BASEY, Philippines — Elegario Ocdol’s home has become rubble. Most of the house and its contents have vanished. Only jagged pieces of fabric, metal and crockery lie strewn across the stone floor — traces of a life reduced to a memory.
Ocdol, a 38-year-old elementary school teacher, used to lead a fairly ordinary life. He worked hard to provide for his wife Maricar and their five children, worried about his debts and went crab fishing regularly to help feed his family.
But on Friday, Nov. 8, his life — and the lives of millions of others — changed forever when Typhoon Haiyan struck the central Philippines. Nearly a month later, I drove with a team of Oxfam colleagues to the expanding front line of a crucial but challenged relief effort.