Am I going crazy?

So here I am, still bumming around while waiting for The Call from the powers that be.

Last week, I was told that I would begin my training for the company that hired on the 19th but was called off only a day before. That sucks. I’ve already begun preparing myself mentally and physically for the anticipated training and was disappointed when told that it was called off because there are not enough trainees.

So what to do now?

I hate lazing around with nothing to do. My younger sis – whom I shall call – Bebeluv – works every day (or shall I say every night) and I’m left at home with no one to talk to (except to myself!). I try to do some chores, but when I’m done with them, I’m back to – well, just being with me and myself only.

are you crazy My son and mom will be here next, so thank God for that. At least, I have company! The neighbors next door will now stop asking who I am talking to especially when they know I’m home alone. They think I’m nuts, but actually, I’m only talking to myself in the mirror, as if delivering a declamation piece. Hehehehe.

I’ll be off now. I just felt the need to chatter for a bit, now I gotta go out take some photos for my photo memes next week.

See yah next time.

Mellow Yellow Monday 003: My Yellow Breakfast

mellowyellow

I woke up the other day and my sister-housemate had already gone to work. I wasn’t really feeling hungry but, as my mother always tells us, never skip breakfast. So I raided the fridge nonchalantly and these were all I could come up with for my breakfast. Gasp. It is lonely as it is to eat alone and it’s even lonelier that these were my breakfast – a cup of instant coffee and two slices of bread splattered with the yellowest margarine I’d ever seen. Gee I hope this is a low-cholesterol margarine.

Will have a talk with sis about stocking up our fridge this week 😀

Back in Mombasa!

Yes,  thank God for the safe bus trip. It was a looong bus ride – at least I was on a bus, and not on a matatu. Left Nairobi at 8am, arrived about 5pm for about 9hours of rolling into the dusty Kenyan roads.

The bus was full of locals, with the exception of me, of course. It was so hot but they certainly preferred the windows down.  It was okay in the beginning. Right before the stop-over point for lunch, my sister and I exchanged text messages regarding my temporary header.

A female baboon and her young

When everyone had lunch, we all lazily climbed up the bus for a whole afternoon of bumpy ride. Never had I seen so many baboons in one place before. They were all over the road! Somebody must have tipped them that I am coming and they’re all here to pay respects to their queen *lol*

The afternoon ride wasn’t as nice as the morning’s. The sun was at its hottest, but the locals still had the windows down. Kailingit! Grabe na tagaktak sang akon balhas, pati akon kili-kili ya. When I attempted to open the window next to me, masiling dayun sila “please close it kay I’m affected”. In my head an evil thought popped out – sa lagay ba naman niyan maga-itomm pa ni sila? But of course, I had to set aside this thought as quickly as it formed in my head. Pero, leche, affected kamo dyan, kay maton ilupad inyo wig. Grrr guid. And this thought made me laugh inside. My guardian devil won. Sigh.

Ending my VSO assignment

Jambo!
I haven’t been able to blog after the last post and that’s because I was already finishing my assignment as a VSO Volunteer for Lukore Farmers Cooperative in Mombasa.

I completed my assignment two weeks ago, and while one part of me was saddened that I’m already leaving Lukore, my home for the past 12months, and the generous Kenyans who I worked with, another part is jubilant and relieved having endured the 12 long months away from my son and husband who I am missing so terribly.

How many women does it take to make a chapati?

So now I am in Nairobi, staying with a nice Filipina development worker, to complete my end-of-assignment formalities before flying back home.  I will also be visiting a fellow volunteer in Kisumouafter  being invited to participate in the feeding program for kids in her community.  Being on the coastal area of Mombasa for the whole year,  a touristy place with magnificent beaches, accepting the invitation to do something in Kisumu is a good opportunity for me to see the other side of Kenya… the plains and the mountains and the cool breeze. Kisumu is the third largest city located in the western part of Kenya and just a kilometer away from the world-famous Lake Victoria.

I’m currently in Nairobi and it feels wonderful to enjoy comforts of city life  with 24-hrs running water, electricity, proper meals, and internet.  One thing that I really looked forward to was having not to empty my chamberpot like I do every morning at Lukore! *lol* While here, I was able to correspond with my elder sister who helped me merge my two blogs Payag-payag ni MamaGirl/(MamaGirl’s Nipa Hut) and Farah in Africa from Blogger into one and migrate to WordPress so I could continue blogging in one single blog when I return to the Philippines . It took several sleepless nights for my sister to be able to do it successfully, so I thank her for her patience. Asante sana. Postcards kag stamps lang ang katapat niyan, ‘Te, di bala? *lol*

In the coming days, hopefully I will be able to segregate my Africa-related posts and put them all in one page under Farah in Africa. I know it will be take a looooong time before I could finish the entire blog but, just when I was a newbie at Blogger, I will learn slowly but surely. But to those who’d like to read now, kindly see the archives to locate the posts (from Nov 2009 to present).  Categorizing and tagging each posts as well as re-positioning the pictures are tasks that need to  be done as well.  Joskoday, I wonder if I’ll be able to do all of them. Meanwhile, from now till my flight back to the Philippines, I’ll continue to try working my way inside the WP platform when I’m in Nairobi – tasks which I am already finding a bit tricky and errr, not so idiot-friendly! *lol* Who wants to be tagged as idiot, anyway, so here I’m trying and I hope I’ll get the hang of it soon.

Kumusta?

As you may have noticed, I haven’t updated this blog since last year. I am currently out of the country, in far away African land. Yes, difficult as it is, I left my family and my little boy to be based in Mombasa, Kenya, working as a VSO Volunteer. I help strengthen the capacities of not only the Kenyan fruit-growers but also build the capacity of the fruit-growers cooperative so that they will become a highly-functioning institution. I am also fundraising for the cooperative, as well as linking them to relevant government ministries/agencies and non-government institutions.

So please, if you’d like to follow my adventures in Kenya, head over to my blog Farah in Africa. See you there!

Finally, in Kenya!

Hey hey hey……hujambo, Kenya!
It’s been more than a month  now since my arrival in the country, and wow, Kenya gid! A nice, chilly weather greeted us, contrary to what I was expecting. The flight was a long one. From Manila, it took about five hours to Dubai, where we had a five-hour lay-over. Waiting  for our next flight seemed like forever, and not even the sparkle of the boutiques at the airport boutiques could banish our anticipation. From Dubai, we then boarded another plane for another five-hour flight to Nairobi. Once we were up in the air, my fellow Filipino volunteers became quiet and kept to themselves. Each one was probably was thinking about what lies ahead, their respective families and the friends left behind.

I was told that Nairobi is the safari capital of Africa and I wasn’t disappointed! Right after stepping out of the plane and on a VSO vehicle on the way to the hotel that we’re supposed to stay for the following days, we saw a herd of giraffes by the roadside. Oh, what a treat. From where we came from, it’s not everyday we see giraffes roaming freely like that.

The day after arriving, we immediately had our in-country training and language-lessons together with 18 other volunteers from Uganda, Canada, USA, and England (age range between 28-50) who arrived earlier or on the same day as we did. The best part of it all was — Inglisanay naman ini! Tapos gid… Namag-uhan naman ako. hihihihi. I like listening to people with difference accents. The Kenyans speak good English but the way they speak is something new to my ears that I need extra attention to be able to understand them. I guess I will get used to the Kenyan accent in due time. While in Nairobi, we stayed at Graciahouse resort near Yaya Center. We were given a room each and the room was big, there’s a nice comfy bed and toilet and bath. One volunteer joked that after our stay here, we won’t be having the same comforts for a long time. Okay, tell me something I don’t know. *lol*. I have already bought a local sim card and I will email to you my number. Better to communicate through sms, cheap and relatively fast. Right now, I’m looking at purchasing a laptop but with the current price, I think it will take me months till I am able to get one.Later in the week, we were joined by our “employers” for a briefing session before taking us to our placement areas.

Pardon the fragmented post… Up to now I am still… overwhelmed – I could not think of a better word. Finally, my dream came true. I am now in Kenya, standing on African soil. I have already begun my work in a community cooperative in far, far Lukore in Mombasa district. Mombasa is popular for its beautiful beaches. What will the people be like to work with, I wonder? Will I be able to cope with the demands of my work despite the many pre-departure preparations that I underwent? So many questions swirling in my head… more stories in my next post.

Miss you all. Prayers… prayers.
Asanti sana (thank you) and kwaheri (goodbye) for now.

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Leaving home

It was heart-breaking.
And the agony of  the thought of leaving my son and family for two years was prolonged, no thanks to PAL. My flight to Manila was delayed for hours due to engine trouble. Pero buti na lang din at na-detect kaagad while di pa kami nakasakay.  My son, bless my son, he didn’t cry at all when I left. For his young age, he seems to understand why I am going away.

Son: Ma, daku-daku gid imo ya bag. Dugay ka magpuli. Daw pareho kay Tita Mommy sa layo ga-work (my older sister in Cambodia) kag dugay magpuli. Sudlan man nimo damu-damu na transformers  pagpuli mo ha? (Mom, your bag is huge. You will be away for too long. Just like Tita Mommy, she works very far from here and comes home after a long time. Will you put lots of transformers robots in it when you return?)

I felt a pinch in my heart. Yes, my son, Mama will work in a faraway land. And just like Tita Mommy, I will come home no matter how long it will be. Two years will be quick, I know, and I’ll be back just in time for your first day in grade school. And yes, with the Transformers toys. When you are older, I will tell you all about it and you will understand why I have to go there.

Okay, enough of the drama.
I still have to finish my inoculations, there’s still my yellow fever vaccinations plus two more and I have to get all of this at DOH’s Bureau of Quarantine in Manila.  While I’m here in Angeles City with my younger sister, I’ve managed to book me a room at the Kabayan Hotel where I could stay before flying out on Thursday. Ilang tulog na lang!

My younger sister gave me some moolah so I could buy the sneakers that I like. This pair of sneakers will take me to anywhere in Lukore as I begin my work with VSO, and , hopefully, to anywhere in Kenya when I have the luxury of time to explore this beautiful country. My younger bro in Phnom Penh (Cambodia) sent me some moolah for pocket money. My other (older) sister, also  in Phnom Penh, will also be sending a care package for me through her Kenyan friend in a few weeks. Yes, I haven’t flown out of the country yet there will be a care package on its way soon to VSO Jitolee.

I am blessed, thank you Lord. Growing up we all used to squabble a lot. Now that we are all adults, we’ve matured and mellowed down… I am amazed at how we have come to laugh at our past follies when we were younger, and forgive each other, and support one another whenever the need arises. Thanks very much.

Hujambo!

This is how the Kenyan’s say hello in their native Swahili.
I can’t believe it – but in a few more months I’ll soon be stepping on African soil! What seemed to be only an unreachable childhood dream is now coming to a reality. In a few more months, I will be flying to Kenya, my country of assignment, as a Volunteer for the VSO. Of course, I am full of worries, about the  unknown, a country, and continent, I have heard and read about…  but it is no time to worry as I have to finish my WRV and motorcycle training next week and other pre-departure requirements in the following weeks.  It will be tough, yes, but how many volunteers had been there and went back home to tell great stories of their experience in Africa.

I can’t wait.

Still here…

Hello friends. Just so you all know, I am still here busy. I am currently undergoing a training with an international organization for a future job. As you all know, our organization has no longer enough funds to support its projects and so it is closing down some projects and several staffs were laid off. We all had the option to re-apply, but I decided to leave.

So now, I am in Manila for the training. Sang Huwebes pa ako diri. I left my son to the care of my parents and in-laws. It’s difficult as 5 days is a long time to be away from my son and I am afraid he’d miss me. Anyways, thanks to my donors, my siblings who continue to support me, I flew to Manila ahead of the scheduled training. I decided to come a day earlier so I could have my medical check up at Saint Luke’s Hospital earlier. The medical check up is a requirement and being so, is paid for by the organization. On Sunday afternoon, I’ll be returning for blood works.

So, this is all for now. Will tell you more when I return to Roxas. Break time is short as the sessions are intensive. Lots of learnings, I’m glad, to prepare us for the change that we all are about to embark. So, till then.