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April 12, 2010

We Are Here (In the USA)

After a long long trip from Manila to Chicago (and after almost losing our luggage at the airport), the Filipino SEAYLPers finally arrived in Dekalb, Illinois. So far, the past 3 days have been fun (and chilly) and the kids are enjoying their experience of America. I am loving it too although I was feeling kind of homesick. I miss my family back home and during the second day of the training I received some bad news from my family. My close cousin died of complications of her diabetes last Friday and it almost broke my heart. She was a close cousin and she always have been there for me when I was little. She is even the godmother of one of my kids. I will miss her dearly. When I attended mass last Saturday here at NIU Newmann Catholic Center, I was almost fighting my tears. The music was beautiful, the chapel was beautiful and the sermon was great. It reminded me of my family, and my late cousin.

In a few minutes now, my host family will pick me up together with 32 other delegates. I am pretty excited and nervous as well. I got to meet my host family through email and I am happy that one of them is a medical doctor as well. At least we have something to talk already.

Many things have happened since our first day here at Dekalb and we have been learning a lot. The last two days have been very exciting. We got to meet new friends from other countries and got to meet Filipino-Americans as well. In fact, during one of the sessions, the facilitators were all Fil-Ams, and are even Bisaya.

We had dinner in one of the professors' house together with the other Fil-Ams and their friends and we enjoyed the dinner they prepared for us. I particularly enjoyed the conversation over dinner.

A full week is prepared for us, including a trip to Chicago this Tuesday. For now, I am missing my home and family and are keeping constant communication with them through emails and text and even prayer.

I did get to meet my wife's grandparents who gave me two extra bags filled with chocolate and toys to bring home. Hmmm...I might get some overbaggage here but I am planning to buy a balikbayan box and fill it up with pasalubong. What can I say? I am a typical Filipino.

Hopefully, I can get to blog again sometime this week. For now, I am thankful to the Lord for such a grace. My students are actively leading the group and I am proud of their performance.

P.S. to my family reading this blog, I miss you. mwaaa.

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