How They Met my Father…

It was one of a kind experience that I had when I finaly walking down the road to my Father’s office. Deja vu would say that it was pretty much more of seeing Makati again in different perspective, with more vibrant, enthusiasm and ‘bang it on’ attitude. I got mixed emotions when I approached the same person in the lobby of the building, saw the familiar face made me wonder, will I carry this ‘out-of-the-box’ attitude when I go back home? Or is this just a facade of my entire experience in the program? Familiar faces of my father’s colleague saw me and even asked what I’m doing in the metro? When time came and had my face to face approach to my dad, all the not-so-good things were washed away like a river/stream that keeps on flowing. I really missed my dad, and I was really excited to met him, share stories of what I’m doing for the past few weeks and months, and basically, the beaming smile of my father when he saw made me moved – as if I am a survivor who went to a warzone :). I kept on talking with him in English and most of his colleagues would wonder, why would I speak in the English language whereas,I am in a bunch of Filipinos? (I kept apologising as well to my father for speaking in the language that is foreign to him). We had a nice lunch and even told him that if he got an opportunity to meet HHC, probably he’ll gonna find HHC pretty much the same as me(the difference? She’s British!), too chatty, having her own ‘me’ time, a random thinker, doing ‘out-of-the-box’ things-pretty much the same as what I’m doing. πŸ™‚

 

He asked a lot of questions like:

  1. How do I get my food? – well basically, as part of the host home agreement, volunteers have their food from host homes, luckily, we are with a very accommodating host homes(all host homes are accommodating!), I told my father that in a particular meal, we have at least a variety of foods(e.g. Prawns, veg. and fish), which I find thankful for!
  2. How’s your A-S-T-H-M-A?- proudly( with flying colors and honour)that I told my father that I am no longer having my allergies and asthma attacks. So basically I am free to do what I want to do and eat whatever I want to eat! I even told him that HHC and I went for an almost 20 kms. Walk and he find it weird and crazy(as always they would find me weird for doing random things πŸ™‚ ).
  3. Still up for 500 peso challenge? Basically, he also asked me how well I am in terms of my finances(he knows that I know how to handle my money πŸ™‚ ), I told him, I’m okay, still up for the challenge of living with an ample amount of allowance that I am getting from the program.
  4. What are you doing? He asked this simple yet intriguing question. All I got to say is that- I a happy doing work in the community, living with an ample amount of resource/s that I have, walking to and from work, working with the barangays, and the local government.

 

Opportunity came in and I invited my counterparts (Steve and Katie) to met my father (good thing about having a beyond ‘counterpart’ relationship with someone is as if they are part of your family, just having a mini-reunion); establishing an honest-to goodness relationship is as good as having a nice cup of warm cafe americano-so good and therapeutic. :).

I know for a fact that my dad is not that fluent in the English language, yet, as much as possible he tried to speak with my counterparts, how are they doing, and how he wished to have a nice chat with them. My counterparts even invited him over a cup of coffee-yet he declined and I found it hilarious! He sent me messages that he wished he did not decline the invitation and had a pretty much nice chat with them (seeing how indecisive Filipinos are, makes me smile πŸ™‚ ). I find i funny as well that my HHC even asked someone to take a photo of us with my father (she even mentioned that we are having a mini-reunion! πŸ™‚ ).

After that not so usual encounter/meet up with my father, I told Katie(HHC) that seeing my father is like having a nice gift for my birthday, I couldn’t ask for more. πŸ˜€

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The Brits. Me and My Father. πŸ˜€

Deja vu! Tour de Manille

Saying goodbye is not as hard as having a bottoms up of hard liquor.

It was a fun fun fun Friday, UKV’s and ICV’s went to Manila for a day, and for UKV’s to renew their visa in the country, whereas, us, the ICV’s spent the day running our own personal errands.

Tour de Manille

A good friend of mine and I were asked to do some tour in old Manila together with our co-volunteers. It was a bit pressured, stressed and out-of-the-box thing again for us (me to be specific, because I need to talk pretty much how versed I am in the place), but don’t get me wrong, I used to live in the old Manila before that’s why I am pretty much well versed in the area. All the familiar faces, the places rushing back into my memory as if I’ve been here for couple of months ago and not years.

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Churches here and there

One of the highlights of old Manila (Intramuros) is its highly influential yet, preserved churches built during the Spanish era(the country has been a colony of Spain for 333 years, from 1921 till ___ spanish-american war πŸ™‚ ). These churches has been a witness of how influential the Spanish culture was in the country till now,(I can still imagine the population of students who would grab for Spanish as Foreign Language in uni.). We went to Manila Cathedral and San Agustin Church (which is known for one of the oldest existing church in the country).

Challenge #:Romantic Coffee Date

HHC and I saw this good restaurant with in the old Manila(Barbara’s to be exact), and I told her, that it has a nice scenery(pretty much a romantic one) while having a nice cup of coffee, will make your day(I enjoyed staying at barbara’s before when I was in uni for coffee).

The challenge? In a year, I should send her a photo or even a blog/ a nice chat that I went to barbara’s and had a nice chat with someone(like a date πŸ™‚ ). Am I up for the challenge? I don’t know. Pretty much, I can go to Barbara’s and have a nice cup of coffee with someone who I’ll meet along the way of this crazy journey- no one knows and can tell. πŸ™‚

The not so usual walk around the historic walls

Walked through the walls of the historic landmark, made me realized that I’ve been in these places before, as if I am part of theΒ  history! Living up the “International Relations”Β  mentality does not make any difference, it is a matter of again- going out – of – the- box!

Chefs’ Wannabies

All soul’s day and all saints’ day are approaching very fast as fast as time goes by before we say goodbye.

 

Why do Filipinos Celebrate Holloween/all saints’ day/all souls’ day?

To make this explanation short, we (Filipinos) try to reminisce our departed love ones. In my fam, we always cook something for our departed love ones. We even share it to them, go to the cemetery and spend couple of hours or the day with them (as if they gonna talk and ask how are you sofie? πŸ˜€ ).

Out-of-the- box #……

Well, basically, our host home is very family oriented individuals, they have this ‘mini-reunion’ thing during family events like: a. Halloween b. christmas and c. new year. Here’s the catch! They prepared a lot of foods for the fam. (since they consider us as part of the fam, we are entitled to eat as much as we want to), we prepared pancit as well to share. Cooking seafood pancit was one of a kind experience for me. Cooking my fav dish made me proud (I also aknowlegde my HHC) and another step-up of the ‘adult’ ladder, like, hey mom/ hey dad! I know how to cook porridge and pancit! And soup! (aside from making Japanese Maki).^_^

We’ve got massive loads of banters, sodas (I had 4 bottles, and 3 for HHC), and meeting the expectation stuff along the way.

Meeting Expectations

I am not sure if I’ve been too offensive/rude with the fam, with my HHC (Katie) whenever I try to think and decide for myself. Am I being selfish? Being rude to the fam or my HHC? There were times that I can bear the thought of explaining to the public that I am not here (in Cabiao) to be a translator/interpreter of my British counterpart. I am here as volunteer as well. The only advantage I have is the local language- no more no less. When it was revealed to the fam that we are about to leave the community in 4 weeks, they kept on asking me if I’ll go to London as well and even work there. I kept on insisting that I’ll stay here (in Phil.) see my fam, find job or another volunteer progam, but not go to London, via my host home counterpart. Yes, we practically established the fact that our relationship is far beyond the surface of being ‘ host home counterparts’, it is pretty similar to a best of friend or an elder/younger sibling, settling in the other side of the globe. Definitely I’ll go to London, and might meet her, but not now. She can also go to my home (my parents to exact), in the future and not in a snap. It is as if, I am a gold digger/social climber waiting for someone to bail me out.

Down day on Saturdays

I may find myself rude to my counterpart if I gonna tell that I am not pissed off whenever someone would ask me questions which I already answered before. Is it about cultures? Or about our personal differences? I don’t know, perhaps, it is just about seeing things in different perspective/s, no more no less.

Carebear

Sometimes, the more you care for the individual the more it stresses you out.

I think it was a remarking failure for me to express how much I care for an individual. Yeah, sounds creepy and awkward to say this, but I think, it consumes me now more than ever.

Since I just had a nice ample amount of phone credits, I tried to ask my HHC if she had already had her lunch, and I think this sounds awkward when I tried to care to someone, yet, used to be the one who’s being taking cared of.

I’m not saying that HHC is a snob, she’s not. I think she’s not used to see me or even know me well (), and how do I care for a person. For quite sometimes, I used to send the same messages to the members of fam, and I think, they’re getting used to the same routines that I have-send some message/s or even giving them a ring or two.

I find it weird because, as much as possible I want to tell or even express how much do I care for an individual yet, there is something that pulling me back. I am not treating someone like a child, because it makes the learning experience toooo tedious and unchallenging. I am not sure if it is because I’m getting used to be an independent woman who can stand up with tides? Or just sensitive to be up for beat?

Proper Dinner at last!

Sometimes, all you need is a glass of wine and down it till you’ll drop.

It was a nice Saturday night to end all the ‘cheat days’ that we have. We’ve got salad as our appetizer (which is an English thing), have rice and nice prawn, crab and squid dish(a Filipino thing), and pizza and fries(pretty much American) over a glass of red wine!

3 Brits and the Fil.

My work counterpart, host home counterpart, my friend’s host homecounterpart and I; had this awesome dinner courtesy of our HH brother(a birthday party!). We spent the night having a nice chat, nice food, nice wine all the nicest things that I could think of the moment. There was a time that I felt I’m already drunk (I kept on talking to them in straight English! πŸ™‚ ), and even had a nice conversation with them as if we are friends catching up with each others’ businesses – no distinction of whose nationality one belongs with. I was even up for a challenge of finishing my glass of wine and half a bottle of beer in 15 sec. The prize? A week worth of allowance plus buko juice! I tried, yet, I didn’t made it! My time was 20.something sec!

The Call that made my eyeballs Roll

Reeda, a really good fellow and Lizzie’s HHC called me while having our nice red wine. Asked me if I was with her counterpart and I answered in affirmative, made her a bit more worried- if her counterpart would get drunk, if the proper permission was executed before the party and even moan me about being responsible, culture sensitivity and trust issues.

Let me clarify….

  • I know how to play games-pretty much, they find me a bit conservative made me wonder-are they still having this stereotype in me?
  • I’m not tolerating someone over something-yep, some may find me tolerating someone doing ‘something’. I’m not tolerating someone, perhaps, it is just about allowing ‘someone’ to commit mistakes (more often) than teaching them not to commit one(which is quite contrasting and will saves your time-I’ll assure you! πŸ™‚ ).
  • Trust issues- I’m not saying that I’m good at disclosing even addressing ‘trust issues’ with the group-I am not. Perhaps, I’m just like a litmus paper, trying to gauge if the person is willing to extend their trust or not- if the otherwise-so be it (I can’t change someone’s perspective in a snap).
  • Baby no more- I find it weird, because some if not all volunteers (esp. The UKV’s) find themselves hanging and even being treated like a child in this journey. No one is treating someone like a child (it is only in my perspective πŸ™‚ ). I don’t treat my counterpart as child, I’ll let her fail-forward fast for her to see what’s the real world is all about; and I think the same goes with me- letting me fail-forward-fast as well- so no one is being left behind.
  • Cultural sensitivity- it is a big word for me. Too dynamic, and I don’t know which perspective should I see it. Is it about the values I have (as a Filipino, as an individual), or is it about confining to the norms that the society sets in?

It is not about being ‘someone’ who does out-of-the-box things made me different from the team, perhaps, I’m just to loud to ask the unquestionable questions dare to do things unconventionally, yet, my ‘cultural values’ are still intact.

Counting, Planning, Staring at the Ceiling

Down to 5 weeks, and I am not sure how are we going to end this.

My HHC and I decided that we will go for hikes for the rest of the remaining weeks we have before we go back to the lives we had before the program.

4 hours of non-stop talking about random things, literally anything under the sun. But hey, there’s more! I thought out-of-the-box things is about “doing something” but it is not, it is also about having strange emotion/feeling yet, you face it, you choose to bang it on rather than stay still and stare at the ceiling.

A lot of questions popping in my mind, random things to talked with, but my HHC and I managed to deal with each other’s talkativeness. We are working on the same page- we love to talk, walk, think of random ideas, asks a lot of unquestioned questions and try to act like a child for quite sometimes.

Pack now, Fly Later

We were exchanging views/ideas/perceptions about the world in random. How do we do this? Simple! Just mention something and someone will give an insight!(fill in the blanks πŸ™‚ ) Since we pretty much enjoy the fact of travelling the world, we talked about:

1. Seeing the Angkor Wat (Cambodia)- this majestic temple(I’m not sure if it is really a temple), with gold on top will make you feel loved.

2. Taj Mahal (India)- personally this is a must for me, my HHC’s parents have been there, she even shared how majestic it is without even ‘showing off’ to me. A plain and simple explanation of the features!

3. The Machu Picchu (not sure of the spelling! πŸ™‚ ) (Peru)- again, another must go before I die! πŸ™‚ !

I want to see how the Incas/Aztec civilization disappeared, what an Aztec looked like, how do they make a living, how do they teach their daughter/s or son/s? What is the medium of communication? How do they write? Do they have ceremonies? How do they conduct such? πŸ™‚

4.Russia- always fascinated with Vladimir Putin, but I’ll go to Russia to buy Matryoshka doll (I love dolls but when I was a child, my big bro cut all of my barbies’ hair and right then and there I don’t play barbie dolls anymore, I’m fascinated to collect traditional dolls πŸ™‚ ).

5.Czech Republic- disney like castles and cool breeze that struck your face will make you feel in love for the rest of the trip!

6. Japan- of course this is a must for me! I really love Japanese Culture no matter what! Watashiwa nihon ni ikitai! :), regardless if I speak Japanese Language or not, I’ll find a way to be in the land of the rising sun, wear my yukata, kyoto no machi ni arukimasu! Kitty chan no mono wa kaimasu! (sorry for using Japanese language, spare me one for this πŸ™‚ ).

7. Egypt/Greece- We love history! What else could you ask for more but to see for yourself how the Egyptians built the pyramid of Giza and to think that it is thousand of years existing!(HHC has been in Egypt before together with her grandpa for a holiday). How about the Greek philosophy and Mediterranean cuisine? Sounds fun?? Sounds awesome! πŸ™‚

7. Thai’s red district- my uni friends and I has this plan of going to Thailand and see for ourselves what it looks like. No worries just havin fun!

Both of us want to see the dynamism of each country’s cultural heritage blend with the modern, fast paced environment. The list might get longer, complicated and tedious, but I think that is the most exciting part- to see how far you go, how flexible your plan is, how will you make the list a reality to savor, to enjoy. πŸ˜€

Let’s Meet Halfway

The reality of volunteerism does not end when the placementΒ ends.

We hit the 6th week of the programme. We are half-way done to this thrilling and challenging volunteer experience.

Realities sets in..

HHC and I had this talk (21st of October) last night, we acknowledged the fact that we are already half-way done. No one thought that someone will be working, even living with a foreigner 24/7 for 12 weeks. No one thought also, that they gonna share room, mattresses and such. But the catch? Sharing room with someone you really don’t know can be a start of beyond the surface relationship (friends). Working with foreign counterparts has been a not-so-easy thing for the rest of the 12 weeks. Mixed emotions, tantrums, mood swings and a lot more. But what made you stay? It is the experience, no matter how gloomy, sunny, cloudy or rainy your day is, it is still an experience to capture, to savor, to learn. No one will tell you to scrap the feeling, because it is part of growing up, of moving forward.

Reality Check

Seeing the sunrise again, made me think for a sec (I think it is no longer sec but for a couple of minutes πŸ™‚ ) :

a. I’ll surely gonna miss seeing the sunrise in the morning(in my hometown, it is surrounded by series of houses, might go for a hike to see the sunrise),

b. I’ll miss my counterpart, seeing how we progressed in the half-way of the programme made me think, it is about conquering fears and doing out-of-the-box, seeing things in positive way rather than on the other side of the coin, found a sister living in the other side of the globe;

c. Active lifestyle-surely, this thing will definitely be a part of my routine once I go back home, whenever I’ll go for a walk, I’ll always remember my counterpart, walked for straight 2 hours,approx. 15kms? Record breaking isn’t? Can’t hike Mt. Arayat, so better go for a long straight hike (walk);

d. The MeALS!- I’ll gonna miss the prawns, the fish(catfish) in particular, my HHC taught me how to eat one, and whenever I prawns? It’ll remind me that I have no allergies to prawns, it is just about having hypochondriac syndrome πŸ™‚ ,

e. The girls- they may naive for a number of reasons, but they our de-stress ball; whenever we want to play with them, talk or even just a simple joke, they are always on the go.

f. Our lola Emma- who really loves us, prepare our meals (take note of the fish, veggies and prawns), asks questions like: do you have a boyfriend back home? Don’t you miss home? After the programme, what’s next?

g. The pets- I’m not really fond of having puppy, cat or chicken within 50 meters from me. Having them around made me feel uncomfortable, yet, I realized that I really don’t have allergies with their fur, it is another hypochondriac syndrome.

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h. Our host home dad- even though we don’t really talk/have proper conversation with him, I find him like my real dad; he even told me once that we are now family here, so if we need anything just tell it to him, he even gave us a shirt as well, I am not sure if it is being mushy of him but we appreciate it.

i. Our counterparts(Filipino and UKV’s)- I don’t know how are we going to bid our goodbye to each other when the time has come to say goodbye. I am not sure if I can manage the fact that I will not see them again, interact with them, crack jokes with them nor share endless stories with them makes me in teary eyed.

British and Filipino Volunteers after the matching game revealed (for host homes and work counterparts)

British and Filipino Volunteers after the matching game revealed (for host homes and work counterparts)

This entry might be a bit mushy and a bit emotional coz I cried before I finished this. I hate saying goodbyes and farewells, because I don’t want to be left behind, and staring at the ceiling again. But I think, this is what growing up and learning starts to enter the picture, when you realize to let things go but at the same time moving forward.

First Impressions- NEVER- LAST

A Question of……….

I find it weird for us Filipinos complimenting someone but does not literally mean the ‘real’ compliment. We find ourselves accommodating, but at the end of the day, got hurt when hit by negative comments nor exaggeration of one thing that might lead to a bigger thing.

Is it about Personal Difference/s or is it just about bitching one another?

I thought, even at this level we are still subject to theΒ  differences brought about by our respective countries’ and cultures’, but, I personally reckon the idea. We are no longer being controlled nor made ourselves comfortable in any way we want it to be. It is practically about each individual differences and how we are coping to such.

I am not comparing my hhc (host home counterpart), with the rest of the gang, but the fact that we established beyond the surface level of relationship is hardly to define.

Stop bantering when I am pissed off!

I find it rude and offensive whenever I am down and someone tries to make fun out of me or even make something to pull my spirits up (I am not saying that I hate my counterparts for being funny, but there are times that all you need is -Time).

First impressions……(part 1)Β I know that first impressions don’t last. But here I am trying to reckon the idea as I get to know more about my counterparts..

ICV's

  1. A chic with a bubbly and big heart- this chic loves to smile if not laugh out loud. ‘Who cares if someone will judge of what I am doing, as long as everyone is happy.’
  1. A guy with an exceptional background- weak, vulnerable, but resilient and down to earth. This guy has a lot to offer, but always bother, just make him comfortable and everything will fall into their proper place. Ask, and he will answer, anything and everything under the sun, just make sure you have the probing questions with you.
  1. A chic with a to-go life- this chic loves to see places, been there done that thing will make you feel roaming around the country (without making an effort to book a flight), with her stories (inspiring, motivating or just a simple moaning) will give an impression that she is independent and confident, but at the end of the day, she is still a human being, subject to stress and being ‘introvert’.
  1. The Jack-of-all-Trades guy-this guy (so far has the answers to an nth number of my questions (wink) ) has a very well versed lifestyle, even been in a lot of places as well, loves travelling (backpacking to be exact) and I really envy his outdoor gears!
  1. The chic with a chillin attitude- this chic loves to do outdoor stuffs as well, exploring the developing world, trying to consider each and every opportunity that comes in her way.
  1. The sweet guy- this guy is really nice, loves to chat but shy to initiate one, loves to dance even under the scourging heat of the sun. He knows if you’re upset, and send you a message to lighten up your day.
  1. The Chillin guy- I literally envy this guy, made me think if he even got mood swings and try to beat the beast. Always have his cam ready to say one-two-three cheese!
  1. The Chic with let’s get it done attitude- I find her bubbly, kind and receptive, walking around the streets with her bags on makes an impression, we have to move on.

The list may sound crazy, but we are for sure for sometime; loves to kickin and rollin like a newcomer in the scene. πŸ˜›

Community Work

Personal Development starts when you do things out of the box.

Doing things which is out of the box-again (let me emphasize the phrase out-of-the-box, it is not to say that I am bragging about my experience in the programme but it is really what I am doing-so far and so good!)

It is a series of ups and downs and even extreme emotions which made me think-everyday is like a box of chocolate, you’ll never now what you gonna get-forest gump.

Yesterday, when we had our survey in the first 2 brgys, we felt losers in the game, we can’t even smile anymore from the exhaustion and all of us in the group were drained, extreme heat+challenging brgy.+walk around or say goodbye to your allowance stuff.

We redeemed our spirits when we finished our survey with flying colors (we exceed the target of 100)!!! In a particular barangay. We even had this opportunity to roam around the barangay and even had a small talk with the people. I felt fulfilled that I was able to talk with them and even extract information from them.

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Tips and must haves when you conduct your baseline survey:

(disclaimer:this purely based from experience);

1.cap/umbrella/sunglasses/sunscreen – this is to protect your precious skin from the tormenting heat of the sun.

  1. A gallon of water-you will never know when thirst and dehydration strikes, be sure to have a tumbler of liquid if not a gallon of water with you.
  1. Mint candies/any sweet-to freshen up if not alleviate your tiredness-sugar intake will give you an energy. πŸ™‚
  1. always wear your precious SMILE – people from all walks of life will know if you are genuine with what you are doing, if you smile as genuine as you are they can feel it, and if it is just a poker face, I’ll assure you, they can also feel it. Always smile and greet them, you’ll never know,that particular person can help you in your future activities.
  1. Do some chat-if you will conduct a survey, always ask questions like:what is your name? How do you want to be called? What is their age? In my case, I always asks these questions and do more follow-ups for them to gain their “trust”; it is important to establish some rapport with the locals if you want them to be involved in any activities that you will conduct.
  1. Speak the language/if not familiar with words ‘ask’- there is no harm in asking questions, and I assure you, the people are more than willing to extend their help as far as thousand miles just to make your work convenient and comfortable.
  1. Ask probing questions/cite examples-you should gauge your respondents if they can answer your survey without probing questions or needs to have the former, just gauge, you can feel it as well. πŸ™‚
  1. Be more personal- I know this is a bit out-of-the-box as well, but try to involve yourself in the community, remember, the more personal you are the more impact you will get-this thing is definitely my opinion no one is forced to follow it though. πŸ™‚

The list is a bit personal, as what I have always mentioned in my previous blog entries, it is a fulfilling experience to have a chat and gained the people’s trust rather than doing things because it is being told you to do- sort of for compliance purposes. – πŸ˜›

The Not-so-Out-of-the-Box

β€œLive your life as if you’re getting out of the box.”

It is a bit strange and I can’t distinguish the emotion that I have. From the day that we left our training facility which I had the most uncomfortable emotion that I had ever in my life, upto now living in the community. I was paired with a UKV (both at home and at work) which technically has the English language capabilities, and here I am, still wearing this mask of being independent and confident (e.g. having a degree and learned some foreign language), does not really make any sense, because all of us volunteers are making the most out of our experience for the coming weeks.

It will be a tough game if not a journey as one of our facilitators in the training told me. It will never be a spoon feeding approach on how to handle various if not sudden emotions for the next couple of weeks, but one thing is for sure, savor the unusual feeling and try not to rationalize it.

What is out-of-the-box experience?

For me, it is not as fancy and as glamorous nor as scary and as spontaneous as others might classify it. Perhaps, just not following your daily routine makes you do things out of the box. Even challenging your old perceptions which hinders you to grow.

We have this implied deal with my hhc, which is to do out of the box things for the rest of the program (e.g. Eat foods that we don’t love or new to us, speak English for a long period of time, have more than a cup of coffee within the day or walk almost a kilometer ). Sounds strange? Yep! At first it will be strange, but later on, you might realize that there is much more when you go out of your comfort zone and try new things, as if living your life with no regrets. πŸ™‚

What I’ve done..so far….

I am not really into doing out of the box things which most if not all of my friends would know. But to set the record, my hhc and I talked and did a lot of things about the following:

1.Cross culturally exchange our views anything under the sun,(talk about the economic crisis, courtship styles of both countries, and even fashion styles :))

2. Make and organize our blog entries during our most convenient time,

3. I talked to our host dad that I don’t eat pork (it was really strange and I even got some butterflies in my stomach, because don’t want them to offend anyone :)),

4. Thinking about having allergies every time I eat prawns is like a life or death thing, but actually not (tell the symptoms to Katie before acknowledging the allergies :P),

5. Ditch someone’s invitation if you really don’t feel like going(it is not again a life or death situation if you will not join the mob:) ),

6. Stressing or even worrying about something that is not even happening is crazy! All human beings are subject to stress but it should not ruin your daily activities.(try to see the positive aspect of each scenario:)),

7. Making decisions for yourself does not mean your neglecting the opinion of your family. It does not really mean that you’re being disrespectful with your family, but who does the thinking? Who will live up the decision that someone made for you? Who will suffer if it did not turned out that good? (*I’m not anti-family, but it seems, someone should do things because he/she is happy and enjoying doing it, not because someone told him/her to do so).

Obviously, I am still in the process of doing things out of the box, but I am happy doing it. I am happy to challenge the norms that I had when I was a little girl pampered by the society that I am part with, even the thought of making decisions for myself and accept the consequences of such. It is not an easy and smooth ride, and that makes out of the box things more fullfiling and worthwhile.

*I just had 3 prawns and ate Cat fish for my breakfast, I never had more than 2 prawns and never ate catfish EVER before, as my hhc would say: ’tilapia and cat fish are the same, both of them are fish, there is nothing special distinguishes one from another, if don’t have special or even a good reason, then it is just being picky’.