A 7-year-old girl in rugged shorts and her usual two-year-old red tank top, who grew up in a rural mountainous area of Bicol Region in the Philippines, was staring in a craft just below the clouds which she later learned as an airplane. She wished that she would have a chance to ride in it.
She – a simple-minded girl, so alive, full of wishes, filled with values taught by her parents, determined to always please and bring honour to her family, a singer and a dancer in her own accord though not a professional – has been a very good dreamer. She wouldn’t be charged of any crime by dreaming more than she could imagine anyway.
So she dreamt and still dreams.
Years passed, fast forwarding it, decades passed as swift as the world never thought it would. She grew up in a fine (in her own definition) lady; still, she’s full of “I wish” lines which she softly whispered to the wind and wished that it would reach the ears of her Creator and grant them.
She’s now in her early 20’s, without the world noticing her age but paying much attention to her height that remained the same and stopped increasing 8 years ago. Lol
The world noticed her as she gained almost all the things she needed and wished. And the world is also a muted witness of how the craft just below the clouds and sometimes above them carried her from the land where she once wished while in rugged shorts and her usual red tank top to a land miles and miles away.
She’s an expatriate now.
Still wearing a rugged shorts and her usual red tank top (something she acquired two years ago); still dreaming, about riding an airplane again and again to go and to wander in places she learned in her secondary years in school.
A wandering shvibzik! There she goes.
Yes, she’s an expat – someone who chose to work outside her native land. The world knows her ups and downs, her struggles, her laughs and cries, her fears, her strengths and weaknesses, her determination, her deepest desires for the people she loves. The world knew her more than them. Most of all, her Creator knows who she really is more than the world knew her.
Lots of doors opened widely for her and welcomed her with open arms (sounds like a song title). She achieved many things and recognitions from people and some institutions. These paved her way to become someone outside the Mother Land.
Her godfather once said, “there are people who are meant for other nations and not just be enclosed in the box of her native land”, may be her godfather wanted to say, she’s one of those people who are fated to be in the international scene.
Together with her rugged shorts appropriate for her age and that usual red tank top, she, now from time to time, changes into some clothes worth seeing and respecting by her colleagues especially her students. You read it perfectly right – her STUDENTS – she is called to be a TEACHER. The passion to change and influence lives beyond her capability. She was, for 2 years of experience, a secondary English teacher, a university English instructor and an on-call tutor in the Philippines. And at present, she’a a foreign English teacher and a tutor abroad. TEACHING, a profession she never taught she would pursue; but her principle dictates her to go for it.
It’s hard to stray away when the calling is there.
It is this calling that opened doors for her outside her own country. Almost 10 months now when she took the chance of not just staring the craft flying above the sky but to actually ride it.
The craft brought her to the land of the free, land enriched with traditions and culture, land with people who are addicted to food – Thailand.
Language barrier has been the greatest struggle she had to cope with during her first couple of months teaching. Her teaching style in the Philippines was not effective in this new land.
Change – change of strategies, change of perspective and change of goals in teaching; extreme change has been a usual part of the journey.
Well, she didn’t care about changes as long as they’re effective.
Being away from her family for the first time, the real struggles came along. She tried hard to cope with the new faces she’ll now cross her path with often. She tried to win over the you’re-on-your-own-now situations. It’s only maturity that knocks on her door. She couldn’t say ‘no’ to the visitor. So, she welcomed her in with open arms.
She, in her rugged shorts and usual red tank top, matured in more ways than one. Maturity was also seen when she chose to end a three-year-old relationship which she once proclaimed as ‘lifetime’. This was done for reasons she would rather keep to herself. She matured in having a relationship, in dealing with people, in dealing with problems,
in fulfilling her ministry,
in her profession,
in viewing herself in varying life situations;
she matured in every single way (except her height) and she welcomed it in into the centre of her being. As childlike as she is, she’s loving maturity in a more deviant perspective.