Ordinary things that make life extraordinary.

Ordinary things that make life extraordinary.

Category: Milestones

What makes you happy?

Okay, folks, let me tell you at this instance that this is going to be a “proud Mama-moment” kind of post today.

After getting all his final exams result, the verdict is out – my son is graduating from Kindergarten!! He passed all his subjects very satisfactorily and his teachers recommended him to first grade in the coming school year. I’m so happy! Not only is he graduating, this coming Thursday, he also gets three special awards! How’s that? So now you understand  my title… this milestone is what makes me happy 🙂

So anyway, tomorrow is the big day. My son is finally graduating – together with his cousin Beebop (my younger brother’s daughter) who is also graduating from nursery. Beebop is in the top 5 of her class – 4th actually – and she’s going to get a medal for that distinction. She is also receiving three special awards. Already, my older sister is teasing our Mom and Dad for having the “honor” to go up the stage many times with their grandkids. I have asked my mother and father to pin the ribbons to my son – they both deserve to be in the limelight as they were the ones who took care of my son while I was away.

Here’s my son’s class picture.

Joshua class pic in Butterfly frame My son’s the one the teacher is holding. Looks like it’s the teacher who enjoyed the pictorial most while the kids looked bored and unamused! *lol*

Today I am taking both my son and Beebop to their graduation practice at the City Civic Centre. This is also where their graduation ceremony will be held. I promise to take lots of pictures and post them all here!

Thanks to my older sister for doing the digi-scrapped photo above 🙂 🙂 🙂

Ending my VSO assignment

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.

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.



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.

Wordless Wednesday #29: Party-clowns


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happy birthday: Cousin-bestfriend!

April 24, my ‘cousin-bestfriend’s’ birthday! Celebrating also is my sister sreisaat, seems like she’s the one excited! 😉

Happy birthday, Papa

My father turned 62 last March 16.
Wow – 62. I can’t imagine my father is this old. It only seems like yesterday, he was a macho guapito, like his idol Rico Puno.. and now, he’s a grandpa to 3 kids.

Papa woke up very early to go to church. He believes that he will get more blessings if he goes to church early in the morning. You know, the early bird gets the worm thing 😀

So with Mama and Beebop, they went to church. Right after they came home, my father was all smiles because Bigboy called to greet him. Calls like this, especially on his special day, never fail to warm my father’s heart.

My father told us beforehand that they are not expecting any visitors, those who remember are welcome and those who forget, well , it’s their loss. Both Mama and Papa were busy in the kitchen, preparing a number of dishes. There’s kare-kare, siomai, the ever-present pancit and spaghetti for long life, and kilawing pating. My mother was in charge of the dessert – which she so lovingly prepares everytime – maja blanca and gulaman this time.

Visitors arrived only after lunch. And one by one, the house is filled – mostly cousins and their families. Drinking session started and the first one to be knocked down was the celebrant himself. Hahaha. But not before he started his list of accomplishments for the year. Oh well, when alcohol starts to get into one’s system, one cannot control what he/she can do. My seester called him up, too, and he couldn’t be happier.

Happy birthday, Papa. I know he was exceptionally happy on his birthday because my sisters and brothers who are away didn’t forget to greet him. Nag-enjoy man pati kami bisan indi kumpleto kami nga mga anak. Siguro nabawi na lang sa mga apo 😀

My Little Boy, Then and Now

Duha ka tuig kag onse kabulan na ang nagligad sang natawo ang akon nga little boy. Nalipay ang tanan sa iya pag-abot sa tunga sang kahadlok namon sang nakit-an sang doktor nga nagahinay ang pitik sang iya tagipusuon samtang naga-labor na ako. Tungod abi sa iya kahulagan sa sulod sang akon tiyan, nagbalimbod ang iya pusod sa iya liog. Gani, imbes na normal delivery, nagdesidir na lang ang doktor nakon sa St. Anthony Hospital nga manganak ako pinaagi sa Ceasarian section… baw kasakit, indi lang sa nabatyagan ko sa before kag after ko manganak, kundi, pati man sa kasakit sa bulsa. Buslot gid amon bulsa, pero, wala kami sang mahimo kundi sundon na lang ang advise sang doktor para man sa ikaayo nakon kag sang akon little boy.

Yari siya, mga 2 weeks old pa lang siya sini. Sa edad niya nga ini kabalo na mag-raise the roof akon little boy!

Kadugay sang akon milk haw!

My little boy, 4-5months old

Just one year old, and what a rockstar I am turning out to be!

Pagkatapos sang amon jamming session, diri lang ko gapahimuyong sa akon tsanggi (convenience store).

At two years old, my little man looks a lot like his Grandpa Freddie (my father)!