Saturday, January 25, 2014

In Search of Sandy

Joyful January 24,2014

Oh wow!
Such a wonderful day!
I actually slept at around 5am today because, I kept on researching wonderful love songs to dedicate to my husband each day starting from our 12 month wedding anniversary.
I could not wait to do it that I revealed it to him.
Perhaps he also has pregnant thoughts.
Anyway, my sister Chinkie roused me from my slumber at 11am  with a call announcing her arrival time for our adventure to search for Sandy.
And so, we left for Humsaied at a little past 2.
I seated  with her in the back seat with Marcelina while Marina was with her dad upfront.
And we chatted away.
We just stopped for her tourist guide information of the spots along the way. How we  marveled at the burst of colors of different flowers that filled every roundabout center and side walks….that I had to stop myself from getting off and getting the most important photo op. Hehehe.
For the first time we saw the oil rigs or oil wells…that look like giant matchsticks…or POSPORO HIGANTE from the distance.
Real abundance in our midst.
Black diamond.
OIL…all around with the burning flames at the tip of each tower!
Wow! we neared Sealine after Messaeid…the long stretch of sand dunes where rows after rows of dune buggy rentals populating  the landscape…the different models and sizes of All Terrain Vehicles ATV …looked like ants from the distance running up and down the sand hills and mountains. Of course, the SUVs also did not lag behind in their presence and insistence to climb the unstable natural formations brought about by the wind blowing these sand particles.
It was a marvel to behold.
Then we got to Sealine proper.
Then….We got glimpses of the towering, gentle and  awkward, gawky animals.
Marcelina was not pleased with the noise as we stepped out of Whitey.
The Dune buggies were whizzing all around… maybe heightened her sensitive ears due to the infection she has currently.
And so, we chose our camel.
Our guide was a pleasant man.
Marina first rode.
Then…it was my turn without Marcelina as I would have hoped otherwise…she was just not interested to take a ride…she somehow felt my initial tenseness and excitement rising in me.
I kept giggling and laughing at Marina…then when it was my turn…Oh how challenging was the mount. I knew…most of them just kept themselves from laughing at my awkwardness. I mean…the width of the crouching beast was a bit difficult to straddle.
Then…when I was finally in place.
The guide said, HOLD ON.
I was thrust forward in a vicious jolt bringing me to a scream, delirious laughter…runny nose mixing with joyful tears streaming from my eyes continuously throughout the 20 meter walk ( approximation only.)
It was should I say, quite a ticklish ride!
My goodness, the 7 feet height or so made me a bit nervous at the thought of my slipping and falling and I was now, anticipating the rude dismounting! Oh no!
Will I make it?
I did with a yelp and a quelled scream!
I survived my first ride with Sandy…the thick lashed desert wonder!
Thank you dear God!
We transferred  to a nearby location near the seaside…and had some light snacks…the kids and their dad strolled near the water while sisters chatted away.
After talking about something sensitive…and heading back to the parking area…we saw the most amazing sign of hope in the sky.
A rainbow!
Not the 180* kind traversing the horizon…
It was circling the sun!
Only the east and west  points cutting across the 4pm sun was visible.
What a sight to gaze upon.
It was the magic hour when the sand dunes was turning into a different shade of light gold!
God you are so good!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Bakala and Goliath

Joyful Jan.23,2014
12:02 am

Marina did not like to sleep and kept reading her Seton Bible History book to me. She started with Hagar, Abraham and Sara’s maid that bore him Ishmael and she did not like to stop until  the story of David and King Saul’s battles.

She is now mixing her milk before bedtime…way past bed time.

Anyway…today I want to write about a lot of things. The funny episode in the Bakala ( neighborhood mini-grocery) and also about the Goliaths in our lives.

After mass tonight, we dropped by the bakala. I joked that nobody gets down with me so I can meet up with my boyfriend inside. Of course, everyone trooped along with me. Now, the Bakala is such a cramped place with lots of merchandise and around 5-6 customers at any one time. Quite a challenge to maneuver it’s tight aisles without bumping chips or bottled pickles with you as you walk or turn.

Thank God, we did not break anything.

As Ruel and Marcelina lined up to pay at the counter..Marina and I were looking at some boardgames…then I asked the store assistant if they have a delivery telephone line. He said no with a bright smile then I heard a somewhat strong voice exclaim in delight…”China?”

I turned to my left and a tall  old Arab in very rich kind of clothing was addressing me. Marina later  said, the person reminded her of her grandpa. I agree. He was fair in  complexion, prominent tall nose and was around 70 years old.

I replied smiling, “ No, I am a Filipino.”… It somewhat confused him. Then, he further asks me…” What is your work?” Normally, Qatari’s do not small talk with people in shops or wherever…that is why, I was seriously wondering what his tribal lineage was…He was not in the usual white disdasha…His, head gear…was somewhat grey, cashmere thick kind but soft looking and   with a certain design on the edges…and his inner  robe was black.  He looked as if he was an apparition straight from bible stories.

He was somewhat not pleased with my reply when I said, I take care of my babies…I pointed to Marina. He pointed at Marina with more confusion written in his face. As if he could not wrap his mind around the fact that we are Filipinos and we look different.

His English was  limited but  direct and clear…he was with 2 maids and  a cute Arab baby of around 19 months old. Nice eyes and curly hair and super thick lashes. I presumed it was his grandson.

Outside, we saw, that 2 vehicles were with their party. A huge landcruiser for his maids and grandson and a sedan for him.

It was quite an interesting episode.

Marina was joking that maybe…the old man had a job offer for me. I jokingly agreed…yeah more like a slave job perhaps. No thanks…my hands are full.

** ** **
The readings for today tell us about battles and wars. Internal and external.  Small or monumental. 

It tells us about the story of a yound lad named David, who dared conquer a giant with a sling and a rock.

It assures us that…God will equip us if we need to go to battle. He will provide our  shield, our helmet, our sword and our strength.

It is important to have wisdom to know what battles to pursue and conquer.

Please allow me to get a direct quote from Father Rudy Horst SVD’s reflection for today:

 Now, Jesus had come into this world to fight and overcome evil, as Mark portrays His whole ministry as an ongoing warfare against Satan and demons. Evil stands on the opposite side of God. Being in the synagogue, a house of prayer, evil had no place. He had to act, and act He did. After all, what He intended to do on this day of the Lord was something good that God must approve of wholeheartedly. And so He put the Pharisees in a dilemma by asking them whether it is allowed to do good or to do evil on the Sabbath. The answer was obvious, but they refused to agree with Jesus. Two religious positions clashed here: the ritual and legalistic approach to God, and the compassionate approach of service. For Jesus, the most important thing was the merciful and loving response to a person in need of help.
       Evil surrounds us; we detect evil even in our very hearts. We rarely confront the devil directly in dramatic situations like in an exorcism. But we encounter all kinds of effects of evil around us. Unfortunately, evil can also look good and often does look good. Let us not be fooled when evil seemingly looks good; it is a power out to destroy. We feel at times like young David in the First Reading, facing the evil enemy Goliath. David did not run away; he faced the enemy with confidence because he came against him “in the name of the Lord of Hosts.” As long as we see evil for what it is and face it “in the name of God,” we can and will be victorious and so continue the ministry of the Lord in our time. Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Are you afraid of facing evil around you or in yourself? Where should you start to be stronger against evil tendencies?

Lord, the example of Jesus, who confronts the effects of evil without hesitation, encourages me to be more courageous in fighting against evil. Give me the strength to overcome my fears.(TKFDBR)