it’s finally raining after a few days of no-rain-afternoons…and i have to say, it is quite refreshing. 🙂 homemade hot ginger tea (totally domestic, i know), good music, and an open evening…sounds good to me! 🙂 here we go!
so i thought i would just throw out random stories…things that have happened recently, to try to give you an idea of some of my journeys/reflections/travels here in baguio city:
* hot chocolate
= all of a sudden i developed this desire for hot chocolate. probably because i haven’t had chocolate in about 2 months or more…i don’t know what it was – but i found myself going from cafe, to cafe, to starbucks, to cafe, to mcdonalds, to jollibee, to get hot chocolate…really random, i know, but it has definitely been on the top of my beverage list, aside from water, of course. i’m not too fond of soda, i try to stay away from coffee (i’m hyper as is!), and tea always has my heart…but hot chocolate has become a favorite. here, they have like, native cocoa tablets (haha, i know, how native), and it’s very rich and really good with milk. so that is a nice little treat that i have been having from time to time!
* strawberry shortcake
= i love strawberries. done.
= i was reminded of little jiza today, i don’t know why – but she came to mind, and i thought about some of the special moments i got to share with her and her parents. jiza is one of the patients that was treated during the interplast mission at benguet general hospital…she is about 10 months old, and her need for treatment was pretty severe. she is blind, and her eyes don’t open, because she was born without eye balls. the hole in her face is from her mouth all the way to her eye, forming somewhat of a “J.” basically, when i met with jiza’s parents and her uncle, her uncle explained to me that they ran some tests, and they were told to just come back the following sunday, and just MAYBE the doctors would be able to help treat her. // it was really difficult to see this little girl, however, watching the love and the hope that the parents had for their little girl seemed to be enough comfort for the whole situation – it was pretty remarkable. // i said to them, sana pwede magawa nila yong surgery sa kanya!, meaning (probably not grammatically correct), hopefully the doctors can do her surgery // the uncle responded, yeah, we trust the doctors’ judgment and we are praying that it will be done…well, sure enough after 5 days passed, i saw them on that next sunday, and baby jiza was ready to be admitted to surgery…//after a couple of hours or so, i heard from the staff that jiza was finished! // it was such a relief. haha, again, i felt like i was waiting as much as the parents were! i asked the doctors if i could get her parents and tell them that she was done, and they said yeah, go get them! so i did – i got to go to the recovery ward where they were waiting, and got to accompany the dad to see his daughter! 🙂 after he was suit up with his medical gown, i went to the waiting mom to be with her while she patiently and anxiously waited, and she said, i just want to know if she’s ok? and so…i said, hold on! so i went to the recovery unit, took pictures of the dad holding baby jiza, showed the mom back in the lobby, and she just started crying! like, tears of joy…she was like, oh WOW! she was so happy, and it was such a precious moment to be a part of. such a blessing. // the doctors were able to stitch up the hole, and no, she is still not able to see, but now, the hole has been patched up, and baby jiza is on her way…and the mom is pregnant too, so another sister is on her way too! 🙂 // this was just another example of another awesome moment i got to be a part of 🙂
= one of our community members is studying social work, and she has received her field placement…meaning, she will be reporting to her field from now until march…which means…she will not be with us as frequent, as she will most likely be living in the barangay hall, and only coming back here when she absolutely must – she will be living about an hour and a half to two hours away…i’m SO sad!! we have been counting down till the date when we would discover her placement, and turns out, today, surprisingly, was the day. // i was on my computer in my room, just coming back from work, and she knocks on my door…and tells me, and BOOM. it was like, ahhhhh! i think i screamed so loud it echoed in the house, out of shock and disbelief, and then sadness!! we will miss her! it’s really like, mission status.
= i think the most difficult part about mission for me, is that, it’s just me. i’m a communications major, and i am clinging to that, as the reason that i need to constantly communicate with people – i like to discuss things, understand people better, learn more, and just connect with people. here in the philippines, i’m still learning how to pick up nonverbal cues, filipino style. i’m trying to learn how the people here in the cordilleras communicate – it’s not the same as manila (people always point that out to me, cause it is very different!). i’m learning that direct-ness needs to be done in the most loving, not direct way, while still trying to convey the point…yeah, i don’t know about that one. // the difficult part is that i can’t really process and unwind my day with people in close proximity to me – with another missioner, with someone who is kinda living the same thing, in the same context…of course, i have my friends who are currently serving on missions, or who have served on missions, and so, understand, but it is still very different // the philippines is a place of its own // each day has its challenges, i’ll give you that…some days are easier than others, and some days i think to myself, what would michelle and mary do? // at the end of the day, i trust that i am here with the people that are helping to support and foster my time here too. what a blessing it is to have sr. terezinha be missioned here 5 months prior to me coming. // God is moving, that’s for sure.
= do you even know where micronesia is? yeah, right? when i was in new york last year, i remember one of the seminarians i met was telling me about his ministry work in micronesia, how much time he spent there, what he did…and i remember saying, micro-what? does that place even exist? haha, prior to him mentioning it, i had no idea what he was talking about. all i remember is that after hearing him talk about it, i was like, wow, that is definitely a country i need to hit up, especially with regards to the issues surrounding women in that area. // then i remember sitting in the living room with mish in new york asking me, “crys, do you know where micronesia is?” haha, SO random – cause she met someone who did some service work out there…and then, seems a couple of weeks later, after praying for one of my best friends, charles, who was awaiting his placement with JVI, he gets placed in micronesia. i wonder if i sent those placement vibes to him and the JVI placement team. haha, crazy – and now, there’s charles and his friend, tyler, there, who i’ve also been talking with. funny how certain places can have a special place in your heart because of the situation surrounding them.
* drum song and music
= one of my good friends who i met last year chris, sent me a drum and some wonderful sheet music for the kids! chris was a volunteer with franciscan volunteer minitsry (FVM), and he is one of the most talented musicians i have ever met! seriously, he’s really good. and such a great person. the drum has since been making appearances at mass, bible studies, and in my purse. yes, it is small enough to fit in my everyday bag, and large enough to make an awesome sound and keep a good beat. i have always wanted a drum to start my own drum circle…haha, and now, i have one! woohooo! you have no idea how awesome this is! 🙂 crystal = grateful.
= yes, this gets its own bullet point because seminarians are very special people. the other day, my friend ivee and i, decided to visit some of our favorite novices (the camillians) who just came off of their 30 day retreat. haha – it was spontaneous in that we were at lunch and then came across the idea of…hey! let’s go visit them! and so, we went. it was really awesome in that i got a tour of their beautiful community – the entire grounds including the garden, and got to see their chapel and everything. we got to watch them practice the drama/performance that they would be performing at the camillian gathering in manila. the only downside to our visit was that 1) i totally fell on the steps! RIGHT after lucky said to me, crystal, don’t fall – oh, you won’t fall cause your shoes are pretty sturdy…and sure enough, i fell RIGHT after he said that! from then on, i was holding onto the back of his shirt like i was his tail. 2) ivee broke her tooth eating the guava jam! hahaha…and NO those are not signs that we should not have gone. haha! // it was really nice to be in community with young men our age who love Jesus and who are prayerfully and joyfully preparing to be priests. good hearts they have. 🙂 father reuben, their formation director is a great person too – all in all, it was a great time/place to hang out!
= these are essential. no matter where, no matter when. some of my favorite moments in the past couple of weeks is when i run into people i know! crazy – crystal has friends now? what? i know. one day, i ran into a parent from SOSCFI and we caught up and talked about how her house is still recovering from the typhoon…she’s in the process of trying to get her roof back up and situated, but i think she’s being met with much difficulty 🙁 then i remember running into someone from church – and we discussed our plans for an upcoming liturgy that we are in charge of coordinating…and then, i ran into an officer from the jail! // haha that was really funny cause i was leaving SM, and i saw this man, and he looked familiar, and then it occurred to me, he’s from the jail! he wasn’t in uniform, so i was taken aback. i knew who he was cause he said “hi ma’m” and acknowledged that he knew me, and so, it all clicked. haha, but i thought that was funny, cause the other day, i was walking past the jail, and another officer greeted me too. i’m really liking the fact that i can leisurely take my time, though walking on session road because there are always so many people, i try to weave in and out ( i think my new york pace of walking is NOT liked here in baguio ) out of the crowds…and when i finally get on the jeepney, i get exhausted! // but i’m really liking that this ‘town feeling’ is comfortable and warm. it’s not intimidating, but rather inviting, and open to connections.
* relationships on mission
= one of the hardest things about mission – something that i thought about last year a lot, especially towards the end, is how there are inevitably times to have to say goodbye. i remember last year in new york living in the biggest, deepest denial of the need to say goodbye to my best friends and some of the close people around me because my one year of mission in new york was drawing to a close, and i was to prepare for my new two year mission in the philippines. it was really difficult – the transitions, the goodbyes, the not understanding how to go on in pursuing relationships while on mission, all of it was really difficult…and well, now, here i am, this time in the philippines for two years – making relationships, getting close to people, and one of the recent conversations i had with some of my friends here, was about them telling me about how they don’t want to get too close because of the difficulty of dealing with the detachment later. and well, i gave them a piece of my mind and basically told them, don’t do that. hahaha – there’s no need. and i remember archangel telling me last year at the table in the kitchen in columbus, “God places you somewhere and then he says, that’s enough now, and places you somewhere else.” and who knows who i will meet along the way? hahaha, i thought that was funny, cause that’s kinda what i picture – God saying…ok, you’re done there, gotta move you somewhere new! it reminds me of the maryknoll quote, “The missioner goes to a place where he [she] is needed but not wanted, and stays until he [she] is wanted but not needed.” so true. // and sure enough, that SAME day, later that night, i was talking to tyler kinda about the same thing – relationships in context of mission, and the fear, and the anxiety that can sometimes be involved, especially because of the time, and the distance, and the uncertainty and unknown. // one big mystery, but somehow we all get through it. 🙂
…and on that note, it’s time for me to go. looking forward to choir practice at the jail tomorrow. this should be fun!