i ragged him about him, of course.
about an hour later while i was trying to think of ways to generate funds for the pepeng victims, (the idea "piso for pig" to raise funds to buy a whole pig for the victims was thrown about in my head by the other mes, but was later junked. but that's another story) i saw a friend online. she's a journalist in kuwait and has a lot of contacts there.
thinking she may know what avenues i could take i asked her if there was any way for the victims here to get donations from there. she said yes.
all i needed to do was to send a letter to the organization there with the list of relief goods required. the letter must be duly endorsed by the red cross as the donations will be dropped off at the national office. plus i had to fax the letter asap as they will procure the goods this week, and airlift to the philippines next week.
great! i could write a letter. so i did. then i called the local red cross and began with:
kasi po i'm writing a request for assistance and i need an endorsement from the red horse
silence. oops. i corrected myself and continued my spiel. the lady there told me to just go there. when i got there she agreed to the endorsement. when it came to signing the endorsement letter, however, she said that she was having second thoughts.
according to her there was a directive from the secretary general that the local chapters are not allowed to contact the other organizations abroad. i simply told her that it should not be a problem as they are not the ones writing the letter, i am. the national office will be furnished a copy, the donations will be given to them and distributed by the local chapter. all i needed to do was to send them a letter so i could give them a list of the stuff required. that was it. i was just facilitating the communications.
she said she would need to consult the secretary general's office.
i was pissed. but fine, let's see what the sec gen's office says.
this was what the office said "may nhq naman bakit di sumulat sa nhq." i was dumbfounded. they wanted me to write them? and then what? by the time the letter reached the organization in kuwait (if at all) they would have already airlifted relief goods to the philippines. too late.
a series of text messages later riddled with "na-request na" "may allocation na" "para di madoble" "may standing agreement" "you will be acknowledged" really got my goat. in short she wanted to say that there was already a request for the same goods from the international organizations, there was allocation already, and my request would only duplicate the goods.
fine. i said to just make sure the people get the right goods, and i do not need the acknowledgment. i said i will just tell my friend in kuwait that the red cross refused to endorse. my final word to her was that the secretary general is disappointing.
so i told my friend in kuwait and she said that there was no request to the organization from the philippines as yet. it was the ambassador in kuwait who had approached the organization (yey, ambassador!). i went "huh?" so much for telling me that requests for assistance had been made.
in the end, i still forwarded the letter to them. they may refuse to consider it but at least they will have a list and some statistics as to the casualties here. i will still copy the sec gen and the local red
i was very disappointed. all it needed was one signature. i was not getting cash, i was not getting the goods directly, i was just making sure that the region would be included in the relief efforts and the appropriate stuff needed delivered. that was all. the national office would be receiving the goods, the local office distributing. they wanted credit to go to the national office? fine. they could have told me they will fax the letter themselves and put their signatures on it. i wouldn't have minded. all i cared about was that the list get to the organization. but i guess that was too much to ask.
i started the day with a good laugh over the red horse/cross thing. (incidentally, in the retelling, 90% of the time i've been saying red horse.) i ended the day feeling disappointed over red tape. this morning i am calmer, more rational, but no less pissed. i started with red horse, ended up with red tape.
so i've decided that i will go about the week and do all i can, and when all is said and done, i will get my red horse. at least it has never let me down.