This week’s fictional guest post is by Anneka Rice, 90’s TV personality and star of “Challenge Anneka”
*Disclaimer – Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental, and any similarities between this post and actual aid work should not be taken seriously.
December 5th 2013
Hi folks, it’s me, Anneka Rice here. I’ve been dragged out of retirement to help support the emergency response after a massive super-typhoon (Haiyan/Yolanda) cut a swathe of destruction through the middle of the Philippines. Maya asked me to help out by writing about our adventures on her blog, as she’s been a bit too busy to jot it all down.
Most of you will remember me fondly from my “Challenge Anneka” days back in the 90’s. If you don’t, feel free to look me up on the interweb. I’m the one wearing the sexy neon jumpsuits and hanging out of helicopters.
Now then, Maya’s been in the province of Leyte, in a city called Tacloban, which was totally destroyed by the typhoon and subsequent storm surge (the waves were over 10 metres high! Can you imagine?). So let me set the scene for you.
Rice is one of the major staple crops here in Leyte, and in November most farmers had either just harvested, or were about to harvest their crops when the storm hit, wiping out almost all of their harvest, including their seeds. The next planting season is in December, towards the end of the rainy season, and it is crucial that the farmers are able to plant the next crop – as 2 failed harvests in a row means there could be a massive rice shortage in the coming year across the Philippines, not to mention the fact that those poor farmers won’t be able to sell anything or make any money for several months. Tragic!
So, Maya, along with her organisation, have decided to give out rice seeds to approximately 10,000 rice farmers in order to help them plant their crops before the rains come to an end.
So here we are, in the thick of it! It feels just like the good old days of Challenge! I dusted off my favourite pink and blue jumpsuit and headed for Tacloban. Maya told me the rice had to be planted by December 15th so the pressure’s on! Only 10 days to distribute 10,000 sacks of rice seed!
(I did point out to Maya that it would make for much better television if we could try and do it all in 3 days, but she didn’t look too keen on the idea. Plus technically my film crew aren’t actually here, but still, it’s the drama of a ticking clock that draws a crowd, and gets the adrenaline pumping!)
Anyhoo, it’s all Terribly Exciting, and there’s a lot of high-stakes pressure here. Continue reading