I was digging through my files to find what to post in today’s MYM when I chanced upon this old photo taken some two years ago in Binangonan, Rizal. This resort – the name escapes me now – is a favorite venue for trainings and workshops by the VSO Bahaginan. I’ve been here many times during my pre-departure training and I can see why VSO loves this place.
It is very cool, quiet, and relaxing in this place. My favorite area has to be this stilt house – this is where I liked spending quiet moments by myself or with my Hippo batchmates at VSO.
So many happy memories were made in this place. As of present, two of my batchmates have already gone to heaven, and the rest are currently in different countries finishing their assignments. Hopefully we could all gather again.
Generally, this English idiom connotes a negative meaning. But for my case, this quote has taken an opposite connotation… which is a good thing! No, make that gold! Since I returned home after my placement as a VSO Volunteer in Kenya, I had difficulty in finding a job that fits my qualifications and experiences. But
Thanks to the help of my siblings, I am well on the right track with my career on the other side of the Philippines. I’ve had offers and now am training for a new job. Entirely a whole new world to me but, hey, MamaGirl has to do what she’s got to do, right? It’s an opportunity that presented itself to me and I am treating it like it’s a precious gold bullion for it comes only once in a blue moon.
So yeah, I’m training… and coping well. Despite my initial reaction to type of job I chose not to be picky but be thankful for the blessings that come pouring in. I know things will be better in the coming days. Now, I’m off to make some soup. Nothing fancy, just some veggies and chicken and with the help of chicken broth in bullion (or cube, as advertised on TV), we’ll have this nice, steaming bowl of soup to warm us on this stormy day.
This is another shot I took of me while walking along the shores of Diani Beach (in Mombasa, Kenya). I love to feel the fine sand under my feet, in between my toes, while the waves playfully lapped in the background and tickled my feet once it reached the shore… it was such a perfect Saturday afternoon.
I have so many stories to tell yet due to me moving around to places where there are no electricity, let alone internet, I could not post them all. As you can see on the right, my bags are all packed and several hours from now, I will be leaving Kenya for my beautiful homeland, the Philippines. And so this, will be my last entry for My Nipa Hut… Still in Kenya blog and will resume blogging here, in the same blog but with a different blog title and a new header to boot. Right, ‘te? *wink-wink*
Okay, no more wasting time, here it is… After the beach clean up in Mombasa, I spent my last few days in Kisumu with my co-volunteers. While there I could not believe that I am already leaving the country soon. I said goodbye to people and friends I’ve made and I’ll surely miss the Kenyan wildlife that I’ve met up close and personal in the national parks I visited.
My days in Kisumu were filled with activities and fellowship with other co-volunteers. On my last night there last Tuesday, we all had dinner together. Nothing fancy, just the usual chapati and veggies and – believe it or not – the pancit that I myself cooked. Hahaha. It was a night of fun, truly memorable. Thank you, everybody, for taking me in your care. You know who you are. Di ko na lang i-mention ang name at baka may magtampo sa billing! hahaha.
As I packed my luggage last night, I can’t help but feel mixed emotions. On one hand, I think I am already missing Kenya, the coast especially, and I feel reluctant to leave. It is so much like the coastal towns in the Philippines. The beach is just around the ‘co-ne’ (corner). Diani beach, you will always be in my mind. So many good memories and people I met there. On the other hand, I am excited to go home to my son and husband who I haven’t seen for more than a year! Gahhh! With 30kgs baggage allowance to Manila with Emirates, and, from Manila to my hometown, I was shocked to learn that there is only a 15kg-allowance with Cebu Pacific! Now I am in great dilemma because how could I bring my son’s sackful of Transformers robots with this measly baggage allowance? Oh dear. I might leave some stuffs to my younger sister so I would not go over the limit — I do not have enough money to pay for the extra baggage myself. Unlike other OFWs, VSO volunteers do not have incomes and rely only on basic monthly allowances. Most of the times, they come home with almost-empty pockets. With this, I just hope I don’t get to meet “crocodile” airport staff and taxi drivers when I arrive in Manila on Sunday.
Anyways, I will worry about that later on.
Someone told me before that my blog posts are more like “touristy” and didn’t show more about my work in Mombasa. I apologise for not writing accurately about my volunteer experience but this is my blog and I choose whatever I write about. For me, I’d like to write lightly and not deal with serious matters. I would like to thank those who spared some time reading my posts and leaving comments from time to time. This blog has helped me cure homesickness and has been a great stress-reliever when times got tough at work. At nighttime when everything is quiet, at the mercy of the network signal and laptop battery, I read and re-read my posts and laugh at my silly writings, and how I appreciate your comments! Thank you for being part of my journey in Kenya.
Now that I’m leaving Kenya, a new chapter in MamaGirl.com will com. So watch out for it.
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.
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 😀