Thursday, April 19, 2007


After 68 million years, I finally am moving on and moving to...

a new home (literally and figuratively speaking:D).

Welcome to Avenue P!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Que Sera, Sera

Last April 11, I attended the pre-departure briefing for Zambia-bound volunteers. It would've been a fitting final preparation before leaving for my VSO stint—except that nothing is final yet with regard to my deployment.

A couple of weeks ago, I received news from VSO Zambia that my placement with my original employer “fell through”, and that they were targeting to find an alternative placement for me before April 15.

As of yesterday, however, none of the options have firmed up, and so VSO Zambia asked for “a couple more days” to work it out. I suspect that the Holy Week break (since Zambia is also a predominantly Christian country) kept them from speeding things up. Hence, my target date of departure was reset (yet again) to anytime between April 17 and 25.

With the repeated changes in schedule but little development in getting an actual placement, I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much. I don't want to be inflated, just to get deflated again. Hence, I am really just taking each day as it comes and preparing myself for any eventuality.

Thankfully, my Volunteer and Programme Adviser (VPA) here in the Philippines is quite forward-looking, and has already broadcasted my CV once again on VSO’s worldwide database. Within less than an hour of that posting, we got several offers. There were openings in other countries, but there was also one option that presented a sure shot way for me to go to Zambia by next week. Apparently, another volunteer from India who's supposed to arrive in Zambia on 16th April just dropped out of the programme. VSO India, thus, offered the placement to me, explaining that my qualifications match the need for the position vacated by the said volunteer. However, upon realizing that the work is straight-out resource mobilization, I begged off. I really don’t think I’m cut out to be a lead fund raiser. (Not again, please!:D) As much as I would love to go to Zambia, I couldn’t take a position that I am not comfortable with just ‘coz it’s the most easily available one.

So here I am, still waiting for the other alternatives in Zambia to firm up. If nothing works out by early next week, it would be time to consider options from elsewhere in the world. After all, my VSO journey really isn’t about arriving in a particular country, but going wherever I could contribute the most.

It is tough to let go of Zambia—a country that I’ve grown fond of these past few months, thinking that it would be my home for the next two years or so. Nevertheless, while it may be tempting to give in to frustration or discouragement, I choose not to let that happen. These past weeks, I’ve come to accept that I am not in control of the situation, even as I realize that I can be in control of how I deal with it. I, of course, do not know what is going to happen and how it is going to happen, but I do trust that Someone so much bigger than I am is holding the reigns.

As a famous line from a cheesy song goes, "Whatever will be, will be".:) I just hope that whatever does become of this, I am ready for it.


Friday, March 30, 2007


“Well life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
When you think everything's okay and everything's going right
And life has a funny way of helping you out...”
~ Alanis Morissette

You know that the month has gone off the “bizarre” chart when the following things happen:

  • Rain starts falling at the beginning of summer.
  • You find yourself running a training course for corporate clients on the week in which you're supposed to be starting your work as a trainer of disadvantaged youth in south of nowhere.
  • Incidences of fire break out left and right on Fire Prevention Month.
  • You finally receive official word about the issuance of your work permit for Zambia and, on the same day, are told that there’s a strong possibility that your placement will be cancelled due to controversies that your employer got involved in.
  • You find yourself watching a tame version of The L Word during its debut on Philippine TV. (I never thought I’d ever use “tame” and “The L Word” in the same sentence.:D)
  • A daycare center operator holds hostage a busload of little children in order to ensure a brighter future for them.
Really now, who would have figures.:)


Thursday, March 08, 2007

Celebr8ing Womynhood

On the 1st day of January 2007, I almost did not get to celebrate New Year because I was more of “in the middle” rather than “at the beginning” of something then (i.e., completing a project, preparing for Zambia, et al).

On the 14th of February, I did not celebrate Valentine’s Day just ‘coz I never really could relate to the whole idea of it.;)

But I could not let today, the 8th of March, go by just like I let all the other supposed red-letter days pass me by. After all, as I’ve said before, Womyn’s Day, to me, is more relevant, more meaningful, and more personal than some way-too commercialized “special occasions” ever will be. Heck, I even wore purple today.:D

At the end of the day, however, this occasion is not just about wearing the representative color for women's advancement or spelling the word womon/womyn the politically correct way. Rather, it is about commemorating THESE :

Video by Natada

Celebrating the values of justice and self-respect. Celebrating empowerment. Celebrating life. Celebrating oneself.

That is what it’s all about.

Happy International Womyn's Day!



Monday, February 19, 2007

Still Here

Today was supposed to be the day.

By this time, I would have been up on cloud nine, 30,000 feet above ground, and headed for a land that I’m bound to call "home" for the next two years of my life.

Instead, I’m right here on what I’d like to call “ground zero,” concerning myself with what I could keep busy with in the next two months.

It’s been four days since I— along with my Zambia-bound co-volunteers— received word that our date of departure (originally February 19) has been moved to middle of April. Apparently, our work permits are still being processed. With what I had been told regarding Zambian immigration, I was actually already anticipating a delay. What I did not count on was that the said delay would be that long.

Suddenly, I now find myself with time on my hands—a whole lot of time than I am used to having, such that it ceases to be a luxury already.

After the hurly burly of the past months in preparation for my departure, this, perhaps, is life’s way of telling me to be still. Be still to savour the gift of friends, family, and community. Be still to bask in the beauty of country. Be still to empty one’s self and, thus, be ready to be filled once more with the graces of new life, new work, and new adventure.

So, for whatever it’s worth, I still here…still making it work…still rolling with the punches…still embracing each new day as it comes.:)