My extended business trip will be coming to a close soon. As I look back at the time away from the place I call home, it’s been interesting and rewarding. I’ve met new people, experienced new adventures, learned about a different culture, and feel blessed for doing so.
The one experience that will be etched in my heart were the people I’ve met. They were kind, selfless, and happy every day. The challenges they face on a daily basis make mine pale in comparison. When I’m sitting in my car during weekday morning traffic for more than a few minutes I’m irritated, but they spend hours each way sitting on crowded buses, trains and other modes of transportation.
On the last weekend before I head home, our counterparts planned another special day. They arranged for a van to take us to one of their favorite restaurants, which included a celebration with their favorite cake known as Mango Bravo, and a special treat for me and my colleagues known as halo halo (mix mix), even though I kept calling it wahla-walha….LOL.
After sharing a meal together the group planned to take us to their most famous shopping area, Greenhills. It was a large market of sorts with hundred’s of booths, separated by nothing more than a table or fabric. The area was so overwhelming, I didn’t have a clue where to look first. Everyone was calling out to buy their wares as they tried to woo our attention or look. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find anything I had to have. My one haggling experience ended without a sale.
We ended up on the other side of town at another shopping area, Venice Piazza Grand Canal. It was not hectic or crowded and no one was vying for our attention. In fact, it was beautiful and spacious. It was fun to walk along the canal admiring the shops and people. It was the first time everyone had been to this area and all enjoyed the time.
As another wonderful day ended, and as I begin to prepare for departure, my heart is full and I’m a better person for knowing my new friends. Although I’m homeward bound soon, I’ll miss the people and the comaradery we shared.
ps…..on a silly note, I must admit I’m especially excited to sleep in my own bed…cuz, there’s no place quite like home.