Sunday, May 22, 2011

Goodbye Philippines

We leave Cebu in 24 hours and I cannot believe the time has arrived.  We have cut our expected time here short by more than 1/2 and have only been here for about 10 months.  Again, I will explain that at some point in the future when I actually have a chance to sit down and put some coherent thoughts down.  Right now, I just want to sit down and write down the thoughts and feelings I have had over our last few days here in the Philippines.  I just have to say that no matter how hard certain things have been about living here in Cebu, we know we were here for a reason and we are so very grateful for the many, many lessons we have learned in our short time here.  We have met some wonderful people, people it is very hard to say goodbye to.  I have worked with people who have been so great to me and have taught me so much.  We went out to dinner and bowling with my team last night and saying goodbye to them was so difficult.  I hope that I will have the chance to return here in the future and to see these people again, but there is a possiblity that I will never see them in this life again.  When I think of that, I am sad.  We said goodbye to people in our ward today, and I had the same thought.  We have met and gained friendships with these people and thankfully we have the internet, blogs, facebook and will be able to keep in touch.  But, life will move forward and this part of our life is ending and that is sad.
This afternoon we spent time with my coworkers, Grant and Branigan, and their families.  It was a good time with good food and friends.  It was beautfiul outside with the palm trees and the sunshine (although it was VERY hot and humid).  When we left Grants house and walked out the gate, the sunset was amazing and there were people playing basketball outside in the field across from his house.  There were dogs and goats running around and a small hut in the distance.  There were palm trees and the sunset behind them and it was a beautiful scene and I thought "that is like the ultimate Philippines scene" and it made me a little sad.  Then, we took Branigan, Julie and Beau Knowlton home and we laughed and talked through the horrible Mactan traffic, but as we got closer to their house the reality of us leaving really started to hit and we all got just a little quieter.  We got extra big hugs from Beau and said goodbye to the people who have been with us through this whole experience and I was struggling to hold back the tears.  We came out here together with big plans of the things we would do and the adventures we would have together and I cannot help but feel like we are abandoning them a little.  They have been so supportive and they understand why we are going, but we are going to miss their little family more than I can even express.  As we were driving away and I had tears streaming down my face for the first time through all of these goodbyes, Ben told me that watching their family and especially watching Branigan interract with Beau really helped him to solidify even more how much he wants to be a dad.  So, Knowltons, thank you for that!  We know we will see them again back in Utah and we will be friends, but the things we shared in the Philippines are over for us and that is a sad realization for me.  I have a hard time with endings, even if it means new beginnings.  Anyway, I just wanted to share my thoughts, put them down in writing so I remember.
Living in the Philippines has taught me many things.  I have learned more about Ben and his culture and his family.  I have seen real, true poverty and had the chance to really get to know people living in these type of situations and learn from their example.  We have enjoyed seeing beautiful locations, beaches, waterfalls and places that some people will only ever dream of seeing.  We have experienced living in another country with all of it's ups and downs.  So, for now, Goodbye Cebu and Goodbye Philippines....until we meet again! 


Tiffany Johnson said...

Love this. I'm sad for you but SO SO happy for you at the same time. or maybe it's just that i'm happy for me. :-) I can't wait to see you guys in just a few days!! NO MORE SKYPE!!!! :-) Love it. Love you!

Julie Knowlton said...


I love that I just posted about you guys on my blog then came over to see this.

I don't know what else to say other than we love you guys and wish you the best. You deserve it.

Keep in touch!

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