Before I write about being back in Canada, I would like to play catch-up and reflect on the last month of being at MHCS Palawan.

The last time I blogged it was about exams. Two weeks after, we had a “gulpemano” which is where the parents come to the dorm for the day to contribute and work on things that need to be done. This time, their project was to make a fence in the boys dorm, separating them from our neighbours property.

In the morning, after all the parents arrived, they had a mini retreat (or so we call it, a “recollection”). It was awesome to see how many parents attended… especially the fathers. I guess they knew that they had to pitch in manual labor. After the recollection, the parents also had an opportunity to go to confession. In the afternoon, the parents went off into their assigned areas to start working. It was the moms who were the ones making the fence. I was in shock how quickly and well they put it together. They just all knew what to do and did it so fast. It was amazing. The dads were off doing some heavy lifting getting the posts prepared and other things that I didn’t really look into because I knew my help was not necessary. In other words… I wasn’t much help due to my lack of strength.

I alway love when the parents come to the dorm. It’s nice to see them interact with their kids and how happy everyone is to be together. These are the moment they get to see what their children are doing, how they are doing and it gives them an opportunity to get to know other parents, children, volunteers and the sisters. It was a pleasure speaking the the parents about their children and reassure them that all is well. I felt like another parent or big sister to pretty much each of the learners, so getting to bond with the parents was a blessing.

I pray for the families all the time. That despite the fact that the kids are at the dorm most of the time, their relationship grows deeper and stronger in the short time they have together. I know that no family is perfect and being away from each other is hard, but it’s these moments that count the most.

I reflect on my own family. Now that we’re all getting older and are doing our own things, it’s in the moments that we are together that I appreciate the most. I’ve been away for 8 months, and before that I was away for school, Joshua is away for school, and Jacob is very busy with his extracurriculars. We don’t spend as much time together as we used to due to our busy schedules, but I look forward to the days we can be present in each others’ lives. Even if it’s just watching tv or enjoying a meal.

May each of our families grow in faith, patience and love no matter what.


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