On Monday of this week, I wrote an article about being a Ninong. The events I wrote about in that article occurred at a party that Feyma and I attended. As I mentioned in that article, there was something else that happened at that party which I wanted to write about as well. Today, I’d like to tell you about that.
Let me give you some background first.
Back in 2010, Feyma and I were told about four young High School students who quite poor. The poverty of these individuals caused the four girls to not have any food for lunch at the school that they were attending. In fact, the only thing that they had each day for lunch was water. When the story was told to me about these four girls, it really touched me, and Feyma too. We decided to sponsor these girls as part of our annual Christmas Drive, and pay for their school lunches for the rest of the school year. At the time when we first met these girls, we also told them that if possible, we would help them find jobs during summer break so that they could earn extra money. You can read about the events that caused us to meet these girls, and our initial meeting with them in my archived article, Giveaway Part 2 – Students in Need.
We really enjoyed helping these girls, and we had them over to our house on multiple occasions to have dinner, meet with our family, and generally bond with them. It was rewarding for us to do this, it enriched our lives, and we hoped that the girls felt the same way.
After School was out for the summer, I was unable to find jobs for any of the girls, but I did hold true to my word, and we offered employment to each of the girls working in our house, doing various odd jobs so that they could earn money. There was a bit of a dispute with one of the girls, unfortunately, when her parents did not want her to come over to our house any longer. We accepted it, there was really nothing we could do, but we felt bad that it turned out that way, because we hoped to be able to influence the girl in a positive way and lead her to a better life in the future where she could earn decent money and provide for herself. I wrote about that in an article entitled – A debt of gratitude – Really? – take a moment to read that article if you like, I’ll wait here while you are gone! 🙂
Well, we had not seen any of those girls for several years, although we do hear about them from time to time, through mutual friends.
A surprise at the party
When we arrived at the birthday party last weekend, we were told that one of the girls, Rizavie would be the Master of Ceremonies at the party. I was excited to see her. I always liked Rizavie, she had spunk, and confidence, which I liked a lot. I felt that she was a “go getter” and that if any of the girls would succeed in life, it would be Riza. It was not long after we arrived at the party that Rizavie showed up! When she saw us, her eyes lit up and a big smile came to her face. It really touched me, and when she came over, we gave each other a big hug and said hello. It was really nice to see her again. I have to say, I was pretty impressed with the way Rizavie handled herself as the Master of Ceremonies at the party too. She was not shy at all, she took ahold of a microphone and was really in charge of the events! I felt a bit proud watching her, almost in a fatherly way, hoping that our association with Rizavie had helped her with the type of confidence that she was displaying. In addition to Rizavie, after 30 minutes or so, her mother showed up, and was very friendly with us as well. It was nice to talk with the mother and catch up with her. I learned that the mother had been working abroad, in the Middle East, and would soon be going back to continue her work. I was happy to hear that she had found work to help support the family.
I stepped outside at the party for a while, and when I was outside, I saw Rizavie’s father. He was also very kind and came and talked to me, shook my hand and expressed his gratitude for the help that we extended to Rizavie when she was still in High School. It was nice to see him as well.
A bit later in the party, another girl showed up. It was another of the girls that we had sponsored several years ago, Apple.
Feyma and I saw Apple when she first came in, but we were unsure if she saw us or not. She did not acknowledge us in any way, so we thought that she may have missed seeing us.
A bit later, when much of the birthday activity had subsided and it was time for everybody to eat, though, Apple came over to talk to us. I was glad that she did. She came and said hi to Feyma and I, then she started talking with me. Feyma was already engaged in conversation with some other people. Apple started thanking me for the help she had been given, and it didn’t take long, she started crying. I am not ashamed to admit, I was very near tears myself. It was quite an emotional conversation.
Staying in School
In talking with the two girls, I was so glad to learn that both of the girls are in College and are doing well with their respective studies. They both seemed very dedicated to their studies, and both have a bright future.
In talking with Rizavie, I learned that she is currently studying at University of Mindanao (UM) and is studying to be a teacher.
Apple also told me about her current studies. She is more than a year in to a two year course and is doing well. She is studying for an Associate’s Degree at ACLC college. She will be graduating early next year, so that is coming up real quick!
I was so proud of both Rizavie and Apple, and learning about their progress only made me more proud of their accomplishments!
The other girls
There were a total of 4 girls that we had sponsored in 2010, and we saw only two of them at the party. I did ask about the other two, though, and was happy to hear that each of them is also still in school (college) and doing well. I hope we will get an opportunity to see the others in the future as well!
So, between this article and the one I wrote on Monday, I am sure that you can see that it was quite an eventful party for us last Saturday. It was, in fact, a real highlight for us and we enjoyed it a lot. Seeing the two girls that I described in this article really made us happy and brought back some nice memories! I am so happy that we attended, and thankful for the invitation!