Autumn Portraits

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A Farm Visit

Farm Visit-27I don’t like to live in a farm. That has been my thought since my family moved here in Fort St. John. But that changed when we visited the farm of Roy and Gloria. We went to visit Roy and Gloria on thanksgiving day. Gloria showed us around their property and we really had a wonderful time. That visit changed my view of what living in a farm looks like. I have been trying to understand what Roy was trying to tell me before about buying property outside of the city limits. He was trying to convince me about the practicality of buying a farm land. I wouldn’t listen, because I could not imagine myself and my family living in a farm. After all, we came here to Canada expecting to live in a “Big City.” To live in a farm was way out of the question. Well, until that thanksgiving visit. That visit really change my perspective. The real surprise for me was that my wife was really receptive to the idea. She was the one who was initially really against the idea of living in the “bukid.” That visit changed her view radically and in fact that visit changed everything. Right now, I can finally see my family and myself staying and settling down in a farm land. I can see the benefits from the financial perspective to the benefit to the quality of life regarding health and overall well-being.

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L-R: Gloria, Remo, Cheryl and Theo

That visit was not planned. But sometimes in our lives, the unplanned moments are those that change us. I am really glad for that visit. I thank Roy and Gloria for the hospitality. I thank Irene for the invite to visit and being the guide to reach the place. I thank God for I know that it was His purpose for this to happen. Now I wait with my family for the next step in our journey. Maybe one of these days, through God’s guidance and provision, we might just start living in a farm!

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Gloria with one of her cows.

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A curious cow.

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Going uphill to the hay field.

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View from uphill

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It was already late autumn so most of the leaves have already fallen. Gloria mentioned that if we had come two weeks earlier, the colors of the tree leaves were really beautiful. Next time we’ll come earlier.

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On the way back from the hay field. The group of trees on the right side are the only trees that still have most of their leaves on.

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We took advantage to take a portrait among the trees.

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The Catch of the Day

My family and I and some friends wanted to enjoy the holiday, so we went out fishing along the Mussafah Park. We took advantage of the extra holiday because  United Arab Emirates is celebrating its 41st National Day.Fishing_Mussafah-0809

“Beginner’s luck” is what they call it. It was the first time I ever attempted fishing. And in my first attempt, I caught the biggest catch of the day.

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Me and my friend Heldon displaying the biggest catch of the day.

This one literally almost got away. As the fish got caught up in my bait, it jerked hard to free itself from the hook and in doing so tugged the fishing rod with it. I had to quickly run after the fishing rod as it was pulled by the fish into the water. Fortunately for me, I caught up with the fishing rod before the fish got away with it (though I strongly doubt that it was strong enough to bring the rod with it, but who knows?). And unfortunately for the fish, it ended up in the fiery grill that was prepared for fishes like him.

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Friends enjoying the day fishing.

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My two sons enjoying their fishing activity.

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My wife trying to catch something…

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My son proudly displaying his catch.

Fishing_Mussafah-0807A beautiful day for fishing.

At the 124th Floor of Burj Khalifa

We headed to Dubai last April 27 to have the chance to be part of a world record. We went up to the 124th floor of Burj Khalifa, presently the tallest building in the world. My whole family and some close friends were with us to savor the opportunity. Who knows, a few months from now, we may not be here in the U.A.E. anymore. And the Burj Khalifa will surely be overshadowed as the world’s tallest building sooner rather than later. So, for a few hours “At the Top” we were part of the record-breaking building.

At the lobby, you will see this replica of the Burj Khalifa

At the bottom of the replica, you will see the relevant records of the building.

At the elevator lobby ready to go way up to the 124th floor!

My son Theo enjoying the Digital Telescope

My family at the 124th floor

Together with our friends

Dubai from the top of Burj Khalifa (124th floor)

A stranger in wheelchair enjoying the view

As you go out of the building, there is this hallway with a gallery of the people involved in the project.

Burj Khalifa from outside

Ras Al Khaimah Weekend

Our family went to Ras Al Khaimah last weekend together with the Oasis Herald Chorale group. We started our travel at around 10:30pm. It was Thursday night of March 30, and  with an expected 3-hour drive, we arrived at our destination at around 1am. Praise God for the traveling mercies. We arrived safe and we did not get lost. The car held up and did not have any malfunction. The traffic was smooth and there were no road accidents that we encountered along the way. God is great good! God is a great God!

The Oasis Herald had their spiritual retreat at Ras Al Khaimah. It was a lovely experience, I must say. Our hosts, the Salazar Family were absolutely hospitable and gracious. With the group, you always expect some craziness and yet, our hosts took it all in stride. In fact, I was beginning to believe that they actually enjoyed the experience themselves. The lady of the house, Neda Salazar said, that they were like guests in their own home. The cooking was done by the assigned persons of the group. And cooking was fun and the food was, believe it or not, great tasting. We even had to ‘harvest’ the ‘malunggay’ from our hosts’ garden. We had great time mainly due the the fact that our hosts were such wonderful people. A word of appreciation is truly in order here. Thanks a lot to the Salazar Family!

The catch words from our retreat were Mission and Vision. And the catch phrase was ‘self-awareness.’ The messages that we received would definitely influence the ministry of the Oasis Herald. The individuals who attended the retreat and drank deeply from the messages and experiences, came out truly blessed. We came out with a renewed sense of direction in our personal as well as in our group life. Our spiritual life had been nourished and we came out knowing that there is a purpose in our life as a group as much as within our own personal lives.  The individual felt that he is an indispensable and unique part of the tapestry of the group. No one is without a role to play. Everyone is a vital part in the fulfillment of the group’s mission and purpose. No one is left out. The next move would be to come up with a definite and solid Mission and Vision statement for Oasis Herald Chorale.

Ras Al Khaimah is one of the emirates in the United Arab Emirates. It is located at the northern part of the Emirates near the border of Oman. It has a population of around 270,000. The place we stayed was at the heart of the old Ras Al Khaimah. The weather was still quite good at this time of the year. The evenings was still cool with a cool breeze and the afternoon was not that hot. Humidity is still quite low so we still enjoyed our outdoor retreat activity out there in the Ras Al Khaimah desert. Overall, the retreat experience was truly an enjoyable one. Tired and sleep-deprived but, truly worth it.