On the eve of 2009, I spent some time reflecting on how 2008 came and went. There is one dominant thought/feeling i came across with – GRATITUDE. It was a great year for me, professionally. Never had I thought that I will be able to travel to 4 countries in a span of 4 months! All for free. And with my work at the uni, it all happened in one semester! 🙂
Traveling to Madrid in July was super! I mean that was the only travel plan I had for the year. It was a fulfilling experience both personally and professionally. Well, for one I got to make a side trip to Denmark and saw my viking. It was very good indeed! 🙂 and another, I got to present my Masters’ thesis in an international gathering – for the first time!!! Wow. It was an amazing feeling to be with all those people at the International Interdisciplinary Congress on Women. Plus, i saw my Spanish friend, Jesus, who was so kind to let me stay in his apartment in Madrid (for free), which is only 6 stops (by Metro) away from the conference venue. I also met two amazing women: Endah and Shak, they made my stay truly memorable. We would skip some sessions just so we can roam around Madrid! We even witnessed the gay parade. That was so much fun! Madrid is beautiful and the experience is truly one for the books.
And then India beckoned in August. For a start, I did apply for a slot at the RNTC refresher course but I was not very confident that I’ll make it. They opened the course to all Asian alumni and there were only 20 slots available. I said that whether I make it or not, it is cool. I was very surprised to know that i made it to the list! I got the news from the email immediately after coming from Madrid. As they say, India is incredible! It is exactly how I imagined it to be – crazy, noisy, exotic! It was fun riding the auto rickshaw, seeing the temples, and getting lost in the maze-like shops in the mall or market! The best part of it was seeing my co-trainees in my batch (2004), Kaila and Korina! I was so happy to see them again! It was also nice to see Peter, Tony and Afke (RNTC staff) and meeting new course participants (Nath, Mohani, Dan, Denny, Ivy, Fathima, Sunitha, Banditha, CV and the rest). Hey, I did win the most participative person during the party! Oh well, no one can beat me to that. I will never forget India for everything that it is…and more!!! (I left something there…in the open fields!!!!)
Last stop: Cape Town in October. It was a “suntok sa buwan“. I definitely did not expect that I would be given a subsidy to join the WACC Congress. At first they offered a co-share for the expenses and so I told them how much money I will be able to raise (I was not very sure I’ll raise that much) and they asked me to fill in some forms and such. And I did. Later on I was informed that they have decided to spend for all my travel expenses! That really blew me away! Wow. Me? Cape Town? Only in my dreams. But there I was: I survived the very long flight and stepped on African soil for the first time. I was so excited! It was such a delight to be in the presence of Desmond Tutu and the many other famous African personalities. The WACC congress was very enriching and thought-provoking. The side trips were great too: Robben Island (where Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years), V&A Waterfront, Table Mountain and the Gugulethu township. All in all, it was an amazing trip! Never mind the very long flight. There goes another entry in my memory bank.
Wow. I hope 2009 will be better-er! I look forward to more adventures and more opportunities to grow!
One word: GRATITUDE and I am truly GRATEFUL.
*This is a re-post from my Facebook note.