"I know that without love, all we do is worthless." -St. Therese of Lisieux
I’m back in the states now after about 36 hours of traveling home from Manila. Saying goodbye to all of the people and places I have come to love in Manila was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. In reflecting back on my trip I feel such a deep sense of gratitude for all of the experiences I shared, all of the people that let me into their lives, and hope for the futures of these wonderful people from the Philippines who gave me such invaluable gifts of friendship and love. Being back in the States, everything is reframed. How I see the world, the people in it, the struggles, the wealth, and the privilege. I can’t help feeling worlds away from the small village of Sitio Payong, teaching ballet in the chapel but I know that these experiences will be with me forever now and will shape the way I go forward in life from here. I am so grateful for everything I have been given this semester, all of my friends in Casa Bayanihan, Ate Fe and her family and all of the children of Sitio Payong and Barangka. Thank you for sharing your lives with me and helping me to see with new eyes. I will miss you all so much and hopefully I’ll be able to come back to visit you in Manila someday. For now, I’m so happy to be home and see everyone that I’ve missed so much and sleep in my own bed and have cheese and milk and yogurt and ice cream and hot showers but I hope to hang on to all that I have learned from the Philippines and carry it with me as enter back into life in the US.
|Saying goodbye to Ate Fe at the Despedida|
|My praxis partners Ray and Kyla saying goodbye to Al Francis and Alliah|
Hanggang Sa Muli!