It’s Eid al-Adha, what’s your plan?

 Photo credit from: riyadhprayertimes.com

Eid al-Adha is one of the many holidays that UAE and other muslim countries celebrates.

There are 2 Eid celebrations: One is Eid al-Fitr that’s the end of the Ramadan season and the upcoming one on 31st August is Eid al-Adha. It is also known as the Big Eid probably because it is usually noted as a long holiday (including the weekends). This Eid is also called as the Sacrifies Feast, in honor of Abraham who willingly sacrificed/offered his son as an act of submission to God’s command. Pretty much the same story with what we Christians have in the holy bible.

With the holiday approaching, what’s your plan?!?

You’d probably heard this question asked by many of your family and friends around here in the UAE.

As for me and Kokobear, we don’t have a concrete plan yet. Unlike last year, we headed to Sri Lanka but this year due to what happened last December, we don’t have any. But even though we don’t have a plan, I just thought of sharing a few suggestions for you, your friends and family to bond with during this holiday season.

Check these out!

1. Catch up some lost sleep – Have you ever thought that you always don’t have enough sleep? When in fact it has become psychological. We tend to complain not having enough sleep because we wake up early morning for work or school but when it’s weekend, we stay up way late at night or even until dawn, since there is no commitment the next day. hehehe I feel you! I am currently in that stage. But hey, it’s a 3 days holiday, so go ahead hit the sack now. 🙂

2. Stay at home and do the Karaoke – We Filipinos are known for our love of music and a Karaoke is a must activity for most of us. So take out all the chips and drinks, let’s sing it and let’s do it MY~~~ WAY!!!!  haha 😀

3. Try out an Emirati/Arabic Restaurant and somehow feel how they celebrate Eid – Understanding a country’s culture always includes enjoying the local cuisine and so why not look for an Arabic restaurant (roasted Lebanese chickens exempted, coz I guess we’ve all tasted that on day to day basis)… Or maybe, if you happen to know a local family, then why not visit and try to celebrate it with them!

4. Photo Walk or Enroll in a class you’re interested in – Have you noticed that the weather starts to cool down? It’s good for a photo walk now! It doesn’t require a DSLR to do that, your mobile phones could actually deliver. Take a photo and burn some calories too! Hitting two birds with one stone! 🙂 Another option is to take a class that you’re interested in. Maybe a photography class or calligraphy and others? Very simple, just check out some nearby seminars/workshop events on Facebook or use Google!

5. Go to the beach or park – It’s a good time to spend time with family and friends by the beach, Corniche will always be open, or how about Saadiyat beach! Well, if you want to entertain your tastebuds into barbeque sessions, the parks will also be a good option!

6. Movie (cinema) or Movie marathon at home – Movies movies movies! Who doesn’t want to catch up some movies and do a marathon at home or check out the latest showing at the nearest cinema? I bet watching movie is the number one past time here in the UAE.

7. Visit Family and relatives from the other Emirates – Majority of us here in the UAE has family members staying in the other Emirates, so why not reconnect ties and bond more with them. Make more family memories to relinguish by staying at their home, or book a hotel in RAK, see some green gardens in Al Ain, or enjoy the huge Dubai mall! After all, Eid al-Adha was a family offering for God.

8. Get to know Abu Dhabi more by visiting these 10 Free Site-seeing Places. – Yes, I have recently wrote for Biggie Tips – 7 Free Site Seeing Places in Abu Dhabi and I have added 3 more to make it 10 on my own blog. 🙂 This is quiet connected to #5 with more options though :D. Let’s try being a tourist of our own city and explore Abu Dhabi’s must see places.

9. Take a short trip outside UAE. – Three days is enough to visit the nearest country such as Georgia, Sri Lanka in our case last year, or do a 2 nights/3 days short solo trip to Armenia just like what Ms. Poet RM did. Read her story on Going Solo to Yerevan Armenia 2016.

    Follow her blog as she shares herself through poetry & check out her adventures on http://mspoetrm.wordpress.com 🙂

10. Service + Fellowship with CFFL Brethren – Community life is a lifestyle, so how about service + fellowship with our brothers and sisters in the community? This is just another great way to spend this holiday more meaningful by offering time to God through service & fellowship. Check out these photos below shared by our brothers and sisters in the community. Photo credits to Bro. Wilper, Sis Joan and Sis Bevz.

These are just 10 of my suggestionson what to do during this Eid al-Adha. Maybe you could add more? Share your thoughts on the comment below.

God bless and enjoy your Eid al-Adha!

 

 

 


 

Why I was hesitant to volunteer for SJC Kids’ Summer Camp 2017

Summer! A season when the kids are taking their break from school, and this year, SJC has organized another Summer Camp for kids.  In the beginning, I have no intention to volunteer for St. Joseph Church Kids’ Summer Camp 2017. Maybe some of you know, my husband Kokobear was the one who posted the ad on CFFL Abu Dhabi FB pages about kids/youth to join this camp, including volunteers. While he was doing that, I little voice inside me says I should give it a try. When I opened it up to Ate Lou, she was excited and so I told her to give me time because I still have some hiccups… Lo and behold, she was actually praying for me to join and to cut the long story short; when I said “yes” she was just finished praying.

Allow me to share, my very personal reasons about why I was hesitant in accompanying Ate Lou. Actually, the job is pretty much easy, I am the presentation personnel who queues the slides during the mass. Of course a little bit of assistance too for the Kid’s Choir while Ate Lou teaches them how to sing the songs.

Here are my 3 of the reasons why:

First, to go out of my comfort zone is just not easy.

My comfort zone for the past 6 months has been staying home: applying for jobs, watching tv, a little exercise, cook lunch and dinner for Kokobear, read books, create ideas for blogs, unli-Facebook, and the list goes on. Allotting my 5 hours from 4:00 PM – 8-8:30 PM is not my usual, not my comfort zone.

While listening to some productivity/ creative podcasts, it hits me when they emphasized that we must go out of our comfort zone/s and try something new. These are the moments when you know in your heart that you are being called to explore and take yourself into a challenge of going outside the comfort of our home and just dive into the unknown. So I prayed and I got His confirmation to proceed.

Second, I don’t have money to go and come back and forth (Home-Church-Home)

This is our first photo – Ate Lou & I during the day 1, briefing session of the SJC Kids’ Summer Camp on 9 July 2017.

 

This might be one of the biggest reason for me and for those who were considering to volunteer. Taxi fare nowadays here in Abu Dhabi is at the roof top! Gone are the days when you could reach the church for 10-12 AED, nowadays it’s between 20-25 AED one way. The public bus is possible, although it will take some time to reach the church and still needs to walk during this scorching heat! But then, I worry no more – God provides that Ate Lou took over. She’s my personal sponsor in this service. 🙂 Thank you Ate!

 

And finally (third), I was hesitant because I’m not familiar with the sequence of the mass!

Yes! That’s a big revelation for me. I am a Catholic, I’ve been bold about this faith and I’ve been attending masses all my life – but there is a pang in my heart that hurts. 🙁 That hesitation, that I felt was this! I am (or was) afraid of what I will do if the slides won’t work… How will I know what’s next? This and that and all other questions that are related to both technical issues and my personal issue of not being worthy to be assigned in that area because I don’t memorize the sequence of our own mass!!!

I wrote notes on the missal, highlighted some parts and go over masses on youtube to know which is which, what goes first and next and last. God also sent people to help me know what is proper Gospel or a Feast to change the readings of the day. I also learned that regular days don’t have Second readings. All these and more –  I won’t know if I haven’t volunteered.

 

That was 25 days to be exact – when I handled the slides (minus 1 because I was off for a day for MER 2). Minor technical glitches happened but the church people are just so helpful. I’ve also had the chance to assist the kids and Ate Lou with the tune of the songs – ha ha never thought I’d be singing – just a little :).


Here’s a shortie video I captured while the kids were practicing their finale’ presentation.

What I learned on this “somehow” mini #PassionProject of mine.

I called this a mini Passion Project because; this act of volunteering is indeed a part of my preparation as I take on a new journey to teaching. To teach is not new to me. I’ve been in that field since I was a kid, it is my major passion that I even finished university & become a professional. But, it has been almost 9 years since I last danced in that stage of nourishing the minds of students. This camp immersed me into that real world of how the youngsters of today are different from way back almost a decade of my minute experience. I am positive though that I’ve learned something from this 5 weeks journey.

To cap it off, I am blessed to be attending mass all week long. I’ve heard many different priests doing the homily. Even though their context are directed for the kids, the adults also have their own take home of those teachings. One night, the homily was about our fears – and on that day, I found out and literally defined one for me. All the while I know I have a little share of fear for this and that (heights, snakes, dark rooms etc.), but manageable. Nevertheless, my mind opened that I am actually afraid of the unknown, just like my third reason. Unknown of what happens next, unknown things that I might fail to do what is needed from me.

It’s amazing, how God works. In this camp, he provides. In this camp, he confirmed that nothing is impossible. In this camp, he knocked into my heart and reminded me of His daily presence.

 

God bless us all!