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been a little crazy around these neck of the woods || by tracey

i had sent out our OCTOBER newsletter but forgot to post it on here. so HERE…take a read if you would like. :)

october jonathan was in north america with his fund-developer hat on for Gentle Hands. 16 days. so long! then i got a call if i was free from oct 28 - nov 5…to go on assignment in TURKEY for lonely planet philippines magazine. j and i looked at the calendar and 10 days later i was on my way.

it was awesome. :) the 10 page feature is to come out either dec or jan i think. will keep you posted.

christmas is just around the corner. wow. that means it’s been almost a year since we moved here. now THAT is crazy.

will do a christmas update.. so talk soon. :)

xotracey

Upload from November 22, 2011

and then my heart was full || by tracey

70 women. 70 headshots.

last february i went to the corrections institute for women (CIW) otherwise knows as the women’s prison. my motherinlaw was speaking at an event there. i went along to take photographs…that i wouldnt be able to show to the public, being as they are inside the prison.

but the experience was eye-opening. and my heart also opened as well that day; how AMAZING would it be to photograph these women? each so precious to HIM and to us. women, who you can see in some of their eyes, that dont feel beauitful or worth anything anymore. that could never be able to give back but would cherish such a thing as a beautiful photograph of themselves and see truly how beautiful they are.

i shared this dream with ana, one of the pastors from our church which is involved extensively at the prison. she thought it was a great idea…didn’t know when that would ever be. but said she’d keep it in mind.

this past sunday, ana came to me smiling. they were doing a retreat at the prison this mon, tues and wed. and i was going to be allowed to bring in my camera to photograph the women!!!!

and thats what i did yesterday.

i arrived at the visitors gate and a minimum security inmate, we will call zoe, with big smiles and open arms. she began to tell me about some of the ladies attending…how there were two very well-off inmates that hated each other. one was a major car-napper, the other a major drug dealer. and after the first day of the retreat, without anyone’s prompting, they looked for each other and made amends, with tears and hugs. WOW. and then the very old inmate who is has stage 4 breast cancer, with open cancer wounds who is attending.

suddenly my heart didn’t feel as heavy as it had been the last few days with my own burdens.

i was asked to share briefly why i was going to take the photographs. in my broken tagalog, i told them how i visited in feb. how god showed me how beautiful and precious you all were to him. and that as a wedding photographer i photograph beautiful women and they were no different. when i finished they all cheered. my heart was overwhelmed.

as i watched the women sing and laugh and listen intently to the speakers, my eyes filled up with tears. the speakers were all talking about their identity and who they are. wow. so crazy how it all was tying together.

there were 7 tables of women. we photographed them by tables. i found a couch by a door so i could prop it open ever so slightly to get some nice side lighting. and away we went! some smiled so freely. others needed some prodding and encouraging. while others’ pain was so evident in their eyes, i was lucky enough to get them to look at me. with a tender touch to their shoulders, i thanked them and smiled. some smiled back. others quickly walked away. and some hugged me tightly.

i seriously was on the verge of tears throughout it all.

when we were done ana came to me and said, oh there is just one that doesn’t want her photograph taken. i said, really? we will see. and i quickly sought out for her.

she was a 33 year old. been on hard drugs since she was 10. she shared her story. i dont think she has been in long. i found her and touched her arm, please i would love to photograph you. your face, your hair, they are so beautiful. she sheepishly looked at me and as our eyes met and she saw that i was not scary, she agreed.

wow. wow. wow.

she was the last inmate i photographed yesterday. and her eyes still leave imprints in my mind.

i photographed 70 beautiful women yesterday. each one tells a story. a hard story. but it’s their story.

thank you for letting me love you through my lens.

xotracey

Upload from September 15, 2011

a view from inside CIW, the only women’s correctional facility in the philippines housing 1800 women. photo credit.

whether i am going to be able to post any to the public i’m not sure. i may know at a later date.

The Great Pretend || by jonathan

I have been reading scripture differently lately. Sort of losing myself in it. An immersion of sorts. What I have found has been quite overwhelming.

This scandalous redemptive mystery of the Gospel is a mysterious journey of discovery. It is not an embedding process where we insert ourselves into the organizational life of a church. It IS an immersion; something that saturates EVERY moment and part of life. I find it inspiring that with nothing more than the offer of come ‘Follow Me’, the disciples dropped everything and walked with Jesus into this Life.

When we choose this kind of journey with HIM, He cuts us loose. Outside all borders, boundaries, and barriers…outside of our constructed comfort zones and fears. It is out in the wild with Him we come to discover that the Kingdom of God is an uncivilized place, or as Erwin McManus writes, its a ‘barbarian way’. To often communities of faith struggle to make themselves ‘culturally relevant’ and in so doing continue to tangle themselves up in a civilized world. 

There is no redemption in cultural relevance. What we need is a wild, inherently courageous and uncivilized guide. We need to recognize Jesus walking toward us, beckoning us ‘to follow’ Him into a world that longs in ignorance for Him.

The Kingdom of God is not a low risk blue chip investment created by the brokers of religion for consumption; an attempt to make life better or for retirement plan at a tropical resort. It can’t be calmly considered, and casually digested. THIS Kingdom can not be domesticated, it can’t be franchised and placed along side the other proprietors of religious goods. The King of this Kingdom can’t be restrained, leashed or muzzled from His continuous challenge of our selfish way of life. He is not willing to settle for less than us being who He made us to be, which often comes at the cost of what we THINK He made us to be(but thats another conversation…). 

He is a seeker. A hound, dont be offended by the picture of it. Yes, a hound, on the scent, seeking us out with incredible ferocity.

Have we sanitized Jesus, making him a spiritual guru of sorts selling a success dream? Does He come rather tamely, in a three piece suit, or as cool hipster…to tidy up a few bad habits, make us better people, more prosperous, more cool…sending us back into the world grateful for the self-help? Really? Seriously? Is that the extent of this message of hope?

I think in lots of ways, we have. And this is not the Jesus of scripture. Where the true Lord Jesus is, everything changes. Think of the words: transformed. freedom. redeemed. united. hope. life. alive. force. faith. These are words that hold power and birth movements of change. Isn’t it interesting that we have had some level of success at fitting ‘christianity’ into our culture but trying to fit Him and His way into our normal rhythms of life is like trying to push a camel through the eye of a needle. hmmm, have read that somewhere. It don’t work. Or if it does, its really really messy. He doesn’t fit into anything that was, He makes all things new. And He does it at the cost of we may see as ‘my precious’. And often when ‘my precious’ is killing me. Maybe thats why we opt for the religion over the person…hmmmm.

The reality is I think we’ve all caught glimpses of the Kingdom of God, this Kingdom of Jesus. And often it goes unrecognized because it is outside our comfort zones, beyond the barbed wire, warning tape, in the messy places, outside the black and white lines into which we’ve etched our theologies. You see, out there beyond the walls, its unsettling. Life is not in our control. We miss the ‘coming of the Kingdom’ because its difficult to understand what’s going on. But if we would look but for a minute our hearts would awaken in ways we have secretly longed for. We would discover something so scandalously redemptive that it would shatter our way of life and change our world.

It would be like a man who has discovered a treasure in the midst of the brokenness of life. His shovel digs into the pavement of life and strikes something solid, glittering…it mezzmerizes him. He will sell everything, sell his entire life to have this treasure. He will liquidate all his life’s assets just for this treasure. wow. Am I like he? hmmm…heard that somewhere before too.
There is nothing wrong with church, and for the record I am convinced that the big C Church is the hope of the world. BUT often we’re in danger of going to church, reading the bible, singing songs, saying prayers, doing good deeds, being baptized, having communion so much so that we risk not making the great discovery. Maybe, we have to look beyond the building we erroneously call church so that we can be startled by discovery. 

Discovery?

Uh huh. A discovery that buildings and forms matter not one whit. Its the Kingdom that lies within us that holds such incredible power. We need to stop allowing the gathering place, the building we go to, the church place we tend to hide in, to be an excuse to live the great pretend. 

WHAT? yes, the great pretend. Like you don’t know what’s going on. Like you don’t know you have a destiny, a role to play in the PLAN of the King. Like you don’t really know there is more than you could possibly imagine for the one who chooses to ask, to knock, to seek…to lay it all on the line for This King.

Listen closely…have you heard the clink of the blade of the shovel against the glittering treasure? Have you? 

If you have…oooo…well now the stakes are higher for you. And maybe thats why you are so miserable…because, it’s redemptive beauty will haunt you…cuz you have a sense of it’s worth, an idea of it’s power to transform everything it touches. 

Hearts.

Imaginations.

Passions.

Dreams.

The world.

A whole being…ignited by the dream of His Presence here…and the Kingdom of God made known.

oooo, I have a dream.
j

conjunctivis of the soul || by tracey

over a week ago i acquired “sore eyes”, or conjunctivis.

this is the first time i ever had this. and let me tell you, it ain’t pretty. Upload from August 08, 2011

it began with my eyes feeling a little sore..so i rubbed them, naturally. then my sisterinlaw, charity, took one look at me when i was at Gentle Hands last tuesday and said, “oh, you have sore eyes..ya it’s going around here.”

fantastic. not. so off to mercury drug, the local drugstore chain, i went to fetch some antibacterial, anti-inflammatory drops. bloody expensive let me tell you. so i began drops.

and my eyes slowly started getting worse. nice-not. and i developed an inflamed node in my face near my ear. nice - not. and my eyes burned like a bugger. nice - not. and they “gooped”. super nice. NOT.

by friday they had not gotten better with the said drops. so i went on antibiotics as well. still nothing. so on sunday, my motherinlaw suggested an medicated ointment. at this point, i was up for trying anything.

you see, i couldn’t see anything, really. my eyes were scratchy. they ached…oh did they ache. i had to close them cuz leaving them open was too painful. and they burned. snap, did they burn. so what does one do when this is all  happening? one doesn’t work on the computer and answer emails that continue to pile up. nor does one work on weddings and sessions that need to be edited and out to clients either. nor does one use the time to even do up blog posts for scheduling. no cuz sitting at a computer with your eyes OPEN is far too painful.

and when you look out, everything is blurry…only if you look a certain way does the blurr fade and there are glimpses of clarity. really annoying actually. :)

so one sits. lays. “be’s” with their eyes closed.

i know, party time, right??

after a few days in, i ACTUALLY had the nerve to ask god, “so…what is it that i can learn from this really shatty situation??”

and so began the revelations….

how often do we rely on our sight for so much of what we do. as a photographer, my sight is imparative. i have thought many times about “what if i became blind?!” scenario. the thought haunts me…the reason i wont get laser eye surgery - the POSSIBILITY of it NOT working and leaving me without my sight.

and even in day to day life..its really hard to wash dishes or make a sandwich when your sight is really blurry and fuzzy. or trying to read…good luck with that.

back to the “so one sits..lays..be’s.

i have reflected much the last few days on  how my soul relys on what it can see as to where my belief lies. say again? if i can SEE that god is blessing and providing and showing me the way i should go, then i believe.

i mean isn’t the saying something like, “seeing is believing”?

but take away the sight…do i still believe god is my provider and that he is gonna show me what i am to do, when i can’t see it laid out in front? hmmmmmmm… THAT is sometimes another story.

so as i laid in blurry silence i noticed/discovered something. i dont need to SEE things to believe that god is for me..that he will make a way..that he will provide..that he will show me what i am to do…

no…i have to LISTEN. to his voice. the still small voice that so often i know that i sometimes dismiss for “oh that’s silly, or insecurity, or this or that”. sometimes that voice is the very thing that will solidify our faith.

here i am, a week into these “sore eyes”…and the ointment is helping. i am coupling it with the drops. still on the antibiotics. they are starting to feel better. not healed, by any means, but like there is hope they will be better. :)

and even though i still don’t know where the means will come from, or what i am supposed to be REALLY doing, or how i am supposed to do it…i do know that i dont need to SEE it with my eyes - although it’d be really nice!!- ..i need to believe in what i am HEARING resonate in my soul.

xotracey

there are no ducks here - by tracey

for 2 years i was in chronic neck pain. and i’m not talking a minor bothersome flinch. i’m talking full-on neck pain and my arms were turning numb and i was just a really grumpy person cuz of it. and it was totally affecting my photography in that i could no longer have on my back or hang things off my body. a SPIDER holster system was bought for the cameras and a LOWEPRO suitcase purchased for the gear.

my motherinlaw told me about her chiropractor. i had seen him once when we were here in oct 2009. he was weird. odd. totally fit the stereotype of “quack-opractor”. um, no thanks mom.

when the pain was not going away with cheap massages when we first came here, i thought about dr brush. what IF he could help me?

so… my first session with dr walter brush, chiropractor was april 9, 2011.

he was “quite concerned” at the degree and state my back and neck were in. he couldn’t tell initially where it all started but started by getting the hypertonic muscles to chill. how? this is where my “work” came in. heat packs 4-5 times a day to relax the muscles. continually stretching them afterwards. sleeping on my back with support under my neck. when sitting down on a couch, leaning my neck back on something so my neck wouldn’t be working to hold it up not sitting for long periods. no reaching up or pulling up motions. and definitelly no driving.

boy. this should prove to be interesting.

i was desperate though, you know? i wanted to be “functional” again physically. it had even affected my running - not that i’m a marathoner - but running was not enjoyable. oh, and no physical activity…for now.

great.

it’s been 14 sessions since that first one. and the work that i have done in changing my lifestyle has been intense. i sleep with one of those ergonomic pillows, thanks to my friend shelley, who gave it to me a year ago to get rid of it out of her basement. (i think of you every night friend!). i sleep on my back. i sit up straight naturally now, with my shoulders back. i’m constantly conscious of how my posture is, if i’ve stretched, the amount of time sitting.

it’s been totally revolutionary.

and it’s been 14 sessions and i’m pain-free. it’s freaking remarkable. but it took time. and diligence. and a heckuva lot of patience.

last week i was thinking to myself, as i’m in a season of getting so much of my personal/spiritual life in order, that i wonder if i should ask dr brush about physical activity yet.

it had been almost 3 weeks since i saw him -the longest time in between visits. they started at 2x a week, then gradually to 2x every 10 days, then to 2 weeks. i was eager to find out what his thoughts were gonna be about how my back was  holding up.

if you follow my instagram, i sometimes post photos from the view of my table when i’m have my heat treatment before my actual chiropractic adjustment. they are somethin’ i tell ya. ;)

so tuesday was no different. did the crazy instagram photo while i laid on my front and she hot packed my neck and back and put that electric waves attached to make my muscles relax.

after 30 mins of that i went to the adjustment room. and waited for dr brush.

in he comes. he’s gotta be in his 50s. from california. married to a filipina i think. talks in doctor lingo…

the C5 and 6 are blah, blah, blah, and your cervical thorasis, blah, blah, blah”.

initially this really freaked me out. i had NO clue what he was talking about. but now, i still think it’s funny but i know what he’s talking about. sorta.

he checked me first. he was impressed at how much my last adjustment stayed. this was good! that my back, which he had diagnosed after a few treatments as being a congential issue that if not treated would debilitate me, was functioning at 85%!

wow. i was so overjoyed inside. this hard work and lifestyle change was paying off!!

just as i was going to ask him about physical activity he says, no lie, “so i think it’s time to give you some exercises for your lower lumbar now”

YES!!!! i was so happy!!

here’s what i have to do now - and i couldn’t be happier! :) Upload from July 22, 2011

 so things have really started looking up.

i am excited to start exercising again…and having a full life with my kids again has been wonderful. no more, “i can’t mommy’s back hurts and i have a brutal headache”.

taking back my life really. :) it’s liberating. and my chiropractor..he’s not a quack. he’s freaking fabulous. :)

xotracey



canada vs the philippines - western & eastern culture at it's finest

if you haven’t stayed up to snuff on my photo blog, i was in canada for 2 weeks in june to shoot the delightfully fun wedding of KYM & WINMARK. i had known since december 2010 that i was going back to shoot their wedding, just before we headed on our philippine adventure jan 1, 2011.

what i didn’t know is how hard it would be going back “home” to canada.

you see, if you know me at all, i am an all or nothing sorta girl. i throw myself into whatever and whereever i am. whether it’s shooting, leading a group, creating something, my bio-polar running life. you name it, i throw myself in it, if i’m gonna do it. like the vancouver photographers networking group i co-founded with a fellow photog and dear friend in 2008. it was something i was passionate about and went for. today, the group still exists and has almost 400 members. hello.

so it wasn’t a surprise that when we landed in manila i would do the same - throw myself back into the culture i knew well for 5 years (1996-2001). altho i barely used my tagalog in canada - mostly when i was shooting weddings and there were filipinos! - i began conversing like time had stood still. the asian way of life - circular thinking - came back like second nature. i think it was what my soul needed, really.

which leads me to the canada vs the philippines thing.

i found this on a website and it was really great to explain.

Eastern Culture Vs Western Culture

This is an insightful understanding of Eastern Culture vs. Western Culture…in an interesting pictorial representation. Of course one can’t generalize everyone into these “categories” but the drawings DO capture the essence of cultural differences between western and Asian cultures, in a snippy, entertaining way.

Blue=Western & Red=Asian (following graphics copyright of Yang Liu)

Opinion

Upload from July 13, 2011

Way of Life

Upload from July 13, 2011

Traveling

Upload from July 13, 2011

Transportation

Upload from July 13, 2011

The Boss

Upload from July 13, 2011

Relationships/Contacts

Upload from July 13, 2011

Punctuality

Upload from July 13, 2011

Self-image

Upload from July 13, 2011

In a restaurant

Upload from July 13, 2011

Moods and Weather

Upload from July 13, 2011

The weekends

Upload from July 13, 2011

At a Party

Upload from July 13, 2011

Queue when waiting

Upload from July 13, 2011

Handling of Problems

Upload from July 13, 2011

Anger

Upload from July 13, 2011

The Child

Upload from July 13, 2011

The elderly in everyday life

Upload from July 13, 2011

i think that the images explain themselves. :) i can TOTALLY relate to so many of those images, mostly red!

it was very easy for me to slip into the asian culture, being that so many of our core family values reflect so many of these. (not ALL, but many!)

back to my trip to canada…because i was immersed in living here, i really didn’t prepare myself for going back home, emotionally. the “reverse culture shock” that i got punched in the gutt with once back on canadian soil. in fact, the night before my flight for canada i STILL hadn’t packed and even THOUGHT about my trip. oh my.

it really made me step back and reflect, let me tell you, about so much of what we do, as people in general, and how we live our life every day. i wish i could tell you all i felt/realized/came to conclusions about…but i think that would be TOO raw for my blog and may offend people, which i am not in the business of doing. and it would really suck after 4 days of my new blogging overhaul, that people stopped reading it cuz i pissed them off. :) i’ll leave that up to a blogger missionary i follow and relate to on SO many levels, jamie - the very worst missionary. go ahead and check her out. :)

anyways..all this to show and tell to say… i love both the philippines AND canada. equally. but differently. and i think that is ok. :)

thanks for hearing my heart.

xotracey

our latest newsletter is online! - by tracey

getting a routine set and in place right after you’ve moved HALF WAY AROUND THE GLOBE  is always a challenge especially for someone like me who doesn’t do well with getting routines to STICK!

nonetheless i have uploaded our APRIL NEWSLETTER. simply click on the link below!

APRIL 2011 NEWSLETTER

happy monday to all!

xotracey

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the little jungle boy - a post from rosie

It all started on Thursday. I was at ninis house. Me and Ate rose were inside and suddenly there was pounding on the door. i thought it was her neighbor Gi Shouk.

But then we herd this yelling”gusto ko pagkain mangyaring feed sa akin” which means feed me im hungry. ate rose went outside and there was a little boy standing there. he was no ordinary little boy. He was dirt had no clothes on buut a t shirt and a huge growth on his nose.



I came outside just as the guard was taking him away.

about two hours later, nini and ate rose went down and found out he lived in a small shack in the jungle on the other side of the wall. there was a little way to get in and they went down into it. she told us that when they asked, in tagalog, what his name was, he said, in tagalog, “one two three”.


the father was 72 years old and the mother had died. his dad told them his name was emmanuel. after nini and ate rose came back we put some fruit, apples and bananas, in a bag and sarah joy (my cousin), emma (my little auntie) , ate rize (nini’s one helper), nini, ate rose (nini’s other helper) and i went down to the wall.

the little boy came running up to us. he was asking things in tagalog that i couldn’t understand. emma gave him one of her silly bands and a sparkly bracelets. he put them on his hand and then he looked in the bag. he threw out the apples and bananas beacause he had no idea with they were.





he ran over and hugged ate rose for a while. then he looked at the sparkly bracelet and tried to put it on emma’s ear because he thought it was an earring.







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after us kids left, i guess ate rose told him that it was good food. he ended up picking them up and eating them.

that was our first time finding out about this little jungle boy.

the second time he came over was when we were h aving my cousin jason’s goodbye-to-canada party. he was inside nini’s house but when nini told him to go outside he wouldn’t. he sat on the floor and roared. jason tried a few times to get him out. but then he ran to the kitchen. jason tried to drag him out and finally jason just picked him up and took him outside.


the guard showed up at nini’s house outside. the guard took him away, back to his house.

i was really surprised that he would come into the house. when the guard came and took him away, i felt sad because everytime he comes into the village, he gets taken away. how would you feel if you kept on getting taken away?

the third visit was yesterday evening.

us kids were at wonderland - the field/garden across from nini’s place - playing duck duck goose. i heard someone coming. i suspected it was Gi Shouk, nini’s neighbors kid. i turned around and it was emmanuel. everyone but merry faye (my cousin) and i, started backing up. in tagalog, he was asking to play. merry faye and i said “oo” which means “yes”.

we started running around. we forgot that we had left the dogs loose, especially bella because she’s a little puppy. sammy, the bigger dog of nini, started chasing the little boy. emmanuel was running as fast as he could away from sammy, and bella was following sammy. finally emmanuel ran into a gate where there were some people.

merry faye and i got the dogs and held them. the little boy ca
me out and the dogs started barking. emmanuel started walking faster and he was holding our hands. everyone else was at nini’s already, yelling for her to get the guard while mf and i tried to play with the little boy.

the guard came and took the little boy again. mf and i watched the guard take him back to his house. we were feeling really bad. we went home and we were fine.

later that night, ate rose got some food in a container for supper for the little boy and his old father. ate rose, merry faye and i took it over to the wall and they came running towards us. ate rose was talking to the old man in tagalog, telling him that the little boy shouldn’t come back over. then the guard came over and they started talking in tagalog and mf and i just stood there listening to them.

.


we walked back home and we were talking about how we would feel if we were that little boy.
that was the last time we saw him.

it's not always paradise in paradise - personal by tracey

it’s been 9 weeks since we arrived in the philippines.

so excited. anticipating. a little nervous. but mostly excited.

and why not? we were coming back “home” in a sense…a place we had put down roots for 6 years. both our kids were born here. the foundation of our lives as a married couple were in this very country and city.

we knew what we were coming back to. cultural and all. yet, some of those very things are taking their toll on me. 

20110121_makatirain-1.jpg

going from weather changes from vancouver to manila - slight change. i sweat all the time. ALL. THE. TIME. i walk slower now so that i DON’T sweat ALL. THE. TIME. i don’t mind sweating at the beach, in my bathing suit. but i do not live on the beach, work on the beach, or even frequent the beach as much as i would like. and so you dress in layers, sorta. and move slowly.

things are NEVER on time here. EVER. you say 10am, maybe they’ll start or show up at 10:15..10:30..10:45 even.  i’m not one for being late.. it bothers me. i find it disrespectful. but i dont rush anymore to be EARLY. cuz no one else will be early. a battle i’m most certain i will NEVER win.

speaking of early…getting up at 5am every morning to get your kids out the door 5 minutes before 6am for their journey on the school bus. the good thing is that there is no traffic at this time of day for me to go to Gentle Hands..so i suppose this is a win-win. 

and what about school? i have yet to be at school since it opened. life is very difficult to get around without a vehicle. this not going up to the school thing is really hard for me. i was super-involved in our school in burnaby. on the pac..volunteering with class stuff. just “being” there. ya..i know it’s not forever..we WILL get a vehicle soon. but it FEELS like forever.

what about household chores? we live in a metropolis with almost 20 million people in it. i SEE the smog skyline. things get dirty and dusty here. i try and keep my bedroom window closed so my office/equipment stay clean. but the rest of our house is open, with screens. you gotta sweep every day. and the laundry. it’s not like home. it takes a looooooooong time. and you hang things to dry here. i’ve taken to putting a fan in the laundry room..helps the drying process. takes even longer when it rains. we don’t use the air-conditioning that is in our place either. too much $$$ to run it.(philippines, i read, is the highest electricity rates in the WORLD. le sigh.) so that whole sweating thing..you sweep and you sweat. you hang the laundry and you sweat. it’s just part of it.

oh and remember that waking up at 5am thing plays in there too…i’m about DONE by 8:30pm. the weekdays are brutal. not going to lie; i look forward to sunday mornings and sleeping without an alarm waking me up. :)

am i whining? absolutely. am i complaining? uh-huh i am. am i homesick? at times. am i certain we made the right decision in moving here? 100% we did. will this pass? totally it will. probably doesn’t help that Lover is off to canadaland for 2 weeks tomoro. le sigh again. :) but seriously..my head knows this is just a feeling and that it too will pass. my heart is just not there yet… <3

it’s re-entry. culture shock. the wall. whatever you want to call it. i’m there. and i’m just being real and thought you’d like to know that, yes, i live in the tropics, in “paradise”…but it doesn’t always FEEL like paradise.

xotracey

some down time - by tracey

summertime is not quite here…but the beach on a sunday is a wonderful thing to do to keep cool. and with long days at school for the kids and myself at GH, a beach day was exactly what the doctor ordered.

the kids and i tagged along with jonathan’s sister, charity, the cousins and a truck load from GH to the beach at subic bay. it took about 2 hours to get there.

it was a wonderful time away from the city. :)

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some of the scenery on the drive back home to manila…

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