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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Today at work

Was experimenting on putting slide, but I have to learn to enhance this site some more.

The first thing I do when I arrive early to school is open the internet and browse through the current events to find relevant interesting topics to discuss as most student prefer to talk (practice conversation). By the way today is a very beautiful day . GOD answered my prayer last night for a sunny day. It's almost like summer already.
Anyway-today I have been overhearing Serafino's lesson with 'my' student Andrew (who, if you should know, is the most perfect student I've ever handled in a sense that aside from being a young version of Tom Cruise-Andrew is taller by the way.His family also runs a construction supply business. So as it is, Serafino behaves differently when teaching, usually with colleagues he's this down-to-earth, almost childish smiling character. But this morning he speaks in a serious and firm voice, confidently leaning on the swivel like a proud CEO.
Today also came Luke III to have a lesson with me which has been an enriching experience for me. He shared more about his life, like he's also very good with sailboats because his parents (mother finnish and father french) bought him a sailboat when he was only ten and he sailed so much with friends, to many italian paradise islands, in this boat. That he plays in a musicband where all the 4 members are half-french. That at seventeen he's already travelled to many countries with the money he earned working as an assistant boat skipper (on summers). After the lesson his young beautiful,blond mother was there waiting for him. My heart goes out for this young boy because he seems to be so fragile and humble, betraying his physical appearance (gothic black impression) I hope GOD's love will really shine through his heart, mind and life.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Today is a fairly nice day compared to the rest, of this week. Although the sun isn't that consistent in the sense that it doesn't shine with its full splendor like during summer. Some dark clouds also threatened the day but my daughter was able to take advantage of the fresh air and sun outside just for a couple of minutes. Then back home just in time for her lunch after which we put her to sleep (same as her routine in her daycare school) . So I have ample time to log something here. Well last Thursday at the language school, Giusy the new teacher who's an italian returnee after having lived in the US for a longtime( I didn't ask but I assume long enough for her to acquire the american accent) . Last week must have been her 2nd week, but on our first meeting she annoyed\tested me a bit (Seeing that I'm a thirdworld brown 'pango') in that, when I had to substitute in her lesson for a short 15 minutes, she told me that after my 'stint' she will check with the student. When she did return after 15 minutes I had to give her all the mix of english\american accent my tongue could muster to appease her reluctance or doubt. Then Friday it took me by surpirse that she greeted me sweetly even gesturing forward her cheeks to kiss (which is the traditional italian greeting) She commented (as did the others) that I dress rather nicely, which is deliberate habit on my part because we usually have to deal with professionals and educated or 'elegant' people. Otherwise I dress rather lousily to the extent that many who see me stare in a rather strange way but I'm just naturally oblivious of what others think. Another curious happening is that Sabrina and Serafino were xeroxing an article about global warming with a photo of red chilies and they pronounced it like kilis (in italian ch is pronounced as K) so I corrected them that it's pronounced 'tsili' and they looked at each other and doubted with a Very heavy british accent which I always have a problem understanding. Sabrina brought up another word to mean something cold so I said it's also pronounced as (tsili) chilly. They're always nice and sweet and I like them. GOD gives us the grace and gifts of knowledge. I might just add that my GOD is always being so gracious and merciful above all to my daughter, then to the rest of us. So everyday I PRAISE GOD. Amen.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Affair

On this Sunday our Pastor Michael Hopkins did not preach but he gave time and space to Life Grou p Leaders, which is a welcome change. We got to know the purpose and activities and members of each life group. Here in these photos I'm shown with one of the active Filipina leaders Rowena (seated beside the lady in white headcover). It's a nice platform as our church works hard to cover not only rome but the entire italy GOD willing, with life groups. Besides lifegroup ministry there are also other interesting ministries like that of children's (photo with Eunice the thin, and Reina the thick), evangelism etc. I would have loved to be a part of it but already-as a working mother my time is limited to family, household chores (cleaning, ironing clothes,cooking,doing the groceries etc.) and work. I know it's a shallow excuse but it's not easy. But I love the worship service (worship songs) because the reality ofGOD 's great grace, mercy and might and Sovereignty becomes tangible to me. PRAISE GOD.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Third Luke

It simply means that among the male students I'm teaching, he 's the third carrying the name Luke. The first is a very nice intelligent and corteous young 14 year old boy, very attentive to every discussion and prompt to respond to any questions. The second is the 20 something-year old who's an informatics specialist, who loves to monopolize both the attention and the conversation. This third Luke is by the far the most fascinating to me. He is a 17 year-old gothic, non-conformist personality. He wears this silver pentagram chain on his neck, an all-black attire and a blackleatherwrist band spiked with silvermetals, is into heavymetal music and medieval war stories. Doubtless he is very sharp as a person, so also are his thoughts against the GOD of Christianity. I told him that people like him usually are into drugs which he soberly denied, strangely he behaves in a nicer and more corteous way than other italians his age.He has this firm and clear way of expressing his ideas. I suppose and hope that he was pleased with our lesson together, I expressed my desire to be his teacher on his next lesson, but last night I prayed to the LORD to help and lead me into 'influencing' his heart and mind for HIS love. I waited for him today as he promised he would be coming. But earlier today I heard the school administrator talking to somebody on the phone, informing that he\she couldn't report.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Prejudice Undone

Almost nine years ago I came to Italy, knowing neither the language nor anyone nor the culture. The only job most thirdworld country citizens can take up is the menial kind, domesticated and the like. As I did on the initial few years, but I had in mind and by the grace of GOD- to improve my lot. After a few years (3) I acquired enough fluency of the italian language as to be able to land on a job as a hotel receptionist in a prestigious hotel in the central tourist district of the capital Spanish Steps, and consequently GOD also gave and led me to this teaching position. Prior, I had a very strong prejudice against Germans first and then italian people mainly because they differ so much with my personal convictions and culture. I used to think they're generally racists and condescending against thirdworld immigrants. But many experiences proved my beliefs to be on the contrary , like in most areas when I take the bus some people would gently thank the busdriver before getting down.Or when they see me or anybody(any nationality) in difficulty they would normally rush to help with heartmelting concern. In our neighborhood almost everybody would greet everybody (like ants do) when they meet, or some would even stop by for a short converse. They're very corteous, at least most people I meet. They would offer help, like when I'm (or anybody) carrying several bags of groceries. Or when I take my daughter in the stroller in the bus, anybody would normally readily give a hand in carrying the stroller down. These attitudes I dont remember having known in Manila, except in very rare cases. Or maybe except when I'm in the far away suburbian province which can only be reached by a 24 hour trip by ferry.
Gone are the prejudices. Now I'm also married to an italian and shortly I would also become a citizen myself. My earthly citizenship may change but my heart's and spirit's , will remain forever as that of Christ's. So again I Praise my LORD JESUS CHRIST who gives us the victory.Amen.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Tiffany etc.

Today I had the nth lesson again with Tiffany, a very endearing person with a perennial smile all over her face. Even though we always have lesson together,I dont remember if we ever finished an argument-as we always somehow get 'cut' or interrupted by the school administrator terminating our lesson. Tiffany remains patient over this which awes me so much. Being an ambitious career oriented financial head of a multinational industrial company, she said she needs to improve her english because of her company's need to deal with many foreign investor clients, and she's the person being tapped to do the job. She's personally acquainted with many high profile italians like the famous rich and young bachelor Matteo MArzotto- Naomi Campbell's ex-boyfriend.

Goodbread.I call him this way.He's got these big round captivating brown eyes and simple attitude.He's an airforce pilot's son, he took this english course in preparation for his trip to Dublin Ireland. He just left this morning for an indefinite period of adventure on his own. A typical 'can-afford' European-in search of something that he hopes to find in a colder place. The last lesson with him:I asked (as I typically do with every student) how for many hrs was that particular lesson booked so, he said 5 which surprised me since nobody in the school ever holds a session that long.I set to ask the School Administrator when he loughed.It was a departing joke. Then he expressed a sense of apprehension and reasonable fear, he asked me if I thought he was doing the right thing. I encouraged him saying it's alright and gave him some cautions and pointers for his stay in DUblin.

But Luke is different. This young boy in his early twenties, of athletic built and blond appearance always makes me lough. He's also very good in computer. Infact we always talk about programme applications, software, RAM processor, and like things. My co-teacher Colombia told me of an instance when I havent reported yet to school, and she was the only available teacher for Luke.Colombia said he threw a childish tantrum demanding me. I think this young boy is infatuated with me which elates me. I treat him as almost my son for how he behaves, and how mature I am (more, internally).

The twins. The dark haired little guy and the tall red head. They are classmates in the University taking up Environmental Engineering, presently on their last term of the course doing the thesis. Although I dont have the courage to ask them it's obvious that they're also very very good friends. They always arrive together (but they ride each one his own motorbike) and one will not come up (we are on the second floor of the building) without the other. A friend which sticks closer than a brother-come true. But they're both very humble, nice and intelligent.ALso very goodlooking. They like Goodbread are taking english course in preparation for their travel and stay in ENgland to further their specialization in their field, in Cambridge University. They reminded me of my labtest days when I was studying also in the Philippines. Because they recounted that being in a scientific field they had to perform many labtest on soils, many repetetive experiements and processes. I really wish the best for them both.

Super Mario I call him, he is on the top five of my list of most amusing students. He is a professional engineer and married. HE is all-knowing so to say, he usually comes just to practice
english conversations so, everytime we would come up with an interesting topic like immigration, or how and where money started to be used as a tool of commercial exchange, energy and alternative sources, politics even BIllgates and everytime he would boggle me with correct and precise informations. SO this both amuses and impresses me.

I could go on and on with the kind and nice italians learning english. Like the aristocratic mature lady who is an art gallery owner, or another lady who studies english just to be able to appreciate more her frequent trips or travels abroad. From kids to professionals --this job is GOD-given and so is my knowledge and I PRAISE GOD for all HIS mercy and grace. ALWAYS.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Making New Friends

Right now I'm seated behind the reception desk eating a big yellow Del Monte Banana and a cup of hot chocolate. Although I'm not a receptionist in this language school-I feel very comfortable sitting behind the reception desk. It's usually the converging point of the school staff. I'm particularly the reserved and introvert type, against my will. But GOD is gradually changing this trait by introducing me to new friends of different colors. I'm particularly fond of Urte' a very sweet young German girl in her early twenties, with very long blond hair left freeflowing. She's the only teacher who greets me with a kiss and a hug everywhere we meet, she- like Tiffany wears a perennial smile on her face. She teaches German, French and English. Colombia is a also very nice, she's a 55 year old mother to 3 grown-ups from whom I get helpful tips on healthy foods and vitamin supplements for my little daughter. Vincent is a comic character, although he looks stern and a snob, he is actually a down-to-earth, simple and sweet person. Just this week he had a new haircut which made him look 20 years younger, he seemed to be around the age of 40 before the haircut, he used to sport long curly blond hair but now, he sports a crewcut style which did away his curly blonds. I like his blue eyes very much. I think he's French who speaks fluent italian,but teaches German English and French.Sabrina is the first teacher with whom I did the sit-in training. At First I thought she's a snob but this impression is slowly changing, now that she's starting to open-up conversations more often. She is friendly and sweet as is Serafino who is actually italian (like Sabrina) but both of them have a very heavy British accent, I always have a very hard time catching up on their words so I usually talk to them in italian. All teachers are nice, but I find the Ucrainian Svetlana (English and German teacher) most distant. She wouldnt talk unless you talk to her . A quick assessment of my work confirms that GOD is also blessing me in this HIS own blessing(this job). So I always PRAISE GOD.