The BIG day finally arrived and this is just a little of what Andrew said about it -
"Truly amazing day with my Mara.
We all met at Davao quayside and when Mara saw me she raced over with her mum and project worker and threw herself into a hug with me. She had the biggest smile ever on her face. We then went island hopping on a boat around the Philippines for 7 hours.
Mara and her mum had never travelled more than an hour from their home, so all the following were firsts for both of them : going on a bus (8 hour journey), going to Davao City, sleeping in a hotel, sleeping in a bed, going in an elevator and on an escalator. Eating at Jollibees (equivalent of McDonald's), first time having French fries. Seeing the sea, going on a boat, and walking on sand. Can you imagine the overload of experiences Mara must be feeling!!
We stopped at a couple of coves and swam in the very warm sea.
The whole day was a wonderful dream and after 7 hours , it was sad to say goodbye.
I have so much more to tell but I'll leave it there. Needless to say, I have promised to return in 2-3 years on a personal home visit and can't wait.
PS The presents you made and gave were amazing. Mara and her mum were overwhelmed."
He still has another week in the Philippines, visiting other Compassion Projects, as well as having some free time for sightseeing but this was the day they had all been waiting for and I'm so pleased that they had "a truly amazing day" together.