East Texans return after helping in the Philippines - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

East Texans return after helping in the Philippines

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TYLER (KYTX) - Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines November 7th, and it's been a struggle for hundreds of thousands of people since.

An East Texas woman just returned from her trip to help with Mercy Works.

Images from Typhoon Haiyan are surreal.

"When you see in television what it was.. It was unbelievable to see what it was in reality," says Juliet Visitacion.

But seeing the images of the devastation, was nothing compared to seeing it in person.

Visitacion traveled with Mercy Works to the Philippines over Thanksgiving to help.

Her husband works for Mercy Works.

They volunteered together, and are originally from the Philippines.

"There's a lot of things to do in the span of one week, so most of the time I was there was more of listening to grief and loss," says Visitacion.

Hearing the stories from people in the northwest portion of the country wasn't the end, Visitacion along with many other volunteers helped rebuild homes.

But there was one woman she says she won't forget.

"Heart wrenching to see where she lived when we arrived there because she lost everything. She lived in a pig pen," says Visitacion.

The category 5 super storm blew in at 200 miles per hour, bringing torrential rain, mass destruction, and killing thousands.

"In spite of the fact that they have difficulties, you don't see them complaining. I see people who are grateful," says Visitacion.

People grateful for help, and one woman happy she could extend a helping hand -- even if it means not seeing her husband for Christmas.

"I'm also grateful to the people that this could be a gift to the people that he could be there and just extend help," says Visitacion.

Volunteers with Mercy Works will be in the Philippines helping with relief efforts for the next few months.

 

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