When you begin a fellowship, the end of it is the furthest thing from your mind. When you end it, you can’t believe it’s over already. And now at the end of it, I have plenty of cocktail party stories about traveling to remote villages, eating strange foods and learning exotic customs. But they’re only meaningful because I didn’t experience them alone.
I can’t say enough about my great friends at CEV who made me feel as though it were my home. Whether spending their day showing me around the island, bringing fresh fruit and flowers when I was sick or texting me to check if I’d had my dinner, I was always in good hands. In the span of a week I was invited to a wedding, a funeral and a graduation party. Over chocolate cake, pancit and Coke on my final day, the executive director said, “you came here a stranger, but in just a short time you became family.” It was an incredible privilege to be a part of that family during my time in Bohol.
I’ve probably started this post a half-dozen times but struggled with how to express my thoughts clearly. Sometimes when all else fails, resorting to bullet points helps. So with that in mind, I leave the Philippines having learned;
- That although the world is big, it’s also incredibly small. Many of us may blog about everything that’s different in the places we’ve traveled, but there is so much more that’s the same.
- That being a humble guest reaps great rewards. I learned as much or more from my co-workers at CEV as they learned from me.
- That balut really doesn’t taste all that bad
- That it’s a place I hope to visit again soon