I wanted my first blog entry to introduce the story trend that I like the site to be from hereon. For a while now, I’ve been thinking about what I should write about what story I should tell you first.
So far, I only managed to introduce myself again here. Those who followed my blog and read my “about me” page would know the complex I am. This time I tried to make it simple and direct to who I am and what I hope to share – my past, present, and hopes for the future.
I have a lot happening to me since I returned to work after the early twenty-eighteen accident. When I thought I would not get something worth investing my time and God-given gift, a project opened up in Uganda.
So, let the storytelling begin …
I am writing this after watching a Netflix series called Voice of Fire, and because it is so moving, I am still pumped with energy despite the time. So I decided to open the re-formatted blog with where I am now, at #TheSummit.
My house on top of the hill faces the sunrise and moonrise, which I attribute to God’s graces coming and going and coming back again day in and day out.
Since moving here in late September, all I’ve been feeling is bliss. Despite the pandemic that halted social life, and even work-life are reduced to work-from-home mode, I felt very productive. The work we do with my organization HI didn’t stop – caring for people’s lives was needed more than ever at these trying times. Our Technical team has shown commitment despite the challenge and fear they face every day because of the coronavirus pandemic. When they are doing that, it gives me the energy to continue to support them the best I can, often from a distance.
Returning to work after being out of commission for over ten months cemented my belief that aid work is really what I wanted to pursue even beyond my golden years. I started my career in the hospital back in the Philippines, quit after five years, traveled the country for a year, and tried being a research assistant for less than six months until I stepped in my first plane ride outside our archipelago.
Although I knew since I first tried my hand in international work, this is the kind of work I like to do because the challenge never stops, and every day I witnessed God’s hands through the people I work with and help. Even those that were hard to love (to work) become an instrument of inspiration to keep on doing what I do best because, at the end of it all, it’s the people that need us who are the real winner in all this.
I remember Jan Nye, a friend I met in Cambodia, told me that “what we do in the field is doing God’s work here on earth,” and I believe her. And Shona, another friend, said, “we cannot do everything; instead, we try to put one brick at a time until the foundation is solid and we move on.” Back then, as a wide-eyed twenty-something given advice by those that had lived through it all, those words of wisdom are what built my foundation, belief in humanity, in the good my work does to others, and in working but not really working.
So being in Uganda gave me a third chance to be out here. I tried stopping twice before, and this time, I think I will not do it. There’s no other kind of work I’d rather do than provide technical guidance – perusing the world of knowledge and wonder, sharing them, and applying them, hoping it works.
For the third year of my being in the country, I moved to the capital, #Kampala. My first duty station was in the West Nile, in Arua, to support the only project we have then. The organization evolved to expand to the south-west part of the country; it was just right to be central.
Skeptical initially because I like my little house in Pajulu (that would be for another story) that I was afraid I would not find a similar bliss. It took over two months to find my house now, and when I finally found it, the negotiation happened, and I finally got to move. Little did I know that the house, not only because of its location, will give me more than what I bargained for — an opportunity to commune with God the way I never did before.
As my sister always tells me, “when you have doubts, fear, questions and even when you’re happy, you can talk to God directly as if he’s in front of you. As if you’re talking to a friend,” And talking is what I did, so far it has given me the courage to keep on doing what I believe in, and not be affected by the secondary effect of the #covid-19 pandemic, which is isolation, incompetence magnified, frustrations, and detachment. I even met someone that has made the last six-month fun, loving, and free.
The year is ending, still thinking of where to spend my Christmas break and all the leave days not taken, I decided to get on with this blogging reboot. Who knows, I might find myself either stuck in #TheSummit or somewhere in the jungle of Uganda typing my stories away.