Street Smartology and New Endings After the End- Life on the Road, Chapter Two- Philippines
So I pretty much freaked out when I first realized my kids didn’t want what I did. I was horrified. “What? I need to go live a routine life, I am doomed to the life of a bird with clipped wings, because YOU want a normal childhood?” So, Kobi and I ignored them for a bit, bought them more ice cream, and even dangled their ultimate-goal-in-life I-Phone fantasy before their eyes. But, no damn it, What Does Freedom Mean and The Nomadic Family No Longer Nomadic are right for this season.
We go through tons of seasons and rhythms on the road of life. Some are hiccups that hurt each time anew, some are rain for the soul, and some are marvelous little windows of reality in which the cosmic dust settles and we know we are living out our life purpose. There are hysterically fun times with friends, and sad times, and more than a few insane moments. But, it’s all what we are meant to dance through. And now, we’re closing shop for a return to ‘normal’ life scheduled for the summer of 2014.
Here’s some latest developments that make me giddy with joy.
1. Our children are soooo happy
Here in the Panagsama Beach, Moalboal, Philippines, they have a million friends. Here above Dahnya and Orazi are in the ocean, where island kids should be, with Peter, Roy, Andre, Kit, and King. They’re in the water, with or without Savedra Dive Center gear, and usually, with ten best friends. Orazi’s learning to do flip flops in the air (we’re still in the very early stages) and both Solai and Dahnya have suitors who bring gifts. (Hmmmm, this could become a wise economic move…)
2. They are toughening up
We’re talking to our dear friends Jeff and Sharo, and daughter Nancy, from Living On The Globe who may be able to come see us first week in August. My email to Jeff sums it up really well:
Our kids play with a million street kids, but i warn you now, these guys ain’t so gentle, you cry they call you baby. you play cards with them, they cheat you in your face. really good street-smart education. toughening up my kids like crazy. she’ll [Jeff’s daughter Nancy] get scratched up but trust me hard-knocks school here is amazing. kids are really nice just street smart.
So, our kids have learned an encyclopedia of wisdom on the streets here. Maybe it’s been a Bachelor’s Degree in Street-Smartology.
Street-Smartology also equates to just now Solai coming home bleeding from two toes that look like they almost got torn off. [Editor note: Gabi, that’s me, always exaggerates.] While Kobi’s inside stopping the bleeding, the street gang is all sitting there on the porch, in the dark, knocking every few minutes to see if Solai is OK. Street-smart also means you’ve got your back covered.
3. We’re stepping up to the plate
Diving ain’t no piece of cake. If our kids want to dive, they must stop fidgeting with masks and not-perfectly-comfortable everything and just do it. Savedra Dive Center has Herman The German (which we say to not accidentally call him Henry, the Australian dive master who left, for angry Uncle Herman ain’t pretty) and both Herman and Lee demand excellence, which is a pain in the butt, but dearly valued. We want good divers who are confident yet cautious under water.
They made Kobi do his EFR and Rescue Tests again, and again, until he did it just right. Savedra is into not cutting corners and getting paid to get ‘another diver out the door’ but rather are into doing it right. So, again, we hate them, and moan and complain about them giving us such a hard time and being such pains in the butt, but secretly, we could not respect them more for really caring. (Shhh, just don’t tell Lee. It will ruin my winning streak of 5:3)
4- The journey continues
First of all, there’s almost a year to go. We’ve got more Philippines life here (which we adore and cannot imagine leaving), then Malaysia for errands and some more unreal HPL hotels, Nepal, and 8 months of India before we head home.
Second of all, going back to the Upper Galilee Valley of Northern Israel is a nature-lover’s paradise. We’ll have so much exploring and searching in our homeland, with our family and friends, and in our souls. That will be a great journey assimilating back into Normal-ville.
Third of all, the kids are open and really excited about to the idea of….. (are you ready for this?)
TWO YEARS OF ISRAEL AND THEN TWO YEARS SETTLED IN A LOVING SCHOOL-COMMUNITY IN SPAIN WITH VACATION BIKE ADVENTURES THROUGHOUT EUROPE!
This is totally, 100% the fault of my dearest friend Heidi from Wagoner’s Abroad, who frolics in Spain and blogs about it, making me drool profusely. So, Kobi and I are already jumping for joy! Looks like we can put them back in the school we help found in Israel, which is more like summer camp than school, and we won’t have to put them in regular school, which was our evil plan for convincing the kids that life on the road is better than stability. We’re already glanced into flights (for 3 years from now) to see how bad it would be. So no one’s system goes that far in advance but just knowing that it’s not over till the fat lady sings is AWESOME!!
We are here and now and also in all of the infinite possibilities that may be our future. We may hit the road again (say, yes! say, yes!), we may not (which means we’re really happy in our sun-lite, mountain-side slice of heaven). We may love the Annapurna Circuit and Nepal, we may hate it. We may come back here again and see Raffy and King, Roy, Peter, Kit, and Andre. We may not. But right now, we have this kitten who we love, and friends, and sea turtles [great movie Kobi made from our dive the other morning], and Savedra Dive Center, and each other, and that’s all it’s really about. So, we’ll take it, swoop it all up in one big, long, grateful breath and one huge, Santa-style bear hug.
PS: And if you’ve been following our Raffy series, yes, that is Raffy in the first picture selling the kids playing cards. He told me the other day, “I buy for 25 pesos. 5 packs. I sell pack 5 pesos. Good money. Good money. ” God, I love this kid and his lemonade stand mentality- you know it costs more for all the materials and time put into making each damn cup but who cares cuz the kid is so happy to have a business. We ALWAYS buy from Raffy! 🙂
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Oh The Places You Will Go– a sum up of a three year world adventure in amazing photos
We’ve written a highly inspirational e-book about money and how you can take these ten steps to make your travel dreams come true. It has helped many and helps us continue our travel dreams. I do hope you will consider spending the $8 and learning/ be reminded of what you can do, starting today, to make your family world travel dreams come true. You can do it too friends. You can. You can.
Thank you dearly,
Gabi, Kobi, Solai, Dahnya, and Orazi