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  • Naseemah K. Tucal

Till we meet again

December 6, 2016 is the day we were to return back home. We all felt a mixture of both longing and sadness. Longing to be with our family as soon as possible, but at the same time sad that we were to leave the second home that we built. In the beginning, we were eager in counting the days we have left to stay in the community. Happy that it was decreasing. But as days passed, we were still eager in counting the days left, but sad that it came all too fast. With the growing relationships we have and affections we have garnered from the people of the barangay, the goodbyes were a bit difficult to do. Our neighbour Aunt Celine told us about the night before our leave that she had difficulty sleeping knowing that we will leave the next day. The family who owns the house where we were staying had the same situation. They even told us that they have willed themselves not to cry on the night before we leave, but alas tears have fallen. We really did become close to the people that parting with them was not easy.

Then came the day of our leave. In the morning while we were in the middle of wrapping up our luggage, our neighbours brought us breakfast. To which we were very grateful. Then another neighbour of ours brought us “butong” known as coconuts which will serve as some sort of souvenir for us to bring back home to our families. Our foster family also gave each of us “atchara” which is also known as pickled papaya. We were truly grateful for what they gave to us.

Then came the time on where the WEM-RIC’s Christmas party that was moved to the said date will start. We were all pleased to see the people at the event. The head of the organization gave a short message and as well as addressing us students at her messages. The unexpected part though was that we each have to give a short message as well. And because of it, it felt more of a farewell party than a Christmas party. But then the celebration continued. Dance numbers from representatives of each of the five puroks were performed, exchange gifts were done, and even games were played after we had a lunch feast. It was all fun and memorable.

The time came for us to leave and we were really sad about the sudden turn of events. But then we did re assure them that we will see each other again next year. After we have placed our bags in the contracted van, our foster aunt prayed over for our safe travel and afterwards once again tears were shed. But in the end we left with a smile as long as we know that we will stay connected thus leaving them with the words “till we meet again”.

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