Leap of Faith

With warm hugs, sad goodbyes, swollen eyes, and some pixie dust (it’s Cookie Butter from Trader Joe’s), I said goodbye to Washington (my home) to depart for Indonesia (soon-to-be-home) to live there for the next 2 years of my life. Saying goodbye was/is never easy.  

Seeing my mom swollen eyes from crying the night before I left, hearing her shaky voice every time she would talk to me, and the fear of the unknown for her son ALMOST made not want to go continue in this new journey. Although my mom was never really happy with my decision to join Peace Corps, I know that she’s very proud of me. I know that she admires my courage and bravery for doing something that many would not do. I know that in time she will support my decision for such move. 

When I arrived in Los Angeles for our staging–a day when all of the volunteers get to meet each other and learn about expectations, missions, and goals–I kept thinking to myself “This is it Geo. Once you signed the papers, there’s no more turning back.” Then I saw the eagerness in the eyes and excitement from the voices of my fellow volunteers. That moment made me realize that this is exactly what I want. To be part of something bigger than myself. To give myself wholly with no expectations of returns.

During our staging, we talked about our anxiety coming to this trip. Some of the anxiety I had is being homesick, missing big events back home, having little to no access to internet, and bugs. But the biggest anxiety I have is the a part of my identity that I must now hide for safety reasons. I took me quite some time to get comfortable with who I am. It took a village to make me feel comfortable to be who I am. That it is okay to be who I am. Now, coming into a new land, new community, and new family, I have to put back the walls I’ve spent years breaking down. 

Although I have all of these anxieties, I have much more aspirations as to why I am doing this trip. Some of these aspirations includes getting to travel, experiencing and living a different culture than what is my norm, sharing my skills, learning new language, working with students again, having this experience on my resume, loan deferment, having this on my application for graduate school application, making new friends and family, and the list goes on and on. But like what Queen Bey said, “my aspiration in life is to be happy.” TO BE HAPPY is the biggest aspiration I have and overweights all of the anxieties I have coming to this trip. In the end of this whole adventure, I will ask myself “Are you happy with yourself?” And just like Queen Beyonce, I would say “Yeeehhs.” 

I know that if I didn’t go to this trip that I will forever regret it. Being with other volunteers who shares the same missions as I am already makes me happy. Leaving the familiar and welcoming the unfamiliar has to be the bravest thing I could do, and I am glad that I’m almost there! With lots of faith and some Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter (sorry, I just can’t shut up about this butter…) I am one step to becoming a better and happy person.

*This was written on March 10th 2017*

This is part of a video, but here’s a peace sign from me!

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A recipe: On Moving

 

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UW Husky Alumni on his way to Indonesia!

This post is particularly about “On Moving” because exactly a month from now, I will be leaving home to start my service as Peace Corps volunteer. As much as I like changes and can quite (I think) thrive in it, moving is a whole different level of a change. This move is not just a simple change, but something that will impact my life greatly–I have a feeling that I am about to have a HUGE SLICE of humble pie. Moving consist of many things, here’s my step-by-step recipe of that almost perfect “Moving to Indonesia for 27mos” dish.*

Ingredients:

  • Family and Friends
  • 1 50lbs luggage
  • 1 carry on luggage
  • 1 backpack (optional)
  • 2 resignation letters
  • Things that you think you’ll miss SO MUCH, but won’t get in Indonesia
  • One way ticket to Indonesia (provided by Peace Corps)
  • Passport and Visa (required!)

Procedure:

  1. Spend as much time as you can with your family and friends. There is a big chance that you will not see them for a very long time. So yes, do spend time with them. Do the things you love to do with them. For me, it was eating my favorite food; Korean BBQ, ramen, pho, hotpot, cheesecake, brunch food, etc.
  2. Mix your 50lbs luggage, carry on, and backpack. Try to pack as lightly as possible–in my case, WILL TRY since I probably won’t start packing until my last week. BUT do start collecting things to bring. Put in a corner somewhere in your room/house.
  3. Turn in your resignation letter at least 2 weeks before your intended last day. Not only this let your employer hire someone before you leave, but there’s also a possibility that they will give you a going-away party. I am hoping for the latter.
  4. Since Peace Corps will not give you LOTSA MONEY, yeah…unfortunately you won’t be swimming in Benjamins. I suggest that you ask your family and friends to get you things that can help you survive overseas. For me that would be my favorite Dove antiperspirant deodorant. Buying these things on your own could add up and that is another expenses you really cannot afford anymore, especially right before a big move! SO FAMILY AND FRIENDS, help me I’m poor. *insert puppy-eyes*
  5. You passport and visa is VERY important. Make sure you make a copy of your passport and send it to yourself (on an email) just in case it goes missing. You never know when an electronic copy of your passport would come in handy!
  6. Lastly, mix everything together. Mix in some emotional, mental, and physical stress then you’ve got yourself a “Moving to Indonesia for 27mos” dish!

*taste may vary.

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Selamat Datang!

Selamat Datang means “welcome” in Bahasa Indonesia, well according to Google Translate at least. You are probably on my WordPress because you saw me posted about it on my Facebook OR you just happened to stumble upon it while browsing the world-wide web, I highly doubt the latter. How ever you got here, well you’re here now and I hope that you stick around!

With that said, I am not the type of person to blog. I figured that since I will be in Indonesia (soon) with uncertainty of internet access, I might as well do a blog instead of an everyday Facebook status post! Web blogging feels weird to me because there are no rules on writing one! Somebody! PUHLEASE! Give me rules and guidelines!– you probably, if you know me personally, read that the way I would say it. See, this is why it’s weird to me, because now you are totally reading this in my sassy voice! Kidding aside, this is still weird.

What should I even talk about? Well I suppose I should post about my experiences as Peace Corps volunteer. I suppose I should post about my experiences as a Filipino American in Indonesia. I suppose I should post about my experiences as a Catholic living in a pre-dominantly Muslim country. I suppose. I suppose. I suppose there is a lot to write about…

I got this, right? *hmmm*

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