It’s been a long time since I last posted an entry on this blog. Since arriving back from Tanzania nearly two years ago, I have been able to complete my studies and graduate with an undergraduate degree in Mathematics from the University of Edinburgh. It has been an interesting four years with many joys and a few down periods, and I can truly say I have been blessed with happy memories and inspiring friendships. I will miss those who I have left behind in Scotland as I undertake the next stage along my journey.
In just under a week’s time, I will be moving to the Philippines where I will begin a 12-month volunteer placement with the Salesians of Don Bosco. The Salesians are an international religious order which was founded by St. John Bosco in the 19th Century. The main work of the Salesians consists of providing education to disadvantaged young people across the world, carried out with an ethos of love and being “friends to the young”. His method of education and discipline proved successful and the Salesians now work in 131 countries in the world!
I will be living in a Salesian community in the eastern part of the Philippines in the city of Borongan where I will work in their youth centre and vocational training centre. I’m unsure of the specific nature of my work at this moment, but I am sure to be doing a mixture of teaching, youth engagement and being there to help the community in any way that I can! Whatever my routine will end up being, I am looking forward to getting going and starting something new, becoming immersed in a new culture, a new lifestyle and having some new adventures. I am particularly excited about experiencing life in a country whose population is 80% Roman Catholic. I have heard over the years of distinctively Filipino Christmas and Easter traditions, and I am very much looking forward to exploring my faith through the lens of a completely different Catholic culture, complete with all of the graces and challenges this will, I’m sure, bring along.
I will try to post entries to my blog as frequently as I can as a way of keeping in touch with family and friends, but also to communicate and document my thoughts, hopes and fears throughout my time overseas. I’ve enjoyed reflecting on past experiences abroad and no doubt I will enjoy writing about all of the new experiences I will have over the course of the next year. I pray that you all keep well whilst I am away, and I look forward to sharing with you stories and pictures from this very exciting, upcoming chapter in my life.