By Amrita Sanju Daryanani
Having lived on my own for almost 9 years for schooling reasons, I only see my family only during vacation. I was very confused on what should I do this summer between spending time with family, doing the Transformative Business Immersion course or taking up an internship position. As life is always unfair and not easy, you can’t get everything you want from life and you simply need to choose certain things.
After a lot of thinking, I decided that best option for me would be to focus on taking the TBI course in June and an internship in July and August as this would be the last summer before I graduate. I explained my decision to my family and they supported it like they always did, but I was slightly disappointed that I wouldn’t be spending time with my family.
But, I guess life always has something else in store for you and thus, you should always expect the unexpected. Then, I learnt that I would be living with a host family for the first time and I was not sure to which extent they would be my family, would they even accept or adjust with me. Doubts began to fill up my mind and I just wished for the best.
After Professor Beau introduced us to the family, I greeted my host mother (Nanay Gunding), 2 sisters (Ate Mary Je and Shieny) and other members (Karamina, Ellen May and Jelyn) with smiles. They were all so welcoming, which made me feel that this experience would be worth it. After spending only one week with them, I feel that they have become part of my own family already.
Nanay Gunding is exactly the same as my mother and looks after me really well. This has made me feel that all mothers no matter which part of the world they are from are all the same. Their selfless love and care can never be repaid. One moment I can never forget was when I had got hurt on the beach by rocks, my veins became swollen. She took the effort to massage my foot while sitting on the ground everyday till I fully recovered. She always makes sure that I am eat properly and won’t ever be hungry, I come back home on time anytime I go out and all my clothes are washed frequently so I don’t run out. I told my mother about it and she is really grateful for her to the extent she feels that she has nothing to worry about. I am really going to miss Nanay so much.
My “Twin Sister”
Even though I have a younger sister and brother, Shieny has been always the type of sister I have yearned for, somebody I could talk to, share my problems with and tease as much as I want to knowing that she wouldn’t be offended. A memorable moment is when we wash dishes together after meals as normally I am really lazy in doing my dishes in Hong Kong. But, I realized how fun it can be when you do it all together and talk about different things at the same time. Others are when we went to Iloilo City to buy me a new phone, when we go to church on Sunday morning, and when we visited the Philippine College of Business and Accountancy (PCBA) and met all her friends. The two of us have become really close with each and pull each other’s legs even to the extent I wouldn’t do with my own friends and family. She is definitely someone I am going to miss.
My “Older Sister”
Due to certain limitations, we don’t spend as much time as we can. Needless to say, she uses different methods to show her care for me. For instance, she always asks me if I have eaten meals, texts me to see if I am fine when I am outside, suggests me different potential hairstyles and always hugs me after I come back. I really wish all the best for her. I am sure the family and the community is trying their best to make sure that they can do the most for her.
My “Family Friends”
Karamina, Ellen May and Jelyn are all very different from each other and yet support each other to the fullest. For example, they go out with me at nights for star gazing, help me to do my laundry and washes the dishes, play lots of games with me and even make sure that I always go out and come back with somebody. They even fight with each other including me and it allows me to feel like I am part of the girl gang. You never know how you can meet new friends even people different from you can turn out to be your good friends.
As we spent more time with the family, we learnt more about the other family members who were living in Manila and Iloilo City. This showed how open they were to us and accepted us to be part of their family. I had never expected that within one week I would be so close to them and know so much about them and they know about me.
Though I thought that I would be sacrificing time with my own family because of this trip, I was instead able extend my family and meet people who I know care, love and protect me in the same way as my family does. The fact is that not all family relations have to be blood related, relationships can be made when your heart connects with another person, who you may never imagine to be possible.
They say when you fall in love, your heart strings will move. I believe that this family has actually touched my life till my heart strings have moved and thus, changed my life forever. God did have a plan for me and it has been the best for me so far.