Saturday night we came back to the farm. It was Ping Ping’s birthday and she invited us to celebrate. There is nothing like a Filipino birthday. I want to take their traditions back to America to celebrate with the one’s I love. We walked to Ping’s house in the dark, which was 6:30pm. It gets dark here very early. When we arrived we stood outside her home and sang birthday songs to her letting her know how much we appreciate her. Then we were invited in to celebrate with food and friends.
We formed a circle and each person had the opportunity to tell a story or special memory of Ping then give her advice and encouragement for her birthday. It was also a special event because the next day she was leaving for her first year in college. Hearing the stories and words that people had to share almost made me cry. She has some of the best friends. I wonder if she knows how blessed she is. Everyone here shows affection by physical acts such as hugging and putting your arm around one another. It makes me want to hug everyone I see and hold their hand.
Ping’s parents had amazing snacks for us and we continued to talk and enjoy our time together. When she left the next day she made me a necklace. It’s purple. I had told her the night before that purple was my favorite color. I felt very special that she chose that specific one for me. It also made me feel more a part of their group having something to wear that is authentic.