After our day in Paluan, we were drained. We had been moving almost non-stop since we got off our flights, and the weekend brought with it a chance to get some active rest while taking in the beauty of where we were. The Zoleta residence was a true resort, and it was hosting a family reunion that was in full swing.
Early Sunday morning, Church service and some sightseeing after:
We also had a bit of a side mission involving a 3-4 week old abandoned puppy that was found hiding underneath a car. His name was Sky, and he was the lone survivor after his mom and siblings were caught in a storm. Sky became our unofficial team dog, although I wouldn’t call him our mascot, we had Carlo for that. Adam took charge of nursing him back to health, and we tried to figure out a way to get him back to the US as Adam wanted to adopt him. In the end we figured out a way to get him over here safely and within all the rules of puppy export and immigration. Also, his name was changed to Carlo, in honor of his current guardian who will keep him for a few months until he’s old enough for his rabies shots and to fly.
Because of the rampant malnourishment we were seeing, it seemed prudent to also hand out packets of food supplies to some of the families during our assessments. For this we had to head out into the town proper and it gave us a chance to pass by Joe’s old house.
At the end of the weekend we had a small sample of what Mindoro had to offer. It is truly an amazing place, and the people are unanimously friendly and caring. Sunday night we went back to our preparations, for the next day we were going to Ste. Maria, an hour plus boat ride from Abra de Ilog and one of the more remote areas we would be seeing patients.