sitting in the dark, select YouTube videos on repeat, sr. terezinha resting, and we are awaiting the arrival of a seminarian and a priest: two Xaverians, arriving from manila. yay! and so, i figured, this is the perfect ambience, the perfect time to catch up on my life and reflect on the past couple of days, but also the past month! dang. if that’s even possible.
here is my memorable thursday:
i woke up super early to get ready for my day of teaching catechism at a pretty far away elementary school, outside of baguio, about 40 minutes out. but i don’t mind, and i didn’t mind that morning because after 3 weeks, i was going to see my kids again! i was pretty stoked. i didn’t exactly know what to teach the kids for the day, but i figured, hey, it was santo nino’s feast day on sunday, so maybe i should do something related to santo nino. maybe introduce him, perhaps!
and so, that is what i did. i brought my santo nino with me to school. best idea ever! i put him in a plastic bag and off we went. got in a taxi, and boom. taxi driver straight up denied me, saying that it was too far. so we got out of the taxi, talked to my nino, and we both agreed, God was not very happy with that situation. haha. so then, i took a jeepney, then hopped into a taxi.
finally got into a taxi and homie starts some chit chat convo. clearly, i am holding my one and a half foot santo nino, so it can be assumed that i am religious of some sort…and then he proceeds to ask me my religious affiliation, how old i am, my last name…the usual – i’ve learned how to handle these questions…haha, after a year. then, he starts to tell me what he thinks my future will look like. i ask him, how do you know? he shifts the mirror, and says, “i can see it in your eyes – basta, i can tell by your eyes.” hmm, ok. that was interesting, and it was actually a good ecumenical conversation where we talked about Jesus and life. i think the ironic part of that conversation after the fact, is that i read the scripture passages for the day, and it talked about the beautiful character of Jonathan, who was able to cooperate with the action of God, and put his personal interests aside. and my taxi driver’s name? Jonathan.
spending time with the kids at the school was definitely the highlight of my day. it was a beautiful one where they were happy to see me, i was ecstatic to see them, and they learned about santo nino. even though santo nino is pretty much in every establishment here in the philippines, catholic or not, He is a part of the culture. HE is baby Jesus – i don’t know how many people really understand that…and so, this was my chance to teach the kiddies. taught them a little bit, then i let them touch and bless themselves with little nino. 🙂 i’m so filipino. hahaha – that’s what i was thinking to myself…it made me happy.
|1st grade and Santo Nino!|
|2nd graders and Baby Jesus|
|3rd graders diligently taking their notes 🙂|
|Learn the Sign of the Cross|
the kids liked Him so much, i told them that i would bring him once a month, just so that they could see Him. it was a good day.
afterwards, on my way back to the office, i decided to stop by my church, play some catch-up a little bit with one of my favorite music ministers, meet with Father about a seminar, and then head over to town. i headed back to the office for a little bit, got some work done, and then got ready to give a short little presentation to some of the peace corps from the new batch that had come to town.
i’m involved with a program here at SOSCFI, and had the opportunity to share my experiences with this program with some of the peace corps volunteers in the PI, because just maybe there may be some collaboration with peace corps and the organization, LitWorld, headquartered in new york. pretty awesome stuff – glad to be a part of it!
while my friend chelsea and i were waiting to go meet up with the group, we were sitting in the lobby of the hotel catching up on life and lots that we had missed out on in each other’s lives in the past four weeks, and then we meet a homeless man with a son and a bizarre story. not much we could do, but listen, try to discern the truth, and pray for him. regardless of whether or not his story was true, my heart grew sad. it got sad because regardless of whether or not his story was true, the fact that it could be true, and that these realities do exist, all i could say to chelsea after he left, was: “i hate poverty. i don’t like that it exists.”
we talked on the idea of hope and how important it is that WE have hope, that SOMEONE has hope in these situations that we are presented in, and that we are faced with everyday. in the almost year and a half that we have been here, we have seen the same cycles, we see the same struggles happen over and over again, and we both shared how important it is to keep going…regardless of the circumstances, there is a need for strength and courage to continue. while we can’t do everything, we can certainly bring love and hope to some of these most unfortunate cases.
random processing sessions are always good, when spent with good people.
i heart my peace corps friends (this was taken on another day. i was craving a burrito – a new place opened on session road, and through the power of text messaging, we were able to gather to share in this feast that was very so not chipotle. but it did the job. we were thankful and satisfied!):
|God sent me a good PCV in this one|
|oh hey oregon,california, NY/NJ|
|the usual 🙂|
|i <3 new PCV friends|
afterwards, went to church, and i was blessed with seeing two of my favorite people that i had not seen in probably three months! it was such a blessing. with santo nino in hand, i was just thinking to myself, dang – i have had so many amazing experiences today. what a blessing! got to catch up with them, and they told me that they feel like their baby got some of my qualities, “always cheerful!” that made me happy. now, i have to eventually meet the baby. 🙂
then, headed home with a smile on my face, went to bed, and thought to myself, dang. this was a good day. lots of people to pray for, lots of things to be thankful for, and a whole lot of experiences. this day had to go down in my blog.