I receive quite different answers to this question from the people whom I talk to here on the Philippines during the Rolling Clinics, visits to villages or hospitals. Some of them immediately know an answer and are happy to tell me. Others hardly understand the content of my question. Sometimes they have to think about it for quite some time, talk to a neighbour or (if available) to an interpreter for some minutes. Others don’t know what to do with this question, and others associate a wish or a dream with it.
Everyone interprets the question quite individually and gives their personal reaction and answer to it.
„I can only say what would make me happy: If I could continue with Highschool. I would really like to become a nurse.“
Marquesa has a hard destiny: Shortly after her father left the family and moved to the city, he got shot. Her mother also died five years ago. She and her three brothers have been living with an aunt since then. Marquesa has to help on the farm and with the housework on a daily basis so her family can make a living. She cannot go to school; they don’t have enough money. She has been to the German Doctors Hospital for three times now because of a congenital heart defect and attends the Rolling Clinic consultation hours on a regular basis.
She does understand my question in English. But she has difficulties giving an answer in English. That’s why I am writing my question on a piece of paper and suggest her to write the answer in the Visayan languages. She is taking some time to do it. But – she makes it and gives me her answer.
„I love cooking! I prefer cooking vegetables with coconut milk.“
Riza Mae (17)
Riza Mae attends the Mother’s Classes regularly with four-month old Windel, her first child. She still lives with her family in a village at the coast, 65 kilometres away from Cagayan de Oro on Mindanao.
„I am happy to have a job and be able to work for German Doctors.“
Rofine has been working for Doctors for Developing Countries – German Doctors for 23 years. Currently, he interprets for the German Doctors in Buda. He really loves his work. „I have seen a lot of Doctors arrive and leave. I got to know many“, he says. He is married and has three children. His wife has a heart disease and will be operated soon. It really upsets him. „My wife gets all the attention at the moment, that’s why we don’t have a lot of time for our children sometimes.“
„I am happy that God gives me everything I need for living; I am healthy and financially I’m doing ok. I lead a simple life but for me that means happiness.“
Teresita has been a midwife for 26 years in the mountains of Cabanglasan on Mindanao. She has two adult daughters and a son as well as two grandchildren. She has been married for 27 years. Her husband is a rice farmer. Her biggest wish is that her son Joshua Jean will get help one day: He has a congenital heart deffect and still lives at home because of it.
„I am happy that I have three meals a day.“
Avito is a widower. He has spent his life in the mountains of Bukidnon on Mindanao as a farmer and used to grow corn. Only three of his twelve children are married, it makes him sad. If he has any other wish? No. My interpreter suggests: „Maybe a new wife?“ He is laughing – no, not even that anymore.
He attends the consultation hour of Doctors for Developing Countries – German Doctors because he suffers from toothache. Unfortunately, it is not possible to help him today.
Translation: Ulrike Peter