 days from August 9 to 26, 2023, with the challenge of repairing and rebuilding the two chapels of the Divine Mercy Parish: The Chapels of St. Vincent Ferrer of Badiang and Our Lady of Perpetual Help of Balisong. During the first week, we reinforced and reconstructed the back area of the chapel, which the sea waves had damaged. We all worked together with the locals and the children. It was amazing to see how the community helped one another by carrying stones, cement, and other materials.
In the second week, we moved on to the next village to replace the structure and rebuild a chapel. We assisted the professional workers as much as possible and worked hand-in-hand with them. Despite the language barrier, we were able to share and laugh together.
Despite our busy schedules, we managed to visit the surrounding areas of Digos City, making the experience even more memorable! We went on excursions to coconut palms, took trips into the sea to fish cages, spent a weekend with Filipino scouts, and went on a tour to a paradisiacal island.
During our stay, we were hosted by two lovely and wonderful families: Mr. and Mrs. William and Gloria Tin-ao, and Mr. and Mrs. Boyet and Nancy Naran. They made us feel very welcome from the beginning. The hospitality of the Filipinos is truly unmatched. We felt like part of their family and were able to build strong relationships with them in just 20 days. I cannot thank my Filipino family enough for the time we spent together.
I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to everyone I encountered during my time in Digos City. You all made it a memorable experience. I also want to extend my deepest gratitude to the Assumptionist Brothers and Fathers who accompanied us, especially to the Kaloob Foundation headed by Br. Mark Vincent. They made all of this possible. Thank you for your support and for organizing this activity, which was a life-teaching experience for me.
Daghan Kaayong Salamat!