Kindred Spirits | The Botanical Gardens, Niagara Falls, Ontario

Leaving home and everything you ever know, 
to search for a dream or whatever the world will show... 
Especially when you are alone,  
and you don't know what awaits you...  
can be quite scary but hopes aglow.

Good friends can help us feel much better.  Their kindness and company can make us feel the comfort of the home we long for, the warmth of the people we hold dear... but where do we start finding such friends in a strange place?

Since the beautiful, ever so alluring flowers inspires imagination and nostalgia, how about I take you back in time with me for a little story?  

Setting: Eleven years ago... (really?!?!)  I just arrived in Canada to be a live-in caregiver, aka a nanny, for two young boys, in s very very nice family.

"Do you know anyone in Canada?"  My employer asked in the middle of a getting-to-know-you conversation. He was busy emptying out the dishwasher.  The kids sitting at the breakfast table, curious. I stood a few steps away, observing... I have not seen a dishwasher before.  In between sentences I would hover around to see what that machine looked like inside.  'How does it work?'  I wonder. Soon, I will be doing that for him. I have been in Canada for a mere day. 

"No, I don't."  I replied, shaking my head lightly.  He pressed his lips together and sighed, his hands flat on the table, "Don't worry, I see many Filipinos here, specially downtown.  You'll build a nice circle of friends soon... They'll help you adjust."  Those were very kind words.  The sincerity was very evident from his demeanor.   

I have yet to realize this, but I was in a very good part of Canada.  Markham, my first home, was a growing town just outside Toronto, the largest city in Canada.  Toronto is the melting pot of many cultures, the host for many Pilipinos, while Markham's Chinese population is increasing.  Coming from Hong Kong, my employers were under the impression that I was Chinese and I will fit in just fine.  I spoke a few words in Cantonese which convinced the little boy I was indeed Chinese.  The boys were very excited to tell me about a mall built for Asians - The Pacific Mall.  That was just too cute!


 They never heard of Pilipinos before, nor the Philippines. My employer and his family became concerned on how they can help me make friends.  Ah, such wonderful people!

"Actually, you said that you know where the Kingdom Hall is?  I wonder if you could tell me how to get there?"  That was the first favor I asked of the people who helped me come to Canada.  "There is one that's not very far.  The sign say's that there should be a meeting there on Wednesday night.  My wife will take you there."  He gave a very convinced and serious look.  "How did you know?"  I blurted out in a delighted surprise. "When you said during the interview about going to the Kingdom Hall, I passed by the next day to see the schedule.  There should be no problems for you to go there."  Wow, that melted all my anxieties away.  The future looks very bright.  I am well taken care of.  I will be okay.

The brothers and sisters in my new congregation were welcoming.  They were so warm and inviting.  I've met some who lived close by and offered me rides.  There was also a Filipino family who quickly became my friends.  Before you know it, my friends were coming to pick me up for the meetings or just to say hi.  Invitations were coming in for dinner here, coffee there... Movie? Service?  Walk bt the park?  Suddenly, I've got many brothers and sisters.  I gained a new family in a new country.

"I'm aware that its your own time," he said in a matter-of-fact tone. "But we are going to the beach this weekend with the kids, you are welcome to come along."  "That's very kind of you," I said.  "Is it all right if I don't come?  My friends already invited me...."  He looked puzzled... "I thought you did not know anyone?" he wondered... I chuckled, "That was last week..."

"As long as you are in Jehovah's organization.  
You will always be home."  
Thus said my mother.  
I have never doubted it... 
never will...

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  1. "As long as you are in Jehovah's organization.
    You will always be home." So true!
    Another piece of your life written beautifully. So you've been there for 11 years now, wow! Thanks for this heartwarming post.

    1. Ate salamat for reading. Tagal na nga ano? Nagka-ugat na hehe... I'm moving some of my post from my other blog dito, para isa nalang ang public blog ko... kaya naman, halo-halo narin ang post ko dito. hehehe

  2. Thank you for sharing the "new" experience to me.

    1. Oh, thank you so much for stopping by and reading my post. :-)


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