Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Saying My Goodbye

January 23, 2010 I will embark on a very strange journey: my journey home. I have known this was coming for quite a while, though it never seemed appropriate to blog about until now. I have been in-country 18 wonderful months living with people and dealing with experiences that have changed my life. I have told people here, going to another country for any length of time, not knowing anyone, not knowing what one will be doing is a frightening thing, and I am not strong for surviving. My community is what kept my head above water. I have to shed my American lens of do-it-yourself and realize that it was community, host family and host agency that continued to inspire me, the work I did and the relationships I formed. 
Below is a blog entry from one of my students:
Today, in the 8th day of December 2009, Sir Sean Stanhill just told us about a really shocking news that is maybe good or bad for others. He will be leaving Philippines maybe on the 22nd day of January 2010. It is really a bad news for us because he contributed many techniques to our I.C.T lab. that made our school more popular. char! hehe. But what if God has a plan for him back to the States. We don't know! Only God can know. But we will really miss him. Not for locking our computers sometimes but for the lessons he taught us that we will treasure forever!
I will continue to blog upon my arrival in Phoenix on homecoming and reverse culture-shock reflections. However, it is with a heavy heart and a light finger that I press "publish post" for the last time in the Philippines.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Invitation for Dinner

This evening I had one of those pure "Peace Corps moments" wherein I was invited to dinner by a parent of a student. Today is the student's birthday and I was invited to come for dinner.
This may not sound like a big deal, but I had dreamed of being invited for dinner at the house of a student since I read River Town by Peter Hessler, the account of a PC volunteer in China whom, after about one year at site, was invited to social gatherings at the residences of his students. To me, being invited to have dinner with the family of a student is the ultimate in acceptance, in gratitude. Having dinner with that family meant more to me than any number of thank you's I could receive from any number of people. I am in, I am integrated and I am appreciated. Indeed, tonight was truly a "Peace Corps moment".
An added bonus was that the birthday celebrant is one of my best students and I had a blast telling his mother how impressed I am with his performance and how much work and effort he puts into his projects. I got to be a proud teacher!
Think local. Act global. Learn more about the Peace Corps