Sunday, December 11, 2005

worth waiting for

finally, after months of waiting...

and waiting...

and waiting...

the day of the Kerygma-Anawim GK build finally arrived!!!

a few months ago, Emily and i signed up as volunteers of the
Light of Jesus' (LOJ) recent project with Gawad Kalinga. unlike my first GK experience where we only painted four homes, this project is much bigger. i had so much fun on my first GK painting job - and we were only a few volunteers then! so imagine how excited i am just thinking about this next venture, which involves not only the whole LOJ community but people from other communities and walks of life as well. i couldn't wait!

we were praying for good weather because it's been raining for a few days now. but then, i realized, wild horses (and rain showers) could not keep me away!

and rain it did!

thankfully, it wasn't that bad. when Emily, Leah (who i invited a few weeks ago), and i got there, it was already drizzling. but everyone was in such high spirits that we didn't really care.

after the mass and orientation, we went to our respective groups (we were House #28). we were joined by a couple and a brother, all from LOJ, Couples Chapter. they were all so easy to get along with that we had so much fun working with them.

when we started on the house, the brothers proceeded to hammer the wooden flooring inside while we began to paint the facade. as we were working, some of the "foremen" and construction directors would pass by all the houses, chatting with us and making sure everything was going well. at first, we didn't notice the attention our house was getting. after a few moments, more of the LOJ "bigshots" were dropping by. when Bo Sanchez came in with his son in tow, i began to realize that our new friends weren't just "ordinary members" of the community. my hunch was right when another group of brothers and sisters visited us and joked that an LOJ director was actually working. Emily, Leah, and i were pretty surprised when we found out that both of the brothers in our group were THE directors in their respective chapters. ah, that explains it. after hearing that remark, we turned to Bro. Noel and joked, "Ah, kaya pala strict ang Quality Control dito e!" ("Ah, that's why the Quality Control is strict here!") we all had a good laugh. now that i think about it, it was a good thing we bonded first before finding out who they were. if we knew they were head honchos, we would probably be more formal - and respectful (haha!). actually, they were so down to earth that regardless of their status in their community, they made us feel at ease.

now speaking of community leaders, i just have to share this.

Bo Sanchez approached our house, i almost fainted! see, i've been his fan ever since i've read my first issue of Kerygma when i was in 2nd year college. since then, i've been a regular at The Feast, i have most of his books (well, all except one, that is), and i attended their holy week retreat early this year. although i met him during the retreat, it was only for a few seconds (i had to talk to his companion). this morning, we saw him while we were heading towards our house but it was just in passing.

and THEN he decides to drop by. THIS i did NOT expect.

so anyways, when my brain finally registered that he was right beside me, talking to the brothers, i tried to keep my cool and continued painting. after all, he wasn't there to talk to me right?? AND, i didn't want to look like some crazed fan, even if i SO am (hahaha!). so, i chatted with the girls while we were painting and the brothers were conversing inside. i could hear him joking with his son (sigh) and laughing with the others.

i almost jumped when i heard the door open. i began to panic when i saw our visitor bid the brothers goodbye.

tsk, tsk, tsk...


very calmly, i turned to look at them and caught Bene's (his son) eye. i gave him a smile and quietly said, "Bye." Bo seemed to have heard it because he turned around and looked directly at me. his eyes were smiling, as they usually are. i didn't hear what he told me at first because my pathetic brain shut down - again. when i heard him greet the other sisters, "Bye," i realized it must have been that. i managed a smile and tried my darndest not to look all giddy, lest i freak him out. by the time he left with Bene, i exhaled so loudly i thought the others heard me. argh, how pathetic was that! hahaha! anyways, when my feet finally reached the ground, my eyes lost that glazed look, and i could think normally again, i resumed my painting. ^_^

the couple who joined us left early and Bro. Noel was left to assist us and do some Quality Control (hehe). well, my OCness in me just CAN NOT let those nooks and crannies go. i just HAD to paint in the holes that were left gaping and unpainted by the roller brush. i was so engrossed with that activity that i didn't notice that my arm, my face, my hair, and the back of my jeans had paint already. wait, how did that happen??? must have been when i was dazed and confused by our recent visitor. hehe.

when we were finished and all those annoying holes were filled in already, it was still early. it wasn't even lunchtime yet! so we took a break, talked with some of our neighbors, and finally packed away our mess. as we were lugging our stuff to the car, we saw Bro. Noel eating with the other couples in the tent. he asked us to join them and we told him we'll follow.

when we returned bringing our lunch (longganisa meal from McDo), one of the sisters reacted, "O, bumili pa kayo sa McDo!" ("O, you bought food from McDo!")

i grinned sheepishly, "Sabi kasi magdala ng packed lunch e." ("It said to bring packed lunch e.")

"Nako, basta kasama nyo ang Couples, di kayo mauubusan ng pagkain!" ("Well, if you're with the Couples, you'll never run out of food!")

ahh, we were so blessed.

after a sumptuous lunch (rice with adobong sitaw, chicken, salad, siomai, and pichi-pichi), emily, leah, and i all had satisfied smiles on our faces. this is the life.

so, after a few picture-taking here and there,

we were all set to go. we thanked our wonderful friends and said our good-byes.

what a great way to spend the

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