The Wedding (Acquaintance Stage)

*sings were getting to know each other*

Believe me, this ain’t about wedding or marriage but between it.

I always ask myself why I am here or am I really deserving to mingle with these greatest young leaders of the ASEAN Region? My question brings me to intimidation and belittling of myself and my capacities. But everyday, life seems to me hit me stones to realize that we are here with the same purposes and we are here to share what we have and learn how Omaha rocks its community with civic engagements.

My 21 brothers and sisters shared about their perception of the place and we had seasons of answers but there is one thing common among our answers. We found a home in this great city in the Midwest. It seems that the people are very warm and accommodating. You will never feel that you are a stranger. Instead, you will feel that they always care for you, even in the littlest details you care to ask. Diversity is even more fascinating in this simple city. As a foreigner, the place is enticing you to leave your heart.

More on it, the civic engagement in Omaha is commendable. Even the history of Boys Town would even prove us how this place seems to be the most caring place on earth. There are so many non-profit and non-government organizations that care for people-from health, women, youth, and what have you.

A smile is always painted in our faces every time Val, Cassy or Katie brings us to places because we simply learn from it even though we are so tired and haven’t adjusted much from the jet lag. Paul and Patrick even makes our stay more interesting because they serve us the theories and challenge us to make it into praxis. Perhaps, our respective countries will really thank these people for taking care of us for doing everything to make our stay worthy. Of course, our students mentors provides us the sib feels and I just want to thank them for extending their arms to us.

And as the song goes on “we’re getting to know each other a little too late, we are starting to show our feelings and people can tell “, we are still on the process of learning and knowing each other, the culture, and the place.

Efren Leo John V. Aribal, The Philippines

Meet the 21 young leaders from the ASEAN Region who want to create an impact in their respective communities. *photo credits to UNO
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