Adapting like the ostrich

A visit at the Ostrich Farm

A visit at the Ostrich Farm

“Three months. It takes three months for a newly born ostrich to fully adapt to the environment. Within that time, they are taught to adjust with the weather, food, and relationships (especially for domesticated ostrich),” a tour guide explained during our visit to an ostrich farm outside Bogot√°.

Woosh! (Colombian expression of wow) I am in Colombia for almost four months now, a few more weeks from today. Just like an ostrich, being in a new place, with different culture, tradition, faces, food, and a lot more, it took sometime for me to really absorb everything. I remember some mornings when I wake up, it felt like I am back in the Philippines and then a minute after, reality strikes—I’m in Colombia! Continue reading

I Am Number 31

IMG_0967(On arriving well)

“Do they see Jesus in me? Do they recognize Your face? Do I communicate Your love and Your grace? Do I reflect Who You are, in the way I choose to be? Do they see Jesus in me?” (Joy Williams, Do They See Jesus In Me)

On Thursday (Sept. 26) I called the Philippines’ Consulate Office here in Bogota, Colombia as courtesy and to be connected with them. I expected a Filipino secretary to answer or to talk with (because I really miss speaking Filipino in a foreign place), but surprisingly the staff is Colombian and could only speak Spanish and no English. Well, blessedly my friend at CEPALC helped me to communicate with the secretary and tried to explain my point.

After my friend put down the telephone, he said that he asked the woman of Filipinos in Bogota. The secretary said that there are only 30 Filipinos in the city, and I am the 31st. Continue reading

Right foot in, left foot out

(On leaving well)

Before I even announced my official send off, I am surprised to know that my families and friends are more than ready to let me go. The fact that I frequently travel and live in different places, mission service outside the country is not new to them. But reality strikes. I will be gone for 20 straight months, inclusive of special holidays: two Christmas and New year away from my family and friends. I am not a drama queen but it was an emotional process to undergo. Anyhow, for the last days in my home country, I learned to gradually have my right foot in, left foot out. Here is my personal list of “leaving well.”

IMG_0598 IMG_0606 IMG_0617 IMG_0619 IMG_0621 IMG_0623 Continue reading

25 JOYs and counting…

ALL is set for my “detachment” day. I slowly pulled myself out of any interaction with my housemates. I intentionally left my mobile phone un-loaded. I already planned my day; and how it would look like the moment I open my eyes on the morning of July 29th. A lot of things were running on my head. I was facing my notebook (seriously) when a loud knock broke the silence.

It was 12:00 midnight and both me and my roommate were still up. I stood up, being nearest to the door, unlocked the knob and found my two other housemates with a chocolate mousse cake and an over-sized card on their hands, singing Happy Birthday. “Much for my ‘detachment’ plan, eh?” I said to myself. I blew the three candles, which were nicely placed on top of the cake. Invited them inside the room and the entire two hours were full of chats, photo shoots, and eating!

“So what’s your plan now that you’re 25?” My housemates asked. Plan? My plan? Now that I am 25? For crying out loud, does it have to be different because I am undeniably 25?

Continue reading