2011 is the first (and probably only) full year we have spent Livin’ La Vida Lanka. We touched down in 2010 (August for Hubby and October for me) and will be taking off as per contract by August of 2012. As we reach the end of the year, I can’t help but reflect on my 2011 La Lanka experience. Let me share with you my 11 of 2011 Livin’ La Vida Lanka:
It was the year of discovering more of Sri Lanka. We went to Kalpitiya and played with the dolphins. We took an uber luxurious retreat in the heart of the tea country at the Tea Trails. We visited friends in Kandy. Had a feel for hubby’s Antipolo home in Matugama. We planned more but pregnancy kept me at bay in Colombo.
It was a year of working La Vida Lanka! It was a major learning experience – working in the biggest FMCG in the country, dealing with the corporate culture of a high-performing organization, adapting to the unique Sri Lankan culture at work, meeting new people and making lifelong friends.
It was a year of longing for home and struggling with where we are. Blame it on the pregnancy hormones? I didn’t have specific cravings but I craved in general to be back home. Back to the comforts of family, friends and Filipino food. I hated where I was – but realized that where I was didn’t matter as long as I hubby and I (and little Luna in my belly) were together.
It was a year of finding home away from home. We discovered Kabayan, the Filipino restaurant and AFSRIL, the Filipino community in Sri Lanka. It was fantastic meeting our kababayans here – in a country seemingly so far away from home. And we were lucky to meet really wonderful people who gave us a sense of community and family when we most needed it.
It was a year of celebrating our first year of marriage! We had an 11th month celebration in Singapore and on the day itself, a fantastic dinner at our favorite Chesa Swiss.
It was a year of pregnancy away from home. Being pregnant for the first time is one heck of a learning experience – more so if you’re kind of striking it “on your own.” Of course for us, it was us – hubby and I. We have met wonderful people who supported us in our journey like Dr. Kamanie and Ms. Mohanie. It was also a discovery of the city and its nooks and crannies of baby shops. I also couldn’t be more thankful for my mother friends who have been a source of virtual support – from maternity fashion to lactation consultation! Pregnancy away from home – it is ok as my friend G said.
It was the year of the comeback of the post-office. For gifts from down under from Tita A and the Filmmaker bro, to purchases from Amazon and the Philippines and gifts from friends back home. They do find a way to La Lanka in one neat piece! Moreover the thought finds its way in our heart.
It was the year of friends and family visiting. I’m so glad my Mentor K came for a business trip and spent the weekend with us (albeit it was the height of my morning sickness!). I couldn’t be more thankful for my mom who came for Baby L’s delivery. Her presence is invaluable. More workmates from Manila found their way here for a business trip as well and it’s nice to catch up with the chismis (gossip).
It was the year of pushing for my coaching studies. I enrolled in International Coach Academy and after a few struggles balancing it with work this early year, I was able to gain footing and finished most of my coursework. Poised to graduate next year!
It was my 30th year. It was bittersweet because for a milestone year I was away from my 3 F’s (family, friends and Filipino food!) but it was the time I fully embraced where I am – my life in La Lanka, the friends I have made here and how happy I am for all those.
It was the year I met Luna, became a mom and a parent with hubby. For that, Sri Lanka will forever be special. In as much as my pregnancy hormones made me “hate” it, our daughter’s birth made me love it. I remember what mymommyology once said about Chapel Hill – it was the place where discovered how it is being a mom and being a mom there is all she knows. And she will definitely cry the day she leaves Chapel Hill. My sentiments exactly.
For more than a year we’ve been here, Colombo has transformed me in many ways I never thought possible. It is the place where I truly grew up. The place where I truly became a wife. The place where I became a mother. The place where I have become who I am now. The day we leave Colombo, I definitely will cry because so much of me now has been formed here and I know I will also be leaving a piece of myself behind. But that is still a long time away! And there is still so much of the country and me to explore. Here’s to 2011 and to 8 more months in 2012 La Vida Lanka!