When you think of honeymoon destinations, volunteering in a disaster zone probably doesn’t make the list – let alone top it! But that’s exactly how Rob and Agnes Brozyna spent part of their honeymoon in mid-November.
The Couple – The Adventures of Mook and Gook
Rob “Mook” Brozyna is a 29-year-old Computer Science major with a love of music production and photography. Agnes “Gook” Brozyna is an ER/trauma nurse with a green thumb. Although currently living in the US, Rob is Polish-Canadian and Agnes is from Poland.
The couple met in their teens and Rob says it was “love at first sight” – even though he didn’t even talk to Agnes the first night he saw her. For her part, Agnes decided that Rob’s braces only added to his appeal. Soon after, Agnes was injured in a car accident and when Rob heard about it he rushed to her side and stayed put while she recovered.
In the fall of 2010, Rob decided to propose at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, which they were climbing with a group of seven hikers. However, the proposal proved more difficult than the ascent and Rob got cold feet. He assures us it was simple because he had no idea what to say.
By the time Christmas arrived, there was still no proposal. And after a round of Christmas day festivities, Rob and Agnes went home exhausted. Without hesitating further, Rob got down on one knee in front of their Christmas tree and proposed.
The Honeymoon Volunteers
Mook and Gook were married this August in a low-key ceremony, surrounded by family and friends. The couple had decided to quit their jobs and set aside money to travel the world for their honeymoon. Thus far, they have travelled extensively in South East Asia, including Indonesia
The Philippines was also on their “must visit” list, and a few days prior to arriving in Manila, Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) struck the Visayas region. Although Agnes had some reservations about traveling to the typhoon-ravaged country, they began searching for relief and humanitarian organizations for volunteer opportunities. Fortunately for us, they found All Hands and were on base and volunteering with Project Bohol within 24 hours of filling out their volunteer applications!
The Bohol earthquake displaced many in the region. During the initial phase of Project Bohol, we partnered with Shelterbox, Philippines to construct tents to serve as temporary housing for families whose homes were damaged or destroyed. Agnes and Rob went straight to work in the community of Maribojoc and set about pitching Shelterbox tents to aid the displaced families.
Rob and Agnes were moved when the families and community members they constructed tents for surrounded them, thanking them profusely. This gave the couple new perspective and insight as to how something so small can mean so much to people who have lost everything in a natural disaster.
When asked to sum up her experience volunteering with All Hands in disaster-struck Bohol, Agnes said that no matter how long you have to volunteer, even if it’s only for a day or two, you will never see things the same way again. She adds that we should all “give a little bit of ourselves to others.”
Thanks for volunteering with us Agnes and Rob and best wishes for a long life together!
You can follow the adventures of Rob and Agnes at honimundi.blogspot.com