It feels nice finally sitting down and writing a blog post. It’s been so long since I’ve had the motivation or time to write. I can’t believe it’s already March 4… where did time go? Wasn’t it just the other day that I started volunteering here? I only have two months left! Yup, that’s right… two short months. I am sad to leave this beautiful country and the warm weather, but most importantly, the community that I have called family and home for the past six months. The plans that I have lined up for when I go back to Canada are really exciting and I can’t wait to see what’s in store… But it still breaks my heart knowing that I will be physically leaving the dorm and leaving nothing but memories. This being said, I am reminded that I have to cherish every single moment and continue making the best out of each day.
A few months ago, my grandparents came to visit me here at the dorm. They were on an Ambassador’s Tour of the Philippines and fortunately, Palawan was one of their stops. On the day they arrived here, they came to see me right away. It was so emotional and refreshing to see them step out of their van. They came ready to share their big hearts and were able to witness the big hearts of our learners here too. Our young people greeted them with two dances: Palawan and You Raise Me Up. Emotions were definitely (but not surprisingly) present. I was very touched to see the tears flowing because I know it wasn’t because of the music or the dance moves, but because stories and hearts were revealed through the performance. After the presentation, my Lola Wilma was speechless – not able to communicate with words but with her tears of heartfelt emotion. Even my Lolo Eddie was crying! When she was finally able to speak she shared how our lifestyle here reminds her of when she was growing up and where she lived. She also shared the story of my Lolo and what challenges he experienced growing up here in the Philippines. Motivationally, she told our young people that if they work hard and always trust in the Lord, they can do anything they want and be anything they want. “You people are my heroes!”, she said loud and proud with my Lolo and Tita Ethel in agreement. My grandparents were extremely touched by the learners in the short time that was spent together, but I believe our learners were touched by them too. We all agreed that the learners are my grandparents’ heroes and my grandparents are the learners’ idols. This was a good day.
I think about this day often and I think about how my Lola Wilma called the learners their heroes. Without question I agree. These young people are also my heroes and I’m not sure they believe me when I say it. We tease each other a lot and we play-fight a lot, but in the times that we are serious, I pray they know how much I love and care about every single one of them. In these past six months I’ve learned their strengths, their weaknesses, their personalities and their stories. I am truly going to miss them when I go, but my heart will always be with them for the rest of my life.
Please join me in praying for my Lolo, Lola and her family as their travel through the Philippines and other parts of the world. They’re really living!!