By Catherine Chiu Kei Yu
Let’s begin by following up on the question that I posted in my second blog -Taking a step back; why live with my host family instead of spending my free time in a resort during our Transformation Business Immersion course?
Things at home with the Gacita’s (the family’s surname) are changing after sometimes and I think it’s either because I started to enjoy spending time with the family together or I feel like I am becoming part of the small community in Cabana. (Where we live)
Growing up in a boarding school which is located in a connected and humble village, I discovered the similarity between there and here; the joy that we share in a community and the feeling that we belong to somewhere makes us a lot happier and relax about life.
This week I felt in love with the National fish that LeBeth makes and I started to leave the table with a full belly and its guilty pleasure. There were also teasing about me eating a lot!
At the same time I started to learn more about their family business which is their local meat store; such as the process from sourcing the pork to delivering it to the buyers at the store.
Since we have been here for more than two weeks already we felt that we should also help out or do something as a gesture of thanks, so we wash dishes and tidy up after each dinner. Dada who is Lebeth’s daughter would help us sometimes and I got to chat more with her about what are her hobbies, singer that she likes like Ed Sheeran and found out that we both love to draw! (Namie drawing means I like drawing in Elongo)
I have also finally washed my cloths by hand after 15 days here. I washed my own cloths when I was living with other families before and it was literally just a self-task. Though this time was different, I found myself washing clothes in front of a big hill together with Lebeth and Dada at the back of our kitchen. The manual washing style was like a biceps work out session in the sauna for me! It was also fun to stump our feet into a big bucket of dirty bed sheets and to sing in Elongo. (The dialogue that we speak in Guimaras)
Behind the laughter with the Gacita’s I started to reflect on how I have acted toward to my own biological family for the past few years. On a personal level I have to admit that I told myself something that was wrong about my own family and the grief that I held against them.
By being easily happy when I am living with different families in the past and present I suddenly felt that I should be even more grateful for my real family and their ways of showing me their love.
At the beginning I thought living with my host family will benefit my final business report somehow but instead, I have discovered how to cherish the little time that we have with our own family and the loved once. Also the culture barrier is just an excuse!