The jungle has a stillness that only is broken with the sounds of roosters crowing or buzzing and creaking of the many serrangah (bugs) here. I have come to love those sounds in the early morning and late evening. This morning as I finished packing up my little room above the Church, I stopped to look out at the jungle. Every morning the mist sits over the hills until the sun slowly burns it off. It is one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. As I walked along the road to the internet office ducking around the bush that always seems to prick me, hopping across the marshy path after all the rain last night, and taking a last deep breath of the fragrant mango tree; that feeling of goodbye rushed over me.
I have never liked goodbyes. I can never seem to come up with the right words to say, and always feel like I don't quite adequately convey my feelings. Well, today is another goodbye. It's my last day here in Pagalungan and I am overcome with so many mixed emotions. While I am excited to return back to Tenom and see my community there, it is hard to leave the people I have been with constantly the past couple weeks. These people I have laughed with, danced with, cooked with, sang with, prayed with and even cried with.
And I think that part of my finds it a little cruel that I'm already having to face goodbyes. It's something that I don't think I considered. I always imagined that at the end of my year, I would be facing this challenge, but not so early on. It makes me think about how much I value the communities I have been a part of and how they have shaped me in so many ways. I miss them. I miss that time together with people and I miss my dear friends (badai-badai) in Pagalungan. While there is always facebook, email, and phone; there is just something about being with people that is irreplaceable.
Please pray for the people of Pagalungan, Silungai and the surrounding area of Sepulot that have cared for me in so many ways. Please also keep the Philippines in your prayers; while Malaysia has been blessed to not be directly affected; there is a large population here from the Philippines and so many of our communities will be affected by the losses of their loved ones their.