(I have to rush through writing this, as I'm on an old computer at 711 with a short battery)
I had my much needed vacation to the Philippines last week to see my family after five and a half months of working in Taiwan. I had a great time with my wife and kids, and I don't know how much longer I could've waited.
My one and a half year old daughter, Kiana, was strange with me when she saw me. She must've thought she was dreaming, as she'd been laying down with mom. After 30 minutes she was happy to see me and calling for, "Dada!" She's at that young age where I worry she might forget me, or relegate my face to the computer screen saver.
My three and a half year old daughter, Kira, knew I was coming a day earlier when no one else suspected it. I wanted to surprise them, so told everyone I'd come on July 20th. On July 1st, while I was packing my bags in Taipei, Kira started announcing loudly and excitedly that, "Daddy's coming home! Daddy's coming home!" and walked around telling everyone. This is not a daily event. I have other stories that convince me she's a bit psychic, but I'll save those for when I have enough battery to get through a blog post.
My big worry for three years in Korea was that Kira wasn't speaking much. It seemed like she could have a hearing problem, was "slow," or just lacked exposure to language since we had no friends, relatives, or day to day people to chat with. After six months in the Philippines, she now speaks Waray-waray with the kids on the street, and engages in more English with the adults. Shy as always, she didn't want to let me catch on to it, but when I quizzed her from her daycare textbook, she was speaking in full sentences and answering questions she never would've before, even if she could.
This made me happier than anything else on the trip. I was thinking of moving them to Taiwan next year to be with me, but seeing how happy my kids are, Kira walking freely around the neighborhood to find her friends, and Kiana soaking up all the attention like a little starlet, I might just wait for Canada and try to visit them more in the meantime.
My wife and I had a fight about the pigs, but agreed in the end, favorably to me. Our three sows have just given birth, so she was excited to start making money off of them regularly. The problem, as I see it, is that the interest we pay on our debts is more than what the sows will earn. I told her to sell the sows and the piglets next month, then use the money to pay off some credits. She could eliminate 70% of our high interest debt if she did this, and focus on the garden instead. She fought me over this, but knowing that my math was correct, I made a stand. I said if I was just going to work for her and never have a say anymore in our finances, then it wasn't a marriage I wanted to be a part of. I said I love her, but if she's never going to listen to me, then I'll just leave.
After five minutes of thinking it over she was suddenly giddy with the expectation of growing vegetables in our garden rather than pigs.
All is well that ends well, so we'll see what happens. I had a great time helping deliver the piglets, playing with my kids at the beach, and spending time with my wife. I love the Philippines, but I'm ready for Canada a year or so from now. Maybe if we can put in our time there, one day we'll give the Philippines another go. For now, I'll just try to visit more. It's a really beautiful country, and I love it there.